Matthew Wahome is one of Kenya’s youngest professional golfers, yet he has never had any formal training in the sport. He has represented Kenya in a number of international tournaments, and is also a golf trainer.
1. Is yours a case of pure natural talent or just keen interest?
I believe my success is the result of consistency and hard work. I practice on and off the golf course every day so that I can improve my skills and achieve my goal of competing at the highest level.
2. How accessible is golf to Kenyan youth? What must one do achieve pro status?
In Kenya, golf is still relatively expensive because one must pay membership fees regularly to be accepted in the various clubs. However, there are programmes such as the Junior Golf Foundation which offer coaching at affordable rates to encourage young people to take up the sport. Also, juniors can get to interact and learn from the pros by attending high profile tournaments such as the Safari Tour where golf clinics are sometimes held to train budding golfers on the basics of the sport.
Before becoming a professional golfer, one has to go through the junior ranks, and play in the national team. If they excel in the amateur circuit, they will be eligible to join the Professional Golfers of Kenya Association.
3. If you weren’t a golfer, what career would you have pursued?
I would have joined the Real Estate industry without a doubt.
4. What are some of your proudest moments as a golfer?
Representing the country in a number of international competitions, and playing twice in the Kenya Open as an amateur in 2015 and 2016. In both occasions, I was the youngest player but I performed so well.
I am also proud to have been selected as one of the pro golfers in this year’s Safari Tour Golf Tournament. This shows that there are people who believe in my abilities.
5. What inspires you?
My parents. I try hard to make them proud in every tournament I participate in.