30 January 2017 – Saint Andrew’s junior school teacher Pierre Grobler has been burning up golf courses for some time in the senior ranks. His latest success came over the weekend when he won the super-senior title at the Free State Seniors Championships, which were held at the Bloemfontein Golf Club.
It was a challenging weekend, with the competitors playing 36 holes on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. Nasty rough sent the scores soaring.
“It was pretty tiring and the guys from outside battled because the rough was very rough. It was tough to hack it out of there. The game was difficult,” Pierre said on Monday.
A good challenge
“Also, it wasn’t set up for seniors because there was a club competition at the same time, so the set-up was from the normal club tees. It was playing very long. It was a good challenge.”
He added: “We were playing medal, so if you dropped five shots on a hole that was it. You would have to take that.”
Pierre Grobler is one of three brothers. All three, Pierre, Etienne and Anton played provincial cricket and hockey, with Anton also playing provincial schools tennis and squash.
Pierre put together rounds of 84, 82 and 82. “Over those three rounds, I had 11 double-bogeys!” he exclaimed.
“I played decently, but just messed up along the way. That showed how difficult the rough was. If you were slightly off line, maybe in the rough or behind a tree, you were punished. Winter conditions are a lot easier.”
Thankfully, he continued, his competition seemed to find the rough even trickier than he found it. In the end, he finished as the number one super-senior and was fifth overall.
It wasn’t a first golf title for Pierre. He has won a number of super-senior events in the past. He is also a member of the Free State Seniors’ Society and has for the past four years won their Championships.
Previously, Pierre represented the Free State in cricket as a seam bowler, but with his cricket days behind him he made the decision to turn his attention to golf.
“I love golf. I don’t run after a ball anymore. I now walk after it and hit it,” he laughed. “That comes with age.
“Years ago, having played competitive sport, I missed that competitive aspect and I decided to try and work at it and get selection for the Free State senior golf team, which I managed to do.”
He has, in fact, played provincial golf for the past seven years in the senior ranks. Now that he has reached 60 years of age he is a ‘super-senior’.
“My aspirations remain to be selected for the Free State side because you can go to the Inter-provincials and I just love that competition,” Pierre said.
His brothers, Anton and Etienne, both taught at Saint Andrew’s too. With all three having played provincial cricket and hockey, the sibling rivalry has always been strong. That now extends to golf.
“Competitive,” Pierre grinned when asked about their showdowns on the golf course. “Extremely competitive, but good fun. We enjoy it and we all play golf.”