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Ken Borland



As McCallum tore through the front nine, it was testament to her comments on player wellness 0

Posted on October 10, 2022 by Ken

DULLSTROOM, Mpumalanga – When Tandi McCallum tore through the front nine at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate on her way to a seven-point victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour section of the Vodacom Origins of Golf ProAm, one could not help but cast one’s mind back to the evening before the first round and her comments as she spoke about how sports performance coach and mental wellness therapist Joanne Mountford has helped her regain peak form.

Mountford, who has been working with the South African women’s hockey team for their World Cup and Commonwealth Games campaigns, is also the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s coach and therapist for the player wellness programme sponsored by BetWay. Because Vodacom firmly believe that Health is Wealth, Mountford was invited as the keynote speaker for the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series ProAm at Highland Gate.

McCallum was on hand to back up Mountford’s methods, and her ProAm victory in the Dullstroom mountains was her third in a row, testament to the success of the player wellness programme.

“It’s crucial to understand what makes you tick, and Jo’s programme makes it very apparent what functions best in your game. If you’re always working on what you’re not good at, then you kind of end up chasing your tail,” McCallum said.

“It’s about consistency and how I manage myself and what I’m good at. It’s about keeping on track and staying in the flow with myself. She has given me techniques I can tap into that lead to better results.

“It had been a while since I had won and I felt like a bridesmaid for three years, getting into contention several times but then just not pushing through. You always find that there are one or two shots down the stretch that make the difference.

“As golfers, we know the value of each and every shot, but you also don’t want to put yourself under pressure. So when your thoughts start running away with you, that’s when I use Jo’s breathing techniques,” McCallum said.

As all golfers know, it can be the most frustrating of hobbies for those who play it socially, but imagine the pressures when it is your livelihood.

“It’s actually very difficult to just play one shot at a time, you can’t help but think about how winning might change your life, extend your playing privileges, get you into certain tournaments etc,” McCallum said.

“So it’s about staying in control of your thoughts and emotions for 18 holes. When I won again, I was leading by three and I was thinking ‘it’s great to be here’, but I was very nervous.

“You need reassurance that what you are doing is working and something as simple as controlling your breathing can get you over the line,” McCallum said before putting it all into practice and sweeping to another victory.

“I try and give the golfers actionable goals so they can stay focused in the moment,” Mountford explained. “I try and help them get rid of anything that hinders, like even perfectionism, which can be great, especially in a golf swing, but there can be a point where you need to let go, otherwise the mind can be very destructive.

“Pressure leads to anxiety, which feeds your sympathetic nervous system which activates fight or flight. So I work with their breathing so they activate their parasympathetic nervous system, which brings their heart and breathing rates down,” Mountford said.

Bruiners praises amateur partner for the way he rose to the occasion 0

Posted on October 10, 2022 by Ken

DULLSTROOM, Mpumalanga – Heinrich Bruiners praised his amateur partner Anton Botha for the way he rose to the occasion on their closing holes to win the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series ProAm at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate on Wednesday.

Bruiners and Botha won by three points in the end, but they were closely pursued by James Hart du Preez and Navin Maharaj, and needed a birdie at their final hole, the par-four 10th, to get them over the line.

“It was really fun and to have a competitive event before our Sunshine Tour tournament is nice,” Bruiners said. “We were in the lead from yesterday and I just said to Anton down the stretch that we needed to be a bit more aggressive and go for the win.

“We had such a good partnership and I thought birdie at the last would be enough. Anton sank his putt for birdie and then I made one too just for a nice finish.

“But I really needed him on the last few holes and he pulled through on four or five holes,” Bruiners said.

With the ProAm now done, the 34-year-old Bruiners will turn his focus to the R1.15 million Vodacom Origins of Golf Sunshine Tour event starting at the mountainous Highland Gate course on Thursday.

“It’s a good omen to win the ProAm and now it’s down to business from tomorrow. I’m swinging well and I finished 11th last week in Pretoria, a bogey at the last cost me a lot, including a top-10 place.

“But it was still a decent performance and now I go into this tournament after playing good golf for two days. Every time I come Mpumalanga or Limpopo side, I seem to play well – it must be something in the air!” the George product said.

He has also been won over by the Highland Gate course.

“When I came four or five years ago, I didn’t enjoy the course so much. I must have been in a very bad mental space though because this course is unbelievable, one of my favourites, definitely in the top-10.

“I’ve got a different perspective now. It’s such a quiet environment out on the course, there’s not so much going on and you feel excluded from all the hustle and bustle,” Bruiners said.

For eight-handicapper Botha, a production manager for Schoeman Boerdery in Groblersdal, his maiden Vodacom Origins of Golf ProAm will give him a lifetime of memories, as well as a place in the final at Pinnacle Point from October 24-27.

“It was just unbelievable, the whole estate and Vodacom’s organisation was amazing. My highlight was the final hole when things were still tight. We both made birdies, I had a three-metre putt, but the monster drive I hit was my best shot of the tournament!” Botha said.

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