For thirty-five years, Philippe Heuzé has been hunting the most beautiful golf courses around the world for his clients, some of whom have become friends. South Africa, Japan, Fiji, Hawaii, Scotland, New Zealand, discover a spoiled golfer!

  • Poipu Bay - HAWAII ©Philippe Heuze

From January 28 to February 7, 2024, Philippe Heuzé will organize the 21st edition of his South Africa Pro-Am in Cape Town. More than a crush, it is a real passion that drives this collector of exceptional courses for the rainbow nation. Twelve days which already promise to be unforgettable, in the Western Cape region, where the happy participants will play 3 pro-ams enhanced by the unmissable "contact day" which each year allows amateurs and professionals to discuss and get to know each other better.

After having played in Pearl Valley, Atlantic Beach, Milnerton, Erinvale, Steenberg and finally on the mythical Arabella course for two days, players and accompanying persons will have the opportunity to discover Kruger Park, one of the last sanctuaries which shelters the Big 5, lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes.

At 62, Philippe Heuzé is more on the move than ever. Competitor, player, photographer and now writer, golf has always been part of his life. The adventure began in 1988. After three seasons at Club Med, he responded to a classified ad from Golf Evasions, which was looking for a sales representative to promote its travels. He then joined the Promogolf group in 1992 and created Voyages Golfissimes.

The vocation of golf tourism was born. Some time later, he decided to regain his freedom by creating his own company Golf'in. France, Europe, United States, China, Malaysia, Australia, Philippe's travels are primarily aimed, between sport and discovery of local landscapes and cultures, at all those who want to "golf" intelligently. Meeting with a trail hunter, who always has the most beautiful dreams in mind for those who follow him in his adventures.

How do you organize your stays for golfers?

I write everything down on paper. For me, a successful trip should be like a movie. There shouldn't be too many lengths in one place and too short in some others. When you organize a program of stay or circuits like in South Africa, you have to constantly renew yourself by visiting two, even three different places, even if the country is twice the size of France. In 20 years of Pro-Am in South Africa, we have only had to do the same circuit two or three times. It is certainly for this reason that this year again we had a couple from Rouen who were at their 14th consecutive participation. In summary, a good trip begins with the exceptional nature of the golf courses, the hotel industry and the tourist interest of the country.

How is the location scouting going to select the locations?

  • Philippe Heuzé, itinerary of a spoiled Golfer ...
    © Philippe Heuze
It's a part that I really like, even if in South Africa, I don't really do location scouting anymore. The large complex trips that I have been able to set up, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, really require taking time. This is why I document myself a lot beforehand. The golfers we are lucky enough to have traveled are people who are often sort of “course collectors”.

These mythical routes, I try to stage them, whether at the end of the world or on closer destinations. I am also very sensitive to the visual aspect. Land located by the sea or perched on cliffs fascinates me. I like to have the first look of the people I take to rather improbable places. There are very popular destinations in France, such as Mauritius or Morocco. There are colleagues who market them very well and I must admit that I had a hard time finding added value in them so that they really got off the beaten track. That's why I organized 3 Pro-Ams at Pebble Beach in California and exclusive events on the five continents of the globe.

How do you form groups?

There really aren't any miracle recipes. Twenty or 20 years ago, when you had an article in Figaro Magazine, you had to stay in the office because the calls were raining. Today, it is necessary to constantly vary the channels of promotion, press, internet, social networks. I have a client base, many of whom have become friends. I therefore have the privilege and the facility of questioning them directly on the advisability of such and such a destination.

What is the ideal number to form a group?

On a Pro-Am, there must still be a sporting challenge and a real dynamic. It is therefore necessary to be able to attract around sixty people. On more complicated trips, 20, 30 people are enough to form a group. In Japan we were 30, while in Australia or New Zealand we were only 18. I remember in 2018 for the 15th anniversary of the South Africa Pro-Am, we brought Johnny Clegg, the white Zulu, for a private concert. With only 15 participants, we could not have covered our expenses. Conversely, for stays for golf and tourism, in Cambodia, Vietnam or Japan, where there are a lot of things to discover outside of the game, it is not necessary that the time or the inertia of the group becomes a hindrance in the organization of our activities.

How do you bring golf pros and personalities to your events?

There are several scenarios. There may be a team of amateurs who tell me that they will register by taking their pro. Afterwards, there are pros who phone us and tell us, well, I have two amateurs, if you have a third one that suits me. In fact, the pros are not only happy to be paid to come, but also to have access to courses they might never have played. We realize that we have more and more very good players. Fans who pay a certain amount want to dream in front of the player they will team up with for 3 days. This is how we had Romain Wattel this year for the South African Pro Am or even Phil Golding.

Philippe Heuzé, the course of a long-term golfer

Philippe Heuzà ©

What are the golf courses around the world that have marked you the most?

It is in particular those which are in my work entitled " 30 favorite golf courses » that I wrote during the period of confinement. In any order I could cite, Alice Springs in Australia, Ria Bintan in Indonesia, Barnbougle Tasmania, The Gorgi Golf Club in Saint-Petersburg, The Els Club in Langkawi in Malaysia, Mauna Lani in Hawaii, Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand, Old Head in Ireland, Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria, Le Windsor in Nairobi in Kenya, Kawana in Japan and of course Turnburry in Scotland or the Bordes in France near my home… For the rest, you have to read my book.


How would you like to grow your business?

I would now like to develop “Golf & The City” stays, shorter and less expensive, for a younger clientele. For example, I am working on a project in Dublin. Previously, we were usually accommodated in isolated resorts in the middle of nature, far from the city. With this concept, we could play golf during the day doing only links, and discover the nightlife in the Temple Bar district of Dublin in the evening. I would like to decline this idea in New York or in emerging golf destinations like Croatia.

In the same vein, we could imagine an original trip to New York with an extension to Bermuda. There are also places where I would like to return, in a way repeat certain trips that have marked me, such as Argentina, for example, which combines golf and tourism. The island of Borneo is also one of the places where I would like to return. Today, you have to surprise people with new ideas they wouldn't have thought of. For example, when we launched Japan, many people thought at the time that it was not possible to play golf there!

You are also a writer, can you tell us about your latest novel?

I have the chance and the time to be able to write during my scouting periods. When I'm alone at night in a resort, I always keep a little piece of paper and a pen close to me. In 2017, I had produced a first autobiographical diary which I had titled "Eclectic" and which retraced against a background of anecdotes all these years traveling the world. And then one day, I said that I had to write the sequel. But rather than continuing in the same vein, in 2020 I put myself in full confinement to write a thriller.

This saga "A life in the night, the Richmond affair" whose plot spans more than 50 years is based on a mystery and a family drama. As for golf, I only describe two parts in this story, but which are decisive for the main character. For this book, I was inspired by the people I had met, the different places in the world where I went. The story takes place largely in Cape Town, continues in Langkawi in Malaysia and ends on the island of Komodo in Indonesia. The journey always as a source of eternal inspiration...

David Raynal

Travel & Golf Publications:

30 favorite golf courses
Around the world in 80 golf courses

More information on Philippe Heuzà ©

To read our article on the pro-am of theSouth Africa 2023:

South Africa Pro-Am, 20 years of success