This month we have a talk to a racing personality who plays off a 2.4 handicap and who always enjoys banter while on the course.
How often do you play and what course do you call home?
I try to play twice a week, but weekends can be scarce in the racing industry. My home course is Atlantic Beach Links.
What is your handicap and what is the lowest it has been?
I am currently playing off a 2.4. I was a plus 2 when I was a lot younger.
Do you have a favourite ‘go-to’ club in the bag?
Tony Louw, my Masters partner, gave me his Ping 5-wood to try. It wasn’t long before we become inseparable.
You’re a competitive person and you’re also not short of banter among your racing mates. Does this personality extend to the golf course?
Very much so. Golf is both social and competitive. Banter on the course is common and rivalries are fierce in racing circles. The odd little wager is also paramount to creating the stories for the 19th hole and beyond.
What are some of the best golf courses you have played on?
The K Club in Ireland was incredible, but Plett, George and Blair Atholl are treats. Having said that, playing Atlantic Beach is always a passion.
If you could choose a fourball of golfers to spend the day with on a big race day, who would they be?
I have been a massive Louis Oosthuizen fan throughout his career, so he would top the list. Then Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Nick Price.
The best and worst golfers you have played with?
The best golfer I have played against was Ernie Els. He was playing scratch league for Kempton Park and I played for Glendower. The worst golfer I have played with was the late Jimmy Lithgow. His golf was awful but he was one of the funniest men to enjoy a round of golf with. He was a special man.
Do you have time to watch much golf on TV?
I generally spend all my spare time watching either golf or racing. I have enjoyed the LIV model and hope that the Tours can work together going forward. The Ryder Cup has to be the greatest sporting theatre in the world. I really hope the two best teams are selected.
You won the 2023 Racing Masters Green Jacket at the Wild Coast Sun CC. Tell us more …
Graeme Hawkins started the Racing Masters some 35 years ago. It was a golfing getaway designed to bring racing folk together after a long racing season. It started out at Leopard Park in Mmabatho, then moved to Graceland in Secunda before moving to the Wild Coast. It has become one of racing’s most enjoyed gatherings. I won my first Green Jacket in 2002 at Leopard Park, then 2009 at Graceland, and thankfully broke my duck at the Wild Coast this year.
In racing, there is a lot of banter between stables and jockeys about their horses. Have you found someone to take money from on the golf course?
I play most of my social golf with Brett Crawford. We try to play on a Thursday at Atlantic Beach. We are lining up a few games with Justin Snaith. Taking his cash would be a bucket-list accomplishment.
– This Q&A first appeared in the September 2023 issue of Compleat Golfer magazine.