GOLF enthusiasts are in for a treat when the world’s third-ranked amateur female golfer, Nobuhle Dlamini, takes to the green on Monday to defend her Nedbank EP women’s golf championship title at the Humewood Golf Course.
Dlamini, who is a sports science student at the University of Pretoria, has taken the golfing world by storm – power-hitting her way from being outside the top 100 amateur golfers in the world to reaching the pinnacle of the standings – less than a year after joining the amateur ranks.
While growing up in Swaziland, Dlamini was introduced to the golfing world through her father, who used to take her to the golf course to help her locate his lost golf balls when they fell into the water bunkers on the course.
Little did he know that by allowing her to help him on the course, he was cultivating a talent which is now starting to bear fruit. She has banished stereotypes with her naturally powerful strokes and flair, the kind that she plans to bring out when she plays at the Humewood Golf Course on Monday.
Nearly a decade after picking up her first club at the age of 12, Dlamini is now ranked third in the world, beating off many well known names to walk the greens.
Dlamini cemented her place as one of the continent’s best female amateur players after taking the Nedbank EP women’s golf championships at the PE Golf Club last year in thrilling fashion and said she is now more prepared should windy conditions dominate at the HGC next week.
"I really think that everybody who competes has an opportunity to win and all of the girls are really competitive. I don’t think that anyone enters any competition to lose. Last year’s EC championship was quite challenging because it was very windy. When I know that I’m going to play at the coast I always compensate for the wind and practise in open areas of golf courses that may simulate the wind factor,” she said.
Dlamini said she always dreamed of playing golf and said that "hard work” got her to the very apex of world amateur golf, despite being a full time student.
"There has been lots of hard work that has gone into getting me here. I have had to find a way to balancing my schedule and managing my time well in order to also fulfil my academic responsibilities. I always try to play all of the more important national competitions, but there are times where I have a bigger academic responsibility and that takes precedence over my golf.
"I have a timetable where it spells out when I can play and when I have to study.” Dlamini will be attending a qualifying school in Europe next year to in a bid to enter the Ladies PGA tour.