When legendary golfer Sally Little stepped off the competitive greens for the final time in 2004, she stepped onto a path to paying it forward. “The game has given me so much, so I knew I wanted to give back. This is one of the greatest gifts that most people who don’t play don’t understand: most golfers are great givers.”
Upon returning to South Africa, the Speaker of Republic of South Africa Parliament, Baleka Mbete, stood up and introduced Sally to the House. Her words really touched Sally: ‘This here woman Sally was my idol when I was a young woman and I wanted to meet her for what she has achieved worldwide and now she has come back to help us. What a celebration for her to come back to help us!’ This moment was pivotal for Sally in actively pursuing a programme to give back.
The Little Golf programme became an ideal medium through which children and young people could develop personal skills such as honesty, respect, co-operation, perseverance, concentration and self-motivation, all of which will help them throughout their life.
One such inititative was the SNAG (Starting New At Golf) programme that teaches people, including children as young as three, how to play. The reaon why Sally fell in love with the concept, she explains, was the fact that it is set up in a way that it grabs children’s attention yet still contains all the elements of golf but in a modified form, making it an easy and fun way to learn.” The system builds on strong fundamentals of putting, chipping, pitching and full swing to develop playing ability quickly and effectively.
It has always been part of Sally Little’s vision that the improvement of golf amongst women and communities that were previously disadvantaged in South Africa, should transcend the glitz and glam. Sally has consistently held the position that it would require better opportunities, better and more innovative coaching as well as the proper facilities and competitive events to make all this possible. “Our kids need to see the talent that is out there, especially the young girls” Little insisted.
The fact is that there are many more players with infinite years of wisdom and skill who just need to be willing to step up and share their experience. “Most golfers want to give their time to help youngsters” explains Sally, “every Wednesday they have a pro-am for charity. Professional golf overall donates millions to charities. Golf has a history of giving and is instilled early on in your career.” By partnering with a professional platform such as UniMedia Pro, golf legends such as Sally Little are able to play and pay it forward to future generations. Let’s encourage all the golfers to “follow through” and be the “givers” on the greens.
Written by Mikaela Oosthuizen