‘Smiley’ For God

– interview by Andrew Georgiou

Arnold Palmer once said golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. And for Christiaan ‘Smiley’ Basson, keeping it simple is the aim of the game. Raised near the beaches of Cape Town in Strand. His progression as an amateur was very impressive and it was not long until he had chipped out a notable career for himself. After consistently pursuing his dream, Smiley got his Springbok Colours and represented SA at the World Amateur Championship in 2006. The following year, Christiaan took the decision to turn pro and has established himself as a force to be reckoned with ever since.

A testimony of faith
A happy extroverted guy, Christiaan is known as ‘Smiley’ for his positive demeanour on tour. We met up after a round of golf and I got a glimpse into the life of this young sportsman and the way he always tours with God at his side. Smiley was raised in a Christian home, but only really connected with Jesus a few years ago: “Every Christian walk has it’s bumps and storms, but the longer you walk in the ways of God, the more you learn to have faith in Him to endure the challenges. I see God’s hand in my life and the way He orchestrates and plans everything.”

Marital bliss
In 2012, just five weeks after winning the Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open, Smiley married his sweetheart, Ronalda. After a week of rain, the skies cleared and the couple celebrated their wedding reception on a beautiful farm in Franschhoek.

Being away from home
Smiley is good mates with Jake Roos and Charl Coetzee who he often gets to travel with: “Charl is also a Christian and it is so encouraging to have support from your fellow-players. This is an individual sport and can be quite lonely, but when you have friends to tour with, it feels as if you are a part of a team.”

Advice to young golfers
While growing up, Smiley was greatly influenced by Ernie Els. Soon young amateur golfers will look up to Christiaan as a brilliant, joyful sportsman with a passion for God. His advice to any young golfer is: “You have to have goals and learn from the professionals around you. Look at the Christian golfers, but also know that everyone has a different routine and you need to find your own unique style. Keep in mind that whatever you do off course will affect your game, so get everything in line with being professional.”

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