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 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.