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The 2023 Nedbank Golf Challenge: Where Golf, Luxury, and Opulence meet.

The 2023 Nedbank Golf Challenge, hosted at the prestigious Gary Player Country Club, was an unforgettable blend of sporting excellence, opulent hospitality, and the awe-inspiring wildlife of South Africa. Among the event's many highlights was the Emirates Hospitality Suite on the 18th green, setting the stage for an extraordinary tournament experience.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

Emirates' 18th Green Hospitality Suite: The Epitome of Luxury

Emirates, one of the official sponsors, spared no expense in creating an unparalleled experience for guests at their Hospitality Suite on the 18th green. The suite featured panoramic views of the action, where spectators could savour the thrilling moments while enjoying the world-renowned Emirates service.

Luxuriously appointed, the suite offered a refuge of comfort and style amidst the excitement of the tournament. From the suite's vantage point, patrons were treated to a front-row seat for all the action, including players' swings, precise putts, and triumphant moments. The atmosphere was electric, and the Emirates Hospitality Suite allowed guests to indulge in an exclusive golfing paradise.

A Dynamic Tournament: Scores and Surprises

The tournament unfolded over three thrilling days, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats.

Day 1 belonged to Denmark's Nicolai Holjaard, who claimed the number 1 spot on the leaderboard with a stunning display of golfing prowess. The energy of the crowd added to the intense atmosphere as they watched world-class golf against the backdrop of the South African landscape.

Day 2 saw France's Matthieu Pavon take center stage with a remarkable performance that thrilled the audience. The leaderboard continued to shift dramatically, showcasing the fierce competition amongst the world's best golfers.

Day 3 marked the crescendo, as America's Max Homa emerged victorious, securing his first international win. The moment was made even more memorable as Homa lifted the crystal trophy on the 18th green. The ceremony was charged with emotion as he celebrated his triumph amidst the applause of the crowd, creating a moment that will be forever etched in the annals of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

SA Life got a bit of the low down from the Emirates Spokesperson.

1. Can you tell us why Emirates South Africa chose to get involved with the Nedbank Golf


Emirates has been actively involved in supporting golf, and the sport is a great fit with Emirates’ brand, with many loyal customers being regular players themselves. The Nedbank Golf Challenge is an important stopover on the global European tour and Emirates takes great pride in actively participating in the passions of South Africans through meaningful sponsorships. We will continue to work with our partners to celebrate the value of sport and deliver great experiences for golf fans.

2. What led Emirates South Africa to enter the world of golf, and how does it align with your brand's strategy?

Emirates provides its customers with a world-class experience, irrespective of the destination. Golf has been gaining popularity in South Africa and is a well-established sport today. Over the years, South African players have become extremely strong contenders and are joining the international list of prestigious winners on the global scene. To bring unique experiences to golfing enthusiasts, this sponsorship serves as a tangible expression of Emirates'; commitment to nurturing the sport and bringing real-life experiences to a wider golfing audience.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

3. Could you share the key objectives and goals that Emirates South Africa has set for its involvement in the Nedbank Golf Challenge?

South Africa has a rich history with Golf. The South African Open is one of the oldest Championship tournaments in the world and an important feature on the European Tour. Likewise, the Nedbank Golf Challenge is the penultimate one in the Race to Dubai.

The Nedbank Golf Challenge has recently expanded to 66 players and an increasing populace is showing interest in the sport. South African players are honing their craft and emerging as winners. The line-up of players participating at the event is equally impressive and as an official airline partner, we aim to bring communities across Europe, Asia, Americas and our hub in Dubai closer to the game.

4. What level of sponsorship has Emirates South Africa committed to for the 2023 Nedbank Golf Challenge?

Through the years, a multi- year sponsorship has seen Emirates as the official airline of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Challenge. This is part of a larger sponsorship with the DP World Tour that features Nedbank Golf as one of the stopovers in the global golf tour culminating in the Race to Dubai. As one of the 21 tournaments that we sponsor, the Nedbank Golf Challenge allows us advertising and branding rights, digital and social media activation rights, hospitality, prominent visibility across the tournament and exclusive Pro-Am experiences. Emirates is also a partner of the Tour’s Virtual Eye, which is an animated graphics system delivered through live television broadcasts, providing real-time positioning and information about player performance and statistics. An Emirates Fly Better Moments content strand showcases exciting moments from tournaments for fans via the Tour’s digital platforms.

5. How do you envision the partnership with the Nedbank Golf Challenge contributing to Emirates South Africa's brand visibility and recognition?

Travel is witnessing a resurgence and a strong comeback. Over the past year, people have been extensively travelling for leisure, business and to realize their passion for events – be it sports, cultural and the likes. As per industry body Skift, from January to August 2023, the latest international visitor figures for South Africa rose to 5.5 million international tourists, a 70.6% increase compared to the same period in 2022. The comeback of sporting events is a direct outcome to the rise in sports tourism. We have witnessed healthy seat loads in South Africa with forward seat bookings extremely robust for the next six months. The Nedbank Golf Challenge is an important highlight on the annual golfing calendar leading to the season-ending Race to Dubai on the DP World Tour. Sponsoring the Nedbank Golf Challenge bolsters our visibility in front of a global golf-loving audience allowing us to connect to enthusiasts of the game

Nedbank Golf Challenge

6. Can you tell us about any special activations or initiatives that Emirates South Africa has planned in conjunction with the tournament?

To share the passion of golf enthusiasts, the multicultural Emirates cabin crew engaged with fans onsite to click Polaroid photos with an event-branded photo frame. The crew also handed out branded Emirates merchandise to guests and activated its world-class hospitality. The Pro-Am tournament ahead of the main event allowed for a once-in-a-lifetime experience for amateur golfers to play alongside some of the best professional players and hone their craft.

7. What values and qualities do you believe Emirates South Africa shares with the sport of golf, making it a fitting partnership?

Innovation and the pursuit of excellence has been the cornerstone of Emirates. Like in golf, so in business one needs to be extremely focused and not get distracted. We have gone against the grain with several industry firsts to our credit that have helped to shape the brand. Emirates today is the world’s largest international airline, and we’ve reset expectations for the industry when it comes to the customer experience both onboard and on the ground. These attributes have seen us associate with the sport of golf and bring some of the most impressive players to golfing enthusiasts worldwide.

8. How does Emirates South Africa intend to leverage this sponsorship to connect with the South African and international golfing communities?

South Africa is an important gateway within the Emirates network connecting to points in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban through its hub in Dubai and beyond. We have been official airline sponsors for the European Tour for many years and support over 20 events on the international schedule as well as the Race to Dubai. Since 2009, Emirates has carried more than 600 professional golfers to Dubai to play in the season ending DP World Tour Championship, bringing together more than 200,000 golf enthusiasts to watch the exciting tournament. The Nedbank Golf Challenge is an important feature on the European Tour and one of the several stops that we sponsor. Leveraging our sponsorship strengths across the entire tour helps us spread awareness and generate visibility to people enthusiastic about the game, providing them an opportunity to experience this prestigious golf tournament.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

9. Can you provide some insights into the long-term vision for Emirates South Africa's involvement in golf and sports sponsorship in general?

For many years, Emirates'; strategy has been to engage and connect with its customers around the world through sport. The airline continues to use sports to deliver world-class experiences to its customers, mirroring Emirates’ brand promise and commitment to its customers through superior product and service. Emirates’ sponsorship portfolio is an integral part of the airline’s global strategy. It enables us to engage with our global audience and bring people together based on shared passions. Emirates also contributes to its markets’ local economy through its diverse portfolio. Golf is increasingly gaining fervour with South African audiences. Our sponsorship rights and associations with the European Tour (now rebranded as DP World Tour) enable us to become one of the most recognisable and prominent brands within sports communities. The European Tour features some of the best players in golf and hosts events in Europe and across the world.  Unlike in the past, the Nedbank Golf Challenge field has been expanded to 66 players, carries a $6 million purse, offers 7 000 Race to Dubai points and ensures that the top 50 in the final DP World Tour order of merit have the opportunity to play their way into the season-ending Tour Championship in Dubai. As such, becoming the official airline for Nedbank Golf Challenge speaks of our commitment to the South African market. Aside from golf, Emirates is connected to the game of Rugby internationally demonstrated by its extensive portfolio of global partnerships. In South Africa, the airline supports South Africa’s Emirates Lions team and their home venue, Emirates Airline Park, and is the official sponsor of Cape Town Sevens.

10. Tell us about the suite, we know a suite overlooking the 18th hole is what everyone is after. This year you were in collaboration with BMW and Fortinet what was the process of design of the suite and did everyone have a say or was it a stock standard design?

The suite overlooking the 18th greens offers an unmatched hospitality experience and allows premium viewing access to the exciting golf action that takes place on the 18th hole. This year the hospitality chalet was a shared suite and was completely designed and managed by DP World.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

The 2023 Nedbank Golf Challenge was a celebration of golfing excellence, top-notch hospitality, and the unparalleled natural beauty of South Africa. This event showcased the diverse and enriching experiences the country has to offer, leaving golf enthusiasts and wildlife lovers with indelible memories.

Congratulations to Max Homa for his remarkable victory, and anticipation is already building for another year of golfing brilliance and adventure in 2024.


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