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Driving change: A new face at Kimberley Golf Club


In an exclusive interview with the DFA, the Kimberley Golf Club’s new operations manager, Melvin Geldenhuys opened up about his personal journey, his aspirations for the club, and his strong ties to the local community.

Melvin Geldenhuys envisions creating a holistic golfing experience for members and visitors alike. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Amidst the serene landscape of the Northern Cape, the Kimberley Golf Club welcomes a new operations manager, Melvin Geldenhuys. Hailing from Bloemfontein, Melvin’s path to this prestigious role is steeped in a rich history of family tradition and an unwavering dedication to the sport of golf.

In an exclusive interview with the DFA, Melvin opened up about his personal journey, his aspirations for the Kimberley Golf Club, and his strong ties to the local community.

Melvin’s golfing journey finds its origin in the legacy of his grandfather, Mel Haddad, the esteemed captain of the Dewetsdorp Golf Club for over 50 years. Introduced to the sport at the tender age of 2, Melvin’s affection for golf flourished amid the well-tended fairways, setting the stage for a remarkable voyage in the sport.

One of Melvin’s most cherished memories was clinching a triumphant hole-in-one at the 18th hole of the Dewetsdorp Golf Club at the age of 12. These experiences fueled his passion, leading him to represent the Free State at the Open Inter-Provincial Tournament in 2015. While Melvin initially aimed for a career as a professional golfer, his perspective broadened as he delved into the multifaceted world of golf.

Beyond the swings on the course, he found himself captivated by the business aspect of the sport, sparking a new direction for his professional journey.

Before assuming the role of operations manager at the Kimberley Golf Club, Melvin held the position of events and marketing manager at the Bloemfontein Golf Club. His responsibilities ranged from organising events and managing marketing strategies to overseeing food and beverage operations, membership administration, golf cart logistics, and finance. His experience in these diverse roles prepared him well for the challenges he would face in his new position.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

Melvin’s move to the Kimberley Golf Club was an unexpected turn in his career path. Driven by his passion for the sport and his desire to effect positive change, he was welcomed warmly by the Kimberley community, providing the support and encouragement he needed to chart this new course.

In his role as operations manager, Melvin aims to cultivate a comprehensive golfing experience for both members and visitors, envisioning the Kimberley Golf Club not just as a facility but as a welcoming second home for all, reigniting the joy of being part of a golfing community.

His vision encompasses a focus on growing the game of golf in Kimberley, with an emphasis on inclusivity, welcoming individuals from all walks of life, and fostering a strong sense of community. Under Melvin’s leadership, the Kimberley Golf Club is poised to embrace a youthful energy infused with modern technology. Anticipated for 2024 are new events, partnerships, and relationships that will invigorate the Kimberley community.

Melvin’s distinctive understanding of the market and commitment to providing golfers with a practical and efficient experience set him apart. His goal is to establish the Kimberley Golf Club as a truly exceptional place for the entire community. While aware of the economic challenges facing golf clubs in the contemporary landscape, Melvin sees these obstacles as opportunities for innovation, adaptation, and community outreach.

A highlight of Melvin’s career was hosting the 2023 Nomads Nationals event at the Bloemfontein Golf Club, demonstrating what can be accomplished with limited resources and reinforcing his belief in the untapped potential of the Kimberley Golf Club. Melvin underscores the importance of golf as a social bond within the Kimberley community, transcending boundaries of age, career, and background, and fostering enduring connections.

For young golf enthusiasts aspiring to follow in Melvin’s footsteps, he stresses the significance of seeking out a mentor early in their career. Melvin attributes his leadership skills and commitment to mentorship to his own mentor, Trevor Kitching.

In conclusion, Melvin envisions the Kimberley Golf Club not just as a place for golf but as a recreational sanctuary for the entire community, a space where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, build relationships, and enjoy the club’s amenities.

As Melvin Geldenhuys assumes leadership at the Kimberley Golf Club, his unwavering dedication to the sport and the community is poised to usher in a new era of inclusivity and vibrancy at this esteemed club. The Kimberley community can anticipate positive changes and exciting developments as their beloved golf club enters this new chapter, guided by the dynamic force that is Melvin Geldenhuys.

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