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Getting to Know: Kyle Lucas

He’s a former pro with a plan and it’s a plan that looks like it’s working. The Bushveld Tour is just a year or so old, but already it looks like it’s filling a gap on the local golf scene, with 32 tournaments already staged in Gauteng in 2021.

Q: Very simply, what is the Bushveld Tour and how do your events work?
A: ​
Bushveld Tour is a competitive mini-tour that accommodates South Africa’s top professional and amateur golfers. We host one and two-day events on a weekly basis and this platform gives the players the opportunity to prepare for their professional careers effectively.

Q: Is it only for pros and what sort of players are entering your events?
A: ​
Professional and competitive amateur golfers compete. We have players aged 16-60 playing. It’s perfect for players who can only get a day or two off work to compete.

Q: How did the idea for the Bushveld Tour come about?
A: ​
I felt that there was a need for a feasible ‘mini-tour’ in South Africa. I also felt that one-day events were excellent preparation for pre-qualifying conditions for the professional tours. 

Q: How many people work on the Bushveld Tour and what are their roles?
We have four staff: a tournament director and organiser; an admin, registration and marketing officer; a rules official and starter; and an operations and set-up individual.

Q: What’s your background, in terms of what you did before the Bushveld Tour, and are you full-time on it?
 ​I’ve got a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management for the University of West Florida in the U.S. I’m a professional golfer myself and played most of my events in South Africa and Asia, before starting the tour. In addition to the tour, I coach golf and do some U.S college recruiting too. 

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Q: What’s your business model and how do you generate income for the Bushveld Tour?
Players pay an entry fee for events. The more entries we have, the bigger the prize purse is. We take an administrative portion for each event. Any excess funds go towards growing the tour and making it more appealing for the players. We hope to generate financial sponsorship in the near future to make the tour even more feasible, and this will allow us to change up the business model a bit. 

Q: What sort of commercial partners do you have and what’s the return on investment for them?
A: ​
At this stage we have associated partners rather than financial investors. These partners make the tour more appealing by contributing incentives to our players. However, we are now seeking financial investment.

Q: What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on the Bushveld Tour?
A: ​
We launched the tour when golf was permitted and were fortunate enough to still host weekly events thereafter in the less severe stages of the lockdown.

Q: What, do you believe, the long-term impact of Covid-19 on the sport of golf as a whole will be?
There will not be too many differences as golf is a non-contact sport and protocols work very well in this sector. Golf courses have definitely felt the major financial effects, but it is fortunate that they were/are able to recover rapidly. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: ​
Don’t just talk about that idea, go ahead and make it happen.

Q: What’s your long-term goal for the Bushveld Tour?
​To be the most successful mini/preparatory tour in Africa. 

Dylan Rogers
Dylan Rogers

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