Gary Pouponneau qualifies as Seychelles’ third professional golfer and plans to develop the game locally


(Seychelles News Agency) – Gary Pouponneau has become the third Seychellois professional golfer after qualifying as Association of Professional Golfers (PGA) Class A player in South Africa.

Pouponneau, who is the director of golf at Constance Lemuria golf courseon the second most populous island of Praslin, successfully completed a three-year course at the Bryanston Country Club in South Africa.

He received his certificate earlier this month to become Seychelles’ third professional golfer. The other two are his mentor William Weidner and Yves Edmond.

SNA spoke to Pouponneau to find out more about his future plans as a professional.

SNA: How did you get into golf?

generalist: I started playing golf at what used to be called the Reef Golf Club attached to the Reef Hotel at that time. I was introduced to golf by a friend of my brother. His father was a member of the Reef Golf Club at that time. One day he asked my brother to come play golf with him on a Sunday afternoon. We were sneaking onto the golf course at hole 7, which was very close to my parents’ house. The clubhouse closes around 5pm on Sunday and at that time there was no one on the course. We took the opportunity to try to play.

Without knowing anything, we just picked up the golf club and tried to swing it our way. A few times we were spotted by the golf club manager and ran away as we didn’t know how to play and were just digging holes around the course. Interested in sports, we started going caddy for gamers. The golf club held a tournament for caddies and I was the winner of that event. As a prize, I won a membership and that’s how golf began for me.

SNA: What have been the highlights of the local golf tournaments for you?

general practitioner: I participated in many local tournaments as a junior and won many, some such as Seybrew Classic, Barclays Mug, Cable & Wireless and match play. My most memorable victory was the club championship.

SNA: When did you decide you wanted to become a professional golfer?

generalist: I am very grateful to have my hobby become a passion and now my career. Since joining Lemuria I have worked with six different golf professionals and learned a bit from everyone to improve myself as I wanted to follow this path.

My goal was to one day play professionally or manage a golf club. In 2011 I completed a Golf Teaching and Teaching Certification course with the South African Golf Teachers Federation (SAGTF) ​​and was also a member of the World Golf Teachers Federation (WGTF) . After passing the course, I lost my amateur status and became a teaching pro.

Pouponneau is director of golf at Constance Lemuria golf course on Praslin. (Vanessa Lucas, Tourism Seychelles) Photo License: CC-BY

SNA: How was the training to become a pro in South Africa?

generalist: Training with the PGA of South Africa has been a challenging journey and a fun learning experience. I was able to explore the golf industry more deeply. I was able to meet other golfers and make friends and contacts in this industry. I have discovered that there are many opportunities to grow and develop your golf skills.

SNA: As a sports professional, what are your future projects?

generalist: The plan is to grow the game of golf locally by introducing it to more young people and women. Encourage and support young people as they are the future of golf in Seychelles. My personal plan is to play in professional events and bring trophies.

SNA: What sacrifices have you made to get to where you are now?

generalist: There has been a lot of sacrifice and effort over the three-year program. Considering you have a daily job and ensuing responsibilities, a family and finding the balance and time to study and submit assignments was a challenge. There were a lot of sleepless nights, even though I took a vacation, I still had to keep up with homework and study.

My goals from the start were to make sure I passed all my exams and followed the standards to become a fully qualified PGA Professional. I was surprised and even prouder of myself when I was announced as a 2022 Associates finalist out of 33.

SNA: What would you say it takes to be a good golfer?

generalist: It depends on how you define good. It takes years to be good at golf. Some exceptionally talented and hardworking people can learn the game in about a year, most people will take a few years.

Golf is complicated and involves more than the physical side, there is also a huge mental side to golf. It’s almost impossible to get better at golf without at least putting in the time to practice. The more time you spend, the better you can improve and ensure your practice is effective.

SNA: What do you think of the level of golf in the Seychelles at the moment?

generalist: We have come a long way and we still have room to improve. We have good and talented golfers in the Seychelles. To move to the next level, we need to be more exposed to international competition. The more you play on other sites, the more you test your abilities with other players and help bring your best game.

SNA: What advice do you have for young Seychellois golfers looking to turn professional?

generalist: If you want to reach the Pro level, you must fully commit yourself and devote your time to golf. There are a lot of sacrifices and like any other sport, it takes hours and hours of practice to develop your game.

Commit to working very hard and exercising self-discipline. Golf has taken on a new trend over the past couple of years. To be able to reach the highest level, players must be willing to spend hours in the gym for their fitness, but not just to focus on their game as they need both fitness and fitness. a good golf swing to play their best.

And nutritional regimens to make sure every part of their body can work to swing the club as efficiently as possible. There is also the mental part to keep the concentration in order to achieve your goals.

SNA: Do you have any words of encouragement for budding golfers?

generalist: Golf is a fascinating and interesting game; it is difficult and can be frustrating at first. The most important thing is to learn how to have fun and enjoy it.


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