It is over five years since PGA of South Africa professional Elsabe Hefer became a Certified Putting Instructor (CPI) but the teaching professional at Zwartkop Country Club in Pretoria has used the knowledge gleaned over the years in her coaching and teaching, and encourages golfers to focus more on putting.
“Not enough golfers take putting lessons and they need to be better fit for their putters. Many people have putters that are just far too long for them. Putting is the easiest and fastest way for golfers to improve and if they just did these two things, they would see a big improvement in their scores,” said Hefer, who was attracted to the CPI Course because she had not done a putting specific course before as part of her PGA education.
According to Hefer, the CPI Course provided some essential pieces of information that were very useful.
“The set up definitely stood out as something to focus on and the idea of hand dominance. There were many things in the course that are not in the “manual”, the 6 degrees of freedom really made a lot of sense because it is so simple.
“I found the putter technology area and putter specifications part of the course really nice because it was all very easy to understand and the videos with Frank explaining everything were good,” said Hefer.
PGA of South Africa Member and CPI Elsabe Hefer
Zwartkop Country Club also has The Golf Management Campus based there, which gives youngsters the chance to develop their playing game and learn. Hefer is a coach, delivering the educational materials and has used the CPI teachings to help educate candidates.
“I teach first, second and third year candidates at The School of Golf, where I show them the CPI method. The School of Golf is a PGA Diploma Course which takes 3 years to complete and along with a playing ability assessment they become qualified PGA professionals.”
Hefer is also significantly involved in teaching Zwartkop’s junior program which has over 70 juniors who benefit from not only 18 holes of golf with practice facilities and very nice short game area, but also a 9 hole short course, called the “Pitch and Putter” Course after Dale Hayes popular South African Golf show.
Hayes, a former European Tour player and famous TV broadcaster seeks to appeal to all golfers with his facilities at Zwartkop.
“Our aim is to offer a variety of golf options that will appeal to both young and old as well as the beginner golfer and an accomplished player. We want all golfers who visit Zwartkop to have fun so that when they leave they are already thinking about visiting us again,” said Hayes, who also very clearly sees the importance of putting to the enjoyment of the game.
“During a round of golf you hit more shots with your putter than any other club in your bag so it stands to reason that if you can improve your putting you will improve your scoring significantly. The great Bobby Locke said “you drive for show and you putt for dough.” Harold Henning said “it’s not how you drive, it’s how you arrive.” Learn to putt better and you will both improve and enjoy your golf more.”
Hefer has travelled the world with golf, representing South Africa as a junior in France and in the World Junior Championship in California. She was offered a golf scholarship to university in Beaumont, Texas, USA where she went for 4 years, then turned professional to pursue her Tour card before returning to her native South Africa to pass on her knowledge and experiences to those who seek her first-class coaching.
“I was introduced to golf by my stepfather in Bloemfontein when I was 10 years old. Some people say when they are young that they want to be a lawyer, or a doctor. I always wanted to be a professional golfer.
“From my time as a playing professional I learned that you need to do everything well and your focus on golf needs to be 100%. Every last piece of you needs to be in the game. You can’t do anything wrong, and I am not just talking about golf. I am talking about living right, eating right, sleeping right.
“It’s just not enough to learn to swing the club or to learn how to putt. Its about learning to play the game and the art of scoring.”
Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf, former longtime USGA Technical Director, inventor of the graphite shaft and the person who introduced the Stimpmeter to the game, said,
“Elsabe is obviously an accomplished golfer and a dedicated coach who has taken advantage of the Certified Putting Instructor Course to further her knowledge, improve her business and make a significant contribution to the game.”