There is a young golfer striding faraway fairways shooting pars and birdies and making his mark under the standard of Zimbabwe but with ‘Made in Scotland’ stamped all over his remarkable rise to prominence.

Trust Makanidzani - even his name could sound Scottish if you try hard enough - lives a traditional village life in eastern Zimbabwe close to the Mozambique border and he is soaring up the sport’s leaderboard thanks to equipment sent from Perthshire, coaching set up by the R&A and funded by Scottish benefactors and a helping hand from world football’s hottest property, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland.

The 17-year-old golfer's tale is all the more remarkable given that he nearly perished during devastation wreaked by Cyclone Idai two years ago. Trust’s hillside hut was swept away by the storm-tossed river and, while he suffered serious injury which resulted in two lengthy spells in hospital, many villagers died.

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But first an explanation is required to connect sporting exploits in this hilly part of Zimbabwe with strawberry tea fund-raisers in rural Scotland. It’s all down to cousins Jane High, based in Chinaminani, and Frances Fleming from Alyth, Perthshire.

Frances explains: "We run a programme of sport and conservation for the youth of the village - many of them HIV orphans.

"They love football and I have sent out many strips, boots and balls through the funding association I run called Peza Trust (Scotland). I raise the money and Jane uses it to fund educational and sporting activities.

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"The youngsters love football especially but Trust has switched his passion to the Royal & Ancient game. When I first met him, he was a shy, skinny youngster with no self-confidence. At that time he was lodging with a local shepherd whose hut was in the middle of the golf course that adjoins the village and whose sheep grazed the fairways."

Trust made a few cents caddying in his spare time and that ignited his passion for the game. "Trust showed promise," said Frances. "We began to get him coaching and he was on his way. Then came Cyclone Idai in March 2019 which claimed many lives in the region. When the cyclone struck Trust was living in a mountainside hut which, with him inside, was swept hundreds of feet down the mountainside onto a road.

"Trust suffered serious injuries to his head and legs and Jane was told he might not survive. But when he regained consciousness his first words to her were: 'I’ve lost my golf clubs'."

The clubs had been donated by Strathmore Golf Centre, near Alyth, and a replacement set was later provided by a Zimbabwean businessman now living in England.

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Trust made a good recovery and returned to golf - practising for hours every day and monitoring other youngsters showing an interest. He embraced competitive golf and learned so much - his confidence growing all the time. Then came another huge setback when an infection on his original head injury again threatened his life but Peza financed his medical treatment for a second time and he has now fully recovered.

The Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association had identified Trust as a player with huge promise and he qualified to represent his country in the All Africa Challenge, which, before it fell victim to the pandemic, was due to be held in Egypt in March. Undaunted, Trust has already this year won the Hillside Club championship in Mutare, the nearest city to his home, so he continues to progress.

Zimbabwe National coach Cath Riley was approached by the R&A to contact Jane and check out her group of young golfers. Trust stood out and Cath said: "He has had one-on-one coaching and continues to show commitment and potential. Trust is most fortunate to have been given his opportunity through help from the global golfing community."

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Frances agrees with that assessment. She said: "It’s been such a pleasure seeing this young boy getting an opportunity to show his talent and run with it. We are so proud of him and he deserves to reach his potential. He is extremely popular amongst his peers and has become something of a local celebrity."

Trust said: "I first became interested in golf when I was playing football for the Tiny Stars at Matsetso. Some senior players had fashioned golf clubs from branches and when the opportunity arose I was keen to try it for real.

"I was already doing some caddying and quickly developed a liking for the game.’ Laughing, he added: ‘You just hit and walk, hit and walk and I loved that - not like the pressure in football, running all the time.

"My putting and chipping has improved so much - my line is now perfect but I am still mastering my short game while trying to keep the basics right for my long game. My target is to be the best I can be and turn professional."

Trust is aware of Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf. "I have some golf magazines and it looks like Scotland and golf are one thing. I want to play the Old Course at St Andrews one day - I have been told the wind often comes off the sea and freezes your hands. If that is the case I’ll just put gloves on and keep my hands in my pockets!

"I would like to thank all Peza supporters for everything they have done for us. I want to tell them they make me happy and without them I cannot achieve anything."

Zimbabwean Jane, who completed her education in Scotland at Blairgowrie High School, said: "As a PE teacher and coach, I have been particularly thrilled to see that, without prompting, Trust works on his game day in and day out. His mum does not understand anything about golf - indeed she is rather confused by it so there is no parental encouragement and no-one watching over him. The level of personal motivation and commitment alone makes me very proud of this young man."

Peza is named after a local mountain that has the same shape as Ben Nevis, and the Zimbabwe-registered charity has had a huge impact on youngsters in the area with the fruits of Scottish fund-raising seeing youth teams wearing strips donated by St Johnstone and Dundee FC amongst others while Frank’s Law T-shirts donated by Amanda Kopel can be seen around the village.

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So where does Borussia Dortmund  and Norway scoring sensation Erling Braut Haaland fit into this tale of sporting perseverance? His dad, Alf-Inge, formerly of Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City is a close friend of Peza  supporter Alistair Gibb, a retired Blairgowrie hotelier. Through that friendship Erling donated a signed Dortmund jersey which boosted funds to the tune of £500.

The last word on this tale of triumph over adversity and the haves offering a helping hand to the have-nots goes to Trust. ‘Golf has had such an impact on me,’ he said. ‘I now feel I know my way in life and I know how to win.’

Watch this space.