Volvo championship winner, Will Moshoeu at his happy place: the golf course. With him he has his putter, which is from the first second-hand golf set he bought in 2005. Photo: Ronél van Jaarsveld
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The young boy who started caddying at the Nylstroom Golf Course to earn lunch money for school several years ago, will compete in the Volvo World Golf Challenge in China next year.
The now 34-year-old Will Moshoeu has claimed the South African Volvo Championship title on Monday, 14 November, at Sun City. During the international tournament, which is part of the European tour, club golfers from forty countries will get to compete during the two-day, 36-hole final.
The humble Moshoeu, a resident of Phagameng in Modimolle, says that golf is one of the great loves of his life. When he started caddying at the age of 14, he knew nothing about the sport.
“I fell in love and learnt as much as I could from the golfers whose bags I carried. The R30 I earned was good money for a pupil in those days! I promised myself that as soon as I have a proper job, I would buy my own set of clubs, which I did in 2005. The putter that I bought with that first second-hand Wilson set has earned me many a win. I used it during the Volvo competition as well,” he said. “My clubs are like children – I love them all equally. But I do have a very soft spot for that putter!”
Moshoeu, a representative for SABMiller, says that he is a weekend golfer.
“I won the Volvo Wednesday game here at my home club, Koro Creek and then represented the club at provincial level. During the championship, I continuously told myself to not overthink it and stay in the moment,” he said.
He says his mentor, the 66-year-old Jacob Phala, played a big part in his success.
“I still cannot beat him regularly. He gave me the courage to continue when my practice shots kept going wild when I just started playing. I kept trying until I beat him for the first time,” he laughingly said.
Moshoeu, who comes from a sports-loving family, sustained a serious knee injury last year December in a motorcycle accident. His knee had to be rebuilt.
“Life handed me a penalty shot. I thought my golfing days were over. What a blessing that a year later I would win my biggest competition yet.”
Moshoeu has a philosophical view of the sport. “Golf is very much like living life. You are in a risk-reward situation and are continuously confronted with choices. This sport will quickly show one’s character: during a difficult shot you are dead when your ball heads to the bushes on the left, the water on the right and the bunker in the middle. Do you charge in, do you take risks, do you plan carefully and are you honest when placing your ball, even when no one sees?”
Even after the all the hours spent on his home course, he still flinches when asked which hole is his nemesis. “Definitely hole 7. It toys with your mind – there’s water, a bunker and bushes.”
He encourages youngsters to get involved with the sport. “I know it is expensive, but start learning what you can. Save up and buy a second-hand set and practice basic skills at the driving range. There are a lot of golfers out here who are willing to teach. This sport teaches you discipline and honesty.”
His best times on the course?
“Since my caddy days I’ve thought the best times are those very early mornings before anyone else arrives. You breathe in the smell of freshly cut grass and dew drops clinging to the grass come and sit on your shoes. Even my worst days on the course are better than my best days at the office!”
The tournament was a unique “Tournament of Champions” style event which saw European Tour winners compete together with leading amateurs on one day of the tournament.
53 days ago 01 December 2016