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Invited amateur Phumlani Maluka calls his first Joburg Open experience “life changing”


For the past eight years of the Joburg Open, each year the City of Johannesburg has invited four amateur golfers to play in the tournament a part of an initiative to give young amateurs a platform to gain valuable experience for their future professional careers.


The 12th edition of the Joburg Open was no different and unleashed four young, fearless South African amateur golfers onto the world. Amongst the four young guns was 21-year old Phumlani Maluka, who plays at Kempton Park Golf Club and World of Golf.


We caught up with him in the Player’s Lounge on Saturday where he talked about his first experience at a tournament of this magnitude:


“I took away so much from this experience, because it was truly life-changing. In fact, if there’s one phrase to sum up this entire experience given to us by the City of Joburg, “It is Life Changing. I also learnt a lot from my playing partner, the Englishman Steve Brown. We both didn’t start off that great in the first round, and yet he was so calm. He showed me that I don’t need to panic, and that I just need to remain calm and that everything will just start happening on its own."


"I learnt from Steve about planning. His game plan was good and he stuck to his routine even under pressure, even under terrible circumstances, and I saw how that got him out of a bad situation. Now he’s made the cut and in Round 3 he’s sitting in the Top 20, so that was amazing to see. I learnt a lot from observing that. I really hope he finishes well this week."


"The other thing that was amazing, was having the crowds walking along and supporting us as we played. I had my mom and my dad there as well, and together with the crowds they help build my confidence. Every time you play a good shot the crowd clap loudly. And my motivation was to make them clap more, so I wanted to play better shots. While on the one hand having them there could also feel like extra pressure, but I see it more as a positive. My caddy was really helpful."


"He made me take things one shot at a time. When he noticed the pressure getting to me, he would make me look at him and focus in order to block out my surroundings, and we would just plan the shot, and then execute it. I thank him for that. Playing in the Joburg Open 2018 was a huge confidence booster for me for the coming year. There is a lot I can take from this tournament, as I am in my final year of aiming to become a professional. I have until March 2018.”


“It was great to be playing with Phumlani, and it gave me a good chance to share some experiences with him, as I remember my days as an amateur well. He’s good, and I reminded him that you just have to keep playing and taking something from each experience, and soon you just start letting things go and really start to enjoy your game,” said Steve Brown about Phumlani.


The three other amateurs who played in the Joburg Open this week along with Phumlani were Dylan Naidoo, Robin Williams and Kyle McClacthie.


“I managed to speak to Dylan, as he was playing closest to me. He’s a good golfer. He also told me just to take the best out of this tournament, and to learn as much as we could. I see us both doing well from here on.”


Phumlani says after the Joburg Open this weekend, it’s going to be all about training for him, even during the December holidays. “I want to turn pro so badly, that I’m prepared to sacrifice the holidays for what I want.


The three key learnings Bongani takes away with him from this experience are:
1) Learning to relax even when you’re under pressure
2) Believing in yourself. It may sound like a cliché, but if you don’t believe you can pull it off then you won’t.
3) Feeling and believing that that I deserve to be here, and letting that help my game. That I am here for reason.


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Joburg Open

Joburg Open is an important
tournament in the golf
calendar for both local and
international players.

It is co-sanctioned by the

Sunshine Tour and PGA

European Tour as an official

Order of Merit event.

The prize money is 1.3

million euros and this will be

shared amongst all the

players who will make the cut.


2018 Joburg Open

Dates: 07 to 10 December 2017
Venue: Randpark Golf Club











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