One of South Africa’s women’s hockey stalwarts, Sanani Mangisa, talks about her love for golf and why she stays up on a Sunday night to watch The Masters.
Since retiring from international hockey, you must have a lot more time on your hands to play golf.
I wish! I’ve got a great job with Adidas, in the running community. I’m also doing a bit of running and will be in the Two Oceans half-marathon lineup. But, I am working on playing more golf. At this stage, I manage to play about once a month, but I’m trying to up that. I’ve got a friend who just tells me, ‘I’ve booked a tee-off time on this day on this course, so you’d better be there.’
What is your handicap?
I’m a 24, but I want to get it down to a 16. At the moment, my priority is to break 100 whenever I can. I’ve taught myself to play for safety – get the ball on the fairway and then two shots later on the green – rather than trying to smash a drive and then getting into trouble. I’ve become more tactical and it’s helping me.
What is your home course?
I don’t actually have a club membership and I also still play hockey on a Saturday and Sunday, which is when most people play golf. But, if I had to say I had a ‘home course’ it would be Parkview Golf Club.
Do you have a dream fourball and, if so, who would be in it?
Of course! To have Tiger Woods in it would be amazing. AB de Villiers would also be there. I don’t think South Africa has ever seen a more talented sportsman. I’m sure he would be a world-beater at any sport he tried; he’s a complete natural. Herschelle Gibbs and Jonty Rhodes were cut from the same cloth. If AB tried squash he’d probably clean up too, so I’d have him in my fourball. Michael Phelps is another special athlete; he had an amazing swimming career and he is a good golfer. And then there’s Sergio Garcia. He’s been so consistent over the years and at the top for such a long time.
What are your favourite tournaments to watch?
The Ryder Cup is definitely up there. If you wanted to convert a non-golfer to the sport, have them watch a Ryder Cup. The format is so interesting and there’s so much entertainment that you can’t fail to be impressed. The Masters is another one. It’s a tournament where I’m willing to stay up late on a Sunday night to watch. So much happens on the back nine holes. And then there’s The Open Championship. It’s steeped in tradition and South Africans have done so well in it over the years.
What are you like as a playing partner?
I reckon I’m quite fun, chatty – and if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be invited to golf days. I enjoy a bit of banter – within the rules, of course – but a round of golf can turn into a very long day if you don’t have fun out there.
Sanani Mangisa retired from international hockey in January 2017 after a career that saw her win 112 caps as goalkeeper for South Africa. She played in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, as well as the 2014 World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She also represented South Africa at the 2007 Indoor World Cup.