Lin­d­eque swops South Coast for North Coast

Iqbal Khan

Daily News - - SPORT -

FROM Port Shep­stone Coun­try Club in the south to Richards Bay Coun­try Club in the north, KwaZulu-Natal can boast to have some of the top PGA pro­fes­sion­als in the game.

And when there’s a shuf­fle in the pack, the younger PGA pro­fes­sion­als – many of whom have just grad­u­ated – are bravely tak­ing po­si­tions at the top venues while bring­ing in fresh ideas at their des­ti­na­tions.

Last week we fea­tured Dane Vosloo, who took over the golf oper­a­tions po­si­tion at Prince’s Grant out­side Stanger and has set­tled into the new en­vi­ron­ment pretty swiftly.

This week Gavin Woodroffe, gen­eral man­ager of Zim­bali Coun­try Club, an­nounced that Willem Lin­d­eque, who grad­u­ated from the PGA train­ing school this year and who had done his three-year ap­pren­tice­ship and an ad­di­tional year at Port Shep­stone Coun­try Club, had been ap­pointed golf oper­a­tions man­ager.

“We are de­lighted to have Willem on board and we look for­ward to him start­ing here at Zim­bali Coun­try Club on De­cem­ber 1,” he said.

“I know we will be in for some ter­rific times with a young PGA pro­fes­sional on our staff and who is en­er­getic and full of ideas.”

Zim­bali Coun­try Club is in

“Un­know­ingly I played with Mal­colm Fick, the cap­tain of Zim­bali, at Port Shep­stone long be­fore my in­ter­view.

“Dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion I told him I had ap­plied for the job at Zim­bali and he seemed very in­ter­ested in what I had to say.”

Lin­d­eque has mixed feel­ings leav­ing Port Shep­stone where he has made “loads” of friends but on the other hand he is ex­cited to be join­ing one of the posh clubs on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion when you move from one place to an­other. I have spent four won­der­ful years of my ca­reer here.

“It is one big happy fam­ily and I made many friends. It was an ex­cit­ing jour­ney.

“But life is all about im­prov­ing one’s sit­u­a­tion – this is a ca­reer move and to all those in Port Shep­stone I’ll never for­get how well you have treated me,” Lin­d­eque said.

Though he comes from Port Shep­stone, Lin­d­eque knows the Tom Weiskopf-de­signed lay­out of Zim­bali pretty well as he has played a num­ber of tour­na­ments out there. And he knows of the haz­ards around the 18 holes as well.

“It’s a great course and a chal­leng­ing one, too. It’s be­come a course ev­ery­one wants to play some time or the other. I know the grasses used on the course as well,” Lin­d­eque, who was a Top Five grad­u­ate to emerge from the PGA Train­ing School early this year, said.

“Yes, I also know there are some dan­ger­ous haz­ards while play­ing a round of golf there. I’ve also seen some videos show­ing the venomous snakes that they have pulled out of the rough.

“Th­ese are some of the great chal­lenges but I’ll learn a lot more when I’m hands-on from De­cem­ber 1.” I can’t wait to get to Zim­bali – I’ll even­tu­ally set­tle in Bal­lito – and start afresh as a PGA pro­fes­sional.

“It’s go­ing to be great work­ing with Gavin (Woodroffe) – as he has a vast knowl­edge of Zim­bali and I’ll be bounc­ing ideas off him. It will be nice to get to know the staff – all of them – as quickly as pos­si­ble and set­tle into the job.”

WILLEM LIN­D­EQUE

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