Thursday, October 1, 2020

Botswana ladies success in golf competitions encouraging

Last weekend, the Botswana women’s golf team went to attend the yearly triangular competitions in Zimbabwe.
The team entered the competition not for the first time but as the overall defending champions of the
competitions.

As the name suggests, the triangular competitions allow only three southern African countries to participate, the countries being Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The competition has two divisions, the A division and the B division. The A division is particularly aimed at players who range from 13-19 handicaps, while the B division focuses on players who are allowed to be within ranges of 20-27 handicaps.

A first time golfer is likely to be allowed to play within the 36 handicap range. Handicaps in golf terms refer to the number of mistakes one is allowed to endure. All the countries involved in the competitions had a total of 5 players representing each country. The B division from Botswana managed to secure its position as the best amongst the three countries for the second year running.

Unfortunately, the A division came second after both Zimbabwe and Zambia had a tie for the first position. According to dedicated women golfer and Vice President of the Ladies Golf Union, Tiny Kgatlwane, and the loss of Botswana’s A division could have been caused by the fact that the majority of the local players were not actively participating as should have been the case.

“Golf is voluntary in our club so it’s up to individuals how much effort they choose to put in, as the majority of women in our club are wives of expatriates and they are mostly in the A divisions. When the husbands leave, we lose valuable players as the wives would leave with them, because we experience a shortage of players on our A division; we take players from our B divisions, who are not yet ready and try to fill the vacant seats,” said Kgatlwane. The women team also recently attended the Southern African Championship Division tournament in Swaziland.

The tournament consisted of countries such as South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe with countries like Lesotho qualifying to attend but not making it to Swaziland. Each country was represented by 3 players
Kgatlwane, who plays 11 handicaps, was amongst those from Botswana, along with 14-year-old Unami Mhoswa, who also plays 11 handicaps; the third player was Julia Denver who plays 12 handicaps.

“I would say we did quite well considering that we were playing against the best; countries like South Africa have golf academies where players are trained in golf from the onset and they focus mainly on the sport, while in our country it’s a voluntary sport like I said earlier. We did quite well for our playing range,” said Kgatlwane. The women are now preparing for the All Africa Championship divisions which are to be held in Nigeria next year.

Preparations are also underway as the team waits to host their share of the next triangular divisions tournament sometime next year.

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