6th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Coaching clinic gives kids something to aim for
The 15-year-old said, “I want to be ranked number one in the world one day.” Kgosana Moses from Alexandria Golf Academy was one of about 90 children who participated in a coaching clinic at Randpark Golf Club on Wednesday ahead of the South African Open Championship hosted by City of Joburg.
The excited children who came from three golf clubs in Soweto, Alexandria and Newclare got an opportunity to learn skills of the game from a number of golf professionals on the day as part of the professionals’ way of giving back to society.
Moses spoke highly of the coaching clinic. “I learnt a lot here today. I learnt how to hold a club and I learnt how to hit the ball better. The professionals taught us good stuff such as how to hit a drive with an iron so that it can reach further. It really helped us a lot in terms of new skills. I decided to play golf so that I will one day be like Tiger Woods.”
Prince Modiba from Soweto Country Club, which was established in and coach at Andrew Mlangeni Golf Academy also said the coaching clinic goes a long way in shaping skills for the children. “From what I am gathering, it is better when you see top professionals around you,” he said. “So, you can see that they can give you advice on how to play and you can be starstruck and really believe that now you can actually do it. It is not that they do not see professional players at all, because at our club we do have players like Musi Nethunzwi and Sipho Bujela who also come and see the kids which is great from their side.
“I guess we are fortunate enough that every time the Sunshine Tour and partners come to our township they call us and we have been to three coaching clinics already this year alone. We benefit a lot and it is nice for the kids. We do have some challenges on the other hand which sometimes block their improvement in performance such as lack of funding. We struggle to organise transport to take them to certain golf courses. Remember we are playing league and school league and monthly competitions, but there is no funding,” Modiba added.
Heinrich Bruiners, of the Gary Player Class of 2018-19 is one of the professionals who took time to share his skills with the children. He said he better understands the level where the children are coming from having started playing golf with no resources himself.
“My first lesson of golf was on a rugby field at the age of 12,” he recalled. “I was just basically on my own. I started playing golf in George. I think to see the kids here, I can say they are very fortunate that they could come to the SA Open to meet the professionals. I was fortunate enough to be selected to a development team in George.
“I started from nothing and I had hope that I would one day achieve something great. So, I decided to give back here to the kids and I can see they are excited. Sometimes we take it for granted, but for me personally it means a lot, because that is the background that I come from,” the 2013 Vodacom Origins Euphoria winner said.
Bongi Mokaba, the City of Johannesburg promoter for the tournament, encouraged the children to use the coaching clinic to their advantage. “You guys are going to have experiences of your lifetime where you get to personally engage with professional golfers,” she said.
“You need to understand that golf as a sport is very important. It does not only teach you discipline, it grooms you and make you a better person. Golf disciplines people, because when you play, it is all about honesty,” Mokaba added.
And what could be more honest than a 15-year-old proclaiming he wants to be world number one!