Pro-golfer Elbert manages what is arguably one of the most beautiful golf courses on the North Coast, Simbithi. Having recently been promoted to sports manager of the estate, we asked him to empty his golf bag and share some of the best reasons to take up the ‘gentleman’s (or woman’s?) game…
10 reasons to get golfing:
1 Golf keeps you fit
It may not be the most exertive sport, but you burn loads of calories on the golf course. Also, you do so at your own pace, so there’s no pressure.
2 It’s like taking a walk…
Sometimes I’m out on the course for five hours at a time. You’re not running, you’re taking a cool walk outdoors. It’s refreshing and re-energising.
3 Great networking
It’s not a myth: deals certainly get clinched on the course! But lasting relationships are also formed between people from all walks of life and of all golfing skill levels. A few hours is a good amount of time to get to know someone!
4 Manners and discipline
There’s a reason it’s called the ‘Gentleman’s Game’. Golfing requires respect and etiquette and it certainly fosters discipline. This is a great reason for juniors to learn the game. The lessons of golf filter through to the lessons of life.
5 Friendships are strengthened
Again, because you are out there with just your partner’s company for hours on end, you get to indulge in uninterrupted bonding. Conversation can flow easily while you explore the course because there is nothing else to distract you.
6 It’s never boring
Contrary to popular belief, golf is far from boring. The course and the conditions are never the same and your game is always different. Golf can also be played in several different formats, so you never quite know what you’re going to get.
7 A healthy challenge
Golf can never really be mastered. There is always something to learn and work at – even for the most experienced players. Each time you step out onto the course, you challenge yourself to be better.
8 Epic socialising
The feeling of sitting down with friends after a good game, for a few drinks, is unbeatable. If you’ve had a frustrating game, the drinks (and live music, if you’re at Simbithi’s Drop Zone bar) console you. If you have had a good game, there’s no better way to celebrate.
9 Golf helps you relax
Golf courses are notoriously beautiful. Bright, green and natural – and away from the madness of our busy lives. When it’s just you, your clubs and the greens, you feel a sense of calm that is unrivalled.
10 Fantastic courses!
I am a little biased, of course, but a course like Simbithi would inspire anybody to take up golf – if only because it is the perfect mix of enjoyment and challenge in a picturesque setting.
What’s in Elbert’s golf bag?
Clubs: driver: Mizuno JPX 900, fairway: JPX 3 wood, 2 iron: Fli High, 4-pw: Mizuno JPX Tour irons, 50,56,60: Mizuno T7 and Odyssey Milled Collection #7; Balls, 100 tees, three pitchforks, three ball markers, a towel, a rain suit, spare gloves (normal leather and wet weather gloves), a ‘little brown bag’ equipped with plasters for feet and fingers, rehydrate, muscle relaxers, Fastum gel and one or two extras, a golf ball marking tool and three different colour sharpies, spare socks and a rain cover!
Get to know Elbert . . .
Growing up in Alberton, Elbert (like many boys his age) idolised the likes of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. To have legends like Els and Phil Simmons grace Germiston Country Club, where he was a member, only spurred Elbert’s burning passion for the game. He picked up a set of clubs at 14-years-old and was hooked. After matric, golf took Elbert around the world and, when he returned in 2006, he began his PGA apprenticeship at Mount Edgecombe Country Club. He credits his growth as a golfer to his mentors during that period: Phil Simmons, Hilton Anderson and Steve Cottingham. In 2010 Elbert took over Simbithi’s golf department. At 33-years-old, Elbert is still passionate about the game. After eight years managing the golf side of things, Elbert was promoted to Sport Manager.
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photography: Chris Allan
Get It Magazine Ballito/Umhlanga – October 2018