Summer is heating up!
Our Internationals are here in mass - from Luxembourg to London, Sweden to Slovenia, Norway to New England!
The other morning I met a couple in the Golf Shop from Luxembourg and commented that they may have been the first to represent their country here. The gentleman responded, "We are relatively small nation". We paired them up with two nice members and off they went. More and more golfers are finding us for a short stay and many more are coming back for a long stay. Our great course and staff are ensuring that for all we can control, it's pretty good.
Another great story. We all know the winter Olympics are on and most South Africans probably won't be getting up everyday at 4am to watch the coverage. Svein-Erik and Ingvild Stiansen and their Norwegian friends will be; Svein-Erik competed in 2 Olympics and his son, Tom, was an International champion in giant slalom skiing. Norway is top of the medal count and they do well in many categories.
From Norway came another story -
I have a long-time colleague and friend in Derek Crawford, who, for the past 25 years has been the PGA Professional at a great course outside Oslo, called Tyrifjiord. Two years ago, we ran a competition through his newsletter (with a substantial readership) that would offer the winners golf and accommodation here at St Francis Links. Aase Sterud and Thorstein Næss won the competition and came as the winners! Guess what! This year they came back, staying long-term (6-weeks) on the Estate, playing often. They don't always make it to the Stiansens for the 4am start of the Norwegian coverage of the Olympics - but they are our Ambassadors and may be taking a long-stay into another long-stay or even an investment in property! Derek and his family came, stayed and played over the weekend with Thor. It refreshed his passion for our Estate and we WILL be doing another promotion. By the way, I think a trip to Scandinavia should be on your bucket list - the Fyords, the Northern Lights (in winter as the sun doesn't set in the summer) and the welcoming people who we have all come to know!
Pace of Play
This week features a special Valentine's Mixed in conjunction with ITEC Open Wednesday - it will be a big field that also includes two groups of friends from Fancourt (30 in total) who will be here until the weekend (they accepted our invitation to play while they are hosting Dimension Data at Fancourt). Last week we had a group of golfers from the Free State who had a fantastic birthday celebration that worked for them and not for us. The pace slowed and it took hours to recover. We learned some hard lessons from that experience because it has seldom ever happened before. Going forward, we will do our best to ensure a smooth-running field every day. It begins with an understanding of what we mean by "ready golf" and managing the abilities our our golfing guests by encouraging them to play the correct tees for their game as well as picking up when they have reached a scoring limit (by handicap). Everyone who playes the great game of golf will enjoy it more when not waiting on those playing in front. At the same time, a little patience is required during this busy period. I would say, "take the time to smell the fynbos" but the Milkwoods are in full fragrence (to me that smell is a little like a gym bag with clothes that need washing - sorry)!
"We are on the radar" for locals and Internationals alike. Remember our philosophy - every person who comes through our gates is a potential new investor! It's working!!!
Please VOTE for US!
Dear Mr Clause,
Congratulations! Your organisation has been nominated for the 5th annual World Golf Awards.
You have been nominated for:
South Africa's Best Golf Course 2018: St Francis Links
Voting is now open and members of the golf community – consumers and industry executives alike – are asked to vote for who they think is the very best of the best in golf tourism.
The full list of 2018 World Golf Awards nominees can be viewed at worldgolfawards.com/nominees/2018 where votes can be cast.
Voting closes on 20th September. The winners will then be notified so arrangements can be made to attend the red-carpet 5th annual World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place over the weekend of 1st-4th November 2018 at La Manga Club, Spain – with industry leaders, luminaries and international media in attendance.
W(HOA)...News from the Estate!
This past week, we presented our first-quarter results to the Board of Directors - again, we are off to a very positive start. For the next 6 hours (nearly our longest meeting) we did what a passionate, progressive and informed Board would do. We spent time on the "global" estate business issues and opportunities that St Francis Links is presented with. Valuable time was spent in discussion after presentations on water security, security, building (regulations, responsibilities, health, safety and the way forward for the HOA and the members), SSEG, re-cycling, the threat of the spread of fire, flooding after the drought, the future of the Estate and the Board. I left the Board room inspired...again!
The Year Ahead - Your planner for 2018
Please take note of the dates and post them where you will see them and ENTER!
Links Majors and Special Events for 2018
Jan 2-3 The Pam Golding Annual (St Francis Bay wins – the overall is tied 6 games each)
Jan 5-6 Men’s Member/Member Partnership, Chris and Jandré Lessing, Champions
Jan 20 Windhoek Lager International Pairs (3rd Qualifying), Percy Owen and Norman Dyer
Jan 27-28 EP Champs (course closed) Altin VD Merwe, Strokeplay Medalist (74-68=142)
Feb 3-4 EP Champs (semi-finals and finals) Naldo Claassens, Champion; Hugo Maritz, Plate Winner
Feb 14 Couples/Mixed Golf – Valentine’s Dinner
Mar 10 Greensomes over 18 holes
Apr 22-26 National Senior Inter-Provincials (90) (course closed)
May 6-7 Club Championships
May 13-16 Senior Women’s Nationals (SFL and SFBGC) (courses closed)
May 18-20 St Francis Bridge Invitational
May 20 Nomads Monthly Game (11am Shotgun)
May 24-25 Woodland’s Golf Days
May 26 Foursomes over 18 holes
June 2 Ladies’ Invitational
June 16 Quarterly Couples/Mixed – US Open
June 17 Father’s Day Golf and Lunch
June 21 EP Seniors
June 25-26 Nomads Coastal NOoM
July 7 The Inaugural Muirfield Day (foursomes and fourballs)
July 20 Oakley X-Over
July 20-22 Men’s Invitational
July 22-25 PGA Road Trip - Pards Cup
Aug 25 to
Sept 11 Spring Programme (Club Closed)
Sep 28-29 Links Cup / Ryder Cup (Paris)
Oct 6 Quarterly Couples/Mixed Golf
Nov Pam Golding Ladies’ Open Weekend (date – TBD)
Dec 1 Ladies’ Member- Member Partnership
Dec 8 Par-3 Championships
Dec 14-15 Pam Golding Annual (SFBGC host)
Dec 17 Kromme Trust Amazing Race
Dec 20 Food and Wine Festival
Dec 22 Year-end Couples/Mixed – Pro Shop Sale
Jan 3-4 Men’s Member-Member Partnership
Important Note: We endeavour to keep our "Majors" on the same weekend each year to encourage the best participation. We are forced to move the Annual Club Championships back a week this year because we were the chosen course in the Eastern Cape to host the National Senior Inter-Provincials, a tournament featuring the country's top golfers. It finished on Thursday the 26th, leaving no time for practice or course preparation. I apologize and the Champs will return to the last week in April in years to come.
http://www.Leadingcourses.com - Please rate St Francis Links
11- Mark Mans
14 - Chris Kelway, Clive Bishop, Lebogang Mkopane
15 - Christo Wenzel
17 - Cheyyann Barton
18 - Brian Barnard
21 - John Barnes
22 - Jacques Du Toit
26 - Gillian Hammond
27 - Marius Alberts
More to Come!
Itec are 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"
Monday Men's Book Club - 5pm in Jack's Bar (no reading required)
Ladies' Tea (and Coffee) - Every Tuesday at 10am on the Veranda
February 14 Valentine's Dinner - Mixed Golf - ITEC OPEN Wednesday (Special rates, snacks and prizes)
February 16 Pizza Night
February 20 Electrial Outage (Eskom repairs)
Check this out - 1-stop shopping!
Every Great shot starts with a SMILE!
Santa and the Links TEAM