In a remarkable tale of triumph over adversity, a young African female golfer, Julienne Afi Amezado, hailing from the impoverished Kissehman community has recently made waves in the golfing world.

At just 14 years old, she was invited to compete in the prestigious Mack Champ invitational tournament in Houston from April 13-15, 2023, at the Club at Carlton Woods, the home of the LPGA Chevron Championship, a remarkable feat considering her humble beginnings.

Her journey from the slums to the grand stage of international golf serves as a testament to her talent, dedication, and the transformative power of sport.

The Mack Champ Invitational tournament offers an opportunity for talented golfers to showcase their skills, equally important is giving competitors the rare chance to develop life-long relationships with junior golfers from similar backgrounds and identify college scholarship candidates, increase minority participation in the game, and build a community that will help young women and men go on to amateur, collegiate, and professional golf careers and, or pursue jobs in the golf industry.

From the Kissehman Community to the Greens

At the age of 11, the young golfer discovered her passion for the sport. Introduced to golf through the Fafali Organization's Golf & Goal Program which began during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic, she quickly realized her innate talent and found solace on the greens.

Despite the challenges posed by her background, she persisted with unwavering determination, honing her skills and relentlessly pursuing her dreams.

Dominating Young Female Golf Championships

Her hard work paid off as she began to dominate young female golf championships in Ghana. Her exceptional performance and unchanged focus caught the attention of the golfing community, earning her the coveted prize of membership into the prestigious Achimota Golf Club.

The recognition further fueled her drive to succeed, and she continued to surpass expectations with every tournament she played. She has featured in and won numerous competitions including the Ghana Open Golf Championship 2022, Ladies Closest to the Pin in the Cal Bank Open Championship 2022, CBG Challenge Cup 2023, and the Accra Open Championship, among others.

Invitation to the Mack Champ tournament:

Before the invitation to the Mack Champ Invitational, Afi was invited to the Junior World Open Championship in Scotland by the R & A in July 2022, but a delay in visa acquisition squashed that dream. The Mack Champ Invitational tournament, run by the foundation of the renowned golfer and philanthropist Cameron Champ, is a highly prestigious event that showcases young golfing talent from around the world.

Afi's exceptional skills and remarkable journey caught the attention of the tournament organizers, earning her an invitation to compete among the best young golfers on the international stage.
Speaking with Afi to understand what it meant to her to be selected as a participant in the 2023 edition of the Mack Champ Invitational tournament, she mentioned that she was very excited.

“After last year’s disappointment of not participating in Scotland (Junior World Open Championship 2022) due to a delay in getting a visa, I was very excited to be given another opportunity to play on an international stage,” Afi said.

She also added, “I will be a liar if I said I wasn’t scared of another disappointment, but with God being so good and the efforts of the team at Fafali Organization and the Achimota Golf Club, I was able to get every needed for the tournament in Houston.”

Shining on the international stage:
Against the backdrop of Houston's lush greens, she showcased her exceptional golfing prowess at the Mack Champ Invitational Tournament. Her natural talent, combined with the tenacity and discipline she had cultivated over the years, enabled her to leave an indelible mark on the tournament.

Not only did she compete with grace and composure, but she also earned the respect and admiration of fellow competitors and spectators alike. As such, the Co-Founder and CEO of the Cameron Champ Foundation, Jeff Champ was in Ghana in May to visit and be able to tell the story of Julienne Afi Amezado better.

He also visited the Fafali Organization’s Golf & Goal project to come up with measures to sustain the project and be able to produce exceptional golfers who will compete on the biggest stage. She has been featured on Golf Digest where she shared her story and inspiring journey.

In her interview on Golf Digest, she shares that, “the Mack Champ Invitational Tournament is a big stage for her to display her talents, and is very excited about the opportunity to be in America for the first time.”

Afi also touched on the experience of playing outside Ghana for the first time and the valuable lessons she learnt.

“Things are very different in the US than in Ghana, from the buildings to the lifestyle of the people to even the golf course. There was a difference in the rules for playing in the tournament as compared to Ghana and I hope to carry along this experience to help improve my game” Afi shared. About the valuable lessons learnt, she said “hardwork and determination.”

Jeff Champ, co-founder & CEO of the Cameron Champ Foundation acknowledged that she has the attitude to propel her to higher heights.

“She is as happy as anyone can be, with her golf clubs as old as 20+ years and the balls missing dimples, and just so excited to be here. I have been told that you cannot stop her, she is going to be great, no matter what happens in her life and I just want to be part of that and help her out,”
Afi received a new golf bag consisting of clubs sponsored by Ping, and a new set of golf balls to be used in subsequent competitions.

A Beacon of Hope and Inspiration

She was welcomed by her family and the Fafali team at the airport upon her arrival on Thursday, 20 April 2023. Afi's journey from the slums of the Kissehman Community to the global stage of the Mack Champ Invitational Tournament is nothing short of inspiring. Her success story serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes, particularly young girls, facing challenging circumstances.

Children in the Anumle Electoral Area now have someone they can relate to and to this effect, there has been an influx of children and parents at the Fafali Organization’s office, queuing to register their children in the Golf & Goal program. Through her accomplishments, she has demonstrated that with passion, perseverance, and access to opportunities, one can rise above adversity and achieve greatness.

Afi’s parents and her best friend in school, Gladys, all shared their excitement upon her return from the competetion in the US.

“We are very proud of Afi for making us proud as parents and we wish her nothing but the best. We will also like to say a big thank you to Raymond (Amezado) and the team at Fafali for making this dream come true” Afi’s parents shared.

Gladys Doe, Afi’s best friend also mentioned that “I am very excited to see Afi take this next step in her career as a golfer and it makes me happy to know that someday, I can stand somewhere and point to Afi and say I have a professional golfer friend who is excelling on the international level.”

The rise of Julienne Afi Amezado, from the Kissehman Community to the Mack Champ Invitational Tournament is a testament to the transformative power of sport. Her remarkable journey, starting at the age of 11 and culminating in an international golfing event, showcases her talent, determination, and undying spirit.

As she continues to shine on the greens, her story will undoubtedly inspire others, reminding us that no dream is too big to be pursued and achieved.

Afi featured in the Egyptian Ladies Amateur Open (Nefertiti Cup 2023) in Egypt in June and the hope is for her to even achieve higher heights than before.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.