After finishing third place during the just-ended East African Challenge Golf Trophy in Bujumbura, Burundi, the Tanzania team still needs to shape up and match the pace of other teams in the region.
The team, which finished runners-up during last year’s tourney in Arusha, has lost much of the prowess and sparkle it was well known for.
Despite changes in the line-up, the team still struggled to match the Kenyans and Ugandans during the three-day tourney.
There is still huge untapped potential among the Tanzanian amateurs and what is required is better planning before investing in the game.
At times our team fails to impress at international championships not because we have a weak team but the merely because of lack of modalities of building a formidable squad.
Besides infrastructure, we need to asses the qualities of coaches we select to train and lead our teams. In the particular case of the Bujumbura debacle, cracks in the team started appearing with the poor selection of members of the technical bench.
We have an abundance of coaches but so far the Tanzania Golf Union has failed to pick the right ones to mould the team.
Though most coaches for the team have previously been selected from the fleet of professionals we have in the country, there are sharp disparities among the professionals themselves.
There are golf professionals who are clearly not good when it comes to the competitive level but who have enough potential to groom amateurs able to excel at regional and other tournaments.
While TGU has been keen to select the team basing on the order of merit series, it has been characteristically weak in the selection of the technical staff, particularly coaches.
The golf body knows who was entrusted to lead the team at the Bujumbura tourney last week, his ability or proficiency with regard to the game.
One can be a good professional and play a highly competitive game but still fail to live up to expectations when it comes to conducting scientific training.
We have a number of players who were in the line-up that won the tournament for the first and last time earlier this year at Arusha Gymkhana Club. Surprisingly, none was appointed to mould the team – and here is one of the cracks showed.
Most members of this winning squad have since joined professional ranks and some of them are fantastic when it comes to amateur tutorials. There is every need to monitor the performance of the coaches as closely as possible.
There is for instance Arusha Gymkhana Club’s Olais Mollel, who coached the team that attained runners-up position in Kenya last year and is still available, but he was curiously budgeted out of consideration.
There was no compelling reason to replace a coach whose performance was impressive as recently as barely a year ago.
Besides Mollel, there are legends such as Salim Mwanyenza, Mbwana Juma, Fadhili Nkya, Stanley Sanga and Adam Mohamed. TGU must cast the net wider when scouting for quality players and competent coaches. It is an obligation.