Our latest player Q&A is with the talented Sahara – The Weapon – aged 14 from Sydney, Australia.
We spoke to Sahara (and Dad) to learn more about her dreams of representing Australia and why she loves golf!
Tell us about yourself and your interests outside of golf?
My interests outside of golf include running, dance and karate. I have been doing karate and dance since I was 4 years old but sadly had to quit both extracurricular activities to accommodate for my golf and school schedule. I have recently been involved in 100 metre sprinting as it is a newly found talent.
What’s your first golfing memory?
My first golfing memory was when my dad and I were watching a documentary on the 2012 Pinehurst Championships. This inspired me to take up golf as a competitive sport.
Who gave you your nickname – The weapon – and why?
My dad used to call me the weapon because I was such a tiny 9 year old, but despite my age and size, I was able to hit the ball further than any other junior golfer in my squad.
Who is your coach and why do you like them?
My coach is Chris Willard. I like Chris because I’ve known him for a while and he has been so patient and helpful that I have never considered another coach. Chris is very good at explaining things to me thoroughly ,which is great when you have to make big changes in your golf swing. Chris has been a great coach and has been super supportive over the last 5 years I’ve known him and I am so grateful that there are people like him in my life that can help me strive to be where I want to be.
You would like to play for Australia, tell us what this takes and how you will get there?
Well, in my opinion, there is more needed than just practise itself. There is constant, purposeful practise required to gather the confidence to make those aspirations for the future. There is more than just purposeful practice too, there is determination and persistence required as well, to keep the dream alive.
Who is your golfing inspiration/favorite player?
My favorite golfer at the moment is Rory Mcllroy.
Who is your biggest supporter?
My dad. My dad has been my biggest supporter since I was 9 years old. We would set up the floodlights at 9;00pm and practise until I had hit 10 perfect chips within 1 metre of the pin. Although my dad is strict, he has sacrificed so much for me to be where I am today, and that’s what makes him the best dad in the world.
What’s the best shot you’ve ever played?
Definitely my iconic “One foot in and 1 foot out” shot. This shot was played at Campbelltown golf course. My ball was just on the edge of a pond and I had to take 1 shoe off to play it to the green. My shot ended up being within a 2 metre range of the flag. It will forever be one of my favourite shots.
What’s in the bag?
The new Titleist T100’s and a Lab 2.1Putter
What is the best part of your game?
My putter is the most interesting part of my game. It defines where you stand by the end of each hole, that’s what makes it so significant in my game. It may not be the best at times, but when it is, It’s invincible.
What areas are you working hard to develop?
Most of my time at the golf course is dedicated to short game practise. I’m very big on the idea of each chip to be within fractions of the pin. My putting, I normally putt on a ruler, this helps with consistency with each stroke.
You’ve been in over 300 tournaments – what’s the top 3 things you take away from these, win or lose?
1) Golf is a VERY mental game. It requires so much confidence and yet mental serenity to conduct a decent round.
2) Match play can drastically change at any point. Match play challenges your mental strength in strange ways and that’s what determines a win or a loss. I have played many match play tournaments including Encourage shield 2017/2018, Junior Pennants 2019, Eric Apperly 2020 and Major Pennants 2021. From all these tournaments, I have learnt so many things. One time, I was 6 down on 7 holes and ended up winning 1up on the 18th green. Match play has challenged me so much, but over time, I have learnt that you cannot decipher a game’s result in match play too soon, as it can end within your grasp, or drift a million miles from you, in the click of a finger.
3) I have learnt that the best players of all time have been the ones that are able to overcome to extreme stress that golf brings in the occurrence of a mistake. Golf and life are very similar. Both have their internal and external struggles and consequences. That’s what makes it so difficult.
What positive impact does golf have on you as a family?
Golf has become the topic of conversation at the dinner table table each night. Sahara has been able to get into a great school to represent them in golf. Sahara has brought the family together on a deeper level with golf and made her sisters become fans too.
If you could play any course in the world, where would it be?
Mission Hills, China
Who would be your dream Four-ball?
Hideki Matsuyama, Rory Mcllroy, DJ
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us and we wish you luck as you strive to fulfil your golf dreams.
You can follow Sahara on instagram sahara_ruby_golf