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News > Archives & History > Peter Sauerman donates his book on Golfing in SA to the ODU.

Peter Sauerman donates his book on Golfing in SA to the ODU.

OD writes excellent book entitled 'A History of Golf in South Africa'.
From Left to Right: Nicole Durand of the ODU, Peter Saurerman OD and David Leslie OD.
From Left to Right: Nicole Durand of the ODU, Peter Saurerman OD and David Leslie OD.
On Monday 13 May 2019 the ODU/Museum/Archives were honoured to receive a visit from Peter Sauerman, Head of White House in 1954, Head of School in 1955 (Post Matric), and the Bishops Rhodes Scholar of 1957 and the Chairman of the Diocesan College Council between 1985 - 1995.  At Oxford, Peter graduated from University College with a degree in Engineering Science.  Recently, Peter has been working with David Leslie (Founders House, 1971) in setting up displays at Royal Cape, which is worth seeing for a visual and recorded history of the Club since its establishment in 1885.  Peter and David met with Nicole Durand of the ODU and Paul Murray from the Archives, over tea in The Mitre.  David explained the reason for the visit and Peter spoke briely to his book, a copy of which has kindly been donated to the ODU and is now available for reading, in the Board Room of The Mitre, duly inscribed by the author and with his compliments.

The book is entitled 'A History of Golf in South Africa'.  It covers the period from the foundation of the first club founded in 1885 (the Cape Golf Club) through to the unification of the SAGU and the SA N-E GA in 1992.  The book can be purchased from OD David McLennan at 0722646488.  It is a great read with plenty of illustrations, numbering 300 pages! It is therefore an opus magnum in the true sense of the word and must have taken a great deal of time and effort to produce; it reads nicely and is full of interesting historical information and anecdotes.      

The author traces the History of Golf in South Africa.  This began with the establishment of the Cape Golf Club in November 1885 followed very shortly afterwards of the Pietermaritzburg Golf Club.  Chapter 1 explains the Victorian background, with the work done by Liuet. Gen Torrens, 'A Soldier of Distinction'.  Chapter 2 follows with 'The First Clubs and the Game Started'  and the introduction of Lady Members.  Chapter 3 describes the country's first courses, followed by Chapter 4 outlining the SA Amateur Championship & Early Years (1892 - 1914).

Chapter 5 and 6 respectively deal with the First professionals and the Inauguration of the SA Open.  Chapter 7 explains the inauguration of the game's First Administrators, the Provincial Unions, Handicaps, and the Ladies Golf Union and the National Championship.  Chapter 8 recalls the Re-emergence from the Ashes of WWI followed by Ch 9 of the History of the Brews family.  Then there is a History of 'The Great Amateur Championships between the years 1928-38', followed by some histories around the Club, and other interesting stories in Chapters 11 and 12 respectively.  The start of Varsity Golf is covered in Chapter 13; Chapter 14 explains Tours to and From South Africa and onto Chapter 15 with a history of the great Bobby Locke and the years 1938-40.  Chapter 16 a difficult Chapter explains the War Years; Chapter 17, The Open Championship (1947-57); and, Chapter 18 'The Amateur SA Open Championships'.  As the book draws to a close with the modern era, Chapter 19 explains the Inter-Provincial Tournament; Chapter 20, South Africa and the World Cup, with the amazing account of Sewsunker 'Papwa' Sewgolum, Champion Golfer, the material for Chapter 21.  The Henning Family and the great Gary Player form the material for Chapters 22 & 23 respectively, followed on by the accounts of SA Golfers such as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in Chapter 24.  Chapter 25 the final chapter appropriately explains the Unification in 1992 of SAGU and SAGA. 

The book ends with the following words: 'The unification of the white and non-white controlling bodies was without doubt the most important event in the history of the game in South Africa, opening the way for golfers of all colours and creeds to play a part on an equal footing in the development of the game country-wide and to be able to contribute fully in the successes enjoyed by South African golfers right round the world.'

Heartiest congratulations to Peter for his considerable efforts in producing a significant account of the game of golf in South Africa.  Reading the book will also show the great efforts of many ODs who contributed to the game both by playing and administratively.  There was discussion for a display to be put together, of the Bishops link to Royal Cape, which Peter and Paul will work on, and we will post a bulletin later to keep readers up to speed.


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