Kaiyuree Moodley, just 19, is a force to be reckoned with on the golf course. Now one of South Africa’s rising stars on the green turf, she says it’s just the start.
Often referred to as Kai for short, she says her love of the game evolved from the time her mom brought home a set of plastic Pick n Pay golf clubs. That’s when her unique and inspiring story began, shattering all stereotypes about what a young girl should be interested in.
KAIYUREE MOODLEY: ONE HOLE IN ONE
Moodley, originally from Durban, currently resides in Johannesburg and was born on April 27 – Freedom Day.
“When we moved to Johannesburg, my father took me to a practice center. The coach saw me and told me I have natural talent, so I went there and have loved him ever since, ”she said.
The first event Moodley won was the SA Girls Rosebowl in 2017, the biggest event of the year, Kai said.
“I played at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in 2018, which was by far the biggest achievement of my golfing career. I came second at the Annika Invitational at the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2019 and was invited to play for Team Annika Sorenstam at the Major Champions Invitational in Arizona this year, ”said Moodley.
It’s no secret that golf is a male-dominated sport, so Moodley said she had to work harder to get the same attention.
“Most people will watch men’s golf rather than women’s golf. As golfers, we don’t get the same attention as men. I just had to work harder to get to where I am today, ”she said.
Moodley said we are all equal and rather than dwell too long on the negative aspects of inequality we should use our skills to improve gender equality and pave the way for future generations.
LET THE COURSE BE WITH YOU
Moodley is a class of 2019 graduate of Crawford College Lonehill in Johannesburg and is currently studying both journalism and psychology at the University of South Carolina – an incredible achievement in itself.
While balancing golf and school has proven to be a challenge at times, Moodley said she was eternally grateful for the support system she had.
“My mom helped me master my schoolwork while my dad supported my golf,” she says.
Golf course tee times aside, Moodley enjoys music, public speaking and making people laugh.
“I’ve been playing the piano for a few years, but I’ve come to love the drums – rock drums to be more precise,” she says.
Going forward, Moodley’s goal is to complete his degree and play college golf while doing so. We can’t wait to see which tournaments she tackles next.
THE BEST BY
When asked which women inspired her to go the extra mile, she responded to her mother, Devi Sankaree Govender, who has been a powerhouse in investigative journalism for many years.
“She was the one who brought me into the sport and I am so grateful for the time and effort she has put into making me the woman I am today,” Moodley said.
Moodley said women such as Nicole Garcia, Stacy Bregman and Lee-Anne Pace – South African golfers – also inspired her to keep going and prove to the world that golf in South Africa is of the same impeccable standard.
Moodley’s message to young women who aspire to be tall is to do the things that make you happy.
“I’ve learned over the years that having fun and enjoying what you do makes it much easier to be successful. Don’t let anyone bring you down. Use your voice and express how you feel, ”she says.
“Be focused on the task at hand and if you put the time and effort into it you will be successful,” she added.