Retief Goosen (born 3 February 1969) is a South African professional golfer. He has won two U.S. Open, in 2001 and 2004, headed the European Tour Order of Merit in 2001 and 2002, and was in the top ten of the world rankings for over 250 weeks between 2001 and 2007. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, class of 2019.
Goosen was born in Pietersburg (now Polokwane), South Africa. He is the son of Theo Goosen, a local real estate agent and amateur golfer who introduced the game of golf to Retief at an early age. Theo took a strict approach to parenting. "Look, I never made life easy for my kids," said Theo "We never spoiled them. We never pleasurized them." Goosen even admits that his father put pressure on him.
When Goosen was fifteen he was golfing with his friend, Henri Potgieter, at Pietersburg Golf Club. They were playing through a small drizzle when lightning struck Goosen. Potgieter was knocked from his feet and when he stood back up saw Retief lying on the ground on his back. Potgieter retold the story to Golf World "I wanted to know his reaction. What I did see was his golf clubs and his golf bag. Then I saw him lying on his back. His tongue was down his throat and his eyes were backward, and he was breathing weird. He had no clothes on; they'd been burned from his body. I remember picking up his spectacles. I didn't know what to do. It looked like he was dead. I was screaming for help. Fortunately, there were guys teeing off on the 12th hole. They came running toward us. From then on, I can't remember much. They picked him up and put him in a car." Goosen's shoes had disintegrated from his feet, his underwear and watch band had melted to his body. He retains a scar on his wrist from the incident. He was unable to put his shoes on for weeks afterwards. He recovered enough to grab another set of clubs and take up the game a few weeks later. Goosen doesn't remember the events that happened, but his father took his son's survival as a sign from God of good things to come.