7th June 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Football great Radebe inspires Sunshine Tour pro Bruiners
By Michael Vlismas
When Lucas Radebe spoke to the Sunshine Tour’s Gary Player Class of golfers recently, what he said to inspire them hit Heinrich Bruiners like a one iron right between the eyes.
“He told us that nobody can be you. You need to want to do this for yourself and not for anybody else,” Bruiners said. Radebe’s advice came during his motivational talk for the Tour’s talent identification squad, of which Bruiners is a member, at their boot camp at the World of Golf.
The boot camps form part of a collective effort by the Tour and several major sponsors to give the Gary Player Class golfers every chance at success with access to the best practice facilities, coaching and advice. It builds on the work done by the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) and other foundations such as the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation (EEFF) to develop talent, and then helps these players to make a success of their professional careers.
And on this occasion, Radebe was encouraging them to look inwards and identify what really drives them to become better professional golfers.
It’s a message Bruiners took to heart, because he went through a similar process on his own at the beginning of this year.
“I took a long break from tournaments. I’d been playing events and getting nowhere. I was practising for five hours a day, hitting hundreds of golf balls on the range, and then going to the gym, but I realised I was doing it just to show people I’m working hard. So I cut down my practice time to make it more focused. I read somewhere that you have to live your performance and be in the zone all the time, not just when you’re competing. I practice with more intensity now rather than just mindlessly hitting balls.”
The result has been a rise in form that recently saw Bruiners lose playoffs on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour and then the IGT Tour in successive weeks before finding himself near the top of the leaderboard again after the first round of this week’s Sun City Challenge on the Sunshine Tour.
There’s a definite sense that Bruiners’s new approach is signalling a new phase in his career. He claimed his maiden and to date only victory on the Sunshine Tour in the 2013 Vodacom Origins of Golf at Euphoria Golf Estate. This came after he fought his way back from a serious car accident in 2010 where he was out of the game for two months.
“I’ll be honest, there are still times when I’m playing in a bit of pain from the accident. But I don’t complain. The recent play-off defeats have taught me so much and shown me I’m headed in the right direction. It’s a learning process. There are so many things that influence you as a professional golfer, but like Lucas says, it’s about doing it for yourself regardless of what anybody else says.
“I know I’m good enough to win again. It’s now just about me finding the right formula as I get to know myself better.”