Yolanda Duma’s golfing hero is world number one woman golfer, Inbee Park, and her dream is to follow in the South Korean’s footsteps and become the next best golfer.
Duma put in a Park-like performance at the 2019 Joburg Open where she tied sixth which is her best result in a tournament as a professional golfer.
Her plan is to play in as many tournaments around the world to build her credibility and inspire more African women, especially women of colour, to take up golf as a professional career.
Growing up, Duma together with her sister, Siviwe, were inspired to take up the sport as they would watch their father and brother – who were avid golfers – play on the course.
Golf is an expensive sport and Duma has had to find her own way, without the help of sponsors, to live her dream.
She is eager to teach kids who come from the same background to understand that they can make their dreams a reality despite their financial situations.
Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Duma chats about her journey and plans to start her own golf academy.
Yolanda, thank you for taking time out for gsport! How’s life under COVID-19 been for you?
Life under Covid-19 has been really interesting! I’ve learned a lot and also at the same time, it has been scary, but I’ll be alright I guess?…
How has this time impacted on your career?
It has impacted me in such a way that the tournaments I was planning to play got postponed, others were cancelled, and I also had major plans for this year and it kinda affected that as well. Now I have to make some changes a bit and it’s kinda difficult because no one is really certain for sure about when this epidemic will end.
How have you been able to manage financially with no tournaments taking place?
“So, the relief funds have bettered the situation. It gives me hope and makes the situation less scary.” – South African golfer, Yolanda Duma
Financially the Sunshine Tour gave us money from the relief fund and from the department of sport. So, the relief funds have bettered the situation. It gives me hope and makes the situation less scary.
What is the latest on golf returning to play?
I’m not sure but Golf RSA had a meeting with the minister of sport so we still waiting for the feedback but I’m hoping next month we go back to golf.
What are you doing to keep yourself motivated?
I do lots of short game chip and putt, also looking back at my past tournaments checking how I can improve my game and what I’ll be working on when I go out on the course again – trying to make long term goals. I also read books and watch lots of golf.
Where does your passion for golf come from?
I used to watch my father and brother play on the golf course and how easy they made golf look and when they made mistakes, I would say that I can definitely beat them at this game!
So, I decided that I wanted to play and definitely beat them and that always been my thing?.
How is it having your sister, Siviwe, going through this golfing journey with you?
It’s great because we always have each other’s back and we support each other if one of us had a bad round. One knows how to cheer the other one up so yeah, it’s great to have another person to keep you going.
What has been your most memorable moments on the course?
“I tied sixth that was the best tournament for me playing as a pro golfer so seeing myself in that leader board actually reminded me that I’m good and I can actually win lots of tournaments given a chance.” – Duma speaks on her most memorable tournament.
It was when I was playing the Joburg Open last year (2019). I tied sixth that was the best tournament for me playing as a pro golfer so seeing myself in that leader board actually reminded me that I’m good and I can actually win lots of tournaments given a chance.
Who are the female golfers that inspire you?
Inbee Park is my favourite female golfer and I’m so inspired by her.
What is it like being a woman, especially a woman of colour in golf?
To be honest I’ve never experienced any kind of racism of some sort on the Sunshine Ladies Tour but as we all know it’s difficult when you don’t come from a rich family for a female black golfer in SA…
I mean we are only three South African female black golfers who play on tour and not even one of us has a sponsor and it’s not like we are asking for a lot, even if it’s clothing, equipment or tournament sponsorship which ever one someone can offer would be greatly appreciated.
How are you planning to share your journey to inspire more woman of colour to take up the sport?
I want to play as many golf tournaments as I can all over the world and be the world’s number one! I want to be able to start a golf school and also support female golfers that are trying make it in the golf world but they can’t because of financial reasons and also coach unprivileged kids and let them know that anyone can play golf, rich or poor, and never give up on their dreams because they can’t afford. I want to let them know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
What has been the one piece of advice that you have told that has pushed you through tough times?
The piece of advice that has pushed me through tough times is that I always tell myself that if I can think it, I can achieve it! I must just put on blinkers and focus on what I want, always keep a positive mind and don’t listen to naysayers.
What is your greatest sporting ambition?
My greatest ambition is to rank world’s number one?? and grow the game of golf in Africa.
Generally, what are your thoughts on the view and attention that women’s sport gets in the country?
Women’s sport in this country is not taken seriously and it doesn’t have as much recognition as it deserves. Most women in the country give up on their dreams because it’s hard to make a living as female athlete in SA. We get paid/play for peanuts, but we do the same amount of work as men, I never understand that!
What changes would you like to see?
I’m sure if we could start playing for the same amount of money as men, we could have more women playing sports, so the changes I would love to see is more recognition, more sponsorships and support in women’s sports.
What are you planning to do beyond your golfing career?
First things first, I would give back to the sport and nurture careers also grow the sport of golf not only in SA but Africa as a whole. I want to own a golf course and have a golf school or academy, be a businesswoman, write books, be a motivational speaker and have my own golf clothing line and just be the best in the female golfer world.
“An athlete cannot run with money in his pocket, he must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” That’s my favourite quote ?.
Photo 1 Caption: Yolanda Duma’s hero is world number one female golfer, Inbee Park, and her dream is to follow in the South Korean’s footsteps to become the next best golfer. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: Her plan is to play in as many tournaments around the world to build her credibility and inspire more African females, especially women of colour, to take up golf as a professional career path. Photo: Supplied
Photo 3 Caption: Growing up, Duma together with her sister, Siviwe, were inspired to take up the sport as they would watch their father and brother – who were avid golfers – play on the course. Golf is an expensive sport and Duma, like many others who do not come from a rich background, has had to find her own way without the help of sponsors to live her dream. Photo: Supplied