Gearing up for the big time

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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READY TO TEE OFF: Niko Caffarelli at Fagalii yesterday.

READY TO TEE OFF: Niko Caffarelli at Fagalii yesterday.

Today is game day for all the professional and amateur golfers who are competing in the Samoa Open Tournament this year. 

And among the competitor is Niko Caffarelli, who is competing for the second time.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Mr. Caffarelli said this tournament is very important to expose Samoa internationally.

“This tournament is very important for Samoa, as it brings a lot of foreign visitors, so it’s a very good promotion for Samoa,” he said.

Moreover, Mr. Caffarelli said the tournament provides a learning opportunity for our local golfers. 

“Secondly, it’s a good opportunity for our amateurs and our young players to learn from Professional golfers and to put some more motivation into the game. 

“Most of the people are attending this tournament are senior golfers and so we’ve got a lot of talents here that we can learn from. So it’s an opportunity for the locals to understand the roots and adequate of golf and also to enjoy the game of golf in general.”

Said Mr. Caffarelli, golf to him personally is a part of his life. 

“Mentally it is very important, because you spend a whole day out in the open with your friends and it gives you another view of the world, and enjoys nature. 

“It helps build up your character,” he added. 

“But I guess professionally, it might be a bit too late now to try and get into the professional levels, but pleasure and time wise, I think it’s a very good part of your life.”

Mr. Caffarelli understands that golf is a not a popular game in Samoa like rugby and netball. However, he believes that more awareness will encourage more people to be involved with the game. 

“I think a good way to promote the game is to start from juniors program,” he said. 

“There are a few people who have initialized that this year and that has been a very successful step to try and promote the game in Samoa. 

“But I think that if we want to take it to another level, then we should have it as one of the sports for inter-school competition. So that our kids in schools will slowly become involve with golf.”

Mr. Caffarelli is not entering the competition to win, like most competitors. To him, he is looking forward to meeting more new people and professionals and enjoys the tournament.  

“If I win, that’s an extra bonus,” he said. “But I am really looking forward to meeting people, making good friends and enjoying. Sometimes it is really good to step out of the office and have a good time with your friends and play golf.”

Mr. Caffarelli told the Samoa Observer that he has been playing golf for five years now. 

“I started playing golf from the time I spent with my friends who love the game. And it got me hooked up in the game, and I am enjoying it very much.”

Mr. Caffarelli said the reason he loves golf is that you expect something different every day.

“It’s very challenging,” he said. “Some days you might have a lot of wind, some days it might rain, sunny and some days you might have to play with a good group of friends and some days you play with some not so good group of friends.

So it’s different every time. But it challenges you to play well no matter what and encourages you to stay focus.”


© Samoa Observer 2016

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