Thorne Van Zyl

Professional Long Drivers Association (PLDA)
Men's Open Division
South Africa

Thorne Juan van Zyl, a Brentwood Park resident, recently claimed his second SA Long Drive title and also won the Order of Merit title for the fourth year running. Gridpro SA has joined the World Long Drive Competition, which means the winner of the SA finals, van Zyl, will be going to the World Championship in September in Las Vegas, USA, to represent South Africa. “I feel honoured to be going to America again,” said van Zyl. “Hopefully, there will be no issues this year with Covid-19 as there was last year. “I couldn’t do any of this without my support system and sponsors.
“I’m looking forward to competing against the world’s best and most certainly spending more time with the friends I’ve made these past years in long drive.” Van Zyl began long driving in August 2017 when he was 20 years old and has loved it ever since.
“Myself and my father went to The Proshop to buy a new set of golf clubs and while I was hitting some irons in the hitting bay, a gentleman approached me and asked if I have ever tried long drive because he can see that I have some distance and speed in my swing,” explained van Zyl.
“After a bit of a discussion he told me to enter a tournament that was in a week’s time in Centurion at Ernie Els Copperleaf Golf Club with Quantum Long Drive Mr Gerhard Coetzee. “After hitting my first ever set I was hooked the loud music the fierce competitors and personalities and fans probably helped me to win my first event on only my first try and then to win his next two events as well, this obviously that started the addiction to the sport. Ending his 2018 year and getting second place in the finals at Sun City against his friend Morne Wolmarans made me realise that he loves this sport and would want to represent his country on the international stage.

With all these massive achievements under his belt, one would think this all started back in school, but van Zyl mainly played soccer and cricket during his schooling years, with some golf added to the roster. “During my school years I played a lot of junior golf for Eastern Gauteng from u-12 to u-16
he also achieved his first hole in one at the age of eight at Statemines country club as he explained”.

“With long driving, I started in my 20s under the guidance of my coaches Mr Rynardt Combrinck and Ms Nicole Becker and of course full time coach my DAD Mr Stephen v Zyl I started gaining many wins and taking home the trophies.” There are a few wins that stick out the most for van Zyl.
“My first international win in Spain Mallorca , winning the last chance qualifying spot at the European Long Drive games and then going to World Long Drive Championships 2019 in Oklahoma, competing with the world’s best and also winning SA Champs two years in a row 2019/2020 together with consecutive 4 Order of Merit wins too, it all just means the most to me,” he said. “I enjoy every day that I compete in our local long drive events and I try to make memories everywhere I go. “I’ve had many incredible moments in my few short years of long driving”.
” Van Zyl feels his support system is the reason he has made it this far, mentioning his father and mother, as they are his biggest support system. “My dad is the one who sits with me at the range and records every single swing I take. We sit there trying different techniques and strategies,” he explained. “My mom is my dietitian. She insures that I have all the right foods and beverages which always keeps my mind focused for game day.”
“I have many friends who make it to his competitions and cheer me on from the side-lines and come out and watch me compete, and their support means the world to me,” he said. “Their support helps me focus on winning. Without their words of encouragement I don’t think I would’ve won half of the battles I have.” Van Zyl hopes to one day move to America and work and represent his sponsors like Krank Golf, Volvik Golf Balls and Switchgrips international, while still competing in long drive competitions on a bigger stage with even tougher competition.
“I would like to thank my dad and mom (Stephen and Catherine van Zyl), my friends, Mel, Devon and Brendon, all the Gridpro SA competitors who have won and lost against me in the past 3 years and for always supporting me. And not to forget my sponsors, Krank Golf Krank SA, Switchgrips International, Paderson Shafts, Volvik Africa and Alert Group,”


2017 August Started Long Driving
ORDER OF MERIT WINNER IN 2017 after 4 events

4th placed Ldws qualifier Quantum drive
3rd placed Ldws qualifier Quantum drive
2nd placed Sun City qualifier Quantum drive
2nd place SA National championship Sun City
1st place in SA WLD qualifier no1
2nd place in SA WLD qualifier no2
3rd place in SA WLD qualifier no3
2nd place in SA WLD qualifier no4
2nd place in SA WLD qualifier no5
1st place in SA WLD qualifier no6
1st place in Drive to SA Champs
4th Placed Iganz Bloemfontein
Placed 2nd IGANZ National Championships
2nd placed SA Quantum Drive National Championships
Top 16 Global infinity Iganz China
Quantum Drive Order of Merit Winner 2018

Winner Quantum Drive Indoor Event No1
Winner Quantum Drive Indoor Event No2
Winner Quantum Drive Indoor Event No3
Winner of First Gridoutlaws Event
Winner of Two Quantum Drive KZN Events
Winner of 2nd Gridoutlaws Event
3rd Placed @ SALDA Event
Mallorca Spain WLD Last Chance Qualifier
Winner European Long Drive Games
Won Last Spot to WLD in Europe Spain
Top 32 in First WLD Event
Became part of Team Krank
Winner of National Championships 2019
Winner of SA Challenge Event 2019
Winner of Order of Merit 2019

Six Wins in Gridpro SA Events
One 4th place Finish Gridpro SA
Winner of SA National Title
Winner of Order of Merit 2020
Seven Events this year
Three Second places one Third placing and Two wins
Longest ball Hit 2021 Betway Challenge 479.2meters
Leads Order of Merit in GPSA


Highest ball speed recorded – 224 mph
Club head Speed 152.6 Mph
Smash Factor – 144.50 / November 2020
Longest competitive drive – 485.3 Yards

August 2021
Longest Drive in Betway Event 479 Meters

2019 PLD WLD Best finish Top 32


Krank F11 Long Drive Driver
3 4 5 Degree
Shafts Paderson_ KINETIXX Ld 30 & Ld20


Krank Golf


Competition History

No competition history found


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