Every Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament goes hand-in-hand with a golf clinic presented by the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) and Sunshine Tour professional golfers.
This week, children from the local KwaZulu-Natal SAGDB chapter got their chance to experienced great golf teaching first-hand at the Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa.
Not only is it an opportunity for the young golfers to learn from some of the best players in the country, but it is also a chance to see what doors their passion for the sport can open for them.
‘There are currently 268 students in the region which covers North KZN, Durban Central, North Coast and Zululand,’ said KwaZulu-Natal’s SAGDB area manager Joseph Kunene.
‘We’ve produced some very talented players including Sabelo Majoloa, Thabiso Magwaze and Sandile Ngobo. Sandile is nineteen years old and was selected for the provincial team to play in the South African Championships,’ said Kunene.
‘One of the province’s current top prospects is Thabiso’s younger brother, Thobelani Magwaze. He is 16 years old and plays off a three handicap. This year Thobelani was one of six players to represent the SAGDB in South African junior tournaments.’
The two top performers at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Selborne golf clinic this week were 16-year-old Nishalian Naidoo and 13-year-old Ryan Perumal.
‘I’ve been playing for a year now. My dad got me interested in golf and takes me to practice at least three times a week, including a Thursday afternoon session at the SAGDB,’ said Perumal.
‘It is nice to have something we can do together, though he can’t play anymore because of a back injury. He takes me to tournaments in the school holidays too. I’ve won a couple, but I’ve also come last too.’
When asked what golf had taught him to date, Perumal replied without hesitation: ‘Patience and discipline. Golf has taught me to work hard but also how to be quiet when I need to, especially when other people are about to play a shot.’
While Perumal and his seven fellow SAGDB players were practicing their chipping and long-iron shots, one of their coaches Sandile Msimango looked on. Msimango’s passion for the game is evident with him aspiring to play professionally in the future. He is currently in the first year of his PGA Licence, a costly endeavour which the SAGDB is helping him fund.
‘You have to have a career after playing golf professionally. The PGA Licence teaches you to do far more than coaching, it opens up so many opportunities in golf,’ said Msimango.
Photo: Tyrone Winfield