Kerry and Pia supporting Alison Muirhead at the Dubai Moonlight Classic
Kerry and Pia supporting Alison Muirhead at the Dubai Moonlight Classic Image Credit: Supplied

Has Desert Rose Golfing Society unearthed a star?

Gulf News met up with Pia Fleury, Desert Rose Golfing Society organiser, along with 47 year-old South African Kerry Potgieter, a full-time working single mum with three children, and a school business manager in Sharjah.

Kerry, when did you first connect with golf? 
I’m from a sporty family background in South Africa where I played hockey, netball, tennis, swam and occasionally “hacked” my way around a golf course a few times a year for fun. My family relocated to England in 2004 before moving to Dubai 2011. In October 2019, I decided golf was a sport I wanted to explore again and signed up for lessons at the Peter Cowen Academy at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club with professional Tom Ogilvie. It was however only in October 2020 that I ventured out onto the golf course again, encouraged by a friend. In November 2020 I had further lessons to improve my putting and driving with professional Ross McArthur at the Trump International Performance Academy. In December 2020 I found out about Desert Rose Golfing Society (DRGS) and connected with Pia, which encouraged me to meet like-minded lady golfers and get proper access to golf. Then, with lots of practice on my own, and with some self-taught wrong technique I was unfortunately injured in February this year and out of golf for a number of weeks. I visited Richard Dunsby at Optimal Golf and Fitness Dubai, who helped with my rehabilitation and got me started on a golf specific training program to prevent future injury and improve my golf performance.

How has your game progressed this year? 
Through the DRGS I achieved my first handicap of 36 and since then have reduced it to 19.5. I practice and play whenever I can find time. I am very ambitious and target focused and have a ‘can do’ attitude in life in anything I choose to do. I have a huge passion for the game and wish I had taken up golf earlier, but we are where we are. Whilst I enjoy other sports, going to the gym and trekking, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in December 2019, there is nothing like being a golfer playing against the golf course.

What are your ambitions in the game?
My ambition in golf is to get to single figures and then see where the game takes me. I have just committed to a five-day intensive golf school at the PGA Tour Performance Centre at TPC Sawgrass, Florida in the US from 13th – 17th December, 2021. The agenda will focus on: putting, short game, swing instruction, on-course instruction and fitness in golf. I will be doing a video diary and documentary on social media on my golfing journey that I hope can inspire others to choose the game, and show them what you can do with hard work, commitment and the right technique. My journey can be followed on Instagram – @kerrydubaigolfer. My strength in the game is strong driving but I am determined to develop my short game and scoring skills. Upon my return from Florida I wish to play in the UAE Ladies Open golf tournaments, running between November 2021 and March 2022, and have already started registering. This will be an exciting opportunity to see the impact of the training and hard work. In preparation for my trip to Florida, I will continue to train with Richard. Now, I am just looking for some access to a range and par 3 so that when I arrive in Florida I am ready to take my game to the next level. If anyone can assist please get in touch. I would like to thank Pia, for being such an inspiration to women’s golf here in the UAE. I would like to thank Pia, for being such an inspiration to women’s golf here in the UAE.

For further information and to connect with Kerry contact Pia Fleury