It's not every day that a golf club can claim not just one, but two members as European Tour winners. We chat to Bertu Nell, CEO, about the secret to their success, and get a little inside scoop on our WPGA star Lee-Anne Pace.
What makes you MOST proud as CEO of Mossel Bay Golf Club? We are extremely proud to have 3 European PGA Winners in our Club
– Louis Oosthuizen on the European Tour, Lee-Anne Pace on the Ladies European Tour and Bertus Smit on the Senior European Tour. I don’t know of any other South African Club that has such bragging rights! And Louis and Lee-Anne are now South African legends…How would you say the club helps to contribute to these formiddable talents? We are passionate about developing golfers and creating opportunities for them to excel. We have been doing golf development at our Club for a long time – all ages, all sexes – anybody who wants to play golf have access to free coaching by a PGA professional and even free junior membership. Our Club is family and children friendly – they can play in all competitions on all days – no limitations – this year (2010) we had 4 juniors (15 & 16 year old) playing in our senior A & B league teams, the one B team winning the league finals.
Regarding the course – we have a links-style coastal golf course. Not very long, but quite tight where strategy off the tee will reward you most. Also being a great putter will surely help a lot. I am sure that the coastal conditions where you can experience 4 different seasons in one day, help to develop a player’s concentration and ability to adapt to different situations.What makes you MOST proud of your club? We are extremely proud to have 3 European PGA Winners in our Club – Louis Oosthuizen on the European Tour, Lee-Anne Pace on the Ladies European Tour and Bertus Smit on the Senior European Tour. I don’t know of any other South African Club that has such bragging rights! And Louis and Lee-Anne are now South African legends……..Will you be seeing Lee-Anne this holiday? Yes, she is back in Mossel Bay today and will visit us a bit later.Is she as friendly as she seems to come across? We are the “Friendly Club” and she is a living ambassador. She is more than friendly, she is genuinely friendly and easy to communicate with.
How old was she when she first joined? Her parents stayed in Mossel Bay, but then moved to Wellington where she went to school. She only started playing golf when she was 18, got her SA colours soon afterwards, then went on a scholarship to the USA and when she completed her studies, she turned Pro. After a few tough years on the LET, she got a management company looking after her sponsorships etc. this year and giving her the opportunity to only focus on her golf. This proved to be the right recipe for excellent golf – 5 wins on the LET. Amazing! Was she an obvious talent then? Yes, since the very first time she started playing. At our Club she plays off the men’s tees to make it extra difficult for her when she practice.Does her family play? Father plays.Any interesting specials the club is running this month? Please see the summer & winter passport on www.grgolfpassport.co.za Are there any special offers for women golfers? On Women’s day, all our lady members play free golf!Anything you'd like to share with fans of the women's game? Hopefully we can host a Lee-Anne Pace South African WPGA event at Mossel Bay Golf Club next year………
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