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» 01 Apr 2010

Growing up in Cape Town in a British/Dutch family, Barber, was always involved in sports. From field hockey to go-cart racing, he was taught that trust, passion, and commitment were the qualities that would allow him to excel at anything he chose to do. It was always golf, however, that really fuelled his fervour.

As a young tyke, he transformed a local park into a golf course where the neighbourhood children often joined him after school for an impromptu round. Barber first began playing golf in high school, earning honours in the sport. In fact, he was so good at ‘the gentleman’s sport’ that he used a golf scholarship to attend the University of Miami in Florida. Golf great Gary Player was his mentor, helping Barber obtain the scholarship across the pond in the United States.

From Promotions to Par for the Course It would take some time before Barber would get back to his true passion after graduating from the University of Miami in 1981. His first job postcollege was for a liquor distributor, then he went on to work with a Cape Town marketing company. Eventually he opened his own promotional product company with his wife, Sue, whom he met and married 17 years ago.

After 20 years of providing promotional products to liquor stores and a variety of South African corporations, Barber finally got back to his roots. He accepted a position as Golf Director at Mauritius’ Tamarina Golf Spa and Beach Club. Although he still remains on the staff of Tamarina as a consultant, Barber now owns and runs his own company, Let’s Go Golfing. The passionate golfer has hit the links at some of the most famous courses in the world, including in Chile, Australia, and the Middle East and also the prestigious St. Andrews course in Scotland, birthplace of the sport.

Mauritius Motivation

These days, O’Brian Barber is motivated to make his business a success,but he’s not forgetting to take his life on Mauritius easy. With three grown daughters each pursuing their own dreams, he’s kept busy passing his knowledge on to the next generation.

And success is not necessarily measured by his company’s P&L; according to Barber his personal relationships mean far more than anything else.

In fact, Barber, a self-proclaimed ‘modern man’ has no compunctions about claiming he is fitter, wiser, worldlier, and more family-driven than previous generations. He is confident enough to make public declarations of his love for family and friends. His best piece of advice? “Family must always come first and if it doesn’t, go see a doctor!” He certainly practices what he preaches, winning ‘Father of the Year’ in 2004. Barber’s next goal is to achieve ‘Husband of the Year’ in 2010.

Interaction with people is what drives Barber and his company. When many persons around the globe were decrying the gloom and doom that comes as the result of a struggling economy, he was gutsy enough to start a new business. Although it’s early days with sales he retains his commitment to making it work. Besides,Barber states, “we are living in paradise and what’s to complain about?” And Barber is now able to enjoy more of this paradise. Where he once worked 12-hour days starting at 6:30 AM seven days a week, he can now set his own hours. He bases his family and his business in Mauritius because of its magnificent beaches, beautiful night skies, the laid-back island lifestyle, and the wealth of great folks who populate the island. Barber claims it’s been great place to raise children, crediting the Mauritius school system with providing his girls an excellent education and well-rounded upbringing.

O’Brian Barber is someone who always sees the glass as half full. He lives in a place that thousands of tourists pay to visit while he enjoys paradise every single day. He is looking forward to spending precious hours with his family, who were all very supportive during his hectic schedule at Tamarina. Going forward with Let’s Go Golfing, he will continue to place more merit on giving than receiving, and always making his family the number one priority.The only things Barber wishes for that he doesn’t currently have? Roads without potholes, an island without litter, a world without Cancer, and the ability to use all parts of his brain. His last piece of advice, “Always see things half full – never half empty.”

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