First the caddies, then the pro-players

Golf was once considered a sport for the elite, with the poor only managing to get onto a golf course if they were male caddies, carrying golf clubs and balls for the players. Black women never ventured onto the course.

Now, though, a group of rural women in Nyanga have broken the barrier and, at Claremont Golf Club, nine out of 10 caddies are women.

“Men used to do this job, but failed to bring any money home. We wondered how they spent their money until we were given the opportunity to work here,” said Beauty Makombe.

She said the hotel group trained them in 2010 in the art of helping golfers.

“The more golf tournaments held in Nyanga, the more we earn. At the moment, we are satisfied with what we are getting,” said Makombe, a mother of four.

Memory Manzero said she had to drop out of school because of poverty. Now, though, she was in a position to supplement her husband’s salary. “This programme has changed our lives. I am happy that I have bought some house utensils and some clothing from the proceeds from caddying,” she said.

Shupikai Manidza has set her eyes on greater heights – and aims to become a golfer.

“We don’t want to carry these bags for the rest of our lives, but we should become professional players,” she said. “I have four years’ experience in caddying and I am now well-versed in the rules of the game and am ready to play. We only need financial support to buy our kits. There are some women who are older than us who are playing in tournaments here.”

Claremont and Lowveld are, however, the only two golf courses dominated by women caddies. “It’s good news that women are now coming to take part in caddying. At least they can earn some income to sustain their families. Given an

opportunity, the women can become professional players,” said one pro-golfer. Another player, Chris Hamson, said golfers and their caddies had to bond well to succeed.

“There are certain items that your golfer will need for every round, and it’s your responsibility to make sure the bag is properly stocked. If your golfer doesn’t have everything required, it could adversely affect the game,” said Hamson.

He added that the caddy had a responsibility to check a golfer’s bag for the appropriate clubs, new golf balls, extra gloves, towels, a yardage finder, a yardage book, bug spray, sunscreen, an umbrella and a medical kit.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *