Observatory Golf Club professional golf coach has nothing but passion for golf

Professional golfer apprentice, Bella Modisha.


Golf has always been regarded as a rich man’s sport, but that did not stop a young curious girl from trying it out when lessons were introduced at her school.

“It was curiosity that made me go and try out golfing. As a rich man’s sport in my school, I decided to try it out. Little did I know I would end up staying,” said golfer, Bella Modisha who started the sport at age 16.

Thirteen years later, Modisha (300, is a third-year Professional Golfer Association apprentice. She is also the first-ever African woman to teach at the World of Golf and the first-ever woman in South Africa to talk about golfing equipment on the television golf show, Supergolf.

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Modisha currently works at the Observatory Golf Club as a professional golf coach.

“We were coached every Monday and Friday at Pretoria showgrounds and Pretoria West Golf Club, and as soon as I began hitting the ball I began to love to practice,” she said when speaking about her school days.

“When they took us for our first game, that was it for me, the golf bug had bitten me.”

Modisha said the male-dominated sport has not been easy but she has persevered. “As women, we are not given enough opportunities in the sport and that’s why you see a lot of our lady golfers going to play overseas to earn a little more money. Even the tournament prize money [overseas] isn’t all that nice, but it’s better than in our country,” said Modisha.

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She added that she had to work hard to prove herself in the game. “At first the challenge was getting a sponsor to help get me entered into tournaments, then as you get a bit older and you haven’t done anything in your game, then no one looks your way. Getting a sponsor for me, personally, has been a huge challenge.”

Modisha said with bills to pay it became difficult for her to practice and play because she had to work.

She told Joburg East Express that her best moment in her career was when she represented Gauteng North at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in a junior tournament as well as representing South Africa in the Actuaries Golf tournament in Equatorial Guinea.

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Modisha said she would love to see more women play the sport. “If an opportunity represents itself at playing the sport, grab it with two hands. The sport has so many lessons to teach and not only about the game but about yourself.”

She added that she was living testimony that the game she started playing years ago had played a role in her identity. “Today I am a proud female golfer in a male-dominated sport,” she concluded.

Edited by Stacey Woensdregt

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Busi Vilakazi

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