Tee times are scarce...
Whether I am speaking to Justin at Steenberg (with his renovated greens) or Nic at Pinnacle Point, Coach at Simola or Francois at Pezula, their tee sheets are full, so full that accommodating their own member outside designated play days, is a problem. At The Links at Fancourt, the 40 times per day allocated to hotel guests, have been sold out from January to Easter. We are playing nearly 25% more rounds with visitors than 2 years ago!
In the past, I always said, "If 10 golfers arrived in CT, 8 would go to the Garden Route and 3, maybe 4, would make there way here. Now, on the strength of our golfing experience in South Africa and the strength of other currencies, more and more golfers are coming to the coast from Cape Town to PE. We aren't charging the fees that others are because our location is not as accessable as the others. But, with internationals coming and staying here for longer, we are benefitting from the increased business.
This year, the only real negative has been the relentless number of "perky" days. Sunny skies, warm temperatures, great service and a great course make up for Mother Nature's worst run of bad moods. With no rain, we are dry around the edges but amusingly green and extremely playable with our borehole and effluent water.
Last Saturday, a very proper elderly man came into the Golf Shop looking for a game, because, after walking 36 holes the day before at Humewood Links, his friends were too buggered to play. I needed a 4th and as happy to oblige. We road together and discovered he was a life member at Westlake and now a regular playing member at George. We had many mutual friends through years of playing golf and, despite the westerly that effected our putts, we had a great day. When the game was over, he was so complimentary of the course and the day. He gladly allowed me to share the response that followed on Tuesday.
21st February, 2017
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for allowing me to join your four ball on Saturday, and for you to take the trouble of very kindly showing me the way round the course. It was a great help although my golf was pretty poor on the day, but in my defence there was a bit of wind!
You have a superb unique golf course in a majestic setting and in excellent condition with some tricky greens all making up a wonderful golfing experience.
On top of that your staff were welcoming, very helpful and made me feel completely at home, outstanding and a cut way above the norm.
Well, my friends turned up on Sunday fit to play and once again we had a wonderful days golf, and saw perhaps the largest snails on the first tee box that I think I have ever seen! We were very lucky, no wind and I was lucky enough to shoot a gross 74 which completed my mini stay to a tee. (pity it was not on Saturday)
Golf is GOOD...alive and well at St Francis Links and all along the coast of South Africa!
The 12th (Sheer Murder) at Fancourt Links The 18th at Pinnacle Point (SA's golfing IMAX)
More to remember!
This was our best year to date in almost every way:
- We finished our 105th home on the estate (51 are permanent residents)
- 17 homes are under construction
- 28 homes are in the planning or application stages
- We turned 10 with nearly R14M in the bank
- In February, we will host more than 2400 golfers (1900 visitors)
- Our golf rounds were up by more than 3300 rounds - 17 550 in total
- 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
Face of the Week, Year, Decade...(Part 1)
We say good-bye to Andrew Barton after 10 years of dedicated service to St Francis Links
Andrew, our Financial Manager has helped to see St Francis Links to the solid financial position we are in today, with sound business strategies and business practice. As I stated at the members' get-together and Farewell for Andrew, his knowledge of estate planning, regulations and our overall philosophy equals his financial base. He has truly been an asset and if it weren't for a truly great business and career opportunity, I would have fought hard to keep him. As the new position is in the area, Andrew will remain a resident on the Links and has pledged his continued support.
Andrew was also part of the selection process in finding his replacement. Ruan Deysel, our senior auditor for the last few years, comes to us from Moore Stephens in Humansdorp. He has a keen understanding of our business and we expect a smooth transition.
All the best to you both!
Andrew flanked by his wife, Cheyyanne, the Administration team and Senior Management!
Greensomes - A new EVENT!
Ask another member or a friend to join you for this inaugural event. We will salute Men's winners and Ladies' winners who lead the way in this special event.
Greensomes by format, allows both players to tee off. We will play this 18-hole event with Stableford points to keep the friendships in place!
Which Golfer Hits the Second Shot?
After the best drive is chosen, which of the two team members plays the second stroke? The golfer whose drive was not used always plays the second shot. If Player B hit the best drive, then Player A hits the second shot, and vice-versa.
Handicaps in Greensomes
As noted above, Greensomes can be played as stroke play (which will be the case in a tournament setting) or as match play. (A group of four golfers playing Greensomes as a betting game can take its pick.) But how do you use handicaps when playing this format?
There are no official rules for that, but here are two suggestions (the first one is most common in Greensomes):
Take 60-percent of the lower-handicapped golfer's handicap and add it to 40-percent of the higher-handicapped golfer's handicap. The sum is the side's handicap.
Snacks and Prizegiving will follow play!
Show some SPIRIT and sign up now!
Face of the WEEK! (Part 2)
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 from 3pm) 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
Feb 25 Chef Jono's Special Steak Night (sold out)
Mar 8 ITEC Wednesday - R230 includes green fees, Comp fees and Snacks after the game!
Mar 11 Greensomes (NEW) Member and Member/Guest event (men's and ladies divisions)
Mar 17 St Patrick's Day Golf and Member Get-together - SPECIAL EVENT
Mar 25 Chef Jono's Special Steak Night
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)
Apr 28-30 Club Championships
May 18-19 Woodlands' Dairy Golf Days for HOSPICE
May 27 Foursomes over 18 holes (NEW)
Jun 3 Ladies' Invitational
Jun 10 Sanlam – Links Qualifier
Jul 2-3 National Junior Order of Merit
Jul 20-23 Men’s Invitational
Jul 23-25 The Annual "Road Trip"
Aug 6 Sanlam Cancer FINALS at St Francis Links
Aug 8-23 Spring Programme – Course and Clubhouse Closed
Sep 30, Oct 1 Links Cup
Nov 11-12 Pam Golding Ladies OPEN Weekend
Dec 2 Ladies' Member-Member
Dates for Mixed Events, as well as the Knock-outs to follow.
Every Great shot starts with a SMILE
Look who Barry Phillips spotted in his garden!