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GREAT EFFORT TO PROMOTE LOCAL PROS

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(Guest Writer)


MBABANE - Local professional golfers have been a laughing stock for quite a while hence concerted effort is now being made to promote them.  


The Eswatini Professional Golf Association (EPGA’s) two-day competition played over the past weekend is one of the initiatives aimed at improving the pros to match their peers in the region and beyond. In almost all the Sunshine Tours hosted locally, Eswatini pros do not make past three preliminary stages. This is attributable largely to lack of game time and appropriate psychological aptitude.

The serious focus on this regiment began with the reinforcement of the EPGA committee to include golf administrators with illustrious business intelligence. The revamped committee comprises prominent business figures that include, among others, Musa Mdluli, Sifiso ‘Mashayinkonjane’ Nhlengetfwa and Vusi ‘Futis’ Dlamini. 


The new committee, according to Vusi ‘Futis’ Dlamini, is charmed to have successfully hosted the first ever two-day tournament over the past weekend and hopes to stage similar events on a monthly basis.


Enthusiasm


Dlamini said they were encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the pros and selected amateurs in the inaugural tournament held at the Royal Swazi Spa Golf Course. The competition was won by experienced professional Raymond Mathonsi after four play-off holes with Jamie Pennington. The two were tied with 140 points after the two-day 36-hole contest.


“It’s the first of its kind that we’ve hosted the Eswatini PGA Monthly Tour over two days and the attendance of 15 golfers and the scores recorded were excellent. We, the organisers, are motivated by such commitment,” he said.


Dlamini added: “It looks like our objective to promote local professional golf and harness the players’ skills will be attained in the not-so-distant future. Both the pros and aspirants need adequate game time to be a force to reckon with in the region.” He appealed for financial and material support from the business community to be able to host more competitions and also acquire the necessary equipment.


On the other hand, the EPGA’s chairperson Musa Mdluli disclosed that a five-month calendar of events was already in place, thus intimating that the golfers would have an eventful year. He encouraged the golfers to practise regularly to secure dignified points in the order of merit to culminate from the proposed regular outings.  


“The guys are required to behave as pros in terms of etiquette, dress code and performance. Otherwise, they’ll not be featured in these events. In future, we might consider running our tournaments over three days to create more hype,” Mdluli said.

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