Sixters

Steyn City ushers in a new era in women’s golf

Johannesburg, April 2018
Steyn City is changing the face of women’s golf in South Africa with the launch of the first ever women’s only Sixter’s Tournament.

Taking place on 11 April, the tournament is a nod to GolfSixes, a format which has been eagerly embraced by the European Tour. In the same spirit of Rugby Sevens and Cricket T20, GolfSixes aims to make a sport with centuries’ worth of history more accessible to a wider audience. This exciting, fast-paced iteration has all the tension of the original game but, with fourballs teeing off against each other for a short game of six holes, it’s much quicker.

The relative brevity of a GolfSixes round makes it ideal for women, for whom a lack of time is a major barrier to play. We are, after all, living in an era where time is of the essence.

This is according to Australian research conducted by Smart Connection Company, which sought to understand why women remain underrepresented in the sport. Their findings showed that although women enjoy the same aspects of the sport as men – the opportunity to catch up with friends or forge new business networks while honing a skill in a beautiful outdoor environment – they’re often put off by a lack of access and the perception of golf as “an old boys’ club”.

Why is this a problem? Because, as Tammy Menton, Group head of marketing at Steyn City points out, “women in golf is big business”. One of the solutions in this regard is to ensure that clubs create a more welcoming environment for women. Steyn City has answered this challenge by providing additional time between tee-offs, creating a more leisurely pace of play. This has helped to ease the pressure sometimes created by male golfers who feel frustrated by women’s slower rate of play.

Steyn City’s new Sixters’ tournament has a significant role to play in this regard. The tournament is an initiative of the 7% Tribe founded in 2018 by Menton, and is supported by entrepreneur and golfer, Lynette Ntuli, owner of Innate Investment Solutions. Menton explains that the 7% Tribe was established as a movement to address the lack of female participation and support in Corporate South Africa. “Golf is a perfect vehicle to address this. One of the greatest obstacles facing women in the workplace is the scarcity of opportunities for networking – and where better to grow networks, develop business contacts and explore opportunities than on the golf course?” Menton asks.

Indeed, South Africa’s women appear to share this sentiment: the Sixters (a play on the word ‘sisters’) has been welcomed by excited participants, ranging from corporate heavy hitters to successful entrepreneurs.

Innocentia Motau is one such entrepreneur. Having established herself as a force within the shipping industry, she is also the founder and CEO of ITU Golf Wear; a stunning range of locally manufactured women’s golfing apparel and accessories. ITU Golf Wear was borne out of Innocentia’s own experiences on the golf course: she realised the potential of a brand that provided good looking, quality golfing wear; and has gone on to grow the company so that it has become a job creator for women in the Honeydew community, where her manufacturing facility is located.

Taking its name from Innocentia’s own Setswana name, Itumeleng (meaning happiness), the range is designed to inspire happiness by those who make, and ultimately wear, the clothes.

Each participant in the Sixter’s tournament will receive a gift pack including a beautiful golf shirt and peak from ITU Golf Wear, designed exclusively for the event. The players will also be spoiled with exquisite post-tournament canapes created by Chef Garth of Nineteen (XIX) Restaurant, Steyn City’s renowned fine dining venue, and Methode Cap Classique tastings by Boschendal.

Says Menton, “We’re thrilled to host the inaugural edition of this one-of-a-kind event. It’s only fitting that Steyn City, as a true lifestyle pioneer, should be the first to introduce the GolfSixters format to South Africa – and just as fitting that we turn this occasion into a celebration of life’s finest pleasures. We’re looking forward to seeing it become a highly anticipated event on the golfing calendar, not to mention an annual highlight for all members of the 7% Tribe.”