Thinus Keller – Head PGA Professional
St Francis Links
|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
ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN GOLF COURSES
The Audit included the following key areas
Environmental Management Planning
Energy Efficiency and Purchasing Policy
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.