Joburg Open & DPP News Flash! 

Tour Diary

So, a poor weekend finish in the SA Open, after what was such an exciting finish to my second round!

I then had chance to build on that result straight away the following week in the Joburg Open. Again that week I was staying with Waleed and his wonderful family, and ‘Wally’ is actually a member at Royal Johannesburg, so I had a bit of home knowledge!

The forecast for the week was not great again, rain and thunder storms, so it was essential to get straight back to work Monday morning to try and beat the weather, and for the Joburg Open you had to play two practice rounds as the tournament was over the East and West courses.

History also shows that the cut at the Joburg Open also tends to be quite low, the West course is a little shorter and scoring is good, but also there are 210 players in the field so the depth is much stronger!

I played 18 holes Monday, had the morning off Tuesday, practised that afternoon, and then played 18 holes on the other course on Wednesday.


I was set to go…I’d done some more fine tuning on my driver with Taylormade, just to check the altitude and a few of my swing numbers such as face, and angle of attack, and they were spot on!!

This week there was also the added incentive of a spot in The Open Championship, the top three players not exempt got their spot…so on the first tee sat the famous Claret Jug!

After already spending a week in SA before Christmas, and another week prior to the Joburg Open, you soon realise what a huge advantage the local SA players have…

  • they are in the middle of their Sunshine Tour season
  • most Europeans have not played for the last month due to the weather (and when they have played the conditions were shocking)
  • the altitude is so different, experience counts for a lot, it’s hard to trust it
  • the grass is like nothing in England, your technique needs to change, theirs doesn’t!

I know this works in reverse when they head to Europe, but it’s great to start your season off in your own back garden!

And just to support to my theory (well, everyone’s theory), in the SA Open there were 10 SA players in the top 12!


So how did my golf go…

For the first two days, it was the best I had played tee to green in a long time; I drove it great, distance was good, and I controlled my irons really well. Also a discipline I have been trying to improve is my course management – when to attack pins, playing to safe spots, more of a patient percentage play, it was a really good two days’ play, I was happy!!

I shot 70, 69 for a -4 total and the cut fell at -3, so I was safely in for the weekend!

It helped having another purple patch in round two with 4 birdies on the spin from the 6th to the 9th!

Again, though, it was a similar story to the SA Open where I went backwards over the weekend – I finished birdie, birdie in round 3 for +3 and shot level par in the final round.

Throughout the week I dropped 15 shots which is far too many; the golf course was not too tricky, but I did get caught out on the greens far too many times – work to be done!!

I ended the week T61st…

Again, I must again thank Wally for another fantastic week on the bag, he has been a huge help on and off the golf course, and as I said last week, I’ve been treated like one of their wonderful family, it truly was home from home!


Spending time with their family was great, I got a real taste of their SA life, rather than the normal week to week routine of hotel to golf course.

The biggest thing you notice as an outsider is how the country is run, the race issues they still have, the corruption, the crime stories and what financial changes have recently developed. The country’s financial minister recently opened his mouth on Twitter saying ‘why does South Africa need to worry about the dollar/pound and euro’ to then see the South African rand drop from 15 to the pound to 24 to the pound.

It’s incredibly cheap for a European to travel to SA but even cheaper if you’re from the UK; a nice meal out for a steak will cost you £5, a beer £1, a huge house for comfortably £100,000.

Life is pretty laid back, but from inside secure walls!

The South Africans are great people, very friendly and welcoming, but like all parts of the world there is violence and trouble, it just seems easier to find in SA…

For example, on an evening in many areas you don’t stop at red traffic lights, just make your way sensibly through them unless you want someone to ‘smash & grab’ from your car window, as some players so nearly experienced.

There is also the well-known ‘Rolex’ gang in the local area who target tourists in shopping malls, and two players actually had a face to face experience with them, and after having a gun pointed at their chest they promptly handed over 3 very expensive watches, one which had just been purchased from the Rolex shop, along with two wallets and two iPhones…. tip off…? who knows…but a pretty scary moment for them!!

On a happier note though, South Africans love their sport and I got to experience some world class sport at its highest level!

I’m no cricket fan, but thanks to Wally and his connections I got to watch England comfortably beat South Africa in their own back yard in the Test match – that was pretty cool, and in corporate hospitality too.

Again, thanks, Wally!!

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Overall it’s been a pretty successful two weeks on the road, to play both events in SA, to make both cuts, and to keep adding to my Race to Dubai standings is all I can do…hopefully a big week is around the corner.

I’ve got my plan/process in place which I believe in, and I know my time will come!

I can’t wait!!

But to finish the week in SA, I couldn’t go without snatching the Big Easy for a photo, what a legend of the game and what a fantastic guy he is, he really does have time for everyone, and the love the South Africans have for him is amazing!

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I’m now home for three weeks as my category will not get me into any of the events in the Middle East, so it’s a great time to see the family, catch up with many of you, and get some productive practice done before I fly back out to SA for the Tshwane Open, Pretoria, in February.

Bring it on!


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DPPublicity continue their sponsorship for the 2016 season!!


Having had the support from David Pitts of DPPublicity (DPP) for the past two seasons, and to now gain promotion to the European Tour, has just shown what an amazing help David and his companies have been!

Without their support this dream would not have come true!

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So for them to have committed to continue their support as my main sponsor for the 2016 season is fantastic news for me, enabling me to fulfil my lifelong ambition to win on the European Tour.

Keep your eyes peeled on the European Tour for the DPPublicity logo on my Stromberg clothing and Taylormade bag and hats!

I really can’t thank them enough!

If you would like to find out more about Wakefield based DPP then please follow the below link…the company tell me they are always on the lookout for energised people to join their full service ad agency, from web designers to client managers. DPP were established in 1988 and are leaders in their field of automotive marketing, part of their package with me includes a car which is quite appropriate!

Last modified: June 3, 2019