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John Botha was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but grew up in South Africa. A keen golfer from the age of 8, he had his heart set on becoming a professional from an early age, and although he was expected to become a medical doctor like his father, he decided to forsake his academic career in favour of playing the game which he admits has been more of an obsession than a pastime.
After a period of playing on the Mini-Tours in the US, he returned to South Africa and was employed by the Gary Player Group, based at the newly-opened resort at Sun City. After four years as the club professional at the Gary Player Country Club, he moved back to Cape Town where he ran the golf operations at Rondebosch Golf Club. He was later contracted by JCI as director of golf, and then spent an extended period travelling in the US and studying the latest coaching methods.
In recent years he has best become known for his involvement in the golf media; he has done radio and television commentary, served as the senior golf writer for Compleat Golfer, and edited a specialist magazine for the golf industry. He played an important role in developing a course ranking system as well as formulating the magazine’s Five Star Golf Experience Awards program. He has also been contracted to write golf tourism-focussed material for the Malaysian, Thai and Australian tourism authorities, as well as producing golf-related material for Sun International. He has also consulted to several golf clubs that have sought to upgrade their facilities.
“Being associated with Blair Atholl is a huge honour, and I can honestly say that having travelled the world and having had the privilege of experiencing the best the game has to offer, it is obvious that Blair Atholl is perfectly placed to match and surpass even the highest international standards in terms of the conditioning of its magnificent course, the club house facilities and the general experience for members and guests,” he says.
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