By Will Pearson, europeantour.com
at Durban Country Club
South African’s Branden Grace took time out from his preparations for this week’s Volvo Golf Champions to hold a teaching clinic for local youngsters.
Grace, who won the second edition of the European Tour’s ‘Tournament of Champions’ in 2012, spent an hour with 50 children between the ages of ten and 18 from in and around the area local to Durban Country Club – host venue this week for the second successive year.
Ahead of the first event of the 2014 calendar year, the four-time European Tour winner dispensed invaluable advice and tips and wowed his attentive audience with a wide array of shot-making before inviting three lucky volunteers to join him for some one on one tuition.
“It’s nice to be in a position where you can give a little bit of something back to the kids,” said Grace, who will be hoping to regain the Volvo Golf Champions title from compatriot Louis Oosthuizen this week in KwaZulu-Natal.
“I know this is only something small, it’s not like you are giving away a lot, but if you can give a little bit of your experience and time and talk about how you do things then you never know how that could help a kid out.
“This might just take them to the next level, give them some things to work on and really make golf a bigger thing in their lives.”
The session on the driving range at Durban Country Club was held by Volvo in Golf and the South African Golf Development Board, an organisation created to help promote golf in southern Africa and especially to children from an underprivileged background.
Joseph Kunene, regional manager for the SAGDB, said: “Branden is a role model to these kids for a number of reasons: he is a young guy, a South African, and he plays some of his golf here in KwaZulu-Natal so this was a great experience for our kids.
“To learn some things from someone like him, who has already reached some of the highest points in golf, was brilliant and is definitely going to help these kids aspire to one day also play at this level.”