It's all RED (Vodacom) this week
Vodacom Origins of Golf...The Pro-AM
The 2-day Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-AM gave the players a chance to see it all on the links known as St Francis as Day 1 featured a light puff from the west and Day 2 came with a little breeze from the east. As you know, that really showed off the quality this course has on offer. one pro was heard to say, "On Monday, I hit a great drive and 5-iron into 9 and yesterday came in with sandwedge (they do play a game that has become unfamiliar to me - to hit sandwedge, I would have to be downwind from the par-3 circle)!
The amateurs, the professionals and the organizers were all in high spirits after the Pro-AM as the golf and the events around the golf as everything was prepared and presented at the highest level. Dan Nicholl opened the event on Day 1 and I had the opportunity for Day 2 and the prizegiving. Our food and beverage team, Chef John was tested properly, serving up more than 1200 meals to player and caddies - that doesn't count the a la carte on the side! We were able to overcome road problems as protest actions in Humansdorp really put a stop to using the R330 to St Francis Bay. However, when we struggled to get staff and casuals here, the caddies "made a plan" avoiding what could have been a small disaster to the pro portion of the tournament.
Local members, Greg Darke, Sieg Lokotsch, Yan Coesens, John Vye, Rian Chalmers and former Club Champion, Shaun Botha, were all invitees in the tournament that paired 60 professionals with 60 amateurs in the Pro-AM. Mauro Nettl, Ernest Bendeman and Norman Pretorius were asked to join the event after some late withdrawals. They were all treated to an amazing experience with wonderful gifts, great partners and continuous and never-ending food an drink. The hosts do know how to through a party.
Ironically, Yan Coesens qualified for the finals when good friend, Mauro finished in the top five for the tournament; as a fill-in guest, Mauro could win the prizes but was not allowed move on to the final. The same good fortune came Mike Kennedy qualified for the final after Ernest Bendeman and his pro partner finished in the top 5. You could see Mike was determined when he went for the 16th green from 122m and a semi-plugged lie in the hazard. His Pro partner, Doug McGuigan, encouraged him to "have a go" as he (Doug) was in good shape. one hard swing later and...
Mike came out smiling as he made par with a shot and three points. Doug is still laughing!
Our Pro-am Champions, Olof and Anthony | fun times at every turn
Update before printing (12h40 Thursday)
Steve Surry, from Cumberwell Park, near Bath in southern England, putted for 62 on 18!
However, aggression got the best of him and a comebacker from 4-1/2 went wide. 64 ties the best score on the Links and frankly, I love it!
We don't need to be regarded as the "hardest" in the land. Over the years, we have focused on playability to make it a better day for all. The compliments are flying this afternoon as par is closer to 69. Tomorrow (Friday) is a different story as "Mom Nature" wants a little payback. Watch for -4 to be atop the leaderboard after round 2!
We encourage you all to come and watch! Friday to Sunday is the 20th Anniversary of the Calamari Classic at St Francis Bay and the town welcomes more vistors with events for the Calamari Festival. Take it all in next week and weekend as we show off our courses and our community! The Golf Shop team has arranged golf at others venues for all who are interested in some time away.
Kouga Business Golf Day (next week's NEW Wednesday - weather)
The next event on the caledar is the Kouga Business Golf Day to hosted here at St Francis Links on Thursday, the 28th of September. Put a four-ball together and join us for a great day of golf (member's rates apply).
The Links Cup
Invitations have been sent for this year's Links Cup. Join us for the anthems and then a great day of golf in honour of the President's Cup being played this year in South Korea. The 27-hole event will feature betterball play, foursomes and singles as we determine who will get the gold medals. No entry fee for the golf!
Els for Autism
Fundraising for Els for Autism South Africa will be the ultimate goal from our spacial day on the 5th of October. Our sign-ups for the day are good but could be even better. I listened to a recent ad on the radio where a child with a dream of being a race car driver had a chance of 1 in 88 000 - the chance of him winning on the NASCAR circuit is 1 in 1, 345M. The chance of his son having a form of autism is 1 in 68 and falling. Ernie and Liezl Els have a son with autism and their efforts to create awareness are widely regarded in the world today. After the golf we will be offering special items for auction with all of the funds raised going to South Africa's Autism causes. It will be a special day and night. Hey, we even have friends coming from Northern Ireland to play and contribute!
More to remember!
This was our best year to date in almost every way:
- We finished our 117th home on the estate (62 are permanent residents)
- 20 homes have been completed this year.
- 12 homes are under construction
- 26 homes are in the planning or application stages
- We are financially sound with great lifestyle choices for the entire family
- Our golf rounds featured golfers from more than 20 different countries - from Wisconsin to New South Wales
- We moved up in the nation ratings to No. 7 in Golf Digest
- The UK rates us No. 6
- The Swedish press rate us No.4
- With our members, No. 1
Don't stop yet! New Events are listed below!
Will be our sponsors for OPEN Wednesday (2nd 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!
Monday Roll-up! Pitch up and play (9 holes or 18 Par-3 from 2pm) let's add you to the What's app group
All day Saturdays-Morning and afternoon fields - the afternoon field will be booked from 12 noon backwards with emphasis on "ready golf" - Prizegiving and Happy Hour at 17h00
Sep 17-23 The Vodacom Origins of Golf (course closed for play)
Sep 22-24 The Calamari Classic (St Francis Bay GC)
Sep 22-24 Nautical Festival (St Francis Bay and Port)
Sep 23 Rugby - SA vs NZ (9h35)
Sep 28 Kouga Business Golf Day
Sep 29-30 The President's and Links Cups
Sep 30 SA vs OZ (17h05)
ST FRANCIS LINKS “MAJORS” AND “SPECIAL EVENTS” FOR 2017
Jan 2-3 Men’s Member-Member, St Francis Bay wins by .18 of a point! Well done!
Jan 7-8 The Pam Golding Annual, Derek Ryan and Scott Keevy, Champions
Mar 11 Greensomes over 18 holes (NEW) Sandra Marais/Ingvild Stiansen; Mauro Nettl/Yan Coesens
Apr 28-30 Club Championships - Ralph Richardson and Helen Bridges, Champions
May 7 Inter-Estate Challange (St Francis Links)
May 18-19 Woodlands' Dairy Golf Days for HOSPICE R400 000-00 raised for Hospice
May 20 Stulting School Day R280 000-00 raised on the day
May 27 Foursomes over 18 holes (NEW) Margot McGregor and Dr Lynn Slogrove, Champions
Jun 3 Ladies' Invitational Dr Lynn Slogrove and Noeline de Ridder, Champions
Jun 10 Sanlam – Links Qualifier
Jul 2-3 National Junior Order of Merit Wilco Nienaber, Champion (ranked No. 3 in SA)
Jul 20-23 Men’s Invitational Derek Ryan and Pieter Jerling, Champions
Jul 23-25 The Annual "Road Trip" Brian Wessels, Individual and Pards Cup Champion
Aug 6 Sanlam Cancer FINALS at St Francis Links
Aug 8-23 Spring Programme – Course and Clubhouse Closed
Sep 29-Oct 1 Links Cup
October 5 Els for Autism at St Francis Links (finals at Highland Gate)
Nov 11-12 Pam Golding Ladies OPEN Weekend
Dec 2 Ladies' Member-Member
Seasonal packages are now on offer
It's also the time of year for golf travel. We join others in advertising our course countrywide. The are are a couple of subtle differences between what you pay and what you receive in a golf package. We pride ourselves on over-delivering with personal services, additional opportunities, special events, shoot-outs and so much more. We'll supply the braai or what you need to do it yourselves; we'll serve your meals here or recommend the area establishments who will exceed your expectations (and of course, we'll do the booking for you). Why? Because we can and we want to!
Why not sign up for the special events coming up in the future and expand them into a few days of play! Play in the Inter-Estate Challenge, enter the Ernie Els for Autism in June, start planning for the Invitationals - ladies and men; Invite your friends in for the best golf in SA (and beyond).
Every Great shot starts with a SMILE