Rockgolf One

The RM Insurance Manicaland Open amateur golf championships will be held at the Leopard Rock golf club in the Bvumba this weekend, attracting players from across Zimbabwe.

Byran Rocher, the golf professional at Leopard Rock, said the event carried world ranking points and national points for selection to play for Zimbabwe and would attract players from clubs throughout Zimbabwe.
It has three divisions, with the championship and A division fields playing for three days from Friday May 31 to Sunday June 2, and the B division players competing for two days, on Saturday and Sunday. Prizegiving will be on Sunday lunchtime, when the floating trophy and prizes will be presented at the Leopard Rock club house.

“We are looking forward to an exciting weekend of golf and to a successful event, especially as the course is looking really good,” he said.
The ‘new’ Leopard Rock golf course is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary, having been opened in 1993, when the Leopard Rock Hotel was re-opened after undergoing a substantial refurbishment. The original hotel was built in the late 1940s and a nine-hole golf course was added several years later.

When the hotel was acquired by the late Tony Taberer in the early 1990s, he decided to expand the size of the hotel and had the new 18-hole golf course professionally designed and transformed into a leading, championship-rated course that has a unique mountain setting and is one of the most attractive courses in Africa.

Another golfing highlight of 2013 on the course is the Navistar Leopard Rock open championship, a prestigious tournament scheduled for November 8 to 10 as a popular event for amateurs and professionals, including visitors from outside Zimbabwe.

On November 14, a well-known and popular annual event that has been running for decades will be played on the course: the Leopard Rock and Hillside Ryder Cup, which has a long tradition and will this year include players from Leopard Rock and Hillside club in Mutare competing against teams from Borrowdale Brooke and Wingate clubs in Harare and a South African team. They play for a replica of the Ryder Cup, donated many years ago, although the tournament was dormant for some time and was revived four years ago.

In December it is hoped to stage a Leopard Rock anniversary tournament, marking the 20th anniversary of the re-opening of the hotel and golf course. This will be a weekend of activities and celebrations involving the hotel’s own casino and which will have appeal to golfers and their families from all over the country and possibly outside Zimbabwe’s borders.

Other events coming up at the Leopard Rock course include the Zimbabwe junior golf tournament, held in 2012 for the first time and now an annual event. This will be played on September 4. Following that, on September 19, NetOne – which is a longstanding sponsor of the Leopard Rock golf club – will host its corporate day as an invitation pro-am tournament.

Leopard Rock-sponsored golf events include a tournament at Mutare’s Hillside club on June 12 and an event at Borrowdale Brooke club in northern Harare in July.
Mr Rocher said another sporting event of growing importance was the Old Mutual Bvumba Mountain Run, this year set for October 26 and open to competitors from running clubs across the country, as well as to interested individuals of all ages.

“We find that sports enthusiasts of all kinds enjoy the Bvumba for its scenic attractions and challenging mountainous terrain and we look forward to a successful hosting of all the golfing and other activities lined up for the remainder of 2013.”