Teenage golf prodigy, Georgia Oboh has received enormous support from her parents who influenced her decision to embrace golf at a tender age. With her parents accompanying her to various competitions and this has continued to inspire the teenager to aim high. Evelyn Oboh – mother of Georgia said the sport has added more value to their daughter.
Evelyn Oboh – mother of Georgia Oboh, who is the first African to compete in the Ladies Professional Golfers Association of America (LPGA)-organised tournament. Having been part of her daughter’s ups and downs, the mother of three admitted that the sport has indeed imparted positively on their 15-year-old daughter, while urging parents to support their wards’ dreams.
Explaining the rationale behind their decision to introduce their daughter to golf early in life, Evelyn Oboh said: “Golf is a very mental game and once you have learnt the physical side, it takes a fair bit of mental conditioning to get over bad shots quickly. Also being out there for 4-6 hours at a time, drains your mental energy quite a bit, so we crack jokes, talk about other things to switch on and off when required. And the challenge for me as a mother is that you just want to protect your child against failure because sports involve some elements of failure/ disappointment. In order to progress in the game, you have to go through so much mentally and physically and sometimes it is hard to see your child go through some of that stuff. It can be hard but I deal with these things using my faith.
“Georgia’s unique selling point is that even though she has spent most of her life in the western world, she is so African in her thinking and wants to be a role model for African girls. She is very aware of the problems that we face especially in a predominantly white sport like golf. She is a strong young lady with lots of talent but an even greater work ethic to back it up and a God-fearing child. This is what will see her through this sport and she is set to be a legend to the glory of God. Georgia has a great swing, but she is mentally very tough which she credits to her strong faith in God and believes her talent is God given, so this makes her a strong young lady indeed.
With the whole family rallying round Georgia, she added: “God and family have been the most important factors that have kept the dream alive. God has granted us as a family, great health over the years and a lot of financial support had come through family mostly and great close friends whom I also call extended family. Our parents have also been great. Grandpa (Papa) and grandma (Nana) have followed Georgia on so many of her golf tours. They have been fantastic in this process also. Papa caddied for her in the summer of 2014 for two major tournaments also. They are great golfers too and that is where our love for sport started anyway and especially for golf. Her late grandpa always called to ask how she was doing and when I’d say she’s practising, he’d say but why? She’s already a champion!!! (So funny, he loved her playing golf)
On balancing sports with her studies, she said: “I’m still working on that aspect. Balance is a commonly used but overrated word. I’m not sure that there can ever be a balance in these things. One day I’m a great wife and mother and the next day I have to be assistant coach and be critical on the way forward in training, in strategy, planning our trips, nutrition and of course I have two other children so where do I find balance. At the end of the day when all are in bed, I have to prepare for the next tournament, next competition or packing our stuff to check out on the morning of the last tournament. There is a standing joke in our household and my husband says my hands are always in a bag somewhere at any given time. My mother will concur I’m sure but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love the buzz!!!
On what they have invested in oiling Georgia’s dream, she explained, “We have gained so much on this journey of Georgia’s golf. Indeed we have so much to be thankful for. We get to see and play in some great golf courses worldwide and we get to see her mature into a God-fearing and devoted young lady. We have made so many acquaintances along the way, some have become great family friends and we have stayed at their homes. Her golf career has taken us to so many places that I’m sure I would have never gone even on holidays so we are indeed grateful and feel blessed to be doing this.
Continuing she said: “We have been fortunate in the sense that the sport of golf is very enhancing educationally. We have had the opportunity for Georgia to play in front of large crowd to people and sometimes make speeches so it has been more of an education on your feet kind of a thing.
“In the area of her formal education, we have been fortunate in this aspect. When I went to school, we had large libraries and loads of books which you had to physically borrow to study. However, in today’s world there is the internet and all of the online learning which makes learning more challenging and also fun for the kids growing up in today’s world. I love the way that Georgia is able to take her education to any level because the resources are there for her all over the globe online. That being said, we are fortunate that she is gifted with quick learning and a sharp and inquisitive mind so she took her examinations early and has always been a great student and this I credit to God Almighty.
On the idea of her daughter dumping Nigeria for another country, she said: “Georgia was born in the UK to us parents of Nigerian descent so also holds both passports. My husband and I grew up in Nigeria and Georgia had the good fortune to live in Nigeria for two years in her early teens so she grew fond of her people and has chosen to play for Nigeria, I guess because of the love that she was shown when she lived there.”