History of the event
This championship, the 3rd oldest in South African golfing history after the SA Amateur (1892) and the SA Open Championship (1893) and was first played for in 1895.
The first winner of the tournament was D G Proudfoot who also won the SA Amateur every year from 1893 up to 1899. This tournament is full of history and was described by Basil Keartland President of the Transvaal Golf Union as one of the most difficult tournaments to win.
Jimmy Boyd one of the great South African amateur golfers only won this tournament for the first time after being beaten in 1937 by Bobby Locke and in 1938 by F Bodmer winning in 1948 and 1949, and again in 1950 when he beat Basil Keartland 1 up. Keartland took revenge in beating Arthur Walker in 1952.
Other well-known amateurs who won this tournament over the years are Steve Boshoff, Bob Williams, Jannie Le Roux, Reg Taylor, Neville Clarke and David Stratton. Dale Hayes, Mark McNulty and Retief Goosen were winners who later excelled in the professional game. More recently Garrick Higgo, the winner in 2016 has gone on to become a multiple professional winner.
The Lionel Phillips Trophy was donated in 1909 and all the winners from 1895 are engraved on this magnificent trophy.
The first winner of the trophy was T.J. Graham who won it at Potchefstroom Golf Club. The entrance fee was 5 shillings.