The Ladies European Tour (LET) first came to Kenya in 2019 for the first edition of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open and it was a special tournament for local talent Tatiana.
Through that tournament being held at Vipingo Ridge, she began to play golf and started lessons at Vipingo Ridge.
Tatiana, who is now 17 years old, is from the Vipingo village and her mother runs the local dukka (shop) and has now been practicing at Vipingo Ridge since 2019.
The teenager attended a golf clinic which was held on Saturday 10 February and saw local children get lessons from LET professionals.
Tatiana has been competing in tournaments for the past two years and hopes to be playing in a professional event soon.
“I started playing golf when I was 12 or 13 years old when the first LET event came to Kenya,” she said. “We had a professional golfer come to our school who was called Chris.
“I never did any sport in primary school, so I thought I’d give it a try. When I first held a club I was in love with it. I had a natural swing and after that, I was just into it. I never gave up and Vipingo Ridge took me in then and I started the lessons.
“When I’m in school, I normally come three times a week and during the holiday season I’m here every single day. I come to the gym and I do a lot of stuff here.
“My first competition was the Safaricom Tour which was two years ago, and I came seventh out of 70 kids. There was a local tournament which I won and that’s when I thought this is what we’re talking about, this is why I practice.
“My aim is to be a professional in my early 20s and if the LET is back next year then I would like to play in the tournament since my handicap is now in single figures.”
Before the start of the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open, Tatiana played nine holes with LET professional Thalia Martin.
Thalia was able to give Tatiana a tip on the golf course and answer any questions she had. She said: “It was a privilege that she wanted to join me and watch me play and she’s very talented as well.
“It was good fun playing the nine holes, she was very good at asking questions and very confident which was so nice to see. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came here, but everyone has positive energy and it’s great to see a youngster like her come through the programme here.
“She was struggling with her driver a little bit and there was nothing wrong with her swing, she was just teeing it down too low so just said tee it up a bit higher and it was much better. After that, she was hitting it so far, so it was great to be able to show her and make some adjustments and pass on advice, so they don’t make rookie mistakes.”