Constance Lemuria is pleased to announce that Gary Pouponneau, Golf Manager at Constance Lemuria Seychelles is now a class A pro in the South African Professional Golf Association.
An extensive three-year program sponsored by Constance Lemuria.
From a caddie master who joined Constance Lemuria 21 years ago to a Pro in the South African Professional Golf Association,
Gary tells us all about this grand achievement. Read on.
Who is Gary Pouponneau?
“Married, 41 years old, born on Mahe Island with a 5 years old daughter, I am currently occupying the post of Golf Manager at the Constance Lemuria.
My hobbies are golfing, watching football and diving.”
What does golfing mean to you?
“Golf means a lot to me. I've been very fortunate to turn my hobby into my passion and now my career.
I am very thankful and blessed for what golf has provided me this far,
there are always challenges you face but keeping your focus and positive thinking helps to keep moving forward.
I've travelled to multiple countries with golf, played on different golf courses and met with many other golfers and made friends. Golf is one of my passion.”
How long have you been working at Constance Lemuria?
“I've been with Constance Lemuria for 21 years and I am very grateful.
I joined the company in 2001 as a caddie master and was playing off a handicap 5 at that time.
From 2001 to 2004 I worked with 6 Golf Professionals from England and France, most of them lasting for a short time or a maximum of 1 year.
I picked up a little from everyone to try and better my own game and for my development.
I started to develop an interest in golf coaching while working under Stephane Chaffure, a French Professional as I will always ask to join him during his coaching sessions so that I can get to watch how he delivers his sessions.
I got to work on my own game with him as I wanted to improve my playing handicap.
In 2004, Olivier Morio, a French Golf Professional joined the company.
After working under his supervision for one year I was promoted to Assistant Golf Manager in 2005.
I continue my development in coaching when I was responsible for golf initiations for first-time golfers and junior golf.
In 2008, I was promoted as Golf Pro still under his wing as he took the role of Golf Manager.
In 2011, after completing a course with the South African Golf Teachers Federation (SAGTF) I was promoted to Golf Manager after Olivier's departure.”
You are now the Golf Director at Constance Lemuria Golf Course, who guided you to take this path? How long have you been Golf Director at Constance Lemuria Seychelles?
“I started playing golf at the previously known as the "Reef Golf Club" on Mahe that was attached to the ex-Reef Hotel.
Growing up watching Tiger Wood, dominating the golf world, it was an inspiration for me to see where I can go with golf. When Constance Lemuria opened the 18-hole Championship Course, about a year later I was recommended by a friend, Ron Barbe who urge me to take the opportunity and start working as a caddie master. I'll be forever grateful and thankful to Olivier Morio, for the great support and mentor he has been throughout the seven years we've worked together. He pushed me towards one of my dreams, to be a golf club manager or play golf professionally.”
Tell us about South African Professional Golf.
"The PGA of South Africa is the Professional body for the Golf Professionals in South Africa.
Their members are the golf coaches, retailers, event organisers, Directors of Golf, Golf Club Managers, etc...in short, they are the golf industry experts.
It is a member of the PGA of Europe; its members enjoy international recognition and offers such as; tournaments for its members, a high standard of certification and continuing professional development and more.
To be able to register there were some criteria I needed to meet. Once approved and registered, I was qualified for the PGA Associate program for the 3 years. During the 3 year Program; I had one week of compulsory lectures held annually in Johannesburg, Monthly Assignments, Teaching ability tests, Annual Exams, Event Management practicals, Teaching and Custom Fitting practicals and finally the PGA Graduation".
What does it mean and how does it feel to be an official member of the South African Professional Golf Association?
“This achievement means a lot to me, it has been a challenging journey but fun learning.
I'm very proud and delighted to be a class A Professional of such association, hard work pays off after all the sacrifices and efforts.”
Your next challenge?
My next challenge is to grow the game by touching lives through the game of golf and get youth and ladies to join this game.
The PGA of South Africa recognises the hard work of its members and the journey continues.
My aim is to now win a PGA award in one of the following categories; Management, Club Professional, Coach, Entrepreneur, Grow Golf or International awards. Play in the PGA events and bring trophies.