THE new Zimbabwe Professional Golfers Association (ZPGA) executive elected into office on Monday will usher in a new era for the sport, says new president Akil Yousuf.
Yousuf, the Highlands Country Club head pro, will be deputised by Simon Katembenuka with Darren Bismark as treasurer and Farayi Chitengwa as secretary.
The two committee members are William Lake and Roland Vermeulen, the older brother of on-the-mend cricketer Mark Vermeulen.
In-house squabbling that characterised the ZPGA in recent years worsened following the death of former president Nasho Kamungeremu in 2007.
Roy Da Costa briefly assumed the reins before resigning last year. Katembenuka took over until the Monday AGM. Â
â€œFirst and foremost, we need to enhance the image of the ZPGA,â€ Yousuf told IndependentSport. â€œThe image of professional golf in the country was leaving a lot to be desired of late. We do not want to mix politics and sports. We are professional sportsmen and we want to ply our trade locally and internationally.
â€œOur main drive on the local front is to have regular tournaments every month. With the new executive, I feel we have the right people in place. We are also hoping to have a management committee to run the daily affairs of the association soon.â€
Yousuf said his association would launch a campaign to lure back sponsors.
â€œProfessional golf has fallen a bit by the wayside because of the economic situation. Sponsors are reluctant to sponsor tournaments. A lot has to be done to put the house in order and I believe we have turned the leaf with a capable executive.
â€œWe have good professional golfers in this country. The majority are young and itching to play. We want to harness that talent as an association so that they can have something to play for.â€
Currently, Zimbabweâ€™s leading professional on the international circuit is Marc Cayeux, who earned his European Tour Card last year and will be playing in the British Open and around Europe starting April.
BY ENOCK MUCHINJO