The Winelands Classic of the Paarl Golf Club has become one of the most prominent and innovative ventures on the SA amateur golfing calendar and paved the way for other clubs to follow suit.
The concept of an amateur golfing festival at the Paarl Club was the idea of a group of club members led by John Winton and included Dougie Green, Deon Rossouw and Johan Geldenhuys. Players were asked to pay R20 each – a fee that was unheard of in the Western Cape for a golf tournament. However, the attraction of over R3 000 worth of prizes soon filled the field.
The first Winelands Classic was held on the 10th of October 1979 and was a huge success.
The Winelands Classis quickly developed into a festival week of and in 1983 the Champagne Classic was added to the number of events.
The Champagne Classic, for mixed 4-balls, was immediately a huge success. It quickly became so popular that prospective players complained that they were unable to get a game. Sponsorship of R100 included a 4-ball and the Champagne Classic sponsorships were quickly grabbed by the enthusiastic golfers.
The Ladies section of the Paarl Golf Club have done a stirling job in promoting and developing both the Champagne Classic as well as the Winelands Festival Week.
Each year it has grown from strength to strength with wines estates vying for the supply of Cape Classique, Sparkling Wine and even imported French Champagne,
The fact that the competitors also dressed up for the occasion adhering to the “theme of the tournament” made this competition even more special.
The organising committee of the Winelands Classic of 1987.
An early pic of the Winelands Classic.