The R&A are to provide funding and support for the first golf development initiative in Cape Verde. The archipelago of islands off the west coast of Africa is set to become the next golf and tourism hotspot with several golf resorts planned as part of the country’s development initiative.
In a joint initiative with Cape Verde Development, PGA Golf Management and the PGA, The R&A have committed to provide financial support for an initial two year period for the training of the first Cape Verdian to attain a PGA coaching qualification.
Chosen to head the delivery of the golf development program in Cape Verde is 23 year old, Litson Amador dos Reis. Litson is from the island of Sao Vicente and plays off a handicap of one (1). He will undergo training at the St Andrews Links Golf Academy, where PGA Golf Management deliver instruction services on behalf of St Andrews Links Trust, before taking his PGA Level 1 coaching qualification in Scotland later this month.
Litson plays his golf on the sand course at Club Golfe de Sao Vicente, currently the only golf course in Cape Verde, founded in 1893 and now the oldest sports association in Cape Verde. He started playing golf at the age of nine (9) and today plays regularly with his Father, 3 brothers and 4 sisters, who still live on Sao Vicente.
Sao Vicente is to be the location for the Baia das Gatas resort, one of two golf resort projects being developed by Cape Verde Development. The resort features a Nikki Beach Hotel, an 18 hole golf course designed by Ernie Els, a PGA National Golf Academy, marina and residential developments.
The initiative is being driven by PGA Golf Management, the golf services and management company. PGAGM .have been appointed to provide technical services and manage the golf facilities at Baia das Gatas as well as Calheta Bay, the second Cape Verde Development resort on the island of Sal, featuring a PGA National golf course designed by Ernie Els.
Neil Coulson, Operations Manager for PGA Golf Management commented “Through a combination of funding and support from both The R&A and Cape Verde Development, the aim is for Litson to achieve PGA coaching qualifications and work with us, in delivering golf development programmes thus introducing many more residents of Cape Verde to the game.
Duncan Weir, Director of Golf Development for The R&A stated “PGA Golf Management made us aware of the type of work they undertake, often in emerging golf markets, and we felt that by providing some funding we could actually support a long term golf development process. We look forward to meeting Litson when he is in St Andrews and to hearing about the various activities, including working with local schools, to help grow the game amongst Cape Verdians.”
Tom Sheehy, managing director of Cape Verde Development added, “There is actually over 100 years of golfing history on Cape Verde and we want to provide opportunities for this to continue. We are thrilled with the support from The R&A which gives recognition to the programme that Litson will deliver.”
The R&A www.randa.com
Cape Verde Development www.capeverdedevelopment.com
PGA Golf Management www.pgagm.com