THE Matabeleland Golf Association with Nomads Golf Club will be sending 10 junior golfers from Bulawayo to Harare for Mashonaland Junior Golf Week which starts next Monday to Friday at various golf clubs in the capital.
Paul Kersten, in charge of development at the Matabeleland Golf Association, confirmed the trip with the delegation of junior golfers including two 12-year-olds from Lockview Primary School — Thubelihle Phiri, a 15 handicap and Keith Phiri, an 11 handicap.
One of the junior golfers, 16-year-old Michael Ndlovu, hails from Ihlathi Secondary School in the western suburb of Tshabalala.
The golfers are coached by Nkazimulo Robert Ndlovu. The 10-member team will be travelling with 16-year-old Justin Kersten, Paul’s son, who is not a junior development golfer and is fresh from the British Junior Open Championship where he finished tied on 68.
Ndlovu yesterday said he was confident that his team would do well in Harare as they were familiar with the courses where they will be competing at.
“We have been practicing well and we are going to courses that we are familiar with and this time around we are in a more shaped manner. The boys have gained experience and I am sure of good results,” Ndlovu said.
The Mashonaland Junior Gold Week comprises five 36-hole tournaments, all counting towards the national order of merit to be hosted at Royal Harare, Wingate, Harare Country Club, Ruwa and Norton Golf Club at the behest of the Mashonaland Junior Golf Association.
Kestern said the junior golf development thrust has begun to bear fruit in Matabeleland.
“Junior Golf Development is aimed at the government schools and is starting to bear fruit only a few years into the programme.
There are over 150 registered junior golfers in Matabeleland, the vast majority coming from the development side of things.
A second coach, Phillip Tshuma, is based at Bulawayo Golf Club and also handles the Hwange and Victoria Falls areas, where despite limited resources, exists a lot of potential.
“None of this would be possible without the dedicated support of the Nomads golf Club of Matabeleland whose prime objective is the furtherance of Golf in the region,” Kersten said.
Tshuma is a professional golfer and junior development coach.