Director of Golf
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2016
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- The Els Club Copperleaf, Pretoria, South Africa; Inside Right Club Management, Johannesburg, South Africa; Centurion Country Club, Centurion, South Africa; Golf Woodhill Country Club, Pretoria, South Africa; Golf Inner Circle Ltd (Dale Hayes Golf Events), Pretoria, South Africa; 18Global, Glasgow/ Leeds, United Kingdom; The National Golf Club (The PGA Club), Johannesburg, South Africa; Golf Club Management Ltd, Durban, South Africa; Port Elizabeth Golf Club, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Humewood Golf Club, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Dave Usendorff Golf, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Wesbank, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Queen’s College and University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa
- English and Afrikaans
Hailing from Johannesburg in South Africa, Dave Usendorff is a name that resonates in the golfing world of South Africa and Mauritius. A regular golf commentator, a member of the South African PGA Board of Directors, and having held a number of senior operational roles for various clubs and courses, it may seem a long time since he first began his career as a caddie. "I used to be the caddie for my father," says Dave, "who encouraged me to start playing golf from only 11 years old. With time, the game moulded my life. Playing golf and working in golf was not an option - it was a natural evolution for me."
With much focus, hard work and determination, Dave grew from a caddie to turn professional, playing for the Sunshine Tour for two years, from 1992 to 1994. While his time on the Tour will always carry fond memories, it was another path that was calling Dave. When he received an offer to become a golf club's head professional, he took on a new journey, finding time to acquire his PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) qualification and taking time for personal development through studies in both South Africa and the USA.
In 1995, Dave took on his first assignment as director of golf in Pretoria, South Africa. "Once I became director of golf, I never looked back; it was an instant fit for me. I love the buzz of the operation, the teamwork and of course, the people you meet. For me, a player's game begins when they arrive in the car park and only ends when they drive out of the gate - I want to be able to impact their experience from start to finish making sure it is one they never forget and will always come back for."
Aside from progressing to become director of golf at some of South Africa's most prestigious clubs, such as The Els Club Copperleaf, Dave continued his development in other areas of the golfing industry. Off the green, he was involved in running various golf clinics, PGA Pro Ams and the marketing of national amateur events, while also establishing his own charity, the Dave Usendorff Charity Trust, which raises funds to assist youngsters in their education. He also appeared in front of the camera, working closely with golf legend Dale Hayes on SuperSport as commentator and presenter. "Golf became part of who I am. It gave me the opportunity to meet the most diverse cross section of people, each of whom fuelled my passion for the game."
Being no stranger to Mauritius, Dave is well-acquainted to the settings of the island that he already visited 38 times before his move. One of these trips was in fact for the opening of Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita. "I was very fortunate to be present for the opening of this golf course with Ernie Els, and so to now be back here as Golf Director is a true privilege."
And it is not only for himself for which the sport is important. "Golf is a love affair for the Usendorff family," says Dave. His wife Elri and his two sons Michael and Adam have played together as a family on many different golf courses around the world, including Mauritius. As a couple, Dave and Elri have a personal record to have played together on more than 200 different golf courses worldwide, and they continue this challenge during his days off in Mauritius, exploring other courses, meeting new people and discovering the culture and landscapes of Mauritius.