• In his Deaflympics debut in 2017 at Samsun in Turkey, Makokha finished fifth. He is ranked five in the world among deaf golfers.
• The Vet Lab Golf Club golfer added: “I have learnt a lot from John because we have played together in some tournaments.”
Kenya’s top Deaf golfer Isaac Makokha is targeting a gold medal at the 24th Summer Deaflympics to be held at Caxias Do Sul in Brazil from May 1 to 15.
Makokha, who plays off handicap 0.8 exuded confidence of clinching gold. He, however, named German Allen John as his main threat.
In his Deaflympics debut in 2017 at Samsun in Turkey, Makokha finished fifth. He is ranked five in the world among deaf golfers.
“In Turkey, I was under pressure and naïve. However, this time am well prepared and ready to go for gold even though Germany's Allen John is a big threat," said Makokha.
"I have gained enough experience and lessons from the various tournaments I have participated in across the world since.”
He is currently based at Muthaiga Golf Club, where the team is training.
The Vet Lab Golf Club golfer added: “I have learnt a lot from John because we have played together in some tournaments.”
Other golfers who will represent Kenya in Brazil are former Muthaiga Golf Club caddies, handicap 7.5 Adan Wario and handicap 2.5 Gilbert Alikula.
Makokha challenged his counterparts to work hard ahead of the global event to be held at Caxias Do Sul Golf Club.
He added that apart from taking part in international tournaments, he is keen to promote the game among the deaf, adding that he is working with the Kenya Golf Union to grow the game among deaf children.
“We are going to target deaf schools across the country. Personally, I started playing golf when I was young,” noted Makokha.
While in Brazil, all golfers will play the first round in the stroke play format from May 7 to 9. The best 16 will qualify for the quarter and semi finals which will be played in a match play format on May 10 and the final a day later.
Alikula and Wario hailed Makokha for mentoring them, saying they are looking forward to a great global event.
“I felt motivated when I first met them. I have been giving them basic lessons even though we did not have enough training sessions. I believe that together we can go somewhere,” said Makokha.
“If we get enough support, we can be at the same level with our hearing counterparts. I hope Allah will grant me a medal in Brazil.”
The team trains under Vincent Wang’ombe — KGU chief executive officer — and Njuguna Ngugi — KGU professional development officer. Wang’ombe backed Makokha to clinch the gold medal.
“He will definitely bring home gold. His experience and exposure will come in handy during the tournament. Aden and Alikula are good golfers but a bit inexperienced. They will be making their debut at a major tournament in Brazil,” said Wang’ombe.