Sarah Bouch from Ekurhuleni in action during the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge at George Golf Club (Photo by Thinus Maritz/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

2017 Ekurhuleni Player of the Year Sarah Bouch celebrated a provincial breakthrough with an emphatic four shot victory in the Free State Championship at Bethlehem Golf Club this April and she is one of the favourite starters in this year’s Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play. We caught up with Sarah before she travelled to Port Elizabeth Golf Club to get to know the player ever-present, dazzling smile a little better.

FULL NAME: Sarah Anne Bouch
BORN: 19 March 1997 in Benoni, Gauteng
RESIDENCE: Rynfield, Benoni
EDUCATION: 3rd Year student BEd Education in Human Movement Sciences and Mathematics for Senior and FET Phase at The University of Pretoria
CLUB: Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate
UNION: Ekurhuleni
Golf Academy: HPC Tuks Golf Academy
WGSA Ranking: 7

RECENT CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
1st Free State Championship
Making the cut in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Dimension Data Challenge and finishing 2nd in the Amateur field
Selected to represent SA at the 2017 Regional All Africa in Lesotho last year; winning the individual and team championships
Selected for GolfRSA Elite Squad in 2017
1st USSA Championships in 2016 and 2017
Ekurhuleni Player of the Year 2017
3rd RB German Junior in 2016 

TELL US FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW
I am an animal whisperer
I am a perfectionist
I love children
I am obsessed with my nails
I am a child of God

Q – Are you the sort of golfer who sets yearly goals?
SB – yes, I definitely set goals for myself and I have a very comprehensive list!
Consistently make 7 birdies a round
Represent Ekurhuleni in SA 72-Hole Teams Championship
Getting selected for a national squad tournament and get my senior protea colours
Top 5 in every tournament that I play.
Win at least 1 to 4 tournaments
Keep a positive mindset throughout all tournaments and practice
Read my positive affirmations daily
Control my focus and concentration while in tournaments as well as practice
Do my fitness programs daily and cardio at least 3-4 times a week
Lose 5kg and get down to a +5 fitness handicap (currently at +2)
Consistently do all programs before and after rounds

Q – How tough was the transition from the junior ranks to the senior circuit? And how do you manage studies, practice and playing? What are the most difficult obstacles to overcome and how have things improved?
SB – I only started playing senior tournaments when I was in A division and therefore it was not a huge jump for me specifically knowing that I will be playing with my peers on the senior circuit as well.
From a golf point of view I didn’t really struggle it was more of the social side that affected me when I had to socialise with people much older than me.
The University is very accommodating when it comes to me missing classes and tests as The University of Pretoria excel in their sport as well. They prioritise all round achievement in both academic and sport.
I have many gaps between my classes and I will therefore go and practice and have my lessons during these times.
When missing subjects such as math it is very hard to understand the concepts when you haven’t been in the class and I therefore have to self learn many topics. This could be a huge struggle for me especially if I don’t understand it. I do go to my tutor if I need help and therefore it will improve.

Q – You played in quite a few Sunshine Ladies Tour events this year. Did you enjoy the experience and did it impact positively on your game?
SB – I loved playing in those tournaments because I can see where the level of my golf has to be to make a career out of this sport and I feel that when I play in those tournaments against the golfers that play on The European Tour and LPGA, that my golf improves tremendously as the level of golf is very high.

Q – Talk to us about the strengths of your game and what are the weaknesses or aspects of the game you still need to attend to.
SB – I feel that a very big strength of mine is my mindset as many golfers that I play against don’t have the correct mindset as they are either still to young or they don’t practice and play in the right environment.
Another strength of mine is my tee shots as I am very strong with my woods. I feel that my putting will improve with more practice to get it below 30 putts a round.

Q – Where and when did your love affair with golf start?
SB – My granddad on my mom’s side was a very big inspiration for me starting to play golf. I started playing golf when I was 12 and this is when my granddad developed Alzheimer’s and could no longer play. I started to play golf for him. I always loved going to the driving range with my dad which also influenced me to start playing.

Q – Which tournaments would you most like to win and why?
SB – The Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play and Match Play because these are the crown jewels of amateur golf and the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the Leading Amateur in the Investec SA Women’s Open, which would be a stepping stone to becoming a professional.

Q – What advice would you give youngsters just starting in the game?
SB – Don’t be too hard on yourself. Persistence and hard work is key. Don’t quit. Success is closer than you think.
Practice, practice, practice and when you finished practicing, practice more. Enjoy yourself and have fun because at the end of the day if you not enjoying yourself what are you doing it for.

Q – If you had to pick up one animal to describe you, what would it be and why?
SB – Giraffe – graceful, tall, good looking and successful because they stand head and shoulders above the rest. They are not arrogant but they have the extraordinary need to be the centre of attention.

Q – Describe the best meal you’ve had while on the road and where you had it.
SB – Doughnuts at breakfast when I went to Germany to play the RB German Junior.

Q – What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
SB – If you see it and you believe it, you can achieve it. Dream big. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Attitude is everything. See it, Feel it, Trust it.

Q – What is your favourite season and why?
SB – Spring because all new things blossom and it’s the season when everything comes alive.

Q – Is there anything you are addicted to or can’t live without?
SB – My Faith, family, friends, animals, children and manicured nails.

Q – Tell us about something you hate doing and why?
SB – I hate doing things that never stay done, like household chores.

Q – As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
SB – I wanted to be a big sister but that never happened as I am the last born. And a teacher.

Q – What’s your favourite club in your bag?
SB – My driver, a big strength of my game

Q – What is your favourite home-cooked meal?
SB – Roasted chicken. Roasted lamb. Roasted beef. Roasted pork.

Q – Describe yourself in one word.
SB – Loyal.

Q – What movie can you watch again and again?
SB – My two favourites are Something Borrowed and 7 Days in Utopia.

Q – Tell us about three things you consider yourself to be really good at.
SB – Golf, handling children and changing a NO to a YES.

Q – What three things would you need on a deserted island to survive?
A cellphone to contact people to come rescue me, a tent and a knife to hunt for food.

Q – If golf wasn’t an option, what profession would pursue and why?
SB – To be a teacher. I love children and I would do anything to help them develop and grow.

Q – Who would play you in a movie about your life?
SB – Jennifer Lawrence – she is brave and fearless.

Q – Biggest fears?
SB – Snakes, failure and losing the people I love.

FAVS
My favourite food is waffles
My favourite music is Pop
My favourite golfers to watch are JC Ritchie, Rory Mcilroy, Lexi Thompson, Jordan Spieth & Tommy Fleetwood
My favourite sport events to watch are all the majors in golf & Wimbledon
My favourite golf courses in the world are the three courses at Fancourt

STILL ON THE BUCKET LIST:
Shark diving – Sky diving – Watch the Masters live at Augusta – Road trip through Africa and Europe