Arthur Horne: A Swazi golfer in Kolkata

Swaziland's Arthur Horne, who turned pro in 2011, feels that his exposure in the Kolkata Classic at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club will help him get into the prestigious Asian Tour. He speaks about his game, the state of golf in his country and more.

Arthur Horne, hailing from Swaziland, wants to make it big in golf.   -  Special Arrangement

Arthur Horne may not have won anything prominent, but catches one’s attention for being a professional golfer from Swaziland, a small country surrounded by South Africa and Mozambique.

Playing his first event on the main Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), Horne, who turned pro in 2011, feels that his exposure in the Kolkata Classic at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club will help him get into the prestigious Asian Tour.

Horne found some time to speak about his own game and the state of golf in his country.

Excerpts:

On playing in a PGTI event:

This is my first year on PGTI. I did the Q-school (in Ahmedabad) in January and got my card there and this is my first event for the season. In January, February and bit of March, there is the Sunshine Tour (in South Africa) where I had a couple of events. We have got a break now, so I am playing here. After this event, I may go back to South Africa.

Reason behind choosing India:

I wanted to play more outside South Africa. I missed the Asian Tour Q-school. I have a couple of friends (from South Africa) who've played here in the past. Playing here is about exposure and travelling, getting used to the conditions and different courses. Hopefully, I will be able to play on the Asian Tour.

I wanted to play (in Kolkata). I heard the course is very good – good conditions, good greens. I have played today and it's a good golf course. You got to hit the ball well, play well and score well.

On his golfing background:

My dad taught me golf when I was a six-year-old. I am based in South Africa. I am from Swaziland. It is a small country inside South Africa, maybe (consisting of) 1.3 or 1.5 million people. Because I am playing on Sunshine Tour, I am based in Johannesburg. It is easier for me to stay there because Johannesburg is centrally located.

The old season (Sunshine Tour) has just finished in February. So our first season is starting mid-April. I might play there because it is the first event of the season. Our winter starts in the middle of May all the way to October. The prize money is not so good compared to our summer (events). So, probably in our winter in South Africa I will come here and play on PGTI. The tour is good and it gets bigger throughout the year.

On his achievements:

I have won a tournament in Swaziland. It was not a huge event, but it was the biggest event (in Swaziland). Lot of South Africans played as well. I finished with 12-under for three rounds. Also I won as an amateur.

On golfing pros in Swaziland:

May be 20-30 (professional golfers) are playing. We have three events a year but it is not really a strong tour. It is not part of Sunshine Tour. Sunshine Tour has two tournaments in Swaziland on my home course. So Swaziland hosts the event but it is a Sunshine Tour event.

On other prominent golfers from his country:

A couple of Swazi guys are playing on the Sunshine Tour. Paul Friedlander won on the Asian Tour. He won the local Sunshine event also.

There is a female golfer, Nobuhle Dlamini, who was No. 2 in the world in amateur rankings. She has got a European Ladies Tour card and has won Swaziland Sportswoman of the year award. On Sunshine Tour for ladies, she is within top 10.