Fast-learning Louis targets Australian Open
“It is lonely being on the other side of the world by yourself,” jetsetting professional golf hopeful Louis Dobbelaar said.
“You learn to live on your own terms.
“It is different from what you’re used to.”
The promising Brookwater player recently returned from a trip to the United States and Europe, including the Netherlands, Scotland and England.
While abroad, he contested six junior and amateur events over nine weeks, gaining priceless experience on and off the course.
Admittedly, he achieved mixed results but the adventure offered an ideal opportunity to test his game in unfamiliar surrounds.
“It was a positive trip,” Dobbelaar said.
“I performed pretty solidly. Had a couple of good results and a couple of average ones.
“It has been a big learning year.”
Alone for the second half of the tour, he also learned what it was like to be by himself in a foreign land.
Basics which are often taken for granted every day like communicating with ease, organising transportation and travel logistics, feeding himself and combatting isolation were just some of the challenges he encountered.
Those insights into what life on the PGA Tour might be like for the reigning Queensland Amateur Men’s Champion will undoubtedly hold him in good stead as he treads a well-worn path to the sport’s upper echelon.
In coming weeks, the Cam Smith Scholarship holder who attended a week-long boot camp at the Australian pros American home late-last year, will put everything he has learned into action as he strives to qualify for the Australian Open.
First port of call for Dobbelaar is the Victorian Amateur Championships at the Kingston Heath Golf Club from November 18-20.
A week later, he will look to emulate past winner Jason Day (2005) as he enters the Dunes Medal from November 26.
Representatives from all state squads and numerous international amateurs will converge on the Dunes Golf Links Championship Course in the heart of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for the national selection event.
Dobbelaar hopes to build momentum across the two events leading into an all-important Australian Open qualifier.
The 2019 Emirates Australian Open will be held from December 5-8 at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney and the rising QAS athlete is eyeing a place in the field.
“I’ll give it my best crack,” he said.
“It is something I’ve looked at since I started playing golf. It would be cool to test my game at the next level.”
He underwent elbow surgery last December to treat a repetitive stress injury and the first half of the year moved slowly as he spent countless hours working with physiotherapists to heal and rehabilitate the offending limb for the long-term.
The setback knocked him around mentally more than anything, testing his resilience, desire to return to his best and ultimately his confidence.
“You know that it is fine but you have thoughts in your head that something is wrong,” he said.
“And you don’t want to hurt it again.”
With the injury behind him, the 18-year-old is back on the course.
His body his healthy.
His swing is flowing fluently at the driving range and his short game looking sharp on the practice greens, and he is ready to make an impact on the national stage just like junior clubmates Chase Oberle and Caleb Marschke.
“I know Chase,” Dobbelaar said.
“We have played a couple of Saturday comps and chipping comps together.
“He is a really good kid.
“You can tell that at just 11 years of age he has a pretty mature head.
“If he wants to do golf, he’ll be doing well.”