Sat, 11 Jul 2020

Sunshine Ladies Tour golfer Casandra Hall believes there should be more women's sport on television, especially during the Covid-19 enforced lockdown.

Hall is about to make history this weekend when she becomes the first female professional to make her mark on the Virtual Sunshine Tour.

Hall will take on Sunshine Tour golfer Benjamin Follett-Smith on Sunday, 31 May at 15:00 over the virtual version of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club's famed East Course.

Hall said in a Zoom press conference on Wednesday that now would be the perfect time for sports broadcasters to televise women's sports.

"Women's sport is growing day by day. I think there's a lot of positives in it ... it lets people think about what's going on and how things have changed. It'll be nice to get ladies golf on SuperSport, it would open some minds to it. It's not viewed very often," she said.

"If we could get it on TV, and people actually have the time to watch it, I think we could convert a lot of people into women's golf."

Earlier this year, Hall earned her Ladies European Tour card and said it's been tough to sit back during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is tough, you wake up and think what's my purpose because usually it's golf. Usually I'm motivated and have a routine," said Hall.

"Do I wake up early to cycle on the machine or do I do it later since I have all day to do certain tasks. Luckily I started reading a book called The 5am Club, it's very motivating and makes you look at life from a different perspective.

"I can't wait to start travelling and just can't wait to get out there and play on that stage. Everything happens for a reason and with this lockdown I can just think of how I can prepare better. I'm super excited to get going on the Ladies European Tour and learn so much," she said.

Since Monday, 16 March, golf courses in South Africa have been closed, although there are hopes they could be reopened as the country moves to Level 3 from 1 June.

Hall acknowledged that she is eager to finally play some golf once the restrictions are lifted.

"I check their website every day and try to get new information. I keep a careful eye on it because I tell you as soon as the golf courses are open, I'll be there on that day early in the morning and standing in a queue to get in," she said.

READ | Sunshine Tour duo open up on golf's frustrating shutdown

Last month, GolfRSA launched a R1 million relief initiative aimed at helping caddies and casual workers at golf facilities in South Africa.

Hall said that despite there being no action on the fairways, the lockdown has not been too much of a financial burden.

"If I had to play shocking golf, I probably would've been in the negative compared to where I am now because it costs so much to travel.

"Of course we're affected, there were some big tournaments coming up where we could've been able to make a decent amount of money. After the SA Open we were going to play in the Saudi Arabia Ladies Open and that was for R1 million and that got cancelled.

"But there was no guarantee of making money as there usually is with most professional sports. We still pay everyone we need to pay because it's just right and because I have planned for a worst case scenario out on the golf course."

Sunday's Virtual Sunshine Tour will be broadcast on the Sunshine Tour's YouTube and Twitter pages.

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