Promising golfers, who were restricted to amateur status because of lack of opportunities to compete against the best on the continent, can afford a smile as for the first time they will be able to do so.
This follows the establishment of Professional Golfers Association (PGA) which will regulate the professional aspects of the game.
Currently, Golf Union of Malawi (GUoM) is restricted to development of junior golfers and amateur golfers from six handicap above as per Ancient and Royal Golf of Scotland to which GUoM is affiliated to.
In this setup golfers are not allowed to get monetary prizes but medals and other complimentary items not exceeding K500 000 in monetary value.
However, the establishment of the PGA which is affiliated to the European PGA means golfers with a five handicap and below can now have accreditation and start playing the game to earn money.
PGM interim president Partridge Shycall said the formation of the association will go a long way in improving golf in the country.
He said for over 50 years there has not been a graduate school for golfers in the country, but with the coming of PGA golfers will be able to develop into professionals.
Shycall said: “Our mandate is to ensure that we take graduates from GUoM and help them ply their trade as professional golfers. We haven’t had a graduate school of golfers for a long time. As such, we have killed so many professional golfers in Malawi.
“We have had golfers like Chapson Ngwanda, Colleen Chimbadza and Frank Mphamba who died before playing professional golf because there was no professional body. We don’t want something like. We shall ensure that all the capable golfers are given a chance to pursue their golf career.
“We thought the coming of the PGA will help in creating an environment that shall help in the development of professional players. Help a golfer to graduate and attain a professional card so that he can participate of compete on professional tours. Currently, we have one professional golfer in Paul Chidale but we need more of that. Paul had to go through South Africa to attain that but with the set of the PGA, golfers will be accredited from right here.”.
He said the launch of PGA will take place at Blantyre Sports Club from March, 28 and 29 where the first tour will see prize money in excess of K1 million.
Eight players have since signed up for PGA and quit amateur golf.
The golfers include Adam Sailesi, Adak Sailesi, Victor Kachepatsonga, Dingani Chirwa, Paul Chidale, Kondwani Mphula, and Partridge Shycall.
National team golf player Victor Kachepatsonga hailed the formation of PGA, saying it will herald new things for golfers.
“The formation of the PGA will see young people taking golf seriously knowing that there is a future. There are young promising good golfers out there such as Chris Nzokomera, who now will have an opportunity to turn into professionals. Golfers now will know that they can earn a living through golf. This is the right direction and it is only Malawi which had no PGA,” he said. n