7th November 2023 | Big Easy Tour
Majola takes lessons from rookie season struggles
Like many children growing up in the townships of South Africa, Sunshine Tour rookie Sabelo Majola had little to no aspiration of taking up golf as a sport of choice, let alone playing the game professionally.
This was primarily because of the lack of golfing facilities in the township of KwaMashu in KwaZulu Natal where he grew up. The second reason had to do with the lack of resources, financial and otherwise, which play a huge role in the development and ultimate success of any golfer. So, the obvious sport of choice was football.
Then in 2009, and while still a teenager, Majola was introduced to Joseph Kunene, manager of the KwaZulu Natal South African Golf Development Board, and that’s when his golfing journey began.
“Honestly, I never imagined playing golf professionally,” Majola says. “But, the more I got into it, I found that I liked the sport, and I couldn’t stop. I was always playing soccer like my friends, but when they began to leave the township to live in other parts of the country, I found myself bored, and that’s when I began to take the sport seriously.”
And while the SAGDB did all it could to give him the necessary training and support, and as grateful as Majola is for all that, he credits Sunshine Tour professional Thanda Mavundla for encouraging him to play the gentlemen’s game.
“Thanda is the one who taught me how to even hold a club properly,” adds Majola with a wide smile on his face. “He has supported me since my days in the SAGDB and is the one who always told me to give golf my all and that I will be rewarded. We are both from KZN, and I will always be grateful to him. He is like a brother to me.”
Majola turned professional in 2022 and secured his 2023/24 Altron Big Easy Tour card at the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament. The real test would now begin for the Mount Royal resident. He was now a professional golfer, competing in professional events.
“My first season has been tough,” he admits, “but I expected it to be like that. My first weakness was the weather. Firstly, I have always played my golf in KZN and the weather is different there than what it is here in Johannesburg. I’ve never played on snow, and one of my first events on the Big Easy was on snow. So, I told myself that this would be my learning season.
“I have been learning, and that’s why I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I just go into the tournament with the mentality that I must do better than I did in the previous tournament. It’s a learning process.”
Majola has played three Altron Big Easy Tour events and missed the cut in all three. He has also struggled in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day events where he has two starts to his name. The solitary Sunshine Tour event he has played – Vodacom Origins of Golf KZN – also saw him miss the cut. In short, it has been a season of struggles for the 27-year-old Durban Golf Club member.
He is not panicking, however, and instead, Majola has set himself what he sees as an attainable goal.
“My aim is to make the top 10 in the remaining events of the season so that I can get my Sunshine Tour card. I know it won’t be easy, but I am prepared to work for it. You know, they say talent alone doesn’t cut it; you have to work hard. I take golf as my job and I invest a lot of time working on the aspects that I have to improve.”
Majola is in the field of this week’s event at Akasia Golf Club and will hope to make his first cut of the season after an opening round of three-under-par 69.