WE were two old codgers – Jeremy and me – in our seventies playing in one of Randpark’s midweek senior competitions. We were supposed to be a fourball but one of the players couldn’t make it and another cried off ill just before teeing off. So we were only a twosome and over the first nine on Firethorn we noticed that a couple of young boys playing behind us were hitting some darn good shots.
There was a wait on the tenth tee which allowed enough time for the boys, both slightly built, to catch us up. “Can we join you?” they said. We didn’t see any reason why not, figuring that it might do us old hackers some good to play alongside a couple of youngsters. After all, golf is a game for young and old.
We asked them their names, how old they were and what handicaps they played off. “We’re both called Jean,” said Jean du Toit. “And he’s Jean Taljaard,” he added, pointing to his buddy. “And we’re both 13 years old, just about to start high school.” And handicaps? “He’s off 16 and I’m a two.”
What, we thought, a two handicap at age 13! Jean du Toit, playing off the white markers, then bombed a huge drive up the middle at Firethorn’s long par-4 followed by a high, beautiful four-iron approach which found the heart of the green. It’s not surprising that he represents Central Gauteng at age-group level and indeed he was wearing his Central Gauteng golf shirt. And young Taljaard wasn’t far off the mark. So, over the next nine holes, these two young lads gave us a lesson on how golf should be played. The 16-handicap Jean recently joined Randpark and has a superb, natural swing which is seriously not unlike Louis Oosthuizen’s. He plans to have lessons for the first time and it won’t be surprising if he too has a single figure handicap in the not-too-distant future. And Jean du Toit is a genuine, talented two-handicap who attends the Buhrmann-Du Toit Golf Academy at Eagle Canyon and is coached by Andre Louw.
“He’s really good at all the sports,” said a smiling young Taljaard pointing to the other Jean. “We’ve known each other and been friends right since Grade 1 and at Fairlands Laerskool we both played in the ‘A’ teams whether it was rugby, cricket or tennis. But he was always number one and I was like number three!”
Both also excel on the academic front and their top 5 positions in class last year should stand them in good stead this year, as Du Toit starts high school at TrinityHouse and Taljaard heads for Linden Hoerskool.
Jean du Toit recently finished ninth in the Nomads Under-15 nationals at Selborne, closing the 54-hole event with a splendid one-over-par 73. He’s a name for the future and, judging by his swing and the distance he achieves off his slight frame, so is Jean Taljaard.
Jean and Jean: Two young stars mad about golf with a great future ahead of them. Jeremy and me? Two old goats mad about golf with a great future behind us …
Just a reminder again that golf is for both young and old!
Written by Randpark member Grant Winter.