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A Randpark Golfing Gem
SHE’s No 3 in the Women’s Golf SA rankings, she has an amazing record of being in the top 10 in 12 of her last 13 starts in national tournaments, she won this year’s Free State Open by blitzing Schoeman Park with rounds of 67, 69 and 73, and – to top all of this – in the All-Africa Championships held at the Enkonyeni Lodge Bushveld course in Eswatini a few months back, she finished No1 in the continent’s individual standings (her 54-hole aggregate of 218 included a course record 68) in helping South Africa win gold.
Quite a mouthful, so exactly who is this birdie queen, if you don’t know already? Well, it’s none other than 25-year-old Zethu Myeki from our very own Randpark. Zethu’s story is a special one: She grew up in the Mdantsane township just outside East London playing netball at school. But one day, aged 13, she walked past a soccer field and noticed some girls hitting golf shots. She was intrigued and wanted to join in but initially was too scared to approach them. However, the girls then did invite her to link up with them and Zethu, to put it mildly, was immediately hooked on golf.
“I then got involved with the South African Golf Development Board and Mr (Enoch) Dama used to pick us up and take us to a driving range or one of the East London courses where we could play and be coached,” she recalls. “I had to then choose between netball and golf because the practices were at the same time, and I went for golf.” Showing great promise right from the start, she had a handicap within two months. Progress was rapid after that and she was soon in the Border junior and then senior teams, attending her first interprovincial in 2010 – all the time under the watchful eye of well-known East London coaching guru Michelle De Fries.
However, in between earning herself a Golf Club Management diploma and joining the Ernie Els Foundation which helped her both with her golf and studies as her own funds were insufficient to do this, there came a time when she felt a move to Johannesburg and – happily for this club – Randpark was what she needed, to give her more opportunity to compete at the highest level. “There wasn’t enough going on in East London and I felt if I didn’t move I’d lose the spark.”
And spark – or “passion” as Zethu puts it – is what drives her. She plays off plus-1, and so what does she consider to be the strong points in her game? “All round I’m solid but I’m a very positive person and my most powerful tool is my mind,” she confidently replies.
She has broken several course records and, no surprise, is a regular in the Gauteng provincial team. Her best official round is 64 but she also tore around Bushwillow in just 63 shots. “But,” she smiles, “it didn’t count as a record because there was placing.” Commenting on all her success to date – she first represented South Africa in 2016 – she says: “It’s nice to see the results when you’ve put in all the hard work. And, yes, it’s also the passion.”
Coached by Costanza Trussoni at Houghton, Zethu doesn’t believe in spending long hours on the range, preferring rather to work on her game out on the Firethorn or Bushwillow courses during practice rounds. She is also very dedicated to taking care of her health, by eating right and spending plenty of time in the gym. She also really enjoys the club. “There’s the two fine courses and everything I need to do all my drills is here, plus it’s such a friendly club,” she explains, adding that her desire is to one day turn professional. She really is a Randpark gem.
Randpark, of course, is richly blessed with young talent when it comes to women’s golf. Eighteen-year-old Kajal Mistry, as is already widely known, is the current SA strokeplay and matchplay champion – after doing the double at Woodhill and is ranked seventh in the country, while Kim Turgut and Cara Ford are top juniors. And there’s other players on the rise too.
For the record, Caitlin Mcnab from Serengeti is ranked No 1 in South Africa and Kaylah Williams from Durbanville No 2.
By Grant Winter
Image : Credit – GolfRSA