This November, we shine the spotlight on one of GolfRSA’s rising stars Tebogo Lefifi.
Having joined the South African Golf Development Board programme as an eight-year-old, the Lyndhurst junior rose through the ranks under the watchful eye of Gauteng regional manager Andy Ostle.
“Tebobo caught the eye of the executive at Ladies Golf Gauteng and they put Tebogo forward as one of their most promising juniors,” said Womens Golf South Africa President Sally Greasley.
“WGSA and Nomads South Africa jointly sponsored eight girls, including Tebogo, to compete in the 2018 Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl Championship, where she impressed us so much with her performance that we selected her our Talent Identification Squad. In the last 12 months, she has impressed our coaches with her work ethic, commitment and determination.
“Her performance earned her selection to the WGSA Invitational Team that competed in – and won – the B-Division at the 2019 South African Women’s Inter-Provincial. We look forward to giving Tebogo many more opportunities to gain experience to keep improving her game.”
FULL NAMES: Tebogo Jane Lefifi
KNOWN AS: Tebogo
BORN: Johannesburg in 2004
RESIDENCE: Lyndhurst, Johannesburg
SCHOOL: Waverley Girls High School
CLUB ATTACHMENT: Wanderers Golf Club
HANDICAP INDEX: 2.1
RECENT CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Winning the B-Section at the 2019 SA Women’s Inter-Provincial
Being selected for the WGSA Talent Identification Squad in 2018
Winner B-Division Best Nett in the 2017 Nomads SA Girls B Division
Golf Girl of the Year at Lyndhurst Primary in 2017
Golden Certificates for Afrikaans and Life Orientation in 2017
I am quite a shy person.
I am caring and loving.
I am a strong person with a positive mind-set.
I love to read, watch movies and listen to music in my off-time.
My two best subjects at school are Afrikaans and Economic Management Science.
My favourite food is Hake and Salad.
My favourite movies are Unstoppable, Happy Gilmore and the Karate Kid movies.
My TID Squad nickname is Striker because I used to play soccer.
I love RNB and Hip Pop, and my favourite artists are Nasty C and A-Reece.
My favourite actors are Chris Pine and Dwayne Johnson.
The motto I live by is to never quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.
My favourite golfer to watch is Nobuhle Dlamini, because she never gives up.
I love watching the US Open to see how the golfers experience it.
Besides golf, I also love playing and watching netball, water polo, tennis and cricket.
The major I would love to win is the US Ladies Open. Not only will you have a great story to tell, but you would take a positive, confident mind-set into the rest of the season.
The weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten was Sushi at Ocean Basket in 2018.
STILL ON THE BUCKET LIST
I would like to travel in China and I’d love to take my whole family on a holiday to Mauritius.
Q – Are you the sort of golfer who sets yearly goals? If so, what goals did you set for yourself to achieve in 2019 and beyond?
TL – Yes. My goal for 2019 and beyond is to become more tough-minded under pressure, to improve my course management, to form a game plan for every course and get more consistent with specific putts.
Q – How tough is the transition from the Junior ranks to the Open Amateur circuit? What are the most difficult obstacles to overcome?
TL – It is very tough and very different to the junior circuit. There are a lot of new faces and a whole lot more pressure.
Q – You were part of the winning WGSA Invitational Team at the SA Women’s IPT. Did you enjoy the experience and did it impact positively on your game?
TL – Yes, it was a great experience. I had to set up a game plan for myself and try to stick to it to win my foursomes and singles for my team. I had one loss, one draw and the rest were all wins, so I really proud of my performance, because it was the first time I played in the SA Inter-Provincial.
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.
TL – My strengths are putting and chipping, which always saves me, but I still need to improve my long game; I need to gain more accuracy with my longer irons.
Q – Where and when did learn to play golf?
TL – I was playing netball and soccer at Lyndhurst Primary in grade 3, but there were so many kids that it always felt very crowded. My friend’s brother was playing golf and she explained the game to me, so I convinced her that we should also try play golf. It turned out that her brother was a member of the South African Golf Development Board programme (SAGDB). So I joined the SAGDB and that’s where my journey with golf started. My first coach was Tshepo Mokoena, who taught me the basics of golf. I started working with Costanza Trussoni when I was selected for the WGSA TID squad and I’m really enjoying the new technology she uses. I also love the squad camps, because we learn so much, especially about the mental side of the game.
Q – If you had to pick up one animal to describe you, what would it be and why?
TL – A lion, because it doesn’t stop hunting until it finds food. It never gives up.
Q – What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
TL – You will never be successful if you don’t experience failure.
Q – Is there anything you absolutely cannot live without?
TL – My “learning glasses” because wherever you go you learn new things.
Q – Tell us about something you hate doing and why?
TL – Sitting around and doing nothing.
Q – As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
TL – A sports scientist.
Q – What’s your go-to club in your bag and why?
TL – Definitely my putter.
Q – Describe yourself in one word.
TL – Positive.
Q – What movie can you watch again and again and why?
TL – Swing Away. It’s a movie about a female pro who gets suspended for bad behaviour. She goes to visit her grandparent on a Greek island and meets a young girl that she starts to coach. I love this movie because of the way it impacted and changed a lot of people’s lives.
Q – Who are your role models and why?
TL – Nobuhle Dlamini, Rory McIlroy, Jessica Korda and Tiger Woods, because they never stop fighting.
Q – Tell us three things you consider yourself to be really good at
TL – Helping people, running and speaking Afrikaans.
Q – If you got stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have and why?
TL – A children’s home for golf and other sports so more girls can learn and start to play sports. Lots of sport equipment and a big screen TV for watching movies.
Q – If golf wasn’t an option, what profession would pursue and why?
TL – I would probably choose a career in cricket or tennis, because they are both sports I love and they are just as interesting as golf.
Q – If they made a movie about your life, which actress would you pick to play you and why?
TL – Jada Pinkett Smith, because she is a great actress who likes to play interesting people. Plus she and her husband Will Smith do a lot to change people’s lives.
Q – What are your biggest fears?
TL – Heights.
Q – What advice would you give youngsters just starting in the game?
TL – Life is not about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself.