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EDITORIAL TEAM

4

A golfing gem in mining country

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was somewhere between Delareyville and Kathu when the cows wandered onto the road and stood still, staring at me. I had the good fortune of driving a sponsor’s cabriolet to a recent

tournament on the Sunshine Tour – the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Sishen Golf Club in the Kalahari town of Kathu. But because I have hair resembling a Bloemfontein fairway in the middle of winter, I decided not to put the top down for fear of toasting myself. But now that the cows had stopped me, I thought it a good time to try it out. That’s when the guy riding the donkey car pulled up next to me. He also stopped for the cows, and we spoke briefly, in which time he asked if Tiger Woods was playing in Kathu. The beauty of Kathu is that despite the fact that it’s the centre of the iron ore universe, you would drive straight past it unless somebody like Des Terblanche told you to turn right at the Shell garage. In much the same way, Sishen Golf Club is one of the most underrated in the country. It has that special magic that has charmed our leading professionals for many years, including a young Ernie Els who used to play in the Kalahari Classic here. Perhaps it has something to do with the bushveld nature of the place. Life moves as slowly as a donkey car here.

In fact, Floris, who runs the club restaurant, spent the week telling anybody who wanted their cappuccino delivered in 6.3 seconds flat, with decaf coffee and fat free milk, “Slow down. You’ll die sooner than you get fat rushing like that”. The braais in Kathu are also epic, as you would expect from a place where chicken is the only known vegetable. The golf course was reportedly the last layout designed by Robert Grimsdell, who shaped so many of our classic courses. The course weaves its way through what I’m told is the largest camel thorn forest in the world. It’s not long, but it never fails to challenge the professionals, many of whom appreciate playing an old-style course such as this. All of which explains why Des Terblanche has made his home here for many years, close to a course which is ranked within the top 30 in the country, but, as he says, in a town not yet big enough to have a McDonald’s.

The course weaves its way through what I’m told is the largest camel thorn forest in the world. It’s not long, but it never fails to challenge the professionals...

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FROM TEE TO GREEN

6

From Tee to Green Louis Oosthuizen.

Charl Schwartzel.

World Cup dream for Schwartzel, Oosthuizen

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harl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen will realise a shared dream when they represent South Africa in the World Cup of Golf in China in November. “We are really excited about it,” said Schwartzel, who as the highest ranked South African on the Official World Golf Ranking at the cut-off point on July 18 was in a position to nominate his playing partner. He didn’t think twice about selecting Oosthuizen. “We’ve both come a long way and are good friends, having played a lot of junior, amateur and now professional golf together. It is no exaggeration to say that it is a dream come true for both of us to play together and represent South Africa in the World Cup,” said Schwartzel. “We won the World Junior Team Championship in Japan in 2000 so it would be quite something if we can pull off the ‘double’ as professionals.” “I can’t wait to get to China,” added Oosthuizen. “I remember when we were

boys growing up and playing golf together, we always talked about playing for South Africa in the World Cup and, if possible, playing our first one together. “So it was great that Charl was in a position to choose his partner and he picked me. I am honoured to play with him. He is such a good friend and I think the two of us will make a great team. We played a lot of amateur golf together and have won together in both India and Japan for South Africa so I think we will have a good week.” The duo will be hunting a sixth South African victory in the World Cup. Only the United States have won the title more times. Gary Player and Harold Henning set the ball rolling for South Africa in 1965 followed by Dale Hayes and Bobby Cole in 1974. More recently, Ernie Els and Wayne Westner triumphed on home soil in 1996 – winning at Erinvale by a record 18 strokes – while Els was successful again in 2001 with Retief Goosen before Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini struck gold in 2003.


8

FROM TEE TO GREEN

Tuks on top at SA High School champs T he Tuks Sport High School golf team took the honours at the South African High School Championships at Mount Edgecombe Country

CG16

Club last month. Teagan Moore, Mike Scott, Grant Hudson and Jason Smith saved their best for last to clinch the South African Golf Association’s flagship high school tournament from early leaders King Edward VII School. The Tuks Sport High School team combined for a winning score of 435 to beat King Edward by five shots; this after the quartet trailed the early pacesetters by five shots after the morning round of the prestigious 36-hole stroke play championship. “We are obviously thrilled with the win,” said team captain Moore. “We qualified for this year’s championship by winning the Gauteng North High Schools Championships. With 19 of the best high school teams in the country playing this year, the standard of the competition was incredibly high. To win a tournament of this calibre is an honour for all of us.” In the morning, Moore carded a 72, Scott and Smith returned 76 and Hudson posted a 77 for a 224 total that left them in third place behind King Edward and St Stithians Boys College. “We knew it would be a tall order for us to make up a five shot deficit, especially when the wind picked up in the afternoon,” explained Jacques Nel, TuksGolf Elite Coach and the team’s manager. “But the format of the championship meant we at least had a chance.” Although all four team members played in the 36hole team championships, only the top three scores in each round counted. “This time round Teagan shot a 75, but Mike, Jason and Grant produced the

fireworks. Mike holed some of the most incredible putts for a 68 and Jason and Grant backed him with solid rounds.” Scott’s 68, combined with Hudson’s 72 and a 71 from Smith gave the Tuks Sport High team an afternoon total of 211, which vaulted them to the top of the leaderboard. King Edward VII School managed to hold on for silver on 440, while Pietersburg High School beat St Stithians Boys College on a count out for the bronze medal. In the individual competition, Gideon van der Vyfer from Paarl Gymnasium took first place with rounds of 71 and 68. His three-under-par 139 total was four shots better than second placed Angus-Ellis Cole from St Stithians Boys College, who carded 70-73. Scott took third place overall with his 76-68. This was the first year the championship was held under the auspices of the SAGA. “We permitted each union to enter two teams and the schools could either enter their league winners or qualify through the union qualifiers,” explained the SAGA’s junior golf coordinator, Johan Scholtz. “We were amazed by the immense interest in the championship once qualifying started earlier this year. A total of 13 unions participated in this year’s championship, with at least one team entered from each union. “With the type of support the event drew this year, we are certain the 2012 championship will draw even more interest.”

Woman’s Day pamper at 5 Joburg clubs

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he new Joburg Gems golf tourism initiative celebrated women golfers by hosting a Woman’s Day competition at its five member clubs last month. All five clubs –Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Glendower GC, Randpark GC, Parkview GC and Bryanston Country Club – hosted a competition simultaneously. “It’s wonderful to see these five clubs working together to jointly promote golf tourism in the City and in this instance, female participation in sport. And for them to have held a joint competition at each of their clubs on Woman’s Day reinforces what this day is all about – the power of the collective,” said Joburg Tourism CEO, Lindiwe Kwele. And the women were all pampered a bit with a late tee-off time of 11am (giving them the chance to at least sleep in on their national day off), as well as champagne and other goodies.

Nathan to remain at the helm of Sunshine Tour

T

he Board of the Sunshine Tour has confirmed that Selwyn Nathan will continue to serve in the position of executive director and carry out the responsibilities of commissioner. Nathan stepped into the role when former commissioner Gareth Tindall stepped down in June to take up a chief executive position back in the corporate sector. There has been speculation that Tindall’s position would be filled permanently, but the chairman and the Board have agreed that the interim arrangement is working efficiently. Nathan has been involved with a number of important new initiatives, including the proposed World Golf Championship event, and the board has requested that he stays on in his current role until these initiatives have been brought to conclusion.


FROM TEE TO GREEN

9

And your PGA Championship winner is… K eegan Bradley was more than just a surprise winner of last month’s PGA Championship. Bradley himself has struggled with the attention he’s received. “A kid asked me to sign his forehead. That was weird,” he said. And his win was so far from left field that even the world’s golf writers were struggling to come to terms with his triumph. Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution described it as such: “So, this is the great American golfing hope, the one who would break the foreign stranglehold on the majors and make us all forget that Tiger Woods has left the arena? A player who is only the second most famous golfer in his own family – behind his aunt? One who played in that college football factory of St. John’s? A callow PGA Tour rookie who before this week had played in exactly as many of golf’s majors as Charles Barkley?” In his report on the final round, Steve Eubanks ad-

mitted, “Yes, for the casual fan, this looked like the Nationwide Tour’s Wichita Open for a while”. Jeff Schultz found the entire experience “bizarre”. “Tiger Woods blew up on Thursday and flew out on Friday. Phil Mickelson never was a factor. Nor was Rory McIlroy or most recognizable names on the Tour. If there was a bridge in Johns Creek, a television executive was jumping off of it. So it sort of figured that the tournament came down to two of the biggest obscurities in the field: Jason Dufner, who had never won a Tour event, and Bradley, a rookie playing in his first major and largely was known as Pat Bradley’s nephew.” But it’s hardly Bradley’s fault. So perhaps the final word should go to Lawrence Donegan of The Guardian, who put it all into perspective when he wrote, “God bless America, land of the free and home of a major champion – finally”. Pictured right: Keegan Bradley.

Picture: Srixon Sports SA.

Golf Tourism body given governmental boost T

he new body representing golf tourism in South Africa has been given a massive governmental boost. The South African Golf Tourism Association (SAGTA) was officially launched just a few months ago with the main goal of marketing South Africa as one of the world’s great golfing destinations both locally and internationally. It is the first time a national body has been created to represent the interests of an industry worth approximately R60bn per year – and has now received backing at the very highest level. At an event in Pretoria in August, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, said she was proud to

be part of a united front aimed at promoting South Africa as a golf destination. One of the drivers for the creation of SAGTA was South Africa receiving Golf Destination of the Year 2011 for the African, Indian Ocean and Gulf States from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in Spain in November 2011 at the annual International Golf Travel Market. Now, the government has shown its support and has given official custodianship of the trophy to SAGTA in perpetuity. “I would like to congratulate the golfing fraternity for the recognition by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) for voting South Africa the Best Golf Destination 2011,” said Xasa. “I believe that as we continue to host successful world class sporting events we will continue to create a legacy that will last for many years. SAGTA’s mission is to promote golf tourism in South Africa and in doing so generate sustainable growth in golf tourism and incremental revenue to the country’s tourism industry and to its members from the national and international golf market’. This is an important addition to supporting the work of achieving the national tourism objectives, “ said Xasa. Chairman of SAGTA, Thabiso Magodielo, who is also Group Corporate Affairs

Director at Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts said “SAGTA is growing fast and already has a loud voice. We have made significant strides in promoting South Africa as the world’s leading golf destination and we have a great deal of work to be done still. We are hopeful of securing government support in hosting up to 70 golf tour operators next year for a special destination convention.” SAGTA is a not for profit independent professional membership organization fully endorsed by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). Having increased membership from just 20 resorts, golf tour operators and golf courses to more than 50 in just a few months, SAGTA has the collaborative power to speak as one voice to official tourism and golf bodies on behalf of all members. SAGTA, together with IAGTO’s support and infrastructure, is truly the sustainable and united body of the golf tourism industry in South Africa. For queries or to join SAGTA, please contact Natalie van Blerk on 082 805 6643 or info@sagta.co.za. Picture left: Chairman of SAGTA Thabiso Magodielo with Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa, receiving the trophy from Sugen Pillay, Global Manager: Events for South African Tourism as the official golf tourism body in South Africa.


10

FROM TEE TO GREEN

Fichardt’s 64 pips Hugo in Vodacom Origins KZN D

arren Fichardt produced a sublime back nine and capitalised on an inexplicable collapse from Jean Hugo to win the Vodacom Origins of Golf KwaZulu-Natal at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club last month. Fichardt closed with three birdies and an eagle for a 30 on the back nine and a round of 64 that took him into the clubhouse on six under. But with Hugo turning five shots clear of the field and playing the kind of methodical golf that has seen him dominate this series over the years, there was little to suggest he would not

emerge as the winner. Then he bogeyed 10, 14 and 15 to suddenly drop into a tie for the lead with Fichardt. And the final blow to his title hopes was a double bogey on the par-five 16th after he hit into the water. He also bogeyed the last for a 73 and a finish of tied third on three under. David Hewan closed with a 66 to take second place on five under. It was an unlikely finish to a tournament that seemed to be Hugo’s when he took a two-stroke lead into the final round. History was also beckoning for him as a win here would have made him only the third golfer in the history of the Vodacom Origins of Golf series to win three tournaments in one season following his victories in the Pretoria and Knysna tournaments this year. Not even Fichardt gave himself a chance of catching Hugo. “I was one under after nine holes, and Jean was eight under after three or something like that. So I thought with him being in such good form, I was playing for a top-five finish. But you never know what you get in this game. All you can do is play your best and see what happens. This is definitely the biggest margin I’ve ever made up to win.” – Michael Vlismas.

Disabled golfers get their revenge

T

he South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA) held its annual Dale Hayes SADGA Golf Day at Zwartkop Golf Club last month, and it was once again a huge success. One of the popular features of this day is the Revenge Hole, where on a selected par three all the able-bodied golfers have the opportunity in a pay-to-play format of playing a shot standing on one leg or using one arm. The nearest the pin this year stood the chance of winning a luxury watch. The Revenge Hole has historically always been just for the able-bodied golfers. But after much complaining from the disabled golfers, who also wanted to be eligible for the watch prize, a lastminute decision was made to allow the disabled golfers to participate for the nearest the pin prize. The disabled golfers, however, could not use their disabled limb as the limb not to play with. And the disabled golfers triumphed over their able-bodied brethren as James Hourigan, a multiple leg amputee, using one arm won the nearest the pin of 15 feet.


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12

MAIN FEATURE

Talking swings and things with the pros who know They are six of the most experienced professionals on the Sunshine Tour. Between them, they have 119 years of knowledge about shots, equipment, golf courses, and even where to eat in Kathu and why you shouldn’t eat from Mamma’s Pies in Mooinooi. There is not much they haven’t seen, tried or heard of in the game of golf, which makes them perfect for a round table discussion about the game. Tee to Green editor Michael Vlismas sat down with Clinton Whitelaw (turned pro in 1990), Grant Muller (turned pro in 1992), Alan Michell (turned pro in 1994), Doug McGuigan (turned pro in 1989), Bradford Vaughan (turned pro in 1995) and Des Terblanche (turned pro in 1987) to talk about everything from technology, why the ball is the biggest threat facing golf, their classic golf courses, Tiger Woods, and why Charl Schwartzel is serious Major material. Top left to right: Clinton Whitelaw, Grant Muller, Alan Michell. Bottom left to right: Doug McGuigan, Des Terblanche, Bradford Vaughn. MV: This country has some of the finest golf courses on the planet. But what new course has impressed you? Clinton Whitelaw: I like Eye of Africa. It really feels like you’re out in the country, yet you’re still so near to Johannesburg. Grant Muller: I’d also say Eye of Africa, and not just because I stay there. They used a shaper from the United States who is one of the best in the world. He did a tremendous job shaping that golf course, especially on the greens where there is no wasted space. The bunkers are also amongst the best I’ve seen. And like Clinton, I like the out-of-town feel to the place. Alan Michell: I like Simbithi a lot. The reason is that it has something like 14 par-threes, a couple of par fours and par fives. So from a pro’s perspective, you hit every shot on that golf course, which is great for practice. You use every club in your bag, which is not always the case on courses where you’re just hitting driver and wedge.

Doug McGuigan: For me it has to be Ebotse. Yes, it’s my home course. But I never get bored playing it, which is great to say about your home course. It’s also totally unique for Johannesburg with the links feel. Des Terblanche: I also like Ebotse. I like the links feel to it, and it something different. Pinnacle Point is another one I enjoy. Bradford Vaughan: A new favourite for me would be Serengeti. I like the layout, although I do feel they need to soften the slopes on the greens. MV: And what course is one of your old favourites? Your classic layout in this country? Clinton Whitelaw: For me it would have to be Glendower, where I won the South African Open in 1993. It’s always in good condition, it’s a traditional layout and it’s challenging. It tests your whole game.

Grant Muller: Wild Coast Country Club. It’s never been out of my top three ever since I turned professional. It’s the perfectly designed golf course. One mistake on it would be the 11th green, which should be flattened a touch to stop the ball blowing off it in the wind. But other than that it’s perfect. It proves a course does not need to be long to be good. Alan Michell: I’d also go with Wild Coast. It’s such a well designed course, no matter how the wind blows. And I’d also agree with Glendower. I’ve always enjoyed it. My other favourite is Leopard Creek. It has a bit of everything in the design. Doug McGuigan: Wild Coast as well. It has stood the test of time and never had to change. It’s still as great a test today as it was when it opened. Des Terblanche: Durban Country Club is always a favourite for me. I love the history there. I always look forward to playing a tournament there. But I’d agree with Wild Coast as well.

Bradford Vaughan: My home course Maccauvlei. The layout hasn’t changed in decades. It’s an old-style course, and it has no houses on it. It’s not often we get to play golf courses without houses on them these days. Kathu Golf Club is also a great test. It’s tricky and tight, and a good test without being overly long. MV: On to the state of the game. What do you most dislike about golf at present? Clinton Whitelaw: The fact that Tiger Woods is not at his best. Otherwise the game is great. The access to good equipment, information and so many good coaches is amazing. Grant Muller: I don’t like the big, long courses that have developed. Not just because I’m a short hitter. I just feel golf course designers have lost the plot. They’ve forgotten what the game is about. They’ve lost that creativity. My other gripes would be with equipment. I think the maximum loft of a sand wedge should be 58°. (to p.14)


MAIN FEATURE

14 You used to have to have talent to open the face and manufacture a shot. I would also limit the length of drivers. When I turned pro, the standard length of a driver was 42’’. Now it’s 46’’, which gives you a much bigger arc. The CCs of a driver should also be a maximum of 400. And the golf ball should be reigned in, except for players over 40 like me, who should have a special golf ball for themselves. Alan Michell: I’d like to change the rule about divots. If your ball lands in a divot you should be able to drop out of it. Doug McGuigan: For me it would be the handicap system. I also think that in South Africa amateurs play too many betterball competitions and not enough individual medal, and that’s why the handicaps are not a true reflection most times. Des Terblanche: All the young laaitjies in the game who are so damn good is a problem for me. Seriously though, I’d like to see it somehow be made easier and cheaper for our young pros to get overseas and compete on the big tours. We have so many good young pros who I think would do well there if they had the chance.

detailed and specific. Grant Muller: For me it’s rangefinders. I think they speed up play as it stops people pacing out distances. Sure, it takes a bit away from working out the distances and so on, but you’re going to get to the same number in any case. Alan Michell: It’s got to be the ball. It’s going straighter and further than ever. Is that a good thing? I don’t know. I think they will need to cap it at some stage. But drivers haven’t made that much of an impact for me. They’re not hitting the ball that much further. I’m still using my driver of three models ago because I haven’t found one that hits the ball that much further to really make a difference Doug McGuigan: The ball as well. You can’t shape the new golf balls like you could the old ones. I definitely think they need to cap the ball now. Des Terblanche: I’d also say the ball. But I think it’s good. I mean, sure, make the game fun and easier for most guys. And I feel with the new

Bradford Vaughan: Definitely the ball. It’s vastly improved, but to the detriment of golf. It shouldn’t be allowed to go so far. MV: Right, on to the one everybody’s asking. Will Tiger win another Major? Clinton Whitelaw: Short answer – I don’t know, but I’m going to enjoy watching him try. Grant Muller: Not if his putting doesn’t improve. He’s always hit the ball skew, but putted superbly to save himself. Now his putting is nowhere. I tell you, if Sergio Garcia could putt like Tiger in his prime, Garcia would’ve been world number one, no question. Alan Michell: Yes, without a question. As soon as his body is fit again, I expect him to win Majors again. Doug McGuigan: He might. But he won’t beat Nicklaus’s record. For

Tiger to do that, he has to win another five Majors. That alone is a pretty good career haul for every pro out there. It’s a big ask now for Tiger. Another five Majors is like a whole new career for him. Des Terblanche: Yes he will, when the dust has settled some more. But I wouldn’t put money on him beating Nicklaus. Bradford Vaughan: Well, you’re not a flash in the pan when you win 14 Majors. People forget too quickly how good he really was. He was borderline freak, man. If he sorts his mind out, then yes, I think he’ll win more Majors. But I don’t know if he’ll beat Nicklaus. MV: To wrap up, who’s the next South African to win a Major? Clinton Whitelaw: Charl Schwartzel. I think he’ll become world number one as well. He’s been the best in the world over all four Majors this year. He’ll be the next Tiger Woods. By the end of 2012 I think he’s your world number one. Grant Muller: Charl Schwartzel. He’s the closest to finding that level of consistency every time. And I tell you, watch George Coetzee. He’s got serious BMT.

Bradford Vaughan: I sound like an old bastard, but I agree with Nick Price and Gary Player when they say technology has ruined golf. It’s taking the talent out of the game. The sweet spots on drivers are way too big in my opinion. Technology has brought the pros a whole lot closer together. Before you could clearly see who had real talent and who didn’t.

Doug McGuigan: I’ll take a flyer and agree with Grant on George. He’s getting better and better at a nice slow pace. He’s building his confidence and going about his career in the right way. Alan Michell: Charl Schwartzel. I also think we’ll see a resurgence in Trevor Immelman. But Charl has the complete game, no doubt about it.

MV: On that note, what would you say has been the biggest technological advancement in golf? Clinton Whitelaw: I think the technology available for teaching the game. Nowadays you have so much video and computer technology it’s amazing. You can compare your swing to the best in the game, check specific areas of your swing, get a full swing analysis and a video thereof. It’s made teaching much more

courses that are so long, it all cancels out. The advancement in equipment in general has been amazing.

The Wild Coast golf course is a firm favourite amongst local professionals.

Des Terblanche: Charl Schwartzel. He knows the game. Louis Oosthuizen is a bit of a streaky player, but when it’s his week he’s impossible to beat. Charl is more consistent. If he plays just half decent he’s usually right up there. Bradford Vaughan: Charl Schwartzel.

XV


SENIOR NEWS

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Fred on fire as Cook flops in Senior Players

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red Couples beat John Cook on the third hole of a playoff to win the Senior Players Championship and so claim his maiden senior Major. Couples closed with an even-par 71 to match Cook (70) at 11-under on Westchester Country Club’s West Course, and then holed a three-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to take the title.

Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, won for the first time this season after winning four times last year in his first season on the Champions Tour. The four South African golfers who took part in the British Senior Amateur Championships were (from left to right) David Stratton, Louis Norval, Jock Wellington and Denis Jones.

Jock makes SA seniors history at Royal Portrush S

outh Africa’s top two senior amateur golfers gave a good account of themselves at the 2011 British Senior Amateur Championships at Royal Portrush last month. Kyalami’s Jock Wellington finished in a tie for 16th place with a nine-over-par total of 225, with rounds of 71, 79 and 75. Royal Johannesburg’s David Stratton ended the tournament in a tie for 24th place on 13 over par with rounds of 74,78 and 77. Wellington’s 16th place is the highest by any South African senior amateur to date in this event, where a number of South Africans compete every year. Only two players finished under par for the tournament, and competitors had to deal with their fair share of wind and rain on what many pundits believe is the finest test of links golf in the world. Royal Portrush is the home course of Darren Clarke, who won The Open at Royal St Georges in July, and there is a distinct

IndweEssence_GolfStripAdPaths.indd 1

possibility that The Open will be played there in the near future. Pennsylvania’s Chip Lutz, who was runner up last year at Walton Heath, came from behind with a second successive 71 to win by one shot on 214 (two under) from Ireland’s Arthur Pierce, who won the event in 2009. South Africa’s mid-amateur champion, East London’s Denis Jones, made the 36-hole cut and finished in a tie for 51st place with rounds of 81, 76 and 79. Pretoria’s Louis Norval missed out with two rounds of 82 and 84.

Royal Portrush is the home course of Darren Clarke, who won The Open at Royal St Georges in July, and there is a distinct possibility that The Open will be played there in the near future.

Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, won for the first time this season after winning four times last year in his first season on the Champions Tour. And the victory comes following his back procedure six weeks ago in Germany. Couples joined Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd as the only players to win The Players Championship on the PGA Tour and the Senior Players. He also earned a spot in next year’s Players Championship. “That’s great,” Couples said. “I get to play with the studs, so that’ll be fun.”

2011/05/24 10:03 AM


SAGDB GROWING THE GAME • BUILDING THE NATION. www.sagolfboard.org • info@sagolfboard.org • 021 852 8056

Golf thriving under Ethekwini’s support

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o sustain a golf training initiative in previously disadvantaged communities takes more than a couple of coaches, some clubs and golf balls. “To truly achieve results you have to take children that have never seen or touched a golf club and guide them through a coaching process to a point where they can hold their own on a golf course,” said SAGDB regional manager Joseph Kunene, who has been blazing a trail for golf development in KwaZulu Natal for the last decade. It is no doubt a tough job to do, but one that became a little easier when the Ethekwini Municipality started sharing some of that burden. “Golf development is a long term process and to really achieve a result, you have to have the support of a sponsor that believes in your programme as much as you do,” said Kunene. “Thanks to the continued and growing support of the Ethekwini Sport & Recreation Development Department we are able to take the young learners in our programme from complete novices to accomplished golfers. Having a committed sponsor makes all the difference. “They started with a small sponsorship but it has grown in leaps and bounds and we are starting to produce some real future champions.” These players include stars like Calvin Coelho, who captain the SAGDB national team in an international tournament against Scotland and South Africa’s top juniors and qualified for the President’s Team and the Under-23 KZN Interprovincial side. Or 19-year-old Phiwakahle Mkhoma, who triumphed at the 2011 Kwazulu-Natal Toyota Under-23 Championships in June and 16-year-old Siyanda Mwandla, who won the KZN Junior Alfred Country Champs in July. “Calvin was one of the first learners in the programme; the others joined later but these boys all entered the SAGDB’s Development Programme as novices,” Kunene said. “Just look at how far they have come. It’s with the sustained support of a sponsor like Ethekwini Municipality that we were able to offer them opportunities to grow as golfers.” Kunene explained that the Ethekwini Sport & Recreation Development Department first got involved with the SAGDB’s programme for junior golf development in July 2007. “They started by sponsoring the development programme in the Inanda, Ntuzuma & KwaMashu areas,” he said. “Their sponsorship covered all our costs involving transport, meals and drinks, coaching fees and hiring golf balls at the driving ranges. These areas produced 12 junior girls and boys who are now members of golf clubs in Durban and currently participating in the KZN Junior Golf Tournaments.” In 2009, the Ethekwini Sport & Recreation Development Department increased their involvement to include areas in the South Durban Basin, including Clairwood, Austerville and Merebank. Again, the Ethekwini Municipality funds covered transport, meals and drinks and the cost of green fees at the local mashie course. “In this chapter, we already have 30 players are ready to move to Level 3 and be introduced to normal golf courses,” said Kunene. “In May this year, Ethekwini Municipality expanded their support to the Inanda rural areas and Phoenix. We now have 64 children from four different schools at Level 1 in the programme. Ethekwini Municipality has proven that together we can do more. Together, we have introduced 134 new learners into the programme and, thanks to their funding, we are able to sustain 180 learners in the programme. “Now we are just waiting with bated breath for other municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal to follow their lead and help us grow the game of golf at grassroots level in their areas.” Ethekwini Municipality Manager: Sport & Recreation Development Teddi Adams has been the driving force behind the initiative. “To ensure the future of South African golf it is imperative to get young people interested in the sport as early as possible and that is why we have thrown our support behind the SAGDB’s programme,” said Adams. “We hope to help the SAGDB to introduce record numbers of young people to the game. Like Kunene, Adams also hopes Ethekwini Municipality can encourage other municipalities to get involved. “You have to present these youngsters with the chance to pick up a club at primary school level and I think it would be great if the SAGDB could expand their development programme to the same extent as they have done in Ethekwini in other districts like Amajuba, Ugu, Ilembe and Umgungundlovu. “You never know; one of these girls or boys could be a The future Major winner.”

Strong SAGDB presence at u13 inter-provincial

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he 2011 Boland Invitational u13 inter-provincial tournament provided a strong reminder of the strength of the SAGDB’s programmes across the country. Of the 42 players that competed at the event, 11 were drawn from the SAGDB. “This is something to be excited about for the future,” said the SAGDB’s technical director Grant Hepburn, who attended the tournament. “These players made the teams on merit and I was impressed by their swings and the way they handled themselves on the course. They did us proud.” The best performer from the SAGDB’s ranks was Riaan Grootboom from the Southern Cape, who finished 8th overall in the individual rankings in the 45-hole event. Fellow Southern Cape player, Franklin Manchest, was next best, in 15th place, with Boland’s Dylan Jacobs in 18th. Jamie-Lee Daniels from Eastern Province, who was the only girl in the field, Patrons & finished a credible 33rd, despite lying last Sponsors: after 18 holes. The six-player team event was won by Western Province, with Free State/Northern Cape coming second. The Southern Cape team, spearheaded by Riaan Grootboom and Franklin Manchest and also containing Jonique Olifant from the SAGDB, finished third. Pictured above: Franklin Manchest was one of 11 SAGDB players competing at the recent Boland Invitational. Pictured Left: Children from Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu schools are some of those benefitting from the co-operation between the Ethekweni Municipality and the SAGDB.

learning for growth

Provincial Golf Unions:

Mpumalanga Golf Union

SAGDB wishes to thank these organisations for their support in developing golf in South Africa.


SAGA

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Welcome to the South African Golf Association’s bi-monthly column, where we keep you up to date with developments pertaining to amateur golf in South Africa. Congratulations to the Tuks Sport High School golf team for delivering a winning final round performance to beat 18 top schools for the South African High School Championships title at Mount Edgecombe this August.

JUNIOR GOLF

OPEN AMATEURS

MID-AMATEUR

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he South African Golf Association (SAGA) is proud to announce the launch of the South African Primary Schools Championships in 2011, with three-time major winner Ernie Els as the patron of this year’s event. The tournament will be managed by the SAGA and will involve 14 regional qualifiers held by golfing unions throughout South Africa. The winning teams will qualify for the finals to be held at Gardener Ross in Centurion in October. “I am thrilled to help provide these young kids with an organized and competitive tournament where they can develop their skills and talents, but more importantly learn the benefits of a healthy, active and outdoor lifestyle,” said Els. “I believe that playing sport and interacting with each other is such an important part of growing up, especially in the fast-paced world we live in today.” UPCOMING EVENTS JUNIOR GOLF 25 Sep – 2-5 Oct – 8-9 Oct –

Border National Order of Merit (East London GC) SA Boys U-12 Tournament (Kingswood GC) Ernie Els SA Primary School Championships (Gardener Ross)

dozen of our top amateur golfers will be flying the South African flag at three international golf tournaments in the coming months. Brandon Stone, Haydn Porteous, Ruan De Smidt and Jared Harvey will compete at The Four Nations Cup and Shirley Open in New Zealand, while Graham van der Merwe, CJ du Plessis, Riekus Nortje and Daniel Hammond will do duty in the African Amateur Golf Teams Championships (AAGTC) at Lake Club Benoni. Porteous and De Smidt will pair up with Kim Williams and Illiska Verwey to challenge at The Spirit in Texas. UPCOMING EVENTS

OPEN GOLF 4 Sep – 9-11 Sep – 18-23 Sep – 1-2 Oct – 16 Oct –

Ekurhuleni Foursomes (Benoni CC) Mpumalanga Open Stroke Play (Middelburg GC) South African Interprovincial (Bloemfontein GC) Ekurhuleni Open Stroke Play (Lake Club Benoni) Ekurhuleni Open Teams Championship (Benoni CC)

ongratulations to the recent Mid-Amateur winners Hendrik Burger from Free State (North West Mid-Amateur Open), Gauteng North’s Clifton Stanley (Lowveld Mid-Amateur Open) and Barry McGhee of Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN Mid-Amateur Open). More than 250 players have participated in MidAmateur events this year, underlining the growth and popularity of this sector of amateur golf. The Mid-Amateur Interprovincial at Humewood in October is just a month away, but with the selection of past national players like Steven Williams and Norman Raad and former professionals Gerry Coetzee, Lyall Mc Neill, Tyrol Auret and Josef Fourie for their respective provinces, the tournament is already shaping up to be a strong and hard-fought contest. UPCOMING EVENTS

MID-AMATEUR 4 Sep – 9-14 Oct – 23 Oct –

Boland Mid-Amateur Open (Langebaan GC) Mid-Amateur Interprovincial (Humewood GC) Central Gauteng Mid-Amateur Open (Randpark GC)

“I believe that playing sport and interacting with each other is such an important part of growing up, especially in the fast-paced world we live in today.” - Ernie Els

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The South African Golf Association (SAGA) is the governing body for male amateur golf in South Africa. The association is affiliated to the R&A Ltd. by its Constitution it is bound by the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status. SAGA, in conjunction with Women’s Golf South Africa (WGSA), is also responsible for controlling and administering the Handicapping System for all affiliated golfers in the Country. The Association arranges international events for representative teams and awards National Colours to those participants.


PGA News

The Serengeti PGA team

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here can be few golf facilities to rival Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate – and that’s not just because of its magnificent Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf courses. Serengeti boasts arguably the most dynamic and certainly the biggest team of PGA professionals anywhere in the country. Headed up by operations director Ryan Reid, this is a highly qualified team dedicated to ensuring that members and visitors alike enjoy the best golf experience possible. Directors of golf, Chris Bentley and Dietrich Uys, look after all golf operations, including the set-up of the course – no easy task given the tricky greens that are a much talked-about feature of the course. Assisting them is newly qualified PGA professional Malcolm Fourie. In the state-of-the-art pro shop, Donald BoxshallSmith is head PGA professional and he has two PGA apprentices as assistants, ensuring that every equipment and accessory need is taken care of. Director of golf at Parkview Golf Club, the legendary Ashley Roestoff has opened a “branch” of his fitment centre at Serengeti, where he passionately ensures that golfers are expertly fitted with the clubs best suited to their games. Dougie Wood is the head PGA teaching professional and together with exercise consultant to the PGA, Garth Milne, he runs the Serengeti Golf Academy, which offers world-class tuition and golf exercise to more than a hundred academy members. Dougie has four PGA professionals working with him, including Mark Powell, who is becoming a sought-after teacher. Ryan Reid is clearly passionate about Serengeti and proud of his team: “Obviously at a world-class facility like Serengeti, we need to have a team in place that provides great service and enhances the overall golf experience. There is no doubt that having acknowledged experts in their fields is a huge asset to the

business and our members and visitors benefit hugely from it. “Since announcing that we will be hosting the SA Open Championship in November a couple of months ago, we have seen a dramatic increase in feet through our doors and having a team that can enhance the experience is vital. With the SA Open here for at least two years, we are in for exciting times at Serengeti!” It would be fair to say that Serengeti is the “poster boy” for why more golf clubs should consider qualified PGA professionals. A visit there will show how these dynamic pros enhance the overall experience – impressively at that!

Above: Solly Dlamini and Ashley Roestoff. Top right: Dietrich Uys. Top: Head PGA teaching professional Dougie Wood. Above right: Chris Bentley. Right: The man leading the team, operations director and PGA professional Ryan Reid.


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FEATURE

Top seniors headed for Sun City E

ight of the world’s top senior professionals will contest the 2011 Nedbank Senior Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from December 1-4. The field for this event, played simultaneously to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, features some of the biggest names in golf. “When we decided to invite a select field of seniors as an add-on to last year’s tournament, although we were confident that this would be a popular addition to the event, we had no idea just how positive the response would be from the spectators and the sponsors,” said Alastair Roper, Tournament Director of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. “Last year the Senior 36-hole event was very much a special idea which formed part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, but due to the high levels of interest we made the decision to not only hold the event again, but we have raised the stakes by expanding it to a full 54-hole tournament. Traditionally this is the format employed by senior events internationally. We have put up an attractive purse, and most importantly, secured the participation of a field of the highest quality,” Roper added. The winner of last year’s Nedbank Senior Challenge, Jeff Sluman, will be defending his title against Gary Player Country Club specialists Nick Price and David Frost, both of whom have won three NGC titles, as well as the player now considered to be the best senior golfer in the world, Bernhard Langer. Langer is also no stranger to the Gary Player-designed layout, and has won here twice. Making up the star studded field will be former Open champion Mark Calcavecchia (who finished as runner-up to Langer in the 1991 NGC), another past Open champion Tom Lehman, and two-time major winner Mark O’Meara. Completing the octet of over-50 stars will be Ian Woosnam, a former world number one who became the first Welshman to win a Major – the 1991 US Masters. He was also the first golfer in the world to win $1 million in a single event in the 1987 Nedbank Golf Challenge. The 2011 Nedbank Senior Challenge offers a total purse of $880 000, with the 2011 champion earning $250 000. The player finishing in eighth place SPECIAL FEATURE – GOLF ON THE VAAL will take home $70 000.

Tel: 056 818 1567 • E-mail: pgce@parys.co.za www.parysgolfestate.co.za July/August 2011

www.sagolftrader.co.za

Ian Woosnam (top), Mark O’Meara (middle) and Nick Price (bottom) will be in action at this year’s Nedbank Senior Challenge. 17


Tee to Green Rhode Island Golf Days

23

Great fun in the sun in the North T

his August, the Tee to Green Rhode Island Series travelled north where some good old fashioned country hospitality welcomed us at Bronkhorstspruit and Polokwane Golf Clubs. A mere 20km drive from Pretoria, we were thrilled to leave the miserable cold of the city behind and arrive at Bronkhorstspruit Golf Club on 12 August on a warm and sunny day. The staff were just as warm in welcoming us to their neck of the woods. We were delighted to find some of the best greens in Gauteng waiting for us and after a hard days golfing, Naas van Jaarsveldt and Martin van Jaarsveldt took first place, followed home by Henriette Haveside and Kobie du Plessis in second and Grobie Groblelaar and Rens van Rensburg in third. Martin van der Berg won longest drive, while Andre Saad and Mark Ducker claimed the nearest to the pin prizes. We ended the prize giving in the cosy and welcoming atmosphere of the clubhouse with a true South African tradition, a delightful curry and rice dinner. The weather gods smiled on us again with another sunny day at Polokwane Golf Club on August 18. We found the course in mint condition, lots of friendly staff on hand to smooth the way and Polokwane Mayor, Mr Freddy Greaver, on hand to welcome us and enjoy a day of top golf with us. The Limpopo golfers brought their A-game and the day turned into a tough battle for victory. Jan de Beer and Johan Geldenhuys snatched first place from Mauritz Mahne and Erhardt Spies in a count-out on 46 points, while Zipho Ngobeni and Aron Segwapa also claimed third place in a count-out on 44 from Morne Myburg and Kobus Marnevick. Johan Geldenhuys also cleaned up in the prizes, winning longest drive and nearest the pin. Thanks, Polokwane Golf Club, for the great atmosphere, stunning golf course and lipsmacking ribs! In October and November, the Tee to Green Rhode Island Series will swing through KwaZulu-Natal – for more information, please log on to www.teetogreen.co.za

Good golf, excellent prizes and great company are the trademarks of a value-packed Tee to Green Rhode Island Golf Day.

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FEELGOOD FAIRWAY

24

Fairway with Linda Scott • Nutritionist

The Great Salt Debate

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vidence of our ancestors’ craving for salt dates back to 6000 BC. Today this craving for salt seems to have increased in line with the growth of the processed food industry, with average intakes of around 9 grammes (about a teaspoon) per person per day. Sodium and chloride ions, the chemical components of salt, are needed by all living creatures to help regulate water content (fluid balance) within cells and blood. Because salt is not only craved as a food flavouring but is also essential to our survival, it has been a valuable commodity throughout our history. The word salary comes from the Latin word salarium, describing the quota of salt given to Roman soldiers along with their pay. So, are we having too much of a good thing? Most scientists agree that adults should, ideally, consume no more than 6 grammes per day, except under certain conditions where salt requirements may be increased due to high salt loss. Under most conditions today’s diets provide more than enough salt - 50% more than recommended levels - and many researchers think this is contributing to high levels of chronic disease including stroke and heart and kidney disease. Our kidneys regulate sodium balance and excrete any excess sodium in our urine. Studies have shown that in the short-term we can tolerate high salt intakes (up to 30 grammes/day) without ill effect. However, it appears that long-term over consumption may not be so well tolerated by everyone. Some people appear to be “salt sensitive” in that their kidneys are not as efficient at excreting excess sodium, leading to increased blood levels of sodium. This means that extra fluid must be retained to keep the sodium at the right dilution in the blood, which drives up blood pressure. Salt sensitivity increases with age, as does blood pressure and the associated risk of stroke, heart and

kidney disease. An estimated 2-5% of people aged 25-35 suffer from high blood pressure. This increases to around 33% in the 55-65-year-old age group. Of those affected by high blood pressure some researchers believe that up to 50% may be salt sensitive and would therefore benefit from going on a salt-restricted diet. Recent estimates by a group of scientists working at the Universities of Warwick and Liverpool in the UK suggest that 8.5 million lives worldwide could be saved by a mere 15% cut in salt consumption. These researchers maintain that there is a consistent and direct relation between salt intake and blood pressure and that high blood pressure in turn is linked to heart disease, stroke and kidney problems. With 70% of deaths from strokes and heart attacks occurring in developing countries, they say the impact of a reduced salt intake would be global. Their report also cites examples of successful programmes in Finland, Portugal and Japan that have demonstrated substantial reductions in blood pressure following cutbacks in salt consumption. However, the “salt hypothesis” is not that simple and the Salt Institute responded to this report by stating: “This compulsion to regulate is being pushed by a gaggle of activist ideologues who have long ago abandoned science to take up the salt-bashing cudgel”. This is a rather strong and defensive rebuttal but not unsupported by data. A number of large studies have questioned the health cost of a high salt consumption, suggesting that the benefits of a low salt consumption are extremely modest or even negligible. Given the severe consequences of stroke and

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cardiovascular and kidney disease, it seems sensible to err on the side of caution and reduce salt intake to recommended levels while the jury remains out. The best way to do this is to limit processed foods, especially snacks, or check the labels and avoid high salt foods (more than 1.25g [0.5g sodium] per 100g).

Other ways to reduce salt intake include: • Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to flavour dishes • Avoid adding extra salt to your food, especially prior to tasting • Use soy sauce sparingly: one teaspoon contains nearly 1g of salt • Buy fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned • Rinse canned foods, such as beans, to remove excess salt

For more information feel free to email healthline@mcnabs.biz


SWING THOUGHTS

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Swing Thoughts with Theo Bezuidenhout

Will Tiger ever roar again? “So, what’s gonna happen to Tiger?.” If I have been asked that question, or a variation of it, once a day for the last year you could accuse me of understatement. Such has been the interest in Tiger’s fall from grace that anyone and everyone has an opinion on it. In this month’s Swing Thoughts I am to try and answer some of these questions by dissecting his past behaviour and some of his most recent decisions, and looking at how it will influence his life and even more importantly his golfing future.

A mentor lost

There can be no doubt that the bond that was formed between Eldrick and Earl Woods was as indelible as it was effective. Earl Wood’s was to Tiger what any great mentor is to his student: an inspiration, a leader and most importantly a guide through tough times. It is also insightful that after Earl’s passing Tiger has only won four Majors, something that only the most naive would dismiss as coincidence. One could however not argue with the nay-sayers in that some of his troublesome behaviour dates back to well before the death of his father. But if the moral compass that guided Tiger and Earl may have been skew, no-one could argue with its laserlike focus when it came to golf. In the latter part of his life Earl may have been less-influential in his son’s day-to-day life but he remained very vocal and involved in Tiger’s choices of coaches, caddies and many other aspects of his golf. For good or bad Earl Woods is the most important aspect that I believe Tiger has missed in his life and his golf over the last 18 months. It is also highly unlikely that one can replace parent-as-mentor with any other person, but Tiger would do well to involve someone from his past as a mentor to get through his current challenges. Early in his career the basketball star Michael Jordan served as an unofficial mentor and approaching someone such as Butch Harmon or Jack Nicklaus would go far to replace the mentor Tiger has missed more than anything. Why these people? Let’s face it if you were the highest paid sportsperson of all time, who would you listen to?

The yes men

Shock, horror and disbelief. Those are the thoughts that went through my mind when Tiger fired Steve Williams. The decision to let one of the best bag-men of his generation go might not have been taken lightly but in doing so Tiger repeated a behaviour pattern that is as petulant as it is selfdefeating. One can now throw the name of Steve Williams on the same “TW scrap heap” as Fluff Cowan, one-time caddie, and Butch Harmon and Hank Haney, former coaches to the golfer. The irony is that when you have fired two of the best caddies in the world and two of the best coaches who do you turn to? Tiger has turned to Sean Foley for swing advice and Byron Bell to advise him in the cauldron that is the PGA Tour. Far be it for me to judge, but in a “golfing-battle-to-the-death” who would you have in your corner, two of the best teachers in the game and a caddie whose career spans nearly three decades? I know what my advice would have been. Some introspection by Tiger in this regard would also go a long way to “golfing” recovery. By his own admission one of the most important qualities Woods looks for in his support staff is loyalty and all his former helpers have been fired for a breach in their loyalty to Woods. When judging others it is often said that the thing that we most despise in others is our own biggest character flaw. Tiger would go a long way psychologically by surrounding himself with people who could tell him what he needs to hear, not what he may want to hear.

Perceptions

The one thing that Tiger cannot change without winning again is the perception of other players. A statement recently be reining US Open champion, young whippersnapper Rory McIlroy, goes a long way to summarize how differently players view Tiger than even two years ago. “It would be great to play against (Tiger),” he said. ”Hopefully he can get back on the golf course soon. The game of golf is a better place with him competing.” Disregarding the positive sentiments McIlroy tried to portray one cannot mistake the challenge being laid down to the previous king: we want to play you and we want to beat you. Dare I add, we are not afraid of you anymore? Unfortunately for him, Tiger has given his competitors just the smallest hint that he may be human after all. Even though this affirmation came from his life off the golf course, the fearful respect Woods created by his own performances has undoubtedly disappeared into thin air. The only way he will ever have that same dominance is by playing to his own potential, and even then it would be an almost impossible task. Make no mistake Tiger Woods is a winner and winners never forget how to win, but I fear that five more Majors might be an impossible task to achieve. Not that Tiger will not try or that he is not still a great talent, but as with most great men a time has come when his challengers have realized that he too bleeds red.

IS PROUD TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH SWING THOUGHTS. titleist.co.uk


INSIDE RIGHT

26

How important are prizes at golfdays? I

am constantly amazed at the amounts of money that are raised through the game of golf. Just like many of you I get to play in a fair amount of sponsored golf days. Whether they be fund raisers, corporate events or pro-ams, there unfortunately always seems to be some form of unhappiness when it comes time to hand out the prizes. Prizes have grown quite considerably over the years and unsurprisingly the winning scores have followed the same upward trend. At a recent fundraiser, a 20-handicapper shot a two-over-par 38 on the back nine to ensure that he and his partner amassed an amazing 51 points. Now of course that can happen, once in a lifetime – maybe. But consider the following. Being winter, the

Inside Right with Dave Usendorff

excellent greens were probably running at around 11 on the stimpmetre. That in itself is a challenge even to a regular and accomplished golfer. Add to that the firmness of the greens, again being winter and again the challenge to stop the ball within the required quadrant on the green is a task better handled by the more experienced player. Granted the roll on the dormant fairways most definitely gives every golfer a distance advantage, but as we all know the serious scoring takes place within 70 metres of the flag. How is it then possible for this 20 handicap player to navigate nine extremely challenging holes, shooting eight under his handicap for those nine holes, with all the above elements mentioned definitely limiting every other player’s score?

Of course they went on to win the first prize and as I witnessed these two “chancers” making their way up to the podium, there were chants of “ringer” resounding throughout the clubhouse. Unperturbed by the hostile crowd, they bagged their haul and immediately made their way to the car park. There is nothing sweeter than being called up to the prize table after a good game of golf, regardless of the prize. I wondered how these two “gentlemen” felt when they got home with their dishonest stash – may the shanks possess each and every club in their respective bags!

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Roodepoort Country Club is back, stronger than before

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oodepoort Country Club has always been considered one of South Africa’s most challenging Championship golf courses. Frequently ranked within the top 50 courses in the country and top 10 in Gauteng, this emerald West Rand gem was hit by a seismic downward shift three years ago that seriously impacted their credibility. “Our greens, which have always been our pride and joy, were infested with poa and three years ago we decided to re-do all 18 holes,” Chairman Gary Geddes explained. “In a first for South Africa, we were able to grow the A4 bent grass off site, which meant that we were able to keep the course open right through the project, with no more than four temporary greens at any one time. Unfortunately, once the process got underway, we found that the sub soil was below standard. This meant that we were now looking at a project well over R2.5-million, just as the recession hit the country.” In an effort to recoup the costs, the club launched a special levy, but this initiative cost the club 30% of it’s memberships.

“In a first for South Africa, we were able to grow all the greens off site and then roll them on, three holes at a time, which meant we could keep the course open right through the project...” “This meant that we had to streamline our operation and cut down on unnecessary expenses. Just recently forty of our members rallied and came to the rescue and took up a special membership deal that allowed us to settle the outstanding debt.” It has been a long and arduous journey, but thanks to the loyalty of the members, Geddes believes the club has come through stronger than before. “Irrespective of the financial difficulties, we managed to keep our rounds up and we were recently ranked as the 15th most popular course in the country by Golf Digest. We have also just recently outsourced our catering operations to Deco Food & Beverage and the golf operations to our resident golf professional Gavin Drummond. Our focus now is to get our course back into the pristine condition that kept it in the top 45 for all those years.”

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28

T

TEE TALK

On the pitch with Kallis and Boucher

hey are often called Double Trouble, TweedleDee and Tweedle Dum(b), Wallis and Grommit, even Laurel and Hardy, but Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher just laugh it off. These two are the greatest mates on the cricket pitch, on the fairways and even as neighbours. They even complete each other’s sentences! As Proteas, their genius has been well documented, but the general public don’t really know that these two are also serious closet golf fanatics. Lali Stander shot the breeze with this formidable pair over a few cups of tea (it was very, very early) and picked their brains about a little cricket, a lot of golf and that legendary hair implant.

You are both legends of the game internationally, but how did the Jacques Kallis / Mark Boucher cricket story begin? MB: I used to play every sport in primary school, so the cricket really just evolved from there. JK: My dad was late in picking me up one day so I joined a bunch of guys that were playing cricket and I picked it up from day one. I could hit the ball, bowled okay and catch half decent, so that was how I got my start. Thanks Dad! Who do you guys consider your biggest influences and why? MB: My mom really pushed me academically but sports wise it was definitely my dad. He was my biggest supporter and always pushed me to push my boundaries. JK: My dad, without a doubt, too. There were other guys, but definitely my dad. Almost any player I’ve ever spoken to could tell me exactly where he was and what he was doing when he got the call to try out for his national side. How about you guys? MB: The year was 1997 and I was at the gym back home when I got the call from Dr Ali Bacher. Dave Richardson injured his calf and I was on the next flight to Joburg, which was in two hours! I landed, got kitted out and I was on the next flight out to Pakistan. I wasn’t expecting the call, so it was a complete shock to me, but the impact only really hit me once we got back from the Pakistan Tour, because that’s when people started recognising me. JK: Mine was 1995 and I was at home. I don’t remember who

called me. (MB: You’re so good, it was probably Nelson Mandela who called you). Hahaha. I remember it was after the first test that the guys had drawn in Joburg. I think I got 180 or something in that first test. You’re always dreaming about playing for South Africa when you’re a laaitie playing in the back garden but when it happens, it doesn’t really hit home until much later. Like Mark said, when people start recognising you. So when did you know you made it? MB: You know you’ve made it every time your team mates give you a pat on the back because you’ve come through for the team. That’s when you feel you deserve to be in the team. A lot of youngsters who walk into that situation, they only feel they belong once they’ve beaten the competition and also beaten the fear inside their

heads that they are good enough to belong. No-one should ever take a position for granted and I’ve learned that because I’ve had a far more up and down career to Jacques with regard to selection. You have to earn your spot and keep it. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege to play for your country. JK: Exactly, you are comfortable once you’ve proven to your team mates that you are good enough to be in that environment; that’s when you know you’ve made it. The records are great to have, but they really are just an aside. You go through those stages right through your career, over and over again. I’ve never played this game for records and acknowledgements. It’s my passion. I play it to be put into position where the team needs different things from me and if I can deliver, that’s the reward. Best cricket moments? JK: First selection, then probably the 60 I got against Pakistan and my first 100 against Australia and being acknowledged by the team; knowing I was good enough to play for the team. MB: Selection, too, and the 30 odd I scored batting with Jacques in Mumbai to beat India, which hadn’t really been done by South Africa before. And that 438 game in Joburg. We were so far behind, everyone had written us off and to come back and win, that was pretty special to me. Your new man in the saddle? MB: I think Gary (Kirsten) is going to be spectacular. He has a great knowledge of the game. He has played with a lot of us and he knows what the players want. JK: Yes. Gary has the trust of the players, too. If he’s got some harsh things to say, people with respect him. I think his biggest strength is going to be player management. We spoke to some of the Indian players and that’s where he excelled and at international level, that’s what you need to get the best out of every player. I think that’s where he is going to play a major role. Left: Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis playing for their country.


TEE TALK

29

Mark Boucher (left) and Jacques kallis (right) at the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament played at Simola in July this year. Okay, so let’s talk about your other big passion. You guys are tidy handicappers. Mark, you’re a five handicap and Jacques, you’re a six. Where did it start for both of you? JK: I started playing quite late in high school. A mate of mine played and I joined him. I was rubbish at first but obviously the more you play, the better you get. We used to play at Westlake. The bug definitely bit me, because I’ve been playing since. MB: When I wasn’t playing rugby or cricket on a Saturday, I used to go to Alexandra golf course with my dad. He got me a couple of clubs and I used to walk around in my slops and hack around. In primary school I had some mates who also played. Ulrich van den Berg was one of them. We used to tee off at half past five on Saturdays at East London Golf Club and Westbank. You’ve both said that if it hadn’t been cricket, it would probably have been golf. MB: Well, we just love golf. We often play with professionals Richard Sterne and Grant Veenstra and if you asked them, they wouldn’t really want to play at 06h00 in the morning, but Jacques and I would be up at 05h00 to play golf, with bells on. JK: Those guys have to hit like 1000 balls a day, but for us it’s not our bread, we just love it. We love the social aspect, the challenge and it’s very relaxing. MB: It’s relaxing for me. Jacques still hasn’t had a hole-in-one, so it’s not to relaxing for him. Was that your best golf memory, Mark, getting a hole-in-one? MB: Absolutely, because it was at Jacques’ Foundation Golf Day. They had a nearest the pin on the ninth hole and he was playing in front of me. I just heard this commotion and I ran to look. Jacques hit it to an inch of the hole and I still told my partners that there was no way he was winning it. I gave it a real whack and the ball hit the back of the green and spun back, straight into the hole. Getting a hole-in-one: fantastic; the look on Jacques’ face? Priceless! JK: All my hard line stories and there are many. I even once hit myself. Wait – this was my best and worst. We were playing at Boschenmeer

and behind us was the club was the chairman and a whole bunch of brass. We started on the 10th and Mark hit a perfect shot down the fairway. I slammed my driver and it hit that tiny, minute, match stick thin tee marker on the ladies tee and ricochet right back to the putting green. I had to play my second 40 meters behind the tee box in front of all those people. I made the best bogey of my golfing career. Do you draw on your cricket experience when you play golf? JK: When you have a bad shot in golf you can draw on the experience of playing under pressure in cricket and not freeze up or go to pieces on the golf course. MB: Yes, go back to what you know, the basics, and keep going until you find your groove. We don’t cave under pressure.

And a four-footer and the out of bounds rule. It should be drop where you went in and one shot penalty, just like a hazard. JK: Yeah, then you can really lock and load. If you could pick one pro tournament to go and watch? MB and JK (in stereo). Augusta! MB: Jacques – another century or Augusta? JK: Definitely Augusta. MB: Okay, what about this? Hole-in-one or a round at Augusta? JK: Oh, that’s a tough one. What about a hole-in-one at Augusta. Then I can retire.

Continues on p.30

Favourite golf courses? MB: My top five, in no particular order, are the Fancourt Links, Leopard Creek, Loch Lomond, The Merian and TPC Sawgrass. JK: Mine would be Leopard Creek, the Fancourt courses and Westlake, because that means I’m at home. Do you get to play abroad much? MB: Not at much as we’d like to. We have a few chances, but our schedule is so busy. JK: Yeah, our time is pretty limited. We had the chance once to play in India, but it is so hot and humid, you hit your ball and run for the nearest tree for shade. We try to get a game in Australia or England. What infuriates you most about golf? JK: Slow play and the shank. I can hit a ball travelling at 140kms per hour roughly where I want to on the cricket pitch. This ball is standing still and I can’t hit it to where I want to. You can hit a good shot and still get punished. MB: Yes, you can be having a bad day and then you hit that one shot and it’s come out of the middle and one bad bounce ruins it. That unpredictability of where the ball will end up.

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TEE TALK

30 Conitnues from p.29 You guys play regularly with Richard Sterne and Grant Veenstra and you win mostly. Must be cool to beat a five time European Tour winner, even if he is on the bench? MB: Absolutely. They are both great guys and they’ve given us a lot of help with our games. JK: I suppose it’s a little unfair, because Richard still struggles to get through 18 holes, but he is on his way back and pretty soon they’ll start taking back all the cash we’ve taken off them. Till then, we rule. Any professionals you’d like to play a round with? BOTH: Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson – we’d love to see how far he could hit a ball. Phil Mickelson, to see him around the green. Bubba Watson. John Daly. Also a guy like Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. They look like great fun, should be good to play with. Okay Jacques, spill the beans about the hair. My mother loves it, by the way. JK: My hair or the lack of hair never bothered me, but there are a lot of guys out there who lose their confidence along with their hair. I partnered with Advance Hair Studio because I hope that, as a public figure, if those guys saw that I could do it, they would also have the confidence to do it. I haven’t convinced Veenstra yet, but I hope it inspires some guys out there. Give them back their confidence.

A QUICK NINE WITH MARK BOUCHER 1. Have you done your bit for global warming? I love nature, so I’m heavily involved in preserving our wild life in South Africa 2. Who do you most admire and why? Grant Veenstra, for being so short and still hitting the golf ball as well as he does 3. Current favourite bands? The Script and Prime Circle 4. Pet Peeves? Slow golfers and poachers! 5. Favourite movie ever?

Wedding Crashers 6. What do you do when you need time off? I head for the bush, preferably Timbavati 7. If you could erase all traces of one mistake in your career, what would it be? Living next to Kallis for so long! 8. What three things would you take along on Survivor? My Blackberry for sport updates, a gun and a chef 9. Dream Fourball? Johann Rupert and Warryn Boyd against myself and Tiger Woods... easy money.

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Richard Sterne, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Grant Veenstra.

A QUICK NINE WITH JACQUES KALLIS 1. Petrified of? Sharks 2. Favourite movie ever? Any Leon Schuster movie 3. Where would your dream home be? Just give me a home on any golf course What is your favourite hangout? At home 4. Fastest you’ve ever driven? 230km per hour in a racing car 5. Who do you most admire and why?

Tiger Woods. He changed the face of golf, and dominated it. 6. Drink of choice? Reds 7. If you could erase all traces of one mistake in your career, what would it be? Becoming friends with Mark Boucher! 8. What three things would you take along on Survivor? My cell, TV complete with a satellite dish and my girlfriend, Shamone 9. Dream Fourball? Grant Veenstra and Richard Sterne against Mark and myself. They are our cash cows.


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