Woman of the week: Kaiyuree Moodley, an un-fore-gettable force by far

South African golfer, Kaiyuree Moodley, 19, is pushing boundaries as par as the eye can see. Who says girls can’t kick putt?

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Kaiyuree Moodley, at just 19-years-old, 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 this is only the beginning.  

Often called Kai for short, she says her love of the game evolved from the moment her mother brought home a plastic set of Golf clubs from Pick n Pay. It was then that her unique and inspiring story began, breaking down all stereotypes of what a young girl should be interested in. 

KAIYUREE MOODLEY: A HOLE IN ONE 

Moodley, who’s originally from Durban, currently resides in Johannesburg and was born on 27 April — Freedom Day. 

“When we relocated to Johannesburg, my dad took me to a practice facility. The coach had seen me and told me that I had a natural talent, so I went for it and I have loved it ever since,” she said. 

The first event that 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 in my golf career. I came runner up 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. 

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Image via: GolfRSA

It’s no secret that Golf is a male-dominated sport and 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 female golfers, we don’t get the same attention as the guy’s do. I just had to work harder to get to where I am today,” she said. 

Moodley said we are all equal and rather than lingering too long on the negatives of inequality, we should use our skill sets to improve gender equality and pave the way forward for future generations.

MAY THE COURSE BE WITH YOU 

Moodley matriculated in the class of 2019 from Crawford College Lonehill in Johannesburg and is currently studying both Journalism and Psychology at the University of South Carolina — an amazing achievement in and of itself. 

Although balancing Golf and school proved to be a challenge sometimes, Moodley said she’s eternally grateful for the support system she has. 

“My mom helped me get on top of my school work while my dad supported my golf,” she said. 

Apart from the tee-riffic times on the Golf course, Moodley loves music, public speaking and making people laugh. 

“I’ve played the piano for a few years but ended up loving the drums — rock drums to be specific,” she said. 

Going forward, Moodley has her sights set on finishing her degree and playing college Golf while doing so. We can’t wait to see which tournaments she’ll tackle next. 

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 14: Kaiyuree Moodley (a) of South Africa during day 3 of the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club – SLT on March 14, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Sunshine Ladies Tour/Gallo Images)

THE BEST BY PAR 

When asked which women inspired her to go the extra mile, she said her mother, Devi Sankaree Govender, who has been a powerhouse in investigative journalism for many years.  

“She was the one who got me into the sport and I’m so grateful for the time and effort she has given to make me the woman I am today,” said Moodley. 

Moodley said women such as Nicole Garcia, Stacy Bregman and Lee-Anne Pace — female South African golfers — also inspired her to keep going and to prove to the world that Golf in South Africa is of the same impeccable standard.  

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 14: Jacky Mercer Trophy Winner for Leading Amateur Kaiyuree Moodley during day 3 of the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club – SLT on March 14, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Sunshine Ladies Tour/Gallo Images)

Moodley’s message to young women who aspire to be great is to do the things that make you happy. 

“I’ve learnt over the years that by having fun and enjoying what you do, being able to succeed becomes much easier. Don’t let anyone bring you down. Use your voice and express how you feel,” she said. 

“Be focused on the task at hand and if you put in the time and effort, you will succeed,” she added. 

Looking to track Kaiyuree’s journey? You can follow her on these social media pages; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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