Zimbabwean golf prodigy Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa has joined Philadelphia-based NCAA Division I University of Drexel from Western Texas College for the last two years of his student athlete career in the United States.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Nyamukondiwa, one of the best emerging golfers in the country, moved to the US last year after he clinched a golf scholarship to study and play at Western Texas College.
And after excelling at Western Texas College, Nyamukondiwa got an opportunity to continue his growth in the sport at Drexel where he signed the contract last week.
“All glory to God. Thank you to Western Texas golf for the opportunity and lessons learned. “Onto the next, Drexel golf I can’t wait for all the opportunities ahead…” said Nyamukondiwa as he took to social media to celebrate the upgrade.
“Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa, a sophomore from Zimbabwe, is signing to continue his student-athlete career at Drexel University. Nyamukondiwa has been a member of the Western Texas College Men’s Golf team for the last two years.
“He was previously a student at the Heritage School before coming to the Westerner golf programme. Drexel University is an NCAA Division I University. The Dragons compete in the Colonial Athletic Association and are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” Western Texas College announced on their golf website last Wednesday.
Nyamukondiwa started playing golf 10 years ago at Wingate Park Golf Club and later moved to join Chapman Golf Club in Harare where he was a member until the time he left for the US.
At the age of 15 he captained Zimbabwe in the Tri-Nations tournament that involved Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which Zimbabwe hosted and subsequently won.
The talented golfer also represented Zimbabwe in the All Africa Golf Championship, which the country hosted in 2017 at Royal Harare Golf Club.
He then represented Zimbabwe in Japan at the Toyota World Golf Junior Championship the same year.
Nyamukondiwa ranked number one junior golfer in the country and second on the Zimbabwe Golfers’ Association (ZGA)’s Order of Merit Standings in 2018.
His father Tawanda Nyamukondiwa was delighted with Tafadzwa’s move to Drexel.
“I am quite happy about the move to Drexel University, but I must say we saw it coming considering the way he excelled at Western Texas,” he said.
“I am very proud of how he has distinguished himself as a very able athlete in his short stay so far. I am also thankful for the exposure the US has given him to advance his game to another level.
“All this was not my individual effort, but through assistance of other people, who are passionate about seeing young people rising and changing society for the better,” Tawanda added.
Nyamukondiwa competed in the US for the first time in his career taking part in the International Global junior tournament, Orlando International Amateur championships as well as the renowned Orange Bowl two years ago.
His performances — where he finished 10th in the International Global, 74th in the Orlando International and tied for 33rd in Orange Bowl — opened scholarship doors for him.
While his father wants him to play golf at the highest level, he respects his son if he chooses academics over the sport.
“As a father, obviously I would want him to play golf at the highest level. But I cannot ignore his desires and how he intends to build his own future. But ultimately I want him to inspire his siblings and more young golfers to emulate or surpass his achievements,” Tawanda said.