In 1960, soon after the life story of American golfing legend Ben Hogan was portrayed in the movie Follow the Sun, Mike Florance and his committee announced the formation of the ‘Follow the Sun’ Nomads Golf Club, under the aegis of the National War Memorial Health Foundation. The lapel badge was similar to the Nomads badge we have now hanging from the name bar, but it consisted of a bell alone with a scroll at the top edge, with the legends Follow the Sun and Onthou 1939-1945 immediately above the bell. The background colours were yellow (sun) in the upper half and green (grass) in the lower half. The choice of the bell was prompted by a line from the Meditations of John Donne – For Whom the Bell Tolls – symbolising remembrance of those who had lost their lives in World War II. This is now our creed.
Nomads uses the common ground presented to us in Golf to encourage and foster the development of life-long friendships, through which we can, as a collective band of like-minded individuals, foster involvement in the promotion of the game we love so much, as well as uplift the lives of those less fortunate within our own communities. To this end we are actively involved in the following activities:
The Nomads are, without doubt, the longest serving members of the Southern African Tour family, providing live scoring to the Tour for over five decades.
Way back in 1963, CNA purchased the patent rights to the name “Golforama”, which described the scoring system used by Nomads that was to be used at professional and amateur golf tournaments. Whereas the original systems have modernised over time, the name is still used and respected for what it represents.
Live scoring is at the heart of every single event and the accuracy of it serves to enrich the viewing experience of the many golf fans across the globe. It also enables the Tour’s online scoring services to remain current and a source of instant information to those who access them.
The value the Tour is able to deliver in staging world-class golf events is in some part attributed to the involvement of Nomads, which in turn enables the Tour to stage a wider variety of professional events that are used by South African professionals, both up-and-coming and already established.
The funds earned through the provision of Golforama services are ploughed directly back into the furtherance of the game though the Nomads Furtherance of Golf initiatives and partnerships within South Africa.
Nomads members countrywide volunteer their services at tournaments hosted in their own areas, with collective teams of members being present at the flagship events such as the Nedbank Challenge and the co-sanctioned European Tour events.
Always far from the limelight, this dedicated band of members is known throughout the golfing world for their selfless professionalism, all in the name of the furtherance of the game we love so much.
THE FURTHERANCE OF GOLF NOMADS FOUNDATION
Nomads can look back with pride at what has been achieved after 53 years of involvement in the Furtherance of Golf in South Africa and the way Nomads is held in high esteem by the main amateur bodies in South Africa, being GolfRSA (the unified body of the South African Golf Association and Womens Golf South Africa), the South African Disabled Golf Association and the South African Golf Development Board.
The development of the game in South Africa is one of Nomads’ basic aims and objectives and, as such, our input into this area though involvement with the major bodies has steadily increased over the years. Overall, the Nomads flag flies high and proudly in the development of South African Amateur Golf.
THE ANDREW MENTIS NOMADS FOUNDATION
One of the most important objectives and raison d’etre associated with Nomads Golf is the collective spirit displayed by all Club Members towards raising funds for charitable purposes and for recognising “those less fortunate than ourselves”.
In line with this, the Andrew Mentis Nomads Foundation was created to channel the funds generated for distribution to worthwhile causes on a project-by-project basis. It is important to understand that all Nomads’ fund-raising activities are directed at specific projects and programmes – no monies are allocated to supporting the running of organisations or for their costs associated with general administration.
The initiative was given impetus by Andrew Mentis, a Nomad Founder Member in 1967 in Gauteng, and he still contributes personally to the fund every year.
Each member club forms an Andrew Mentis sub-committee, which is chaired by the Vice-Captain of the club and is specifically tasked to co-ordinate activities aimed at raising funds for the foundation. Monies raised are donated to a pre-selected charity that operates within each Club’s own geographical area in the form of tangible asset, upon which the Nomads emblem is displayed.
Each year, every Club’s activities culminate with the handover of the asset to the selected Charity at the annual Andrew Mentis golf day, which is also open to the public by invitation. This gives invited guests, including women and juniors an opportunity to experience the Nomadic camaraderie and purpose at its finest.
Nationally, since inception, the Andrew Mentis Endowment Fund has raised and donated in excess of R35 million to charities.
Getting involved in the annual Andrew Mentis drive for funds is a basic Nomadic responsibility, one which each Nomad takes on with pride.
Nomads has very defined aims and objectives, being mainly:
- To provide an opportunity for persons of all walks of life to meet one another at least once a month, to play a game of golf and to make new and cement old friendships;
- To encourage, promote, foster and support the game of golf;
- To generate funds for distribution to charitable causes and assist those persons, regardless of race, colour or creed, in a less fortunate position than ourselves.
Involvement in Nomads has its basis firmly based upon the principle of what you as a Member can do in furthering our aims and objectives. For this reason membership of Nomads is by invitation only. Life as Nomad can be an incredibly enjoyable experience – the sense of common purpose and camaraderie that extends across international borders is something truly special.
Should you feel that you wish to explore possible membership further, please contact the Captain of the Club in your region, or a member of your own club who is an existing Nomad, either of whom will be more than happy to spend time with you answering the many questions you may have. They will then invite you to play a game with us as a visitor so that you may experience first-hand our rules, regulations, manner of dress and the general manner with which we relate to each other.
Should you decide that this environment appeals to you, you will then need an existing Nomad to propose your membership application. They will write a letter of motivation to the club committee that outlines who you are and precisely why the proposer thinks you are Nomadic material. This has nothing to do with your golfing prowess and everything to do with your basic character. The club committee will then issue application forms to your proposer.
Your proposer will complete a proposal form on your behalf. This form, together with the prescribed fee, would then be handed in to the Club’s Membership Officer.
You will then be included in the ensuing monthly games, so that a broad number of Nomads may have a chance to interact with you. Your application is in the meantime presented before the Executive Committee for approval.
After the prescribed number of games, which varies slightly from club to club, you will meet with the Captain, where your Intention of becoming a Nomad is reaffirmed.
You are then inducted at the following monthly game and your life-long association with Nomads will commence.