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Rudi Arnauts (57) – volunteer Drie Eycken, hosting hole 13.

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Hello Rudi, tell us a little bit more about yourself. Who are you, where are you from and which club are you member of?

My name is Rudi Arnauts, age 57, married for 35 years and father of both an adult son and daughter. Born in Antwerp, I now live in Edegem at walking distance (about 500m) from my home club Drie Eycken Golf Club.

 

What do you do in your day-to-day life?

I’m a retired Judicial Police Commissioner with a career of 39 years, which began in 1978. I started as a member of the former Gendarmerie. In 1991, I joined the Judicial Police of Antwerp where, in 1996, I got promoted to Judicial Commissioner. At the Judicial Police, which later became the Federal Judicial Police, I worked in different fields within the Antwerp office (drugs, homicide, special surveillance). The last 18 years, I specialized in Financial crime (money laundering, fraud, embezzlement, etc.). Nowadays, I spend my time doing domestic tasks, working in my garden – and playing lots of golf of course.

 

For how long have you been playing golf and what’s your current handicap?

I’ve always been really sporty. I used to play volleyball at national level and was also a passionate windsurfer. However, I’ve always been interested in golf. In the ’80s I watched all tournaments on TV (BBC) and was fascinated by the technical skills of the players. I had my first experience with the game when a friend of mine invited me to join him in playing at the Millenium Golf. A couple of years later, my son and his wife’s family motivated me again. I’ve been playing now for less than five years and my current handicap is 24.2.

 

What do you like most about golf?

To me, golf is a perfect combination of technical skills, relaxation and enjoying nature. Being a perfectionist, I always want to challenge myself to get better. In golf, I can always find that new challenge and get to learn every time I play. The fact that this is a game you can play with the whole family is a bonus. Therefore I hope that one day my wife also will find her way to golf.

 

What was your most beautiful golf experience or course that you played at?

It was pretty recently, actually. Last October, my son, his wife, her dad end I went playing for a couple of days at Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club in Benahavis, nearby in Marbella. This trip became extra special to me when my wife joined us at the course. She didn’t play, but for the first time, she walked along the full 18 holes. Being on the course that day with the whole family, is for sure my most beautiful golf experience so far.

Talking in terms of the golf game as such, I experienced a wonderful time during the days that I worked as a volunteer (spotter) at the KPMG Challenge Tour at Cleydael (2016 & 2017) and the KLM Open (2016). Being surrounded by all those top players and watching their game from the front seat, was great.

 

How did you end up at BKO and why did you want to cooperate?

When I saw the press release on television, I immediately searched for the BKO website to sign up as a volunteer. However I had to wait for a bit, because the recruitment had to go via Golf Vlaanderen.

To be appointed as hole captain is an honor and a tremendous motivator. When on top of that you’re blessed with a hard-working team as mine, consisting of the perfect blend of “seniors” and “young golfers”, you can only be very proud of being part of this event.

 

Who is your favourite player and why?

Nationally, Thomas Pieters, without a doubt. His past performances on the European and PGA Tour are very promising for the future. In 2016, at the Royal Golf Club of Belgium, I was a privileged witness at his election for the European Ryder Cup Team. The way he played along Rory Mc Ilroy will ever be part of my all time sports memories!

Internationally, it is Tiger Woods. His achievements in the past already were fabulous. But the way he regained is place on the international golf scene after a dark period with immense physical and mental problems is for me beyond any comprehension. The huge support at the recent tournaments have shown that he still is enormously popular and that the golfing world in total is very happy that he’s back. I’m sure he will write golf history furthermore.

 

What are you looking forward to the most during the event?

The playing field; I’m excited to see who’s joining the competition. The concept of this event is very attractive. The fact that it is part of the Race to Dubai and also counts for the Ryder Cup 2018 makes me confident that a lot of top players will be present.

 

What makes BKO unique, according to you?

The new format! How they combined the traditional way of tournament play with the element of a direct elimination, is unique. It will definitely have an effect on the mindset of the players.

 

Why should everybody go to BKO?

As the new format makes it unique and a new experience for the players as well as for the spectators, I think that’s enough reason to come to the BKO. For Belgium, it is great to be able to host such a big event with (hopefully) many top players. Also, for the Belgian fans, it’s a rare opportunity to watch our three biggest Belgian players (Thomas, Thomas and Nicolas) play together at the same tournament. Besides being great at golf, they also get along very well, which is nice to see.

 

The organization for volunteers for the Belgian Knockout is organized and coordinated by Golf Vlaanderen, in close liaison with Rinkven International Golf Club & PietersProductions. Besides the organization for volunteers, Golf Vlaanderen will commit to the promotion of the Belgian Knockout, to enthuse as many non-golfers as possible, for golf and the event.