Award-winning Ipswich golfer encouraged by state mentor
AGED 14, high-achieving Brookwater golfer Louis Dobbelaar has the world at his feet, literally.
The state and national team representative has played on courses in six different countries over the past 12 months continuing his promising development in the sport.
Valuable time overseas has highlighted the exciting future the teenager has, backed by support from state junior coach and QAS mentor Grant Field.
"He's doing a nice job,'' Field said, having worked with Louis for more than two years.
"There's plenty of people that have had potential but Louis is definitely among the best.
"He could be one of our best in our state by the end of this year, if not already.''
Aware Louis is still growing, Field said it was important to let him develop his game and continue improving without added pressure.
However, the state under-18 coach is thrilled to have someone so young progressing as he is.
"He doesn't have too many weaknesses,'' Field said.
"His whole game is solid. He makes good decisions, prepares well.''
Field, who works regularly with Louis at the Brookwater course, sees parallels between Louis and Australian professional golfer Cameron Smith who he also coached.
"He reminds me a lot of Cameron,'' said Field, who has golf academies at Twin Waters and Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast.
"He's got a lot of similar qualities. He's not driven by anybody else except his own inner drive to get better, which is good.
"As a person, he's fantastic.''
After working with Field, Smith has progressed to the PGA Tour of Australasia and US Tour.
Field believes year nine student Louis has the right attitude to follow in a similar path with more hard work.
"He does know a lot about his own game,'' Field said.
"For a 14-year-old he's quite mature, that's for sure.''
In his sixth year as state coach, Field is working closely with Louis as he advances.
"Because his body is changing so rapidly, he's getting quite tall, so he's managing a lot of stuff (like changes in his swing),'' Field said.
"It's not about winning stuff, that's the by-product.
"He's focusing on his own improvement.''
Louis is already experiencing success internationally and as the Brookwater junior and overall club champion.
He made the state squad as a 12-year-old, being chosen to represent the Queensland team aged 13 at this year's national junior interstate series in South Australia.
Among countries he's played in and placed in are Taiwan, United States, Indonesia, China and a recent trip to Thailand.
One of his major successes was finishing age group runner-up in July at the USKG Teen World Championship in Pinehurst, USA.
In October, Louis won the Srixon International Sub Junior event in NSW with a score of -9 (nine under par). From this event, he was selected to travel with the team to Thailand.
Louis is on target to contest the Australian Men's Amateur championships in Melbourne in January before another state role at next year's junior nationals in Tasmania in April.
A long line of consistent performances secured Louis the recent Junior Sportsperson of the Year award in the 2014/15 City of Ipswich Sports Awards.
He's also been chosen in the new series of sports awards backed by Ipswich City Council and the QT.
Louis is the 2015/16 junior monthly sportstar for September, joining earlier winners - karate exponent Tara Dodrill (August) and indoor netballer Katrina Smidt (July).
How to nominate
Ensure your club's best achievers are included in the 2015/16 City of Ipswich Sports Awards by applying for an Ipswich City Council bursary.
Council offers Sport Excellence Bursaries of up to $300 to amateur junior and senior Ipswich residents who represent Queensland or Australia at a sporting event.
Applying is easy through the online application form at: ipswich.qld.gov.au
People awarded a Sport Excellence Bursary will automatically go in the running to receive a monthly Ipswich Sports Award.
Winners of monthly sports award will receive $400 prize money to support their sporting goals.