The quote from Sally Little: “to compete more, you succeed more” is the best way to describe the problem and solution for all the woman’s Professional golfers is South Africa.
For the past 2 decades there just was not enough opportunity for ladies in South Africa to compete in South Africa, not to mention overseas. If you did not come from a very wealthy family or got lucky with financial backing you just had no chance to succeed as a golfer.
I know that we have a very strong and good amateur program in South Africa. They have a great ranking system and you can even get ranked on the World Amateur Rankings. There is at least one tournament every month and this gives young girls the opportunity to become great golfers. There are also opportunities to represent South Africa and compete against the best of the worlds amateurs.
The problem starts when you want to go to that next level of golf and turn professional. You suddenly need a lot of money to become successful. South Africa does not have a very big Pro Tour and the prize money compared to the men is ridiculous. So the next chance to compete for bigger prize money is to go to Europe or America. But with the Rand being so weak it has become un affordable to go to LET Tour school or LPGA tour school. If we can work together and Support UniMedia PRO to develop and grow the Pink Stig Brand to a point that we have 12-15 Professional golf event right here in South Africa the local Professional golfers do not have to travel overseas to compete.
I started golf very late at the age of 21 and really fell in love with the game. It was the first sport I needed to work on to become better. I was very sporty at school and did athletics, cross Country, netball, tennis and hockey.
My tennis coach was very sad every year when our Tennis season came to an end as she believed that I had the talent to become a professional tennis player. It was my dream to play at Wimbledon and Steffi Graff was my hero. I still look up to her. But as a kid I wanted to do all different sports because I was great at all of them. Unfortunately I did not become a pro tennis player, but in a way I am glad that I did not become one, because I would not have met my husband and started playing golf.
It just shows you that God has a plan with each of us. I have learned to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to lead me through life and to not question things that happens to one, either good or bad. He reveals everything on His clock.
I think that I am very lucky to have a very supportive husband that will do everything in his power to get me the best of what we can afford to grow my golf. I have started golf late and I do not have many competitive years left and so I grab every opportunity with both hands to be the best golfer I can be. I am a very hard worker and always give my all to succeed. About three years back my husband and I sat down and thought of ways to give me the chance to play more competitive professional tournament.
We have decided it might be a good plan to try to move to another country where we can afford to travel to other countries for golf etc. It was a very big decision as we are both passionate South Africans and our families are both living in the same town, but as Christians we totally put our trust in God to guide us. We started the process and said if anything goes wrong and do not work out or if we struggle to get the process done we will know that it is a sign that we should stay in South Africa.
Everything went 100%, we did not have a single problem to apply. We have had permanent Residency in Australia for the past 2 years already, but still did not move. It is tough to just resign before having work in Australia and when you give up a good position in South Africa, it is very hard to get it back again.
I do not really know why I kept all of this from you this week, maybe because we are very private people and it was too soon to trust you all with such big news….. But now we know each other a little bit better……..This past few days was very tough for me mentally, but I think I still performed well under the circumstances. Riaan left for Australia on Sunday evening at 19:00 pm only from OR Tambo. So he dropped me of at Lanseria earlier that day and left for OR Tambo airport knowing we will not see each other for a long time.
We decided that I will stay in South Africa for the rest of the year to prepare for the SA Woman’s open and SA Woman’s Masters at the end of the year and also to prepare for the Sunshine Ladies Tour in January. I will keep supporting and playing in our events every year.
And what happened on Tuesday is unbelievable…….
Riaan went for his very 1st job interview not really knowing what to expect, a new country, an Afrikaans South African and he got the position and is starting on Monday. The town has a beautiful golf course with both lady and men professionals. Wow what is the chance…….And back here in South Africa I had the most amazing experience and really well looked after by the friendliest people I have ever met. Making us all feel like a family. Thank you very, very much. The golf day was a huge success I believe. Everyone had a great time and seemed to have enjoyed the day. The outfits looked great; the only thing I would say is to let the players know what colour bottoms to wear, as I heard some of the people complaining.
My favourite part was driving in the Maserati, not many people will ever get that chance and will I ever get the opportunity again? The function was awesome and thanks for all the hard work each member of the team has put in. I know that we got the right message out there and I really, really hope that each and every corporate company will support PINK STIG to develop this tour for us in South Africa.
I want you to know that I am 100% behind this ‘Tsunami’ and would love to be a part of this journey. Let’s grow South African Golf to the level it was always meant to be. PS: If we as professional Golfers can only focus on our game and not have to worry about money, you will see us fly high.
Alana van Greuning