'Proud' golfer finds positives in up and down year
AFTER enduring a turbulent but ultimately rewarding season on the greens, standout Brookwater amateur golfer Louis Dobbelaar is keen get back into the swing of things.
The 17-year-old battled through injury and juggled year 12 studies last year whilst on a limited competition calendar, however still managed to tick off some crowning career moments.
In May, Dobbelaar captained the Queensland Boys side to a rare Junior Interstate Series win in Perth.
He went undefeated through five matches at Hartfield Golf Club to lead the underdog Queensland team to victory over their more fancied hosts and a talented NSW group.
Then in August, Dobbelaar won his first Queensland Men's Amateur title on his 17th birthday before packing his bags and heading to the US to spend a week with Australian PGA professional Cameron Smith.
He also graduated high school.
"I'm proud of myself, the way I managed my time,” Dobbelaar said.
"I graduated, which is an achievement in my books. It's been a good year - on to the real world now.”
Unfortunately for Dobbelaar, the real world will have to wait a few months as he recovers from elbow surgery.
A combination of the elbow injury and a rib complaint forced Dobbelaar to withdraw from the Queensland Open on November 4, and he finally went under the knife two weeks ago.
"It was a really tough decision (to withdraw) but there was no chance of me getting around it,” he said.
"I won't be able to play for a couple of months because of it. It's a tough period at the moment.”
Targeting a return to the course prior to the junior season start in April, a mature Dobbelaar said he was taking this latest setback as another learning experience.
"I've never had surgery, so it's been a big learning curve,” he said.
"I'm looking to be playing by April, but hopefully I'm healed before that.
"The fundamentals stay with you, but at the same time if you've been sidelined for a while there will be some loose screws.
"Golf is one of those games where it changes every day, every time you play it's different. You can't really expect what is going to happen.
"If all goes to plan and I keep on top of my rehab, I'll be back as soon as possible.”