Dylan Frittelli, of South Africa, hits out of the bunker on the 13th hole during practice for the Masters golf tournament at Augusta. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP
Dylan Frittelli is thrilled to be playing his first Masters this week and his “rule” as a professional golfer to stay “well clear of the pub” could well pay dividends over the hallowed fairways of Augusta National from today.

This 27-year-old superb ball-striker, a two-time winner on the European Tour last year, said in the Tour’s Player Blog last month that in four years at the University of Texas in Austin, he only partied twice. Yes, just twice in 1 460 days.

Now let’s put this into context: Austin is said to be the world’s capital for live music, and 6th Street in the city is the heart of it all.

It’s also known as “The College Kids’ Party Street”, because of the irresistible vibe the numerous pubs, night clubs and restaurants offer.

This is where the vast majority of Texas University students  the Longhorns  spend as much time as they possibly can away from their books.

Not Frittelli, though. He is an extremely focused individual who is going to extreme lengths to ensure he is in the best possible shape physically and mentally to hit a golf ball far and straight.

“This focus was the same for me in college, where I partied twice on 6th Street during those four years. Those who have visited Austin will find this staggering, and for those who have not, I suggest you visit!” he exclaims with a smile.

Frittelli’s thinking, ever since his days as a world junior champion and South Africa’s No 1 amateur, has been to give himself the best possible chance of success.

He spends hours practising and in the gym, and he’s been on a revolutionary new diet since last October  no wheat, no dairy, more fish and vegetables, less red meat and fried food.

He maintains the results were almost instantaneous and there are no longer any dips in his energy levels.

This Gary Player-like dedication enabled Frittelli, who plays out of Country Club Johannesburg, to earn  converting euros into rands  well in excess of R20 million on the 2017 European Tour.

But in spite of all this disposable income, he remains grounded. Growing up in South Africa, he was very aware of how much his parents had to sacrifice in order to give both himself and his sister all they needed to pursue their dreams.

At university, where resources were limited, he says he’d have “X” amount to last him the month, and that taught him to manage his money carefully.

“Sure, things have changed now, but I still don’t waste money. If a business-class flight is $4 000 more than economy and it’s not going to benefit me, why go business,” Frittelli says.

It’s been suggested Frittelli may be the most travelled golfer on tour. By his own count, he has visited 37 countries in the last 24 months.

His belief is you always need to go that extra mile in search of results. Again, this relentless dedication is reminiscent of one Mr Player.

One more consideration. Don’t brand this guy a bore because of his commitment to excellence. He’s learnt a lot about life in his 27 years.

He plays the saxophone, loves surfing, history, art and communicating with his fellow human beings. As he puts it: “One needs to know how the world works outside your own little bubble.”

You can follow Dylan on Twitter (@Dylan_Frittelli) and Instagram (@fritellivision), and hopefully we can all follow him rolling in the birdie putts on television at the Masters this week.

The Star