For the final segment of our 2020 GolfRSA Rising Star Series, we headed to Border to get to know one of our new GolfRSA Womens Golf South Africa Talent Identification squad members, Kesha Louw.
A sports fanatic, this 13-year-old firecracker has earned junior provincial colours in tennis, hockey and golf and last year, she rewrote the East London Golf Club history books when she became its youngest club champion at the age of 12.
As she heads to high school next year, Kesha has decided to focus on a career in golf and her main goals in 2021 are to gain more consistency and improve her position in the National Junior Ranking. Let’s meet Kesha!
BORN: Port Elizabeth
GOLF CLUB & UNION: East London Golf Club, Border
Border Provincial Colours for Border U-13 Boys Golf and Border Women’s Golf
Winner – Under-12 Division winner in 2019 Nomads SA Girl’s Rose Bowl Championship
Club champion at East London Golf Club in 2019 – at age 12, the youngest champion in the 100 year history of the club.
Border Provincial Colours in tennis and hockey.
Played first team hockey for Stirling Primary School
Q – Tell us where and when your love affair with golf started?
KL – I was around three years old when I used to drive on the cart with my mom and dad and I played with my own plastic golf club. I started with professional lessons at the age of six and I started playing competitions when I was seven. I was the only girl in East London who played competitive golf, so I played in the boys tournaments. We became a tight group and we all still play together.
Q – You are a keen tennis and hockey player but you have chosen to pursue golf. Why?
KL – I would always knew it would be golf, but I really made up my mind this year during the lockdown. I am still going to play hockey at school and social tennis, but I am going to focus fully on golf next year.
Q – Are you the sort of golfer who sets yearly goals? If so, what goals have you set for yourself for next season?
KL – I do set goals. For 2021, I will be focusing on getting more consistent and to try to improve my ranking points so I can break into the top 10 in the Junior Rankings.
Q – How tough has it been to transition from the provincial to the GolfRSA National Junior circuit? What events do you intend to compete in next year? Will you compete on the Open Amateur circuit, as well?
KL – It was been really nerve-wracking playing at national junior level, but I am also loving the challenges it brings. I want to enter as many junior events as possible in 2021 and I’ll also play the Eastern Province / Border Stroke Play Championship for a third time. It’s a great experience.
Q – Talk to us about the strengths of your game and what are the weaknesses or aspects of the game you still need to attend to.
KL – My strengths are my driving, irons and putting, but I need to improve my chipping.
Q – You were selected for the GolfRSA / WGSA Talent Identification Squad this year. How do you feel about it onto the squad?
KL – It was a huge honour and privilege to be selected and I am excited to learn more and to become a better golfer. I’m really looking forward to my first squad camp.
Q – How did you keep your game in form during the countrywide Covid-19 lockdown?
KL – We built a net in the garden and made targets for chipping. For fitness, we ran around the house and did some Pilates.
Q – Although the national events have been cancelled for the season, amateurs were able to compete in events at provincial level. How did that go for you?
KL – It went really well. I played for the Border U-13 Boys Team at Katberg against 2 other provinces and our team won. It was such a lovely tournament.
Q – Tell us about the favourite club (s) in your bag and why are they your favourite (s)?
KL – My favourite is my hybrid. It’s quite old, but I hit it smoothly. I also love my 60-degree wedge and my 9-iron.
Q – You are still quite young, but do you have any favourite golf courses and why? And which courses would you still like to play?
KL –.My favourite two courses are East London Golf Club and Katberg. I’d love to play at Leopard Creek once because it always looks so beautiful set in the bush on the television.
Q – If you could pick any 3 people for a Fantasy Fourball, who would you pick and why?
KL – I’d pick Rory McIlroy, Nelly Korda and Jayden Schaper, since they are my heroes in golf.
Q – Have you had any holes-in-one?
KL – Haven’t had one yet, but I’m sure it will come.
Q – What is the best piece of golfing advice you have ever received?
KL – Something my dad said: “Your best shot is your next one.”
Q – Which tournaments would you most like to win and why?
KL – I would love to win the Nomads SA Girls Championship and the SA Women’s Stroke Play and Amateur Championships when I’m a bit older.
Q – What advice would you give youngsters just starting in the game?
KL – I would tell them to never give up, to keep practicing and to always have fun.
Q – Tell us 5 things about yourself most people don’t know
I am shy around new people
I am OCD
I love nature
I don’t like being alone
I love singing
Q – If you had to pick up one animal to describe you, what would it be and why?
KL – I would pick a butterfly because I am always progressing through stages of development, waiting for the right day to fly.
Q – Describe the best meal you’ve had and where you had it.
KL – Roosterbrood from The Woolshed Christmas Market in Witsand.
Q – What is your favourite season and why?
KL – Definitely summer. I love spending time at the beach.
Q – Is there anything you are addicted to or can’t live without?
KL – I love watching TV and my golf clubs.
Q – Tell us about something you hate doing and why?
KL – I hate writing exams because it is so stressful.
Q – As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
KL – I wanted a professional tennis player or a teacher.
Q – Describe yourself in one word.
KL – Driven.
Q – What movie can you watch again and again and why?
KL – Jumanji. It’s adventurous and really funny.
Q – Tell us about three things you consider yourself to be really good at.
KL – I am organised, considerate and really good at loving my family.
Q – What three things would you want to have on a deserted island and why?
KL – I would want to have a fishing rod so I could catch my food, my phone and my bible.
Q – If golf wasn’t an option, what profession would you pursue and why?
KL – I would love to be a mentor in sport, or do sport psychology.
Q – If they made a movie about your life, which actress would you pick to play you and why?
KL – Jennifer Lawrence. I think she is an amazing actress.
Q – What are your biggest fears?
KL – Small spaces. Darkness. And I don’t like spiders.
Q – If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
KL – Nelly Korda, to experience the day in the life of a professional golfer.
Q – If you could meet and have lunch with anyone in the world (real, fictitious, from any time period, dead or alive) who would you choose?
KL – Nelson Mandela.
Q – Any superstitions?
KL – I have to wear my Callaway cap to play and I have a pink sash tied to my bag.
Q – What is your guilty pleasure?
KL – TV and chocolates.
Q – Words to live by….
KL – Philippians 4 verse 13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Q – If we gave you a free plane ticket anywhere, where would you go and why?
KL – The Seychelles or the Maldives, because I love to snorkel.
Q – I’m not embarrassed to say that ……
KL – I am a perfectionist and I can be annoying sometimes.
Q – What is your favourite quote from a movie or a person?
KL – Finding Nemo: “When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you have to do? Just keep swimming!”
Q – What is still on the bucket list for Kesha Louw?
My biggest goal is to go to the United States, play college golf and study. Then I want to turn professional and eventually I want to be among the top ranked golfers in the world. And I want to do a scuba diving course and dive the Red Sea and the Maldives.