Prossie golf pro a per­fect match

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

GOLF: Roger Van­den­berg is set­tling into his new role as club pro­fes­sional at the Proser­pine Golf Course.

Van­den­berg trained at the Ox­ley Golf Club in Bris­bane un­der Merv Uhlmann.

When leav­ing Bris­bane, Van­den­berg took up res­i­dency as the club pro­fes­sional at the Lai­d­ley Golf Club in the Lock­yer Val­ley where he was nom­i­nated for club pro­fes­sional two years in a row.

He also got Lai­d­ley through to the na­tional fi­nals.

Van­den­berg is ex­cited about pick­ing up where former Proser­pine club pro­fes­sional Kane Nustel­ing left off and has al­ready ap­proached lo­cal schools about in­clud­ing golf in their sports cur­ricu­lum.

“St Cath’s and Can­non­vale schools and even­tu­ally it would be good to in­clude Bowen and any schools in a 45-minute ra­dius,” he said.

“There is about three or four schools look­ing to hold pro­grams next term we just have to wait for fund­ing to open.”

As well as run­ning the pro-shop and pro­mot­ing the game of golf, Van­den­berg is also avail­able for one-on-one coach­ing ses­sions.

“Any player, ladies to men, se­niors and all ages are wel­come,” he said.

Even­tu­ally Van­den­berg would like to get back on the pro-am cir­cuit and com­pete at tour­na­ments through­out Aus­trala­sia.

He will have that chance when com­pet­ing at the state fi­nals of the Holden Scram­ble with team mates from the Pros­per­ine Golf Club. “I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.”

Un­til then, Van­den­berg has a young protégé in 17-year-old Matt Bower.

“He is go­ing to come and work for me and we will get him started in a trainee­ship to be a PGA mem­ber,” he said.

“It opens the doors to be­ing a play­ing pro­fes­sional or club pro­fes­sional or a teach­ing pro­fes­sional.

“If he puts his head down and prac­tises hard he has the abil­ity. He just has to put in the hard yards for the next five to 10 years.”

On be­com­ing a part of the Pros­per­ine Golf Club, Van­den­berg said he had “been wel­comed with open arms” by the mem­bers.

“They are a bunch of great peo­ple and look­ing for­ward to grow­ing the re­la­tion­ships and mem­ber­ship out here at the club,” he said.

Van­den­berg said work had started on the cy­clonedam­aged club­house and was ex­pected to be com­pleted in three months.

PHOTO: JAMES GRA­HAM

DRIV­ING FORCE: New Proser­pine Golf Club pro­fes­sional Roger Van­den­berg is ex­cited about de­vel­op­ing ju­nior tal­ent in the re­gion.

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