By Duncan Mlanjira
After over a year in hibernation, Ladies Golf Union of Malawi (LGU) has come out of its hibernation and are now preparing for possible international participation — the All Africa Challenge Trophy to be held in Namibia in March.
In conjunction with the ladies section of Country Club Limbe (CCL), LGU held the first of its three strokeplay qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday which was enthusiastically graced by golfers from Lilongwe.
For its part, CCL used the same tournament to host its first ladies’ tournament of the year under the new leadership of captain Carol Banda after securing sponsorship from First Capital Bank, Makande and General Tinsmith.
The scores for the first day of the LGU strokeplay qualifiers were used to identify the top three winners in both the senior and junior category.
LGU president Stella Ng’oma said the ladies are now geared to give the game more glamour and applauded the participation of the Lilongwe golfers, saying they have set the right mood as they await the final round of the qualifiers to be held at Lilongwe Golf Club on March 29-April 1.
The second round of the qualifiers will be held on February 8-9 at Blantyre Sports Club.
Ng’oma said they are expected to field a team of four players including a team manager for the All Africa Challenge Trophy in Namibia and they are currently engaging with potential corporate partners for sponsorship.
“We hope to secure sponsorship that we should participate at the All Africa Challenge Trophy because that shall attract more ladies to clean up their clubs and bags and resume playing in earnest,” she said.
“We have over 100 lady golfers across the country but just over 50 percent are active and we want to attract all those inactive to come back and add the glamour needed.”
“If we lady golfers become more visible, we might attract the needed sponsorship to organise more tournaments that would in turn expose the ladies ahead of international tournaments,” she said.
The champion for the CCL strokeplay was Bose Kamphulusa with a gross score of net 82 while her runner-up Connie Karuku who posted net 91.
LGU president Stella Ng’oma played as an example by clinching the third position with a score of net 102.
There were four juniors who played — the winner was 16-year-old Bangwe Community Day Secondary School student, Zitta Rodrick on net 82.
On second position with net 102 was the LGU president’s daughter Ashley Ng’oma, a 16-year-old South End High School student.
On third place was 13-year-old Rihanna Coombes, a student at St. Andrews International High School, who scored gross net 102.
The fourth student was Naomi Mwangala, a student at Namiwawa Private Secondary School.
Ng’oma said the four are part of a strong development programme the LGU has in conjunction with the mainstream Golf Union of Malawi (GUoM) and they are currently undergoing training by high qualified Dingaan Chirwa.
“They are preparing for an international tournament — the Tri-Nations and for each of our tournaments we shall make sure the juniors do come and participate with us,” Ng’oma said.
On her part, CCL captain Carol Banda said she is all geared to secure sponsorship for tournaments in order reinvigorate ladies golf and appreciated LGU for considering hosting the All Africa Challenge Trophy at the club.
“I appeal to all golfers who have been active to come back on the course at social level in order to resharpen their skills in order to have very competitive tournaments as they come,” she said.