The Botswana Golf Union (BGU) will ensure that only deserving players make the national squad for the senior and the junior national teams.
The senior national team will participate in the Zone Six championships, which will be held in Zambia from April 20 to 24, while the junior team will take part in the Africa Championships, also slated for April 7th to 12th in Swaziland.
The BGU Secretary General, Ben Tobedza, told the Sunday Standard that though they have not selected players that will represent Botswana in the Zone Six tournament, the selection will be based on the players’ track record.
“We will ensure that only those who deserve a place in the national team will be selected. This will be based on the order of merit,” warned Tobedza.
He said they will select the top four best players sometime in April.
As part of their preparations, Tobedza revealed that the players who will make the senior national team will participate in the Botswana Amateur Golf Open.
“We will use the Botswana Amateur Open at the end of this month as another criterion to select the best players. This will also determine the selection process,” said Tobedza.
He said in the World Amateur Golf Championships last year, which were held in Namibia, they came fifth out of over 10 countries, adding that it was a sign of tremendous improvement.
He said one of the best players in the country, Diane Lucas, was rated in the top 10 out of over 80 competitors.
“We are pinning our hopes on him. Lucas is one of the players who have put up a brilliant performance in most of the tournaments in which we participated,” said Tobedza.
He said their preparations for the Zone Six tournament were very intensive.
Tobedza said they have at least eight players fighting to secure a place in the national team but they only need four players in the final selection.
He said BGU is quite optimistic that they would bring medals as the results showed that there is improvement each year.
The team will be led by Bakani Kelebantse, BGU’s former Vice President and former national team player.
Touching on the preparations for the Junior Championship, Tobedza said they have already selected players and they have been taken through a thorough training programme. Tobedza said the programme is run by one of South Africa’s most sort after trainers of the RSA Golf Academy of Excellence.
Apart from perfecting the players’ skills, Tobedza said, the main objective of the training programme is to hone players on aspects such as management of match play, swings and psychological preparation for the tournament.
Selected players’ performance, he said, will be monitored and assessed to keep their game intact for the tournament.
The team is made up of youngsters from the FNB Junior development programme.
The junior national team comprises of Leroy Pearmain, Shane Grainger, Russell Whitney, Stuart smith and Wandile Marudu as the reserve. The team will be lead by BGU President, Derek Musa.