This 19-year-old Swiss national has always been in love with sport and physical fitness. She enjoys playing volleyball, tennis and skiing, but it is the game of golf that has won her heart. “I want to make golf my life and play in the LPGA tour one day.” Azelia speaks German, French and English, enjoys travelling and experiencing different cultures.
Azelia was about 8 years old when her parents introduced her to the game. Her golfing journey started at GC Sierre in Switzerland, when she competed in an U/12 golfing tournament. She was soon working hard and being dedicated to the game. Amongst many victories are an U/16 International Finland Tournament and the Curro World Juniors in Cape Town in 2015, a tournament she won when she first joined KeNako Academy. She won the Southern Cape Girls Junior Championship in 2015 with an all-time low scoring record in South Africa for any girls provincial championship with rounds of 66 and 67 for a 11 under par total of 133. Azelia is the current Oubaai Ladies Club Champion, a course that she seems to enjoy – she scored her lowest competitive round of 64 at Oubaai. Other results of interest include second place at the LET access Pro Tournament in Gams in 2015, whilst at the recent Ladies British Open Amateur Championship Azelia finished 13th in the Strokeplay Championship and then lost in the round of 16 to the world’s No.2 ranked lady golfer. Azelia represented Switzerland at the Junior Olympics in China in 2014, where she finished 8th and she has represented Switzerland at the European Team Championships for the past few years, most recently last week in Iceland.
She aspires to obtain a position in the Top 20 European Individual rankings and ultimately to compete in the World Amateur Team Championships. She truly enjoys all aspects of the game – “I like the adrenalin I feel before a game, it charges me and helps me keep focus.”
She keeps mentally and physically fit by following an exercise routine of 1 – 1.5 hours, 4 times a week with KeNako Biokineticist Jan-Harm Venter. “Jan-Harm is a very good coach, he provides a variety of exercises to make sure we do not get bored and he keeps the exercise routine interesting.” Azelia has 2 to 3 sessions each week with Roger Wessels (Head Professional) and Carlo Kok, KeNako Academy’s two resident professional coaches, to ensure that she stays on top of her game. “I think Roger and Carlo are a great combination. When we practise with Roger, we work a lot on our technique, while Carlo assists us to put the techniques into play.” Her overall thoughts on the academy and the program is that she has gained immeasurable insight and that it has given her an invaluable opportunity, “it gives you a great opportunity to practise with great coaching and everything is set up”.
Her bucket list course to play is the historic and amazing course in St Andrews, in Scotland, where golf has been played for over 600 years. The Gary Player designed The Links course at Fancourt, is considered one of the most challenging courses in South Africa and it is her favourite course in the region.
Azelia’s handicap is currently +2. She feels she is most consistent with a driver in her hand and believes it is in her long game where her strength lies. She is currently working on perfecting her short game technique. She is a fan of the German golfer Martin Kaymer and admires the way he presents himself, the fact that he is not afraid to admit when he made a mistake and that he shows no fear when it comes to the game.
This German speaking gem of a lady is focused on her studies and is attending Rundle College, completing her AS Level subjects including French, German, English, Maths, Economics and Business. She feels that she has built heart-felt friendships and gained tender memories that will be cherished over a lifetime with her friends at the academy. “It’s nice to stay with peers, you always have somebody to talk to, it feels like family”.