The Open and South Africa are inextricably linked, with the Claret Jug having been won by a man from the republic on ten occasions - more than any other southern hemisphere country.
And the R&A are ensuring that special relationship is in safe hands for the foreseeable future by supporting Golf Development in South Africa.
“I’m so proud of Louis. I’m glad he was in our Foundation and I’m glad we could give him the support to be successful in golf and in life.” Ernie els
Revenue generated from The Open allows the R&A to support their Champions Golfers' foundations the world over and those include The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation and The Louis 57 Junior Golf Academy.
Two-time Champion Golfer of the Year Ernie Els started his Foundation back in 1999, with the stated goal of helping children that didn't have the resources to take their golf to the next level.
One of the youngsters to come through the Foundation was Louis Oosthuizen and, in 2009, he started his own project - The Louis 57 Junior Golf Academy - in order to give back to the community, continuing the cycle of Golf Development.
“I was in the Ernie Els Foundation for three years and the way it set up my career was amazing, so I wanted to try to do the same thing and see if I could give back to the kids.” louis oosthuizen – 2010 Champion Golfer of the year
Just a year later he became Champion Golfer at St Andrews and the success of both foundations reached a new peak last year, as Jovan Rebula - who is part of Els's scheme - became the first South African for 52 years to win The Amateur Championship, while a member of Oosthuizen's Academy, Martin Vorster, lifted The Junior Open.
“I’ve been with the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation since I was 15 years old and it’s been a big foundation block for my career. I’m very thankful for what the Foundation has done for me.” Jovan Rebula – 2018 Amateur Champion
With the R&A's backing, both Champion Golfer foundations are ensuring the sport is accessible to the next generation and the impact the two role models are having means the next Champion Golfer from South African shores could be just around the corner.
“It’s been incredible to be part of the Louis Academy for the past few years. The way it has helped grow my game is unreal and I can say confidently that if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been Junior Open champion.” martin vorster - 2018 junior open champion
“The R&A are the lifeblood of the game and everything that golf is all about comes from them. To have the R&A backing us as a foundation means that we're doing things in the right way.” ernie els