More exposure is the trick

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Mugove Chigada
GOLF in the country will have a brighter future if more players can participate against the best in the region.

It is encouraging that three Zimbabweans will be part of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Qualifier starting on July 24 at Highland Gate Golf & Trout Estate in South Africa.

Greg Bentley, Mohammad Rauf Mandhu and Ignatius Mketekete entered as affiliate members for the tourney which is part of the Sunshine Tour.

Bentley, 30, represents Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club, 27-year-old Mandhu is part of Royal Harare Golf Club while Mketekete, 33, is part of Bulawayo Golf Club.

They go into the tourney with some of South Africa’s best and with no chance of making an impact. But it is the exposure that will count.

Ignatius Mketekete

It will be good if more of Zimbabwean golfers can be a part of such tours.

While some previously underprivileged golfers recently got a chance to be part of the Gary Player Class boot camp to develop their skills before some big tournaments in SA, local golfers will simply need to rise to the occasion on the big platforms.

Jacquin Hess, who was part of the Gary Player class of 2017-18, gives an impression they will always be far ahead and the Zimbabwean representatives may have to move mountains.

“For me the camp was very important because I always have a challenge finding the balance, especially with my body. Recovery is important and when I play many weeks in a stretch, then I must be able to balance gym and recovery and playing. And, what I eat too. We talked about nutrition as well,” Hess was quoted as saying by Sunshine Tour.

“We did some work on the swings, the putting and chipping techniques. So I am excited to see what will happen next because now we go to the Vodacom and Sun International events, but I am looking forward to them.”

Mohammad Rauf Mandhu

The Gary Player Class of 2017-18 is “the Sunshine Tour’s main development squad for previously disadvantaged professional golfers”.

Locally, the Chapman Grand Slam held on July 8 and 9 at Chapman Golf Club was refreshing.

With some of the country’s top golfers participating, it lived up to expectations and US-based top amateur Sean Crocker claimed the Grand Slam.

The bigger picture of golf development however shows that authorities may need to think outside the box if they are able to effectively implement the junior policy for more players to enter the professional circuit.

With the way organisers have to put a lot of effort to come up with successful tournaments locally, it is increasingly clear that corporates have other priorities, thus leaving clubs and their members to do only what they can.

Greg Bentley

Career Prize Money                         27 311.00

Best Single Prize

Money                                     6 405.00

Tournament Wins                             0

Tournament Top Ten Finishes       0

Most Consecutive Cuts Made        0

Low Round Score                               68

Stroke Average                                 75.39

Average against Par                         +3.55

Total Number of Eagles                  12

Total Number of Birdies                 311

Average Birdies per Round             2.70

Total Holes in One                               0

Mohammad Rauf Mandhu

Career Prize Money                         14 444.00

Best Single Prize Money                 5 310,00

Tournament Wins                                0

Tournament Top Ten Finishes        0

Most Consecutive Cuts Made         2

Low Round Score                              69

Stroke Average                                 76.24

Average against Par                         +4.07

Total Number of Eagles                    4

Total Number of Birdies                 183

Average Birdies per Round            2.54

Total Holes in One                               0

Ignatius Mketekete

Career Prize Money                         106 195.50

Best Single Prize

Money                                        18 580,00

Tournament Wins                               0

Tournament Top Ten Finishes         1

Most Consecutive Cuts Made         2

Low Round Score                              67

Stroke Average                                 74.38

Average against Par                         +2.46

Total Number of Eagles                     9

Total Number of Birdies                  320

Average Birdies per Round            2.94

Total Holes in One                               0

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