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Ken Borland

Naidoo beaming after his day out in the strong winds & cold of the St Francis Links

Posted on November 25, 2022 by Ken

CAPE ST FRANCIS, Eastern Cape – The St Francis Links on a completely overcast, drizzly and blustery day on the rugged southern coastline of the Eastern Cape would probably not be your first choice for a relaxed round of golf, but 24-year-old Dylan Naidoo was beaming after his day out in the strong winds and cold on the first day of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am.

And it’s not as if Naidoo had a stellar round of golf to smile about either: He reckons he was no more than solid and praised his pro-am partner Malcolm Subramony for having a great day.

Naidoo was just delighted to be back at one of his favourite courses, playing in the Vodacom Origins of Golf series he, and his fellow pros, appreciate so much.

“The last time I played here I was just 17 years old and it is such a phenomenal course. It tests every aspect of your game and I feel like I’m a very different player to when I was last here,” Naidoo said. “I enjoyed it so much, it tests where your game is at in a lot of different ways.

“And the Vodacom Origins of Golf series is great, as a younger golfer you are pretty much guaranteed to get in if you have your tour card. The series teaches you how to be a pro and it allows you to network with the amateurs. The pro-am is always a lot of fun and you get to know all the Vodacom people and their clients.

“It’s a lovely way to get in a practice round ahead of the Sunshine Tour event starting on Thursday, you can play with your mates and have fun, and I enjoy it a lot.

“It basically teaches you how to go about your business on tour. It was a big help when I started out as a pro and it’s a big help still now,” Naidoo, who joined the Sunshine Tour in 2019/20 after a stellar amateur career, said.

While Naidoo has made his big break by earning playing privileges on the Korn Ferry Tour in the United States, he is one of the first intake of the Papwa Sewgolum Development Class that aims to fast-track the success of golfers of colour who have been previously disadvantaged.

“I’ve been a transformation golfer for the last three years and, since the Papwa Sewgolum Class came into being in June, I have seen really nice growth in our group of golfers.

“It helps the guys realise that they are very good players, they deserve to be here, and it’s about giving them every opportunity to be successful.

“Starting out on tour can be financially very difficult, especially if you come from a disadvantaged background. Now there’s a system in place, with each of the golfers getting a bit of a stipend every month, that will really help,” Naidoo said.

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