Sewsunker "Papwa" Sewgolum (OIS) (1930-1978) was a South African golfer of ethnic Indian origin, who carved a niche for himself in golfing folklore when he became the first golfer of colour to win a provincial open in South Africa. He became a symbol of the sports boycott movement when pictures of him receiving his trophy outdoors in the rain, because, due to apartheid, he was not allowed to enter the clubhouse, were published across the world.
Sewgolum married Suminthra. The pair had five children together.
Sewgolum, a former caddie, with his wrong-way-round grip (left hand beneath his right) caused a stir in 1963 when he beat 103 white golfers including Harold Henning in the provincial Natal Open tournament at the Durban Country Club. In 1965 he beat Gary Player to win the title for the second time. He also won the Dutch Open in 1959, 1960 and 1964, and the Cock of the North tournament in Zambia in 1964. He was the winner of a number of non-white golfing championships in South Africa.
Honours and awards
- Sewgolum received a posthumous achievement award from President Thabo Mbeki in 2003.
- Durban has named a golf course named after him. The Papwa Sewgolum Municipal Golf Course is an 18-hole flat woodland course situated in the suburb of Reservoir Hills. The 13th hole of the golf course is being moved to allow creation of an Ashes Disposal Centre.