You'll find sport at all levels in Eindhoven. The flag carrier is the PSV soccer club. In their red and white colors, the Eindhoven team even reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2005. While on the hockey field, Oranje-Zwart (orange & black) is the top team. Eindhoven is also home to top swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband, whose achievements include an Olympic gold medal.
Professional golf player
Compared with other cities, especially in other countries, Eindhoven may not have such a big population. But in spite of that, Eindhoven is a real top sport city. It's the home of the PSV soccer team, the Oranje-Zwart hockey club, swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband, tennis player Paul Haarhuis and: golfer Maarten Lafeber (1974). Even at an early age Lafeber was crazy about ball games. He liked to play hockey, and was a tennis fanatic. But he finally chose golf. "My father had just been playing golf for a few years when he took me with him to a golf course once, while we were on vacation in Italy. I was fifteen then. I was good at it, and I liked it, and that's how it started."
Lafeber quickly reached the national selection, and now he's one of the top 150 in the world. He won the Dutch Open in 2003, and in 2005 he reached the top ten of a tournament no less than four times, with a silver in both the Singapore Masters and the Scottish Open. His earnings of more than 820 thousand euro that year were a personal and national record. "I can't complain. I've made my job out of my hobby, I travel the world, play on the best golf courses and make a good living at it." And that living - currently in Florida - is a very pleasant one. "For sure, its nearly always good weather! I can also train there in the winter; that was one of the main reasons for moving there."
Globetrotter Lafeber still visits Eindhoven regularly. "My parents and part of my family live there. And when I'm there I always try to see a PSV home match. I follow the club closely, wherever I am. My grandfather, Arie van Strien, played for the PSV first team and was its chairman in the 1960s." Eindhoven still has a warm place in his heart. "I had a great, carefree time growing up there. I've also lived in Amsterdam, and I enjoyed that, too. But Eindhoven is friendlier. More relaxed."
To conclude: what do you have to do to become just as good at golf as he is? Lafeber: "You need to have talent, to train hard, to have plenty of stamina. And you need to have good luck now and again."