The Covid-19 pandemic which forced the postponement of international sporting activities has handed a big lesson to some Kenyan professional golfers.
Golf Park-based pro David Wakhu said coronavirus has taught him to not only prepare for an eventuality like old age but also for a situation which may put him out of active playing.
Speaking to the Nation Sport, Wakhu, one of the leading pros in the country said he had taken for guaranteed that there would always be events or work to do for his survival.
"This corona thing was a complete shock for us, it hit us very hard. I didn’t anticipate such a thing in my lifetime that a pandemic like Covid-19 will affect my life like this. It’s a big lesson. In future one has to plan not just for old age, but also for a calamity like this,” Wakhu said.
He said from now henceforth people will appreciate what they have and also share the knowledge on golf with others.
"I have been doing fine and keeping to my normal routine despite the challenge of Covid- 19,” Wakhu said.
“It's been tough, especially for us local professional golfers since the pandemic hit the country. We've had to survive and are holding on to our hope and trust in God to keep us safe.”
Local pros had prepared for the Magical Kenya Open through the support of ABSA Group.
Wakhu said the level of support local pros were given by ABSA through Kenya Open Golf Limited was great.
"We do hope when things go back to normal we will be able to fly the Kenyan flag high. I had prepared well and I’m still focused for the big stage. This pandemic has made us learn a lot and it will be a lesson for us to face such a storm when it comes,” Wakhu said.
Safety comes first
“The experience we've had has been tough and my appeal to the government through the Ministry of Sports is for them to remember pro golfers when they are giving support. I urge my colleagues to continue working hard and keep safe.”
Another leading pro Erick Ooko, also based at Golf Park, said Covid-19 changed all his plans.
"We have been suffering a lot since March. Before coronavirus emerged, my swing was great. All the same, I have continued practicing at Golf Park since March. We have been observing social distancing. I’m practicing because I want to maintain my swing just in case things get better,” Ooko, one of the eight Kenyans pros who had qualified for the Magical Kenya Open, said.
"Financially, definitely we are suffering, without events.”
He, like other golfers, appealed for government support. “We earn our living by playing in events, without that it is tough for us,” Ooko said.