The Blitzboks captain talks about how the golf bug bit him, his favourite courses and which of his teammates he would back to be pro golfers.
How long have you been playing golf and what got you into it?
I started before lockdown in 2020. We began doing team-building sessions as a group. We used to play speed golf. Everyone had to participate. That was a major part of making it fun. I hit a good ball on one of those rounds and it was such a satisfying feeling. From there I started joining the golfers in the squad. Some of our players love to play a bit of golf, so when they went out to play, I would join them. When there were opportunities to be at golf days, I volunteered to go. The bug bit me then. I am so invested now.
What are some of the best courses you have played?
Our home course at De Zalze is really great. I have played at Arabella and at St Francis Links. I also played at Pinnacle Point, but I don’t have great memories from there, because it was such a windy day. I have played other courses in George and Johannesburg, but the ones I mentioned are the standouts.
What is your handicap?
I’m a 14.2. Look, it’s not that I am playing great, I am still very much a work in progress. I’m still working on my swing and my game holistically. Every time I go out on the course I learn something that I can implement the next time. Every time you actually have a good round, they cut your score. Sometimes I get a lucky shot or two and then I have to cut my score and fix my handicap.
How seriously do you take a game of golf?
It really depends on the occasion. There are a lot of players in our team who love playing golf and will have something to chirp about during training. Those games I take very seriously, when we go out and compete or play for something. When we are on a golf tour, I will also take that seriously with my friends. However, if it’s just a regular Wednesday, our day off, I am out there just to see how I can improve.
What is your go-to club in your bag?
I think my driver. It’s the most consistent one. I also enjoy putting. My irons are pretty decent. The club I use the most is my 4-iron.
Do you watch much golf and who is your favourite player?
I watch a lot of golf, now that I am into it. Sticking with my Under Armour brand, I follow Jordan Spieth. There are great golfers I really enjoy watching, like Collin Morikawa, Tiger Woods without a doubt and Brooks Koepka, who brings something different with his personality.
Are there any similarities between sevens rugby and golf?
None at all besides the mental side of it. You have to be mentally strong in both sports. Golf is definitely not as intense, but it tests your mental strength, patience and consistency.
Which of your teammates would you back to go professional?
Impi Visser, definitely. He loves playing and takes it so seriously. Ryan Oosthuizen plays every now and then and is also handy. JC Pretorius, Stix Ngcobo and Marius Schoeman are also good. But Impi is certainly the most avid golfer out of all of those.
If you had to form your ultimate Blitzboks fourball, who gets the call-up?
My partner, Sticks Ngcobo, always has to play with me. Selvyn Davids is also quite the golfer, I really enjoy golfing with him. Lastly, our high-performance manager, Marius Schoeman, he loves playing and brings so much gees that it’s awesome to be in a fourball with him.
Interview by Dylan Jack
– This Q&A first appeared in the May 2022 issue of Compleat Golfer magazine. Subscribe here!