While many golf enthusiasts worldwide know of Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, and Bobby Jones amongst others, little is known locally about the Botswana golf export and gem, Ouname Mhotsha, aged 26. Mhotsha is currently based in Monticello, Arkansas, located in the Southern part of the US, where her swing continues to find good strokes for holes in the golf course.
In an exclusive interview with Botswana Unplugged, Mhotsha credits playing golf for her interpersonal growth and gave tribute to his father, Godfrey for further guidance throughout the years.
“It has been a big learning curve, in all aspects. Playing golf has taught me to be a leader and to embrace the position that I have been blessed with to be able to inspire everyone but mostly the youth in Botswana. It has also taught me to be mentally strong and to also value my body because I need it to be in good condition to be able to play my best, so all of that led to me having a great attitude towards life. I have golf and God to thank for all those blessings. I got introduced to golf by my father, Godfrey Mhotsha who used to work at the Gaborone Golf Club when I was growing up as a young girl in Gaborone,” she remembers.
Ouname recalls how she had to convince her parents of her future in sports with her hard work in the golf course, adding that her dedication further saw her earning the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) elite scholarship where she attained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics at the Alcorn State University in Mississippi, US, and currently working on a Masters in Natural Resources Economics from the University of Arkansas in Monticello respectively.
“It was through my personal coach, Edwin Madigela who unleashed my potential, and as soon as they (parents) realized that I do have potential with the sport they were willing to sponsor my trainings, and I also owe my greatest gratitude to everyone in the golfing community of Botswana especially the members at Gaborone Golf Club for supporting me and cheering me on to run with this little dream that ended up being part of my life purpose.
I played a lot of amateur golf tournaments in Botswana amongst other African countries as well as in the UK for most of my junior years. I then applied for a golf scholarship to the U.S through the Botswana National Sports Commission and I have been playing in the U.S for almost 4 years now,” she added.
Some of her accolades attained over the years, include a total of 16 amateur events including one international win, 6 top five, 3 top ten, and 3 top twenty-fives in international tournaments. The international tournaments include the 2012 Leopard Park Ladies Open in South Africa, and she has also been selected to represent Botswana at the World Junior Open in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
Her rise to stardom is inspired by her role model, the world-renowned Tiger Woods, whom she regards as a brave and focused golfer in the course.
“My childhood role model has always been Tiger Woods. I started loving him because I have an aunt back home who loved him so much. But now my love for Tiger (Woods) comes from how he carries himself on the golf course. It’s the intensity in his eyes and the bravery from his golf shots that I absolutely enjoy.”
Ouname is a big dreamer and her dream include her maiden Olympics appearance.
“My dream with Golf is to be able to have a positive impact on individuals that I interact with on and off the golf course. For the nation of Botswana that would look like a representation in the professional golf tours and the Olympics,” she concluded.