Savannah De Bock is the world’s most entertaining amateur golfer

GRANITEVILLE, SC — Nobody had more fun at the 2023 Junior Invitational in Sage Valley than Savannah De Bock.

The Belgian had a smile so big all week at the nation’s top junior tournament that it was almost as if she’d won by landslide, when in fact she ended up in the bottom half of the rankings. When was the last time you ran off a green with a smile after doing a double bogey? De Bock has done it at least twice.

“Well, it’s really important for me to stay positive because nothing good can come from being negative,” she explained. “I’m a really outgoing person, a really positive person, so that’s just my way of being, and if I’m not happy then what am I?”

De Bock, No. 51 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, has an infectious personality that one is inevitably drawn to. Sitting alone at the immaculate Sage Valley Golf Club after the final round on Saturday, eating lunch, four players from the annual competition’s boys’ team rushed over to her as soon as they saw her. Laughter followed not long after I sat down.

“I’ve made new friends, not just my roommates and other girls, but other guys too, which is cool,” De Bock said. “I think I’ll remember the spirit of friendship that was here, I felt at home here.”

cable to cable: Anna Davis and Aldrich Potgieter dominate the 2023 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley

She entertained her caddy with songs and jokes throughout the week, engaging in lively discussions with fellow players about scrambled eggs mid-round. De Bock danced from event to event on the property nightly, often in her Gryffindor sweatshirt (a fitting house placement for any Harry Potter fans out there). One night after dinner, De Bock grabbed a piece of chocolate cake for dessert but couldn’t find a fork. Without skipping a beat, she grabbed some chopsticks and happily walked on.

Although she didn’t leave Sage Valley with the trophy, De Bock will take home countless memories, new friends and the unofficial title of the week’s funniest player.

“It was just incredible. Everyone is so nice here. I made a lot of friends, it’s really cool,” De Bock said of her experience. “The course is in such great condition. I have never played such a well-kept course in my life. The greens are really hard but really fun to play. I learned a lot, that’s cool. I’m a bit disappointed with my overall score, but I’ve learned a lot, which is nice.”

If De Bock was impressed by Sage Valley, she’ll be blown away in two weeks time as she ventures 20 miles down the road for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

“Mostly excited,” she said of her ANWA debut. “A little nervous because it’s such a big competition, but I’m looking forward to it.”

De Bock isn’t new to big competitions, especially after her performance at the Junior Invitational. She won the European Ladies’ Amateur in 2022 and finished 14th at The Mithra Belgian Ladies Open of the Ladies European Tour. However, she doesn’t have a TV at home, so she hasn’t seen much of ANWA or the Masters, but she did talk about it with her friend and fellow Belgian Clarisse Louis, a two-time ANWA competitor.

After attending ANWA, De Bock will return to Belgium before returning to the Peach State in the fall to attend the University of Georgia, where her interests are in everything from genetics to communications and journalism.

“I’m really looking forward to it because it’s such a great place to train. I know that I can study at the same time, which is always a bit difficult in Europe. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

So much attention is paid to the professional tours and the millions of dollars at stake that it’s easy to forget that the true essence of the game lies at the amateur level. Luckily there are players like De Bock who remind us of that.


Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button