November 2018

SAGDB juniors at the Arabella coaching clinic.

Coaching clinic gets thumbs up at Arabella

By The Sunshine Tour

Lewellyn Buys, an aspiring golf player from Worcester says he learnt a lot from the coaching clinic which was organised by Vodacom Origins of Golf in partnership with the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) at Arabella Country Club recently.

“This coaching clinic really helped me to take my game to the upper level,” the 17-year-old said. “I couldn’t putt well, but now I know how to work on it. It was very good. Now I am very confident to win the next Junior Open. This gave me a boost to do the best in my career.”

Buys was one of 20 children between the ages of eight and 17 from the Boland region who got an opportunity to learn the sport’s tricks from golf professionals such as Kevin and Brandon Stone, Jacquin Hess and others.

“My dream is to play alongside Tiger Woods one day. I see my future in golf. My father works at Riverside Golf Club. He is a caddie master. So, the long and short of it, that is how I gained an interest in playing golf. I have a love for the sport.”

Shaun Adriaanse from SAGDB Boland Region said the coaching clinic was an eye-opener for the children.

“The clinic helped them with the basics such as how to putt, how to chip and all that type of stuff,” he said. “Hearing that from professionals is going to have an effect on their game. SAGDB creates a lot of opportunities for them to play tournaments. It is not every day that they get this type of coaching clinic.”

Adriaanse said SAGDB has produced a number of players who now play at the top level.

“Here we have players who play a lot of Boland junior tournaments,” Adriaanse noted. “They also play in the SAGDB Schools League which we formed for them. So, they do play a lot of golf. We have about 15 junior tournaments which they play during the year. For our top players, we have about 40 tournaments that they play, with the Boland Open as well, and some of them play national tournaments.”

Adriaanse said they are moving in the right direction to nurture talent for the children.

“These are all beginner players and they never touched a golf club before they came to us,” he said. “We show them all the basics of the game and from there we take them to junior tournaments to qualify for the provincial team. This year alone, we had about 10 players who have made it into the provincial team. We created an opportunity for Adam Willemse who went to play in Scotland during the June school holidays. These kinds of opportunities that we create for players are awesome.”

Hess, who himself came through the ranks of the SAGDB before turning pro, always makes himself available for sharing his skills whenever there is a coaching clinic.

“It is very important for me to continue taking part in the coaching clinics,” the 27-year old said. “I was with SAGDB in 2008, and I remember being here for the Nelson Mandela Invitational when Gary Player was here doing the clinic for the kids. I was part of those kids. Obviously, back then I did not want to turn pro, but I learnt a lot from Mr Player.

“I want to continue helping others as well,” Hess added. “That is very important to me. I think it is going to make a massive difference in the children’s lives. The children were so good. We did not have to do a lot of work with them. It is just small fine tuning. I think having Brandon and Kevin Stone as part of the clinic, was massive. Children were taking some photos and getting autographs from them. I spoke to Brandon afterwards and he said it is important for him as well to do the coaching. It is going to encourage children to have some good discipline and develop some good values in life. They will become great people. For me it is about developing a great person.”