Thinus Keller

Thinus Keller – Head PGA Professional

St Francis Links

Thinus Keller
What led you to becoming a PGA Professional?


My passion for golf and our industry started 25 years ago.  Growing up I wanted to be the best player in the world.  My career path took a left turn at the age of 16 when I represented Gauteng North in an Inter Provisional Tournament.  I was happy with my performance in the tournament, however another young star, Charl Schwartzel played golf at a level that was very different. Charl beat me by 40 shots (4 rounds of golf).


I realized that a playing career was always just going to be a dream as there was obviously something missing and I decided to plan my life to be successful in the golf industry, working instead of playing.

How long have you been in your current position?


5 ½ Years
What does your job entail?


Managing all golf and golf-related activities for St Francis Links.  Everyone does more at St Francis Links and I am also involved in maintenance, security and F&B.  My personal highlight for the year was mowing the course during Level 5 of lockdown.
Do you have any environmental or sustainability goals that you have met and would like to share?


St Francis Links was awarded the 2019/2020 John Collier Award for


The Audit included the following key areas

Legal Compliance

Environmental Management Planning

Nature Conservation
Landscape and Culture Heritage
Turf-Grass management
Waste Management

Energy Efficiency and Purchasing Policy

Working Environment

Education and Training

Communication and Public Awareness


Please give us a brief outline of the path you took to lead you to your current position 2003 – 2006 I completed a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Sport and Officiating Coaching Science.
2007 – 2010 I worked at private Country Clubs in Florida and New York.
2011 – 2015 I worked as Golf Operations Manager at Silver Lakes Golf Estate and during this time I also qualified as a PGA Professional.
2015 – Current at St Francis Links
Why do you feel that you would be a good candidate to win this award?


I won this award last year and I aim to improve myself every day.  My passion for the industry is growing and I am excited to go to work each morning.  Every day I give 100% and I lead my team by example.

People describe me as being meticulous, and I view this as my biggest strength.
I have surrounded myself with the best mentors in the industry and if I can impress them then I know that I am doing a good job.