Alyssa Jamal: swinging her way toward success | Aga Khan Academies

Alyssa Jamal: swinging her way toward success

From the age of 3 Alyssa Jamal has played golf – a sport she holds close to her heart. Due to her continuous passion and determination for the sport, Alyssa, a Year 9 student at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa, has become a golf aficionado, competing in more than 200 games over the past four years.  

“I started playing golf because of my dad, Aly Jamal, who is also a golfer,” Alyssa said. “As a child I used to accompany my dad and hit balls on the practice range whenever he would go play. That's when he realised that I was good at golf and that’s when I started getting lessons to learn how to play golf from the pros at the Nyali Golf Club.” 

Since Alyssa received her handicap in 2015, which is a numerical measure of a golfer’s potential with better players having lower handicaps, she has competed in numerous national and international competitions. Some noteworthy competitions include the U.S. Kids Golf International Competition, the 72 Holes Junior Stroke play Championship, Royal and many more.  

“I love the game of golf,” Alyssa said. “It has taught me so many things, for example, etiquette, patience, focus and, most importantly, it has helped me in my social skills. I am passionate about the sport because it also helps me unwind from my busy school schedule.” 

Alyssa said golf provides her with many opportunities to connect with different players, form closer bonds with her family and boosts her determination to always succeed. 

“I’ve met European Tour professionals when competing and when I go for international and national tournaments I meet new people, which has led me to make so many friends,” Alyssa said. “Also, my dad and brother are golfers as well so whenever we travel, we play golf as a family, which is so much fun and it’s a great way of bonding. I have also won so many tournaments and won so many amazing prizes, which is also a great source of motivation for me to prove myself over and over and try to win competitions.” 

Although she has been playing for many years, Alyssa said she still finds herself as the only girl competing in golf for her age. 

“Unfortunately, I’m the only junior girl golfer in the coast,” Alyssa said. “Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t have any girl friends to compete with that are my age. However, there are boy juniors my age that I compete with and they are my good friends. I also know junior golfers from Nairobi, Arusha, Nakuru, South Africa, Scotland and Uganda whom I meet at least once a year when there are national or international competitions, and I keep in touch with them through social media. In Mombasa at the Nyali Golf Club, I play golf with both males and females who are sometimes twice or thrice my age, but they all love and take care of me and they are always happy to play with me. At Nyali Golf Club we are all like a big golfing family and I look forward to going there every single Saturday.” 

No matter her age or her busy schedule, Alyssa said golf will always be a part of her life.  

“Golf is a sport I will never give up on, even when I get old,” Alyssa said. “You will always find me on the golf course.”