Nigeriaâ€™s best female golfer Uloma Mbuko is set to turn pro this year. Mbuko who for years dominated the ladies scene, winning virtually every tournament in the country, finally decided to turn pro two years back but she could not secure a sponsor. Last year, Mbuko financed her trip Nelson Mandelaâ€™s country where she secured a trainer, who would help her fine tune her game as she prepares for the big journey ahead.
Mbuko revealed in Abuja few weeks back that she has started the pro programme and will emerge as a professional golfer by April this year, when she starts training. She would be eligible to take part in the European qualifier by October 2010.
â€œBy Godâ€™s grace I will be turning pro in April 2010. I have been in South Africa for a while now undergoing training preparatory for the programme and I can tell you now that I am a better player and that I have learnt a lot of things from my trainerâ€, she said.
To buttress her point, Mbuko flew into Nigeria last year for the Pre-AACT event in Abuja where she helped the Nigerian team. Uloma as she is fondly called by friends, revealed that her game has undergone a some transformation. â€œA lot of things have changed in my game. My swing for instance has changed. I never knew that my swing was poor till I got to South Africa, where it was corrected by my trainer.Â Right now I am eagerly waiting for April when my pro training will commence and once that starts, I am already a professional player”, she said.
The IBB Golf Club golfer said her biggest challenge was funds. She revealed that she has not been able to secure sponsorship, which would have made it very easy for her to stay in South Africa for a longer duration and stay focused. â€œI have spoken with many Managing Directors and some corporate bodiesÂ and friends over the issue but the response has been poor. Turning professional is capital intensive and I have spent virtually everything I have.
Thanks to some friends who saw the importance of what I was doing and chipped in some support. Right now, what I need is a sponsor. If I get one who will take care of my bills, then I will focus more on my gameâ€, she said.
Future of female golf
The future of female golf is very bright. The challenge is that most ladies play golf for recreational purposes. Having said that there some young girls, who I have noticed are determined to take their game to the next level. I pray they are able to secure sponsorship so as to make it easier for them to concentrate. Golf is about concentration. If your attention is divided, it becomes difficult for you to put in your best.