Sontonga lives to ‘clobber’ tees

2015-04-30 06:00

His face tells the story of resillience in the face of challenges
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masixole feni

His face tells the story of resillience in the face of challenges PHOTOs: masixole feni

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True to his name, which, loosely translated ,means clobberer or stickmaker, Vuyo Sontsonga,59, hits golf balls from 2 to 6pm every day of the week, on a field along the N2 and BorchEards Quarry Road, in Crossroads.

He has been at it for 10 years. Interestingly, Sontonga saved for six months to buy his first set of clubs for R96,00 only in 1986. Perhaps, not bad for someone who started out as a caddie in 1970. Then, he worked at the Royal Cape Golf Club as a caddie in Wynberg for R4,00 a day.

It was his love of the game that kept him going, despite the miserly pay.

Now working as a plasterer, he makes sure to finish his work before he heads out from his home in Europe, Nyanga to play golf.

Sontonga said he intentionally engages in smaller jobs that allow him to work from about 8 to 11am so that his afternoons can be spent improving his golf skills.

He says he currently has about 50 golf balls and rarely buys balls brand new. Rather, he buys lost balls, that people have collected from golf courses, as they are much cheaper.

Vuyo’s current set of clubs include an “old fashioned” driver, a 7 iron, a 5 wood, and a pitching wedge.

He says that some of the people who have seen him playing golf on the field have dropped off clubs and other equipment for him, for which he is grateful.

Commenting on the Borcherds Quarry field, he says he has “made his own driving range” by setting up a flagpole at which he aims his strokes.

Sundays are especially enjoyable for him as his friend, Kenny, from Mitchells Plain, picks him up and takes him to play a round of golf with at the King David Golf Club in Montana.

Kenny first noticed him when he caught sight of Sontonga driving balls on the field in Crossroads.

Kenny then invited him to come and join him and ten other members at the King David Golf Club for a game of golf.

Sontonga says the main thing holding him back is the high cost of golf club membership.

He says that membership at a golf club can save you a lot of money as a game of golf will cost about R350, while membership, which allows unlimited play, is approximately R4,000 a year.

Membership also gains you access to various golf challenges that happen all across Cape Town.

Sontonga is confident that he can do well in the golf challenges and continue to improve his skills, but to do so, he needs someone to sponsor his membership fees.

With his ‘piece jobs’, he reckons he cannot afford to pay the membership fees, as the money goes towards his familial responsibilities, although he can afford the taxi fare to the going to King David. - GROUND UP

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