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The Jock History

In 1967 J.J. Van Rensburg and Rip Riphagen created a new topic of conversation in the pub at the Nelspruit Golf Club - a place where most bright ideas originate. Lively discussion ensued amongst the "manne " for many a memorable evening with major contributions from Christo Basson and Ken Myers and the concept of Jock was born.

The idea was taken to Committee where it was met with very mixed feelings, however, months of pub discussions had armed the proponents of Jock with very persuasive arguments and Jock's birth became official. The first Jock was played from Thursday to Sunday and consisted of two 18 hole competitions each day with the 36 hole Lowveld Open on the Sunday. In 1969 Jock was extended to include Wednesday. It was not unusual in those early jocks for players to be called to the tee for the afternoon competition while still battling up the 18th hole of the morning round. In 1973 the tournament was changed to its present format, including  the Tuesdays from 1977 and the Monday from 1981. A feature of the first Jock was the presence of Bobby Locke who entertained us with his ukulele until 4.00am on Sunday morning then curled up in the lounge and went to sleep. He was awakened for his tee off time but informed Ken Myers that he required some "hair of the dog". He duly retired to the pub for a "few" gins after which the old maestro recorded a 141 gross for the day and Ken retired to bed - for the day!

Jock has not only survived since those early days, indeed it has prospered and since 1969 the tournament has been oversubscribed each year. Currently approximately 2 000 rounds of golf are played over the week by 800 competitors and it is reputed to be the largest amateur tournament of its kind in the world.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then it speaks volumes that even with the advent of the "Barberton Daisy" the "Lalapalm", the "Kameeldoring" and numerous other similar tournaments, the Jock retains its reputation for being the best.

It is not just a golf tournament but a meeting place where friendships are made and renewed some spanning the entire 20 years.