Club champ overcomes match struggles to claim maiden victory
GOLF: All it took was a simple equipment change to reignite Alex Van Ansem’s confidence on the green.
The Laidley golfer had been struggling with inconsistent match play and form before finally listening to a mate to swap his gear.
And when the Laidley Golf Club’s annual club championships was pushed back from August to September, it gave the 27-year-old the chance to find his swing.
The result – Van Ansem claimed his first A-Grade club championship title.
“I was relieved,” he said.
“A lot of people in the club had been wanting me to win this for a while. It was playing on my mind a bit.”
The club champs were run across four Saturdays in September, and Van Ansem led the A-Grade through the competition.
With a handicap of 5, he finished with an overall score of 302 – five shots ahead of Bodhi Spall (307) and Scott Larkin (308).
“I kept saying to myself it’s just another game, that’s all it is,” Van Ansem said.
The biggest challenge of the competition was the windy conditions, which golfers faced each weekend.
Drought conditions also impacted the quality of the course.
“Having a coastal breeze snap to a westerly wind made some of the longer holes play even longer,” Van Ansem said.
“A few of them are challenging enough when there’s no wind.”
But it was an emotional victory for Van Ansem, who had lost his sister, Sjaan Van Ansem, almost two years ago.
“When it was my turn to finish my round on the last hole, the other golfers will say I teared up,” he said.
“The first thing that came to my mind was my sister. Seeing that smile and knowing how happy she would have been put a tear in my eye.
“It’s a bit hard to putt when you’re thinking like that.”
Van Ansem will take to the greens this Saturday for the club’s monthly mug and has his eye on claiming the annual mug of mugs title.
He is also playing in Laidley’s A-Grade pennants team, which is currently sitting in third place in the Moreton and District competition.
He started playing golf at eight-years-old after seeing Stuart Appleby play in the Australian Open.