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Thinus Keller

Thinus Keller – Head PGA Professional

St Francis Links

Thinus Keller
@thinuskeller
@kellerthinus
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

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.