Game Changers

The Roger Sali Story, Part 1: Chasing a Dream

By Roger Sali
Published on
Roger Sali (center) shares his love for golf with all ages of Ugandans. (Photo courtesy of PGA TOUR)

Roger Sali (center) shares his love for golf with all ages of Ugandans. (Photo courtesy of PGA TOUR)

Roger Sali, the subject of the PGA TOUR’s YouTube series “Sali’s Story: Growing Golf in the Pearl of Africa,” is sharing his story in golf through a five-part journal entry-style content series on Below is part 1.

My journey to the game of golf in Uganda. How did it start?
Well, believe it or not, there was life before golf.
I was born on February 20, 1996, in the suburbs of Kajjansi along Entebbe Road.  I went to St. Anthony Primary School, then later joined Seeta High School and Kajjansi Progressive Senior School for my O and A Level (pre-university), receiving my Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).
After my UACE, I started selling second-hand clothes and shoes in Kampala with my mom. In the same period, my dad passed on Dec. 5, 2018, which made life extremely hard since we had to find money to help for my other four siblings.
But that’s where my golf journey starts.
Roger Sali. (Photo courtesy of PGA TOUR)
Roger Sali. (Photo courtesy of PGA TOUR)
To cut a long story short, a friend of mine told me about a caddy vacancy at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa and luckily, I applied and went through. In October 2018, I had my training for a period of four months. 
 My turning point was in 2020, when I started loving, playing and taking golf seriously. My friend Nick Schiavi from Chicago — the owner/creator of The Swing Library and @slomoswinglibrary on Instagram — taught me the basics of the game and a number of skills, like how to improve my swing and analyze it, which made the game a lot easier and fun.
Working with Nick helped me grow my passion and believe in the idea that I could introduce golf in schools and communities in Uganda. The more I did it, the more inspired I became. 
That idea has led me to beginning the quest to accomplish my dream goal of becoming a PGA Professional and an expert PGA Coach who is certified by the PGA of America.
Whenever I see PGA Tour players competing on the biggest stages of our sport, I admire them and keep asking myself, “Who could have trained them to be that good at such a hard game?” 
I have always dreamt of being a skilled PGA Coach, helping to create talented through young kids and the Ugandan public at large.
In the United States, high schools have golf as part of their extra curricular offering, and even offer golf in schools programming to younger kids. It allows those children to be exposed to the game earlier because they grow up practicing and playing all the time. 
That is the same thing I want for my country and Africa as a whole because I believe golf is a game that should be played by anyone and anywhere in the world.
One day soon, I want to set up a state-of-the-art golf academy, that’s not just an academy but a school of golf. It’ll be a place where talented kids can then train and play golf, but also learn how to perhaps one day play in PGA TOUR tournaments and compete with the best players in the world.
My biggest dream of all, though? Become an ambassador of golf for the entire globe but, more importantly, be a shining example of what golf can do for you to the youth and golfers of Uganda.