Former banker Kasozi keeps eyes on PGA Tour

Tuesday February 12 2019

Top talent: Kasozi is one of Uganda’s foremost

Top talent: Kasozi is one of Uganda’s foremost professional golfers. Photo by Eddie Chicco 

By Darren Allan Kyeyune

When did you start playing golf?
February, 2007.

Who introduced you to golf?
Some friends of mine I used to study with Gerald Abila, Francis Otim and others who no longer play.

Interesting. How did you quickly turn into a scratch golfer? I was scratch in my first year. I don’t remember playing so many handicaps because at that time, the Uganda Golf Club captain then Dr Sam Byagagaire reduced my handicap by observation. In like my third year, I was just silently approached by Dr George Bagambisa to be part of the Uganda team after I had beaten one of the best players in an Inter-region competition but I had no interest. That is when I realized that I was actually good and started taking the game serious.

Things kept happening so fast for you. You won the 2012 Uganda Amateur Open title...
In my second year of playing golf, I started playing the Opens. I always had bad starts in the previous ones. So that year, I opened well with a 2-under and that is when I knew I had a chance then I beat Willy Kitata and Adolf Muhumuza.

How much did winning the 2012 Open change your life? Not much. I just realised that I could do something with my talent.

You turned pro in 2015 but why did it take you a while? Professional golf is not a decision you take because you have won a trophy. You have to prepare yourself properly otherwise you can jump off the truck with no destination. You need to set targets before you say, ‘I want to turn pro’.

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Is this the mentality that has made you one of the best pro players today? Being good has to be looked for and worked for. Don’t forget our setting in the country does not allow talents to be rich. You have to sit down and keep thinking positive because it will change at a certain point. People can call you mad but when you don’t give up, you are on the right path.

How do you prepare for tournaments lately? The first thing is you have to be fit, work on mental strength, practice daily like the way you go to office every day. Work on the muscle memory and pray that the opportunity shows up every day in big tournaments because a person born in Uganda has to invest a lot to play in a PGA or European tour event, trust me.

You were a bank collector before. Did you leave the sector completely? Yes, I did. I have seen how the white folks do it, those boys don’t joke. Professional golf is hard and you do not do it part time. The sunrise has to find you practicing and it sets while you’re practicing to earn the bread.

Today, so many youngsters are turning pro. What is your message to them? I try to pass on the little knowledge I have picked along the way. When someone seeks guidance, I do give it. But my message is that they should learn, read and understand what professional golf means. That is it!

Kasozi fact file

Age: 35
Full-time job: Professional golfer
Best score: 63 gross at Ugana Golf Club
Favourite golf club: Black Mountain Golf
Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand
Favourite ball: Titleist
Favourite golfer: Tiger Woods
Apparel: Titleist
Major Honours: Uganda Amateur Open
(2012), Kinyara Open (2017)

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