How His Faith Influences His Game
Dean represents Schoeman Park Golf Club and is a proud product of the Free State region. He has a distinguished amateur career which includes selection for his province in the 2008 and 2009 interprovincials. He also won the International Team Championships in 2009, and decided to turn pro the year after. He endured a tough first season on the Sunshine Tour, but has steadily improved since, and found himself inside the top 40 on the order of merit in 2012. He has five top 10 finishes under his belt and showed his mettle as he came second in the Big Easy Tour Championship in 2011.
2012 and 2013 have been great years, with one win each. However, 2015 has without question been his breakthrough year. Dean has had two wins so far: the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and more recently, the Lombard Insurance Classic.
We recently chatted to him about how his faith influences his game and found out what he thinks of the JOY! Digital App…
Kids: A little boy on the way…Due in July 2015
Home church: Doxo Deo, Bloemfontein
Favourite club in the bag & why?
3 Wood – it’s my go to club and reminds me to stay on the straight and narrow
What age did you start playing and who influenced you to start?
I started playing when I was 5 and my mom got me onto the golf course.
Where are you from and where is your home course?
I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and then moved to Mutare and I used to play on Hillside Golf course. I now reside in Bloemfontein.
Who is your role model?
My biggest role model in golf will have to be my mom because of how humble she is. She had everything and gave it up for her family. My mom grew up being a good junior golfer and then became a good amateur lady golfer for many years, winning the ladies All African Championship twice. She holds many course records all over Zimbabwe including at Royal Harare. I played golf with her the other day – first time in 4 months she had played 9 holes and she shot two over par. She is a natural.
When did you become a Christian/when were you saved?
I grew up in a Christian home and was always in Sunday school, but when we moved to South Africa in 2003 I hit a bit of a bad patch, being thrown out of our country didn’t help. By 2007 I started to connect with the Lord again and when I met my wife in 2011, she really influenced me and pointed me to Christ.
You recently married, how has this affected your faith & your game?
It has made my faith stronger, tenfold. It has made me relax and puts things in perspective, having a wife and someone who loves me through Christ, for Christ and with Christ. It is a phenomenal thing. She is my rock at home and always will be.
You also have a baby on the way I believe? How do you feel about it?
Ah I’m so excited to get home to see how my wife’s stomach has grown and to put my hand on her tummy and feel him kicking – it is such a blessing. The Lord has blessed us in such amazing ways from having almost nothing at the end of the year to where we are now financially is a bonus, but being married and expecting a child, is amazing! My family has come together, we are all in church and my grandfather recently pulled through cancer – my faith is high at the moment.
You’ve played some great golf since being on the tour, especially as of late, congrats on your win in Zimbabwe. What can you contribute this to?
The Lord plays a massive role in my life. Reading the Bible at night, even on my phone through the JOY! Digital App and reading the Bible in a Nutshell Series has really helped me to understand the Word. It has really gotten me reading more and more. My wife prays for me nonstop when I’m on the golf course. My family is also very supportive and my mom prays for me often. It all helps! I do little Christian routines before I tee off, little prayers help me when I’m down and really struggling.I like to read 1 John 5 to 8. God is the light that will always lead us. As prayers go I always thank the Lord for my talent and pray that he gives me patience. I pray that no matter the outcome my faith will not waiver. Little things like this keep me calm.
What’s your favourite verse?
Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd!
You’ve mentioned that the JOY! Digital App has helped you read the Bible, what more can you say about it?
It is user friendly and the testimonies are amazing. It is also great to read about what is trending and read burning issues in relation to the Christian walk. It keeps you in the loop of how people all around the world are doing and experiencing amazing things through Christ.
As a Christian you’re a role model on & off the golf course, do you act differently because of that?
It is difficult because every now and then the devil will come and sit on your shoulder and throw things in your path and how you handle it is a testament to other people who are watching you. It goes both ways but you do the best you can. At a recent Golfing for God meeting, we were chatting about Charl Coetzee… when I saw him at the Joburg Open and it was amazing to still see him smiling after making mistakes on the course; I hope I can be like that.
What advice can you give someone wanting to turn pro?
Stay patient, stay in prayer and stay positive!