Oosthuizen retirement plans start with Ocala farm

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Posted June 9, 2021 | By Doug Ferguson, AP Golf Writer

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, tees off on the 11th hole during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament on June 5. Oosthuizen recently purchased an 89-acre farm in Ocala. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

British Open-winner Louis Oosthuizen is moving to Ocala this week after selling his Palm Beach Gardens home recently.

Oosthuizen, a 38-year-old professional golfer bought an 86-acre ranch in Ocala. He said his family will live in a rental property in Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, the course that hosted an LPGA Tour event this year, and move into the farmhouse next spring.

“I’m a farm boy at heart, me and the missus, and we can’t wait,” he said.

It came together quickly. Oosthuizen and his wife, Nel-Mare, were visiting friends on the range the day after Christmas and fell in love with the oak trees and everything else about it. Imagine his surprise when his friend said it was on the market because he had bought a bigger ranch.

“My wife was looking at me and said, ‘We cannot lose this piece of property,'” Oosthuizen said. They made an offer and bought it a week later.

Oosthuizen grew up on the farm near Mossel Bay in South Africa and he still has a 150-acre ranch where he mostly grows hay for his brother, who has a dairy farm on about 1,500 acres next to him. Farming has been his passion as long as he can remember, though he happens to be pretty good at golf, too.

Ocala, is renowned for its horse farms and is home to a multitude of breeds and equestrian discipline. Thoroughbred training and breeding is one of the biggest industries in the area.

Oosthuizen plans to get horses and “I’ll probably have a few cattle just to keep me busy. It will be nice to have the open fields.”

He isn’t quite ready to retire, though.

Oosthuizen won the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews and has been runner-up in all four majors, including the PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island. He is No. 18 in the world.

“Honestly, I thought this time in my career I’d probably be more wanting to farm,” he said. “But I sort of got that second push in the game. I really feel like I can still win a major. It’s keeping me up there and focused to work a little more. I’m getting closer. When it’s time and I feel I can’t compete, I’ll hang it up and enjoy life.”

It sounds as though he already is.

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