ABUJA/LAGOS (Reuters) – A steady “thwack” rings out at the driving range just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja. A girl clad in pink shoes, pink skirt and pink vest wields a club with a power that belies her slight frame, grimacing at poor shots and smiling happily at others.
Iyene Essien’s golf medals already outnumber her 13 years of age, and she has competed on three continents. She is the top junior player in Nigeria, and now wants to deliver her country’s first gold medal for golf at the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics.
“In this game you compete against yourself and not other players, which is very exciting,” she told Reuters, adding that anything that goes wrong “is still your mistake, you are the one playing so you cannot blame your caddy or anyone for the mistake you made.”
Her journey began when she saw a young white boy playing at the IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja. Her father saw her excitement and quickly arranged to get her on the course. …
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