Support for Young Black Golfers
The option to play in the development circuit is limited due mostly to cost. Those players who attempt to make the step up without having been properly tested are found wanting in the professional ranks. Even though a career in professional golf is lucrative for those who perform well, it has proven to be a difficult mountain to climb for players of colour. The common denominator points to a lack of playing opportunities at grassroots levels. Not that there aren’t any competitions to take part in, but for most of them just getting to those tournaments is an insurmountable challenge.
GolfRSA is the unified body of the South African Golf Association and Women’s Golf South Africa, and they administer, operate and provide service to amateur golf in South Africa. They do what they can to produce champion golfers and provide the opportunity for everyone in SA to experience the game of golf. They also identify and develop the country’s most talented amateur golfers, with the very top players joining their elite National Squads for specialised training and playing opportunities. The GolfRSA National Squad ensures that the best players are groomed to represent South Africa in international competition and are fully prepared for life in the paid ranks, should they opt to turn professional.
One of the OG Molefe Foundation’s visions is to assist and provide the necessary support for young black golfers to make it into that squad so that they can get the same exposure to international competitions at a young age, and in so doing by the time they turn pro, they will already have a winning mentality and not one of just trying to survive and make cuts every week.
Long-term player development requires the identification of early, average and late maturation in order to design appropriate instruction, coaching and competition programs in relation to optimal trainability and readiness. So to achieve the type of success we envision through this project, we would need to have at least a five-year outlook to groom the squad members into possible professionals. It has been suggested a minimum of 10 years of practice (sometimes stated as 10,000 hours) is needed for expert performers in any field to reach the elite level. The essential lesson is the same—there are no shortcuts to achieving excellence, and we would love for corporates to come on board and assist us in our quest to elevate those who have been disadvantaged by their backgrounds and a lack of opportunities.
Our first player selected into the squad is Khanya Mkhize, we hope to travel the journey to becoming a professional golfer with him and do our best to help him realise his boyhood dream.
TRAVEL & SUBSISTANCE
There are close to 40 junior events that take place across the country throughout the calendar and we would like to create a pathway for 10 promising male and female golfers between the ages of 14 and 19 to compete in most of these tournaments, thus giving them enough experience of what the riggers of tournament play involve as they match themselves up against some of the best amateur players in South Africa.