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Golf's growing popularity among black South Africans

Golf in South Africa   -  
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AFP - Africanews

South Africa

During the Apartheid era golf matches were segregated and few records were kept of black players. Times are now changing.

Golf in South Africa is a sport usually associated with the elite. But it's popularity among black South Africans has been growing and today players can be seen training in parks and golf courses.

Retired professional golf player, Daniel Sithole, wants to make the sport more accessible for young enthusiasts such as Kalego Shole.

"He began teaching us how to play golf since we were young, because of (that) he avoided that we will end up doing drugs and then not study", said Shole.

Daniel Sithole started work as a golf caddy in the late 1960’s. He learned to play the game himself reaching semi-professional status. Today he teaches around twenty youths in Soweto.

According to him, the sport remains elitist: "You know in golf there's no transformation actually in South Africa, there is no transformation. Because I can take you, let's go and play at Royal (Golf Course) or Bryanston (Golf Course), the green fee is so high, you can't even afford it. You can't afford it", added the retired professional and youth coach.

For young playeres, golf is a way to improve focus and do something that will keep them out of crime.

"You seem to know yourself better and then you focus. It's like when I'm angry, instead of using physical attack, I prefer playing golf, and then letting out my anger on the ball. So I enjoy playing golf, it's nice", added golf enthusiast, Kalego Shole.

During apartheid, matches were played separately and few records were kept of black players. According to a recent World Bank report, South Africa is the most unequal country in the world.

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