New National Chairman Neill Malherbe’s goals for the year
It’s been a month since Neill Malherbe took over National Chairman duties from Stuart McIver. We caught up with the Easterns Nomad to discuss how he got into the game, the things he loves about Nomads and his priorities for the year ahead.
Neill, congratulations on becoming the new Nomads National Chairman at the recent Zulu Nationals in KwaZulu-Natal.
Thank you, it truly is a massive honour and I’m look forward to the year ahead.
It is a privilege to serve this organisation, which is comprised of unselfish members who do such important work in raising funds and administrating it with the highest integrity, and have such an essential role in the growing of people through golf.
Have you always been an avid golfer? What is your history in golf administration?
I was a late starter in golf – before then I was an avid ice hockey player and administrator. I played for the Gauteng North provincial team for many years and I started the first Northern Transvaal Ice Hockey Association. I was the manager of the South African Team to the world championships for four years.
I was on the club and provincial committees for almost my entire ice hockey career, so it was a natural progression to do the same when I started playing golf.
I have been on the Akasia club committee since 2002 and I have been on the GNGU committee. I play league golf for Akasia and I was the manager of the GNGU provincial side at the Inter-Provincial Tournament.
Tell us a little more about your journey to becoming National Chairman – how did it all start for you as a Nomad and what does being a Nomad mean to you?
I only started playing golf in 2000 and I soon joined Akasia Golf Club. In 2002, Ernie Matthews (the greenkeeper), Mellett Hendrikse and Steyn Zietsman (the club captain), who were also Northern Nomads members, invited me to my first Nomads monthly game and by 2003 I had joined their committee. I was captain of Northerns in 2005 and in 2010 I was the Nationals Co-ordinator at Waterkloof Golf Club. In late 2011 I moved to Easterns, where I am still a member today – and last year I received my 200-game badge.
I also got my son Stephen involved in Nomads and he is now the captain at Easterns.
I feel very fortunate to have had so many great experiences and I know that none of this would have come to me without the guidance and assistance from fellow Nomads.
What about your life outside of Nomads?
My life partner is Nickey Hart and we have been together now for 11 years. She is my right hand in Nomads administrative duties and in my businesses. I am the director of the businesses in the NAPE Group and employ some 18 staff members. My son Stephen Malherbe is the current Captain at Easterns.
Looking at the year ahead, what are some of your goals as National Chairman? What are the main priorities for you?
I’d like to grow the Nomads brand. We do a great job of raising money and contributing to the growth of the game, but I feel that we fall short when it comes to awareness and promotion of the organisation.
This needs to come from all Nomads – our marketing strategies can’t be limited to Facebook and YouTube.
We also need to focus on our correct registered name, Nomads Golf Club of South Africa. The problem is that you can search for Nomads and find hundreds of different organisations, many of which we wouldn’t want be confused with.
We need to promote the benefits of joining Nomads Golf Club SA but also make sure that we are attracting the right kind of people to Nomads Golf Club SA. It’s about quality over quantity, so that may even include a thorough background check of the applicants and references from the players’ home golf clubs.
With a nice mix of old and new in the Nomads National Executive and Graham (Bishop) and Peter (Runkel) as office bearers, you seem to have a solid team behind and alongside you?
Yes, I am very fortunate to have them and, of course, my son with all his input especially regarding social media marketing. Not forgetting the rest of the National Executive Committee, where there is also a nice age range.
What advice do you have for anyone who is just starting out on their Nomads journey?
First and foremost, you have joined an organisation that raises funds for those less fortunate than us and grows the game of golf. Nomads Golf Club SA has raised and circulated about R100 million over the past 60 years.
Although this is the main part of what we do, remember to have fun and take the opportunities that come your way. The organisation offers you monthly games, the chance to take part in the biggest amateur golf tournament yearly, our own SA National tournament, and take part in international tournaments in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Zambia, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.