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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland
SIGN up with South African golf coach Grant Veenstra to help you with your golf game and – it’s almost guaranteed – fame and fortune will follow.
Well, it certainly seems that way because the little 36-year-old, himself a former touring professional, is making a huge difference to the careers of his South African clients with his life-changing teaching techniques – both on and off the course.
Ask 25-year-old Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who in 2018 was ranked 505th in the world and making just enough money to stay solvent. Now, this season after a move to Veenstra, he’s posted a maiden win on the European Tour, in the Andalucia Masters, finished second twice and was third last week in the big-money BMW PGA Championship. His earnings so far in 2019 are close to 1,35-million euros,which translates to over R20-million. Plenty of birdies these days. And business class travel.
And quiz Justin Harding, also in the hefty R20m bracket. Shortly after he linked up with Veenstra early this year he won the Qatar Masters, also a European Tour debut win for him. And there are others, like Richard Sterne, second in this season’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship soon after teaming with Veenstra and he has bagged over 1-million euros in 2019. Big Neil Schietekat, who last year after signing on the dotted line, won twice on the Sunshine Tour and had his best season on that tour. There are others, like SA amateur sensations 18-year-old Jayden Schaper and 17-year-old Caitly Macnab, and cricket stars Jacques Kallis (who shot four-under-par 68 in a practice round over the Old Course this week after a Veenstra check-up) and KP Pietersen who is a gifted ball-striker and also seeks guidance from this inspirational little man.
“I just love teaching – my father taught me the fundamentals of the golf swing and I’ve been a student of the game ever since,” said Veenstra on the St Andrews practice facility Tuesday as he checked up on Scheitekat’s putting stroke. “And in Christiaan’s case, there was some swing rebuilding to do but also, as most know, he had this anxiety because of the stutter he developed as a young child. We’ve worked on that too, the mental side, and how he conducts himself off the course and he’s come out of his shell amazingly well. He’s so much more confident now and it’s showed in his golf. He’s such a talent and believe me, ‘Bez’ could win a Major one day.”
Bezuidenhout, in turn, can’t say enough about his coach: “He’s not only my teacher but he’s my mentor and has also become a very good friend. I feel like my game is going through the roof and all thanks to Grant because he has had a lot to do with that.”
Schaper, of course, has, amazingly, been Nomads SA champion at U13, U15, U17 and U19 (strokeplay and matchplay) level, recently won the Junior Players Championship in America, and is in the Junior Presidents Cup team. Schaper is the SA men’s No 1 and Macnab the SA women’s No 1. They too owe plenty to the fabulous swing guru that is Grant Veenstra.
Written by Grant Winter