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Gweru pro golfer Gumisa aims high

Gumisa, who is sponsored by Glow Petroleum where he is the brand ambassador, has stepped preparations for the  Zimbabwe Open and is also set to compete in Ivory Coast, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, Zambia and Kenya during the course of the year.

GWERU-BASED professional golfer Liberty Gumisa is looking to build on what he feels was a good 2023 season as he targets more wins on tour this year.

It has already been a promising season for Gumisa who played some good golf in two of the big tournaments on the local scene finishing tied for ninth at the Lowveld ProAm and 17th in the NAC HIV and Cancer Drive ProAM.

Gumisa, who is sponsored by Glow Petroleum where he is the brand ambassador, has stepped preparations for the  Zimbabwe Open and is also set to compete in Ivory Coast, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, Zambia and Kenya during the course of the year.

While he has made the cut more often in recent years, Gumisa has sights on winning tournaments and earning a Sunshine Tour card.

“The year 2024 started slowly. I was playing in Kenya at a Safari Tour event to qualify for the Kenya Open. After Kenya I came back to Zimbabwe and played the Lowveld ProAm tournament. I finished tied ninth 2 – under par over 54 holes after that I played NAC at Royal Harare and finished 17th on 1 over. So far it’s a good start. I am happy and it's going well. I am hitting the ball well,” he said.

“I feel it’s going to be one of my best years since I turned pro and I feel confident. This year my target is to play Zim Open and try to make a cut or finish on top. I want to try to make a cut in all the tournaments which I am going to play.

“I want to go up the ladder in Zimbabwe. I want to push to get a Sunshine Tour card next year. "On Safari Tour I want to push to play in the Kenya Open and I also want more wins on Tour and I want to have more wins in West Africa and East Africa this time around,” Gumisa said of his targets this year.

After missing out on a trip to Gabon for a tournament, which concludes today Gumisa is going to play at the Universal tournament in Harare in April while he will be looking to travel to play in the Abidjan Open at the end of the month in preparation for the country’s flagship competition, Zimbabwe Open.

The Zimbabwe Open will run from May 5 to 12 at Royal Harare.

“There is Abidjan, Ivory Coast next month, which I wish to play. It will be good preparation to play Universal in Harare then go straight to Abidjan Open, after Abidjan play Zim Open, so that’s my wish,” he revealed.

Gumisa, who is in his seventh year as a professional was full of praise for his sponsors Glow Petroleum, who have stuck with him since 2019

“My sponsor is Glow Petroleum. They have done wonders in my life and I couldn’t ask for more. They have been with me since 2019 until today and they have helped me to play almost all the tournaments," he said.

“They have supported me financially and mentally and when I was down they were always there for me and when I played well they were there, always wishing me to get better. I feel like I will go further with them.”

The Gokwe-born golfer reflected on the challenges of being based outside Harare as a professional golfer.

“Being outside Harare is a bit of a challenge because the conditions of the golf courses in small towns and cities are not that good. It has even affected me when I went to other countries.

“That I am the only pro at Gweru Golf Club is also challenging because most of the times I am playing amateurs and most of the time there is no one to see my mistakes and help me correct them unlike if I was in Harare competing everyday with other professionals, but I like it because it has made me strong. I love Gweru, I love a small city and they have done a lot for me in my career at Gweru Golf Club,” he said.

Having grown up in rural Gokwe, Gumisa never knew he would grow up to become a golfer largely because he did not even know such a sport existed.

But he was lucky that his mother worked in a canteen at Gweru Golf Club which exposed him to the sport.

His inspiring story saw him rise from being a caddy to a professional golfer who has travelled across the whole continent.

“I grew up in the rural areas and I never dreamt about playing golf but my mum worked at Gweru Golf Club where she ran a kitchen so it’s because of her that I managed to know about golf. I started as a caddy in Kwekwe and then I came to Gweru.

“I thank God because in Gweru I managed to meet the late professor Ngwabi Bhebhe, the former vice-chancellor at Midlands State University. He gave me a chance at the university to start a golf team and teach golf there in 2012.

“In 2015 I said let me take it as a career and so Professor Bhebhe and his team managed to support me. I turned pro in 2017 after I won three tournaments, the Kwekwe Open, Bata Power and Simon Muzenda tournaments in Masvingo. MSU supported me and became my sponsor from 2017 to 2019 before I had the priviledge to meet Glow Petroleum,” Gumisa reflected.

Gumisa speaks about his ultimate dream as a golfer as well as his love to give back to the community.

“My ultimate dream as a golfer is to be a top professional, to lead by example, to motivate and inspire most of the upcoming golfers in this country. It’s my wish to be the example that even from any background you can make it in life," he added.

“My target is also to be great and coach many people and give a livelihood to young people. I want to help many youngsters and take them out of the street as well as from the drugs scourge. For me to be where I am there are many people who had to sacrifice. I also want to be a good brand ambassador for Glow Petroleum and help the brand grow.

“Already I do a lot of golf development in Gweru and the Midlands. I coach and I am the one in charge of juniors in the Midlands. I also work with St Daniels which deals with children living with disability in this case autism and it has been a good experience.

“I have leant a lot working with them since 2017. l managed to help some kids qualify for the Special Olympics in Germany last year and they brought a silver medal. It has made me believe that golf is for everyone, even those living with disabilities. That is the kind of work that I want to be remembered for.”

Gumisa is married to Beatrice and the couple has three children.

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