Warren Abery is certainly no stranger: with a list of accolades longer than most his age, Warren has cemented his status as a household name in South African, and international, golf. Success aside, though, Warren is just a gent who loves the good game. Meet our new Sport Manager!
If one were to teleport oneself back to the eighties, it would not be too difficult to spot a younger Warren Abery in primary school. He would have been the chap playing in almost every sporting code. “Yup,” Warren grins bashfully, as he stirs a cup of tea. It is just after 8am at the Fig Tree, and he has already stopped to greet a few enthusiastic golfers before sitting down. “I played all sports as a kid! I come from a sporty family, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch.”
When he reached Glenwood High School, Warren’s parents asked him to make a choice. “Understandably, playing in so many sports was becoming a bit much. When I thought about it, golf came out tops. I was quite a small guy, so it helped that I didn’t have to be a specific build to play. And, I quite enjoyed that golf was a quiet game where I only had to rely on myself.”
After matric, Warren worked part-time at his father’s roofing company. In the afternoons, his father allowed him to hone his golf. “I am very lucky to have had such supportive parents,” Warren says. “My father’s dream was for me to play sport professionally, so both my parents worked hard for that to happen.” Warren fast made the under-18 Natal team, and set his sights on playing for South Africa, winning the South African Amateur Tournament in 1995. At 21, after representing South Africa at the Eisenhower Trophy, he turned professional. “Everything fell into place relatively quickly.”
Warren’s journey is undoubtedly remarkable: he has amassed 77 top 10 finishes and earned European Tour cards in 2006, and 2012. “It took me a while to believe that I belonged on the national, and international, stages I was playing on.” Travelling through the United States of America, Canada and Europe gave Warren invaluable experience, which he treasures. In 2012, though, Warren unfortunately lost his second European Tour card. By then, he had married Kirsten and they had two children: Jessica and Bryce. “I had to decide whether I really wanted to continue as a professional golfer. Eventually, I chose to gradually withdraw from that level of golf.”
The Abery family made Simbithi their home nine years ago, and Warren has played at Simbithi almost daily, since. His passion for the course is palpable. “This course is magic. It’s a great test and it’s fantastic for your game. It helped me prepare for Europe.” He is not only passionate about the Course, but about Simbithi as a whole. “Wherever I played, in the world, I had Simbithi next to my name. I’m proud of Simbithi and what we have, here.”
As he finds his feet in his new role, Warren hopes to increase membership by improving the golf experience at Simbithi. His humility, despite his incredible success as a golfer, is endearing and refreshing. “Simbithi is unique enough to make you play a range of shots and use every club in your bag. I want people who have not experienced our Course to come and play it, so they feel its magic.”
If you have any suggestions, or if you would like to chat to Warren, drop him a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, pop into the Pro Shop and say hi!