WINDHOEK – Gone are the days when the white man will hit the ball and the black man will go and fetch it; gone are the days when a white man will swing the golf clubs and the darkish hide dude will carry the bag – these days, former caddies are invading what was previously reserved as a sacred pastime for those living above the breadline.
What started off as a recreational activity or rather another manner to supplement his meagre monthly pocket money from his parents, was to pave the way for a young caddy going by the name of Gabriel Shikodi to stake a serious challenge for his more senior golfers.
Born in the coastal town of Swakopmund on the Atlantic Ocean in 1995 during the time when Tiger Woods was making serious inroads into global golf – young Shikodi took a liking to golf at the fairly young age of 13 while caddying for his boyhood buddy Paul Deilenga on the Rossmund golf course near Namibia’s most adored holiday resort, Swakopmund.
Six years later, the young golfing protégé has certainly captured the imagination of many of the game’s enthusiasts including senior golfers on the local circuit through some breathtaking displays belying his tender age.
Boasting a personal best score of 68 gross, the youngster who has represented Namibia at junior tier internationally has since graduated to senior level – courtesy of astonishing triumphs in major tournaments, that includes the Swakop Golf Open and the prestigious Central Golf Open in Windhoek. Both victories were recorded last year.
Shikodi also represented the national senior golf team at the Tri-Nation Golf Challenge, featuring hosts Zimbabwe and Kenya in 2013. He also represented Namibia in the maiden edition of the President’s Cup in Kitwe, Zambia.