Welcome to my new weekly tour blog, where I’ll give you an ‘inside the ropes’ view of the life of a professional golfer on the Sunshine Tour.
It’s definitely not all glitz and glamour as many people believe, with a lot of hard work and plenty of disappointments found in between the successes.
This week is a big one for me, as it will be my first tournament back after quite a long injury break. I haven’t played an event since June as I decided to give my sore wrist a rest. Luckily, it hasn’t required surgery, but I am itching to get back into tournament golf.
I’ve had to be very patient – not one of my strengths – and learn some new stretching techniques to try and manage my wrist and make sure I don’t aggravate the injury. It’s funny how it has also changed the way I approach the game as I’ve forced myself to be less aggressive on the course. I’ve had to swing a little slower and I’ve been taking more irons off the tee to make sure I miss any heavy rough, because that could be a real threat to my wrist.
I’m close to 100% now and my game is getting to where I want it to be, but the tournament at Ebotse will be my first one in two months, so I’m trying to manage my expectations. I want to go out and enjoy myself, but in a competitive way, and see what happens. It sucks to be out of the game for any length of time, but, on the plus side, right now I have renewed energy to get back into the game.
After the Ebotse event is the Vodacom Origins at Zebula, in my home province of Limpopo, and I’m desperate to do well in that one. Then I play at the Wild Coast, one of my favourite courses, before I head over to the UK for the first round of European Tour Qualifying School.
That’s going to be a really tough week, but by then my game should be in better shape and I’ve been through Sunshine Tour Qualifying School, so I have an idea of what to expect
Other big news for me is that this is the first time I have had a manager. I recently signed up with sports management company Butler and Bell and I’m hoping that this is a move that can open some doors for me and give me some new opportunities, particularly overseas.
I’ve set myself some goals for my career and, ultimately, I’d like to follow in the footsteps of Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen and play my way on to the European Tour and then the PGA Tour. It’s a long road ahead but I’m looking forward to every minute of it.
From: Swartwater, Limpopo
Home Club: Sesambos GC
Turned pro: 2015 (+3)
Pro wins: 2
Lowest round: 61 (Polokwane)
Holes in one: 3
Other interests: Hunting, music
- Hennie’s cousin, CJ du Plessis, is a fellow Sunshine Tour player.
- Hennie grew up playing Sesambos Golf Club, a course on the Limpopo river built by his father, Hennie Sr, and opened when he was 14 years old. Before that, they would drive 140km every Wednesday and Saturday to play Ellisrus Golf Club.