“It’s a good life experience,” said Jastice Mashego. “But I was getting homesick.” In July last year, we reported on the home-grown pro-golfer who would be taking up a position as golf coach at Club Med Bintan Island.
We caught up with Mashego while he was on a quick trip back to South Africa to take part in the Sunshine Tour qualifying school in order to keep his pro-golfer card, and also to visit his family and home town, Pilgrim’s Rest. Initially, he had planned to break his contract early but the Club Med resort’s general manager begged him to come back.
“Scared,” was Mashego’s first reaction when asked last year how he feels about his adventure – and the feeling was visible. A completely different young man has emerged – confident, world-wise and outspoken, with a clear idea of what wants for his future. Mashego has even devised a dance called the Sunshine Dance which all the guests learn and have spread across the world.
Those providing activities for guests at the Club Med resorts are known as GO’s – Gentle Organisers. Mashego explained that they all have two jobs – a day job, in his case as a golf coach – and a night job where they have to entertain the guests. They put on regular concerts and Mashego takes part in the music hits show every Sunday night.
During lunch and dinner, the GO’s have to join guests at their tables. “I get the same question all the time – Where are you from?” explained Mashego. While most people have heard of Johannesburg, Durban and the Kruger Park he has to explain where Pilgrim’s Rest is and goes on to describe the beautiful mountains and sunsets of Mpumalanga. A true ambassador for our province, with many of the friends he has made already having promised to visit once he’s back in South Africa.
Mashego’s existing contract expires at the end of April after which he plans to extend his stay for another six months. There is also a chance that he will be taking over the position of golf supervisor as the current incumbent is moving on. Thereafter Mashego will probably take up a contract at another Club Med – he has already had offers from Phuket and France. He explained, however, that although he has a lot of fun this was a lifestyle for only a year or two. Then he wants to get back into competitive golf which he misses a lot.