One of the top local golf coaches Dingaan Chirwa has become the first Malawian to attain Professional Golfers Association (PGA) status.
This follows his graduation as a PGA class A status on Monday at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in South Africa after demonstrating higher levels of knowledge and skill in a variety of roles during a three-year training.
According to www.pga.info, a PGA professional includes a qualified teacher and coach who understands a wide range of issues relating to the coaching process, including the biomechanics of the golf.
In an interview, Chirwa said he was delighted to have realised his childhood dream.
“I worked so hard to achieve this feat over the years and it was not easy to make the grade.
“The course covered all the aspects of golf and coaching was just one component of the entire programme,” he said on Wednesday.
The national youth golf coach said the other areas covered included equipment technology, sports science, golf course design and maintenance.
He said the first part of the course was coaching, which covered 5 000 hours of practical work, specifically training children in 2010.
“Then in 2015 I joined the apprenticeship degree programme which I have successfully completed.
“So, being the first Malawian to achieve that feat, I feel really proud,” he said.
Chirwa said Malawi stands to benefit from his achievement “as golf is a huge industry elsewhere and people make a living through the sport”.
“My status will help in recruiting as many potential golfers as possible. If we turned golf into a proper professional game, it would to contribute towards the growth of the economy.
“People will learn to play golf the right way and obviously enjoy it more,” he said.
PGA Malawi president Patridge Shycal on Wednesday applauded Chirwa for his feat, saying, as an association, they are proud of his achievement.
“As an association we are so grateful to Dingaan Chirwa and poised to benefit highly with his accolade in this prestigious sport and we are hopeful that a lot more lads will emulate his boldness,” he said.
Golf Union of Malawi president Hudson Kantwanje also commended Chirwa for the feat.
“We embarked on a junior golf development programme and one of the objectives is to develop the game to have a qualified coach,” he said.
As such we enrolled Dingaan Chirwa at the PGS School in South Africa with all costs relating to his studies from tuition fees, transport and accommodation being paid for by the Golf Union of Malawi.” aid.