Sports

Michael Karanga’s rise from dusty Ndumberi village to golf success

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 19:47 | By
Kenyan golfer Michael Karanga during a media interview. PHOTO/Mediamax Digital
Kenyan golfer Michael Karanga during a media interview. PHOTO/Mediamax Digital

For a player who just began his career in the sleepy villages of Ndumberi in Kiambu County, Michael Karanga is one fellow who has become his own man and blossomed while at it.

The 29-year-old amateur golfer based at Kiambu Golf Club has demonstrated to all and sundry not only his abilities but also his journey of resilience and hard work.

Karanga's golf interest

"I started out following my grandfather to the golf course in my early days and then I picked up the passion for the sport. I used to hang around caddies and players who gave me tips on the game and today I can say I have reached where I am because of some of these interactions," the reigning Kenya Amateur Golf Championship Winner & Kenya Stroke play Championship revealed.

Karanga who won 13 events in the local Kenya Amateur Golf Championship series plus the Ghana Open is a player who believes in himself and is going into the Magical Kenya Open tournament with great expectations.

"I know a lot of people want to see if we can replicate the form we had over the season but one thing for sure is we have a high caliber of players and the course outlay will be tricky. I will be calm and not put myself under pressure. I will try as much as possible to play my game and of course, fight to make the cut," the highly ranked player stated.

With sponsorships from gaming giants Betika and energy company KenGen, Karanga finds motivation in his consistent presence on the courses across Kenya in recent months. Believing in the power of regular competitive play, he remains driven to excel in his golfing endeavors.

"Practice has been going on great under my coach Liz Charania at Windsor and so I see no problem at all with adapting to conditions. Muthaiga might prove tricky but we will be ready to attack every hole and go for the lowest score to qualify.

"My past experiences in 2021 and 2022 will fuel me as I will know exactly what to do in whichever situation. I want to do better and with sponsorship funding coming in handy this week, I know I will be settled," Karanga who is ranked in the top 100 in the world added.

The player has learned the value of courage even amid uncertainty. "This can be a brutal sport especially when results are not forthcoming so one has to learn to cope with challenges. For me, I work hard in training and leave it to fate in a tournament or match."

"At times, you are not in control of everything but as long as you give your all, something good will be rewarded. With experience, you learn and grow," the star noted.

Having grown up witnessing animals graze in his native Ndumberi, where he also honed his skills, Karanga experiences a profound sense of nostalgia and déjà vu.

Lessons learned

Despite his journey to success, the familiar sights of his upbringing still evoke strong emotions, reminding him of his humble beginnings and fueling his determination to excel.

"In this life, what I have always learned is humility, patience, and discipline. My grandfather, who later became a pro in his club, taught me these valuable traits and to this date I keep them. I know where my journey starts and at the same time I have a vision of where I want to be," he concluded.

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