THINK YOUNG, PLAY HARD
Just a month after his 18th birthday, Herman Loubser won the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School at Randpark to earn his professional playing privileges.
Q School winner Herman Loubser.
ON A FORTUNATE CHANGE IN THE TOUR SCHEDULE
Entering the Sunshine Tour Q School was only made possible because the tour changed the dates of the tournament. Usually it’s in December or January, but they moved it to March after the 2016 season was extended by a couple of months. I only turned 18 in February, the minimum age for entry. ON HORSES FOR COURSES After winning Q School I immediately checked the tournament schedule to see if there were any events at Randpark this year. Sometimes you feel very comfortable at a certain course and I have developed a special affinity with the club. My first major amateur victory came at Randpark’s Bushwillow course in the 2015 Northern Amateur Strokeplay. In 2016 I lost in the first round of the matchplay (Firethorn course) and then caddied for good friend Garrick Higgo, who went on to win the final – so I gained invaluable knowledge of the layout ahead of Q School.
ON THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF Q SCHOOL
Playing golf for 9 out of 10 days is not hard, but when it’s for your future there is a feeling of intense pressure for all competitors.We had just one day off between the first and final stage of Q School and, despite my good form, I found it quite draining. But I knew what I was signing up for. I believe my game is ready for the pro ranks. (Loubser averaged 68.78 for his nine rounds, with six of them in the 60s.)
BORN Pretoria RESIDES Villiersdorp, Western Cape
ATTACHMENT Theewaterskloof GC
TURNED PRO 2017 CAREER Turned professional after winning the Sunshine Tour Q School (20-under at Randpark). Lived with his family for 14 years on the Isle of Man (UK), where he began the game at seven, and won the U-12 and U-13 European Championship in the US Kids Series. Returned to SA in 2014 and won the SA U-15 champs. At the age of 16 he claimed the 2015 Northern Amateur Strokeplay at Randpark. Earned SA colours at the 2016 Africa Amateur.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FINISHING SCHOOL
My parents are both teachers at De Villiers Graaff High School in Villiersdorp, so there’s no way I would have been allowed to stop my schooling to play golf. Last year I played in far fewer amateur tournaments so I could concentrate on my Matric.
ON LEARNING TO PLAY IN THE WIND
I lived with my family in the UK for 14 years and learned to play on the Isle of Man at Mount Murray GC, a challenging layout exposed to heavy winds.When we returned to SA in 2014 my best results were at the coast. I feel like I have an advantage over the field in windy conditions, and am looking forward to the six consecutive Sunshine Tour events at the coast in August/September at Arabella, Wild Coast, Zimbali, Fish River, Humewood and St Francis Links. ON SOCIAL MEDIA I see social media as a release from real life and a cool way to keep in touch with friends while travelling, rather than a platform for self-promotion or bragging. ON BEING BILINGUAL My British accent is less pronounced than it was two years ago, but I’m sure it’s weird for people to see my name on the TV screen but hear a pommie accent (on the Sunshine Tour Weekly show after winning Q School). I actually speak more Afrikaans than I do English.
34 players earned Sunshine Tour cards at Q School.