Rising Star Crystal Beukes shares her experience as a member of the Maties Golf Club
By Jamie Wyngaardt
For most people, balancing sport and tertiary education can be a challenge, but Crystal Beukes makes it look effortless. Third-year Human Life Sciences student at Stellenbosch University pursues a science degree alongside her golfing career.
Initially Beukes was unaware that there was an official Maties Golf Club, until Sport Manager, Karen Swart contacted her and signed her up to be a member of the club. She says a golf team never seemed possible, as her high school was very small, and golf wasn’t a major sport and being a part of the Maroon Machine is exciting for her.
During the first six months of being a member of the Maties Golf Club, Beukes had the opportunity to participate in the 2022 FISU World University Championship Golf held in Torino, Italy earlier this year in July. She was part of a 4-member team, where she was the only women as they represented South Africa.
The Somerset-wester, was introduced to the sport at a very young age, influenced by her older brother. She would often travel with him to tournaments which sparked her interest in golf.
Nine-year-old Crystal decided she would like to give golf a try, that same year she was identified and invited to join South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB). The SAGDB is a non-profit organization that aims to make golf accessible to all, by providing and facilitating practice and playing opportunities, especially for young children.
“The SAGDB has assisted me in many ways with regards to my junior golfing career. They sponsored new equipment, various training sessions, and paid for a lot of the extra tournament expenses. Shawn Adriaanse played a massive role in helping me with equipment, funding and traveling to tours. Without them I would definitely not have gotten to where I am today,” says Beukes.
She has been a member of Stellenbosch Golf Course for many years and has won the Women’s Club Championship a couple of times. When she began her studies at 19 years old, she was one of the very first women to join the Maties Golf Club.
The rising star says being selected for the World Student Games was a treasured moment as a Maties student. “I not only got to represent my country but got to represent Maties as well. This was an absolute honour for me,” expresses Beukes.
Sport has blessed her in many ways than one, she says it has allowed her to experience new people and cultures, she never thought she would ever be able to experience.
The motto she is inspired by is from her favourite professional golfer, Michelle Wie:
“Without downs, without hardships, I don’t think you appreciate the ups as much.”
Beukes believes that the ups and the downs in one sporting career are equally important and that it teaches you a lesson on how to grow and come back stronger.