Fire!

Never a dull moment in St Francis Bay!

In the past 9 ½ years that I have been in St Francis Bay, we have had three floods, one that took out the 17th green, one that took out the R330 and another that took out the Sand River bridge – not one of the floods started in the Links – but we were either blamed for it or unnoticed for the relief efforts. Now we have had two fires, one that resulted in major property damage – our volunteers along with so many others prevented more damage.

The same applies to this fire. Our team of professionals and our able staff have fought fires, fed the firefighters and housed those who needed it (thanks to the members who gave their homes). We established a WhatsAPP group to keep our residents informed as to what was really happening out there. This communication prevented a lot of unnecessary fear and anxiety. We also took preventative measures to protect the Links and its residents. First, we organized a D6 dozer from PE to create a larger fire break on the western boundary. A water tanker for our use came from Humansdorp. Then the phone call was made to the WP “Working at Fire” team with a spotter plane and a chopper that came in from George.

9 days later, with ground teams’ still active, the main threat is over. I won’t make any political statements other than to say there were more heroes than you can count.

Now that “this too has passed” I can only say that there are few dull moments in St Francis Bay.

fire1

Nothing left below the dune – some 1200 hectares lost.

fire2

The biggest immediate risk came when the westerly kicked the fires toward the Airfield, Sea Vista and Cape St Francis.

fire3

If the fire was not extinguished to the west of us, there was little to stop it if the winds picked up.

fire4

Too close for comfort in CSF.

fire5

Saved by choppers, ground crews and a big sand dune.


A Proper Testimonial!

Just as the fire and all that went with it starting to take its toll on everyone, I sat with a returning couple from the UK who chose to be St Francis Links for the fourth time! I was so pumped up after spending some quality time with them that the fire went away for a few minutes. I suggested he share his enthusiasm with Golf Digest editor, Stuart McLean…and upon returning to the UK, he did just that…

"Hi Stuart,

I am the guy from Walton Heath who was forced upon you on the phone by Jeff Clause last Friday morning.

Perhaps he should not have done this, but I was very complimentary about his Course, which I, and my wife, really do think is the best we have ever played.

This includes such eminent courses as, Sunningdale Old, Wentworth, The Berkshire, and ALL the Open Courses, all of which I have played during the past 10 years.

Having played Durban Country Club and Arabella on our recent trip from which we have now returned to England, I really cannot understand how either of them can be ranked above St Francis Links either in condition or layout.

Perhaps, the lack of a local hotel is taken into account, but is this really fair when judging a golf course?

Please forgive my writing to you, but when I feel something strongly, I do my best to do something positive.

Best Regards,

Tony Blok"


 UPCOMING EVENTS

itec  harcourts


Proudly Sponsored - ITEC SOLUTIONS and Harcourts will be our sponsors for OPEN Wednesday (2nd Wednesday) and Harcourt’s Wednesday (3rd Wednesday) with meat and added prizes. Invite your friends to enjoy SA’s best with special rates for golf, snacks after the game and great prizes – Hey, Curry Night follows – stay or take away!

February 6-7: EP Champs (quarter, semi and finals) - course open
February 10: OPEN Wednesday – special rates and meat prizes
February 17: Harcourt’s Wednesday – added prizes
February 19: Par-3 FUN and Member’s Get-together