Blisters to Birdies: turning a passion into a profession.
A little about myself and how I got to decision to become a professional golfer. I was born in the Netherlands in 1981, my mother is American and my father was Dutch. In 1988 I moved to the U.S.A. and for the majority of my time lived in Buffalo Grove, IL just outside of Chicago. I first picked up a golf club at around 12 years old and immediately was hooked. I started practicing on the range as much as I could and started developing my game. As the years passed by I showed that I had a talent for the game and played 4 years for my school team. In the summers I would go out with my friends for a round of golf and play until we couldn’t see our balls in the darkness and then try to sneak a few extra holes in. I eventually went off the school at University of Arizona, which was pretty much the only school I wanted to go to as it had two qualifying characteristics I was looking for in a school: great weather and golf.
In 2005 I decided to move back to Netherlands to work in real estate, this was always something I wanted to try. After arriving I quickly learned that there are less golfers in the Netherlands then in U.S. My clubs made the trip over but ended up sitting in storage and barely got out in the sunlight. I met my wife Tamara pretty quickly after moving here and got married in Dec of 2007. A couple months later we found out we were having our first child Amber, this is where my life kind of turned more to golf surprisingly. We had to find a new place to live as our apartment in Amsterdam was not suitable for a baby, we eventually made a decision to build a new house and to move to Barendrecht while our house was being built. While living in Barendarecht and being very close to Rhoon golf center I was playing more often and got the desire to play more and more. I joined the M.A.C. (maandag avond club) which is a group of gentleman who play every Monday afternoon.
After moving to my new house I became a member at Almerehout which was a five minute drive from my house and would be regularly hitting balls on the range. In 2012 I decided to take a look at The Dutch which was a new golf course of the highest quality, I quickly became a member. The Dutch has an amazing course and practice facilities, I was hooked again and trying to play as much as possible. In the end of 2012 my wife knowing how much I loved golf and my talent asked “can you be pro?” Thinking about that question and reading about www.thedanplan.com online I thought that if I really worked hard that I might have a shot.
We decided that I would go for it and made a deal with my swing coach Raymond Scheffer for 100 lessons. I hit balls in the snow, in the rain, in the sun, more rain, less sun, and worked on getting my swing consistent. As I was dropping in handicap and winning competitions I saw the real chance of making something out of it. In the end of 2013 I met two young talented golfers (Giesbert Grommers, David van den Dungen) who were just turning pro. I decided to sponsor them to become members at The Dutch so that they could have the best facilities to reach their potential and for me to see how I measure up and learn from them. I learned a lot from them, from how they play and they helped me work on my weaker points in my game. I also learned that I was not far off from being able to play at their level. After another full winter and summer of working on my game and developing the mental side with Constant Smits van Waesberghe I have decided to go pro.
This is not something I shared with everybody as I don’t expect to be on European tour anytime soon but this allows me to play on satellite tours such as EPD, Europro golf tour, and Ecco tour where I can play high quality talent on beautiful golf course. I also want to be able to share my knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm of golf by being able to take people out on the course to share it. When I was 16 or so my mom asked “what do you want to do later in life.” My response was I want to be a pro golfer/consultant and take clients on the course dazzle them with golf and close deals. Following that idea I want to be able to take people who want to take their clients, patners, colleagues, or freinds and offer them an amazing day at the best golf course in the country. I will leave closing the deal to my 16 year old imagination of running Wall Street with golf and knowledge.
I have received tremendous amount of support from my family and friends about this decision, who motivate me to do the best that I can and to enjoy doing what I love. I thank you all very much!
"I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone's golf game: It's called an eraser."
"A passion, an obsession, a romance, a nice acquaintanceship with trees, sand and water."
"Golf is a game in which you yell 'fore', shoot six and write down five."