It was a great week!
The Pro-AM was a major Success
What we do for the Vodacom Origins of Golf begins (and ends) with making the sponsors and their invited guests happy. Vodacom, the main sponsor, has a series of events around the country that culminates with a very special final tournament that we have now hosted three time here (along with two regional events). We understand what they want; Liezl basically writes the entire function sheet for them. We meet with our team behind the scenes before the tournament to see that all their needs (and wants) are catered for. Our office become the TOUR office for the week; Andrew's office is shared with Nomads scoring control; the Board Room is for the media and the Conference Centre is home base for the Sail team who organizes the event. Our venue and team are nearly perfect. Our Estate homes in the rental pool along with the Golf Lodge host the invited guests and top representatives from Vodacom and the other sponsors. Other accommodation providers including Cape St Francis Resort, Sandals, Dune Ridge, Brisan, Milkwood, Thatchwood as well as others are used for the players, the Tour, the Nomads, SAIL and others who assisted. The restaurants in the area benefitted from the extra people in town. Supersport were here filming for three days and will have a show on this week (plus repeats). So, as I have said before, everyone wins when the TOUR comes to town!
The final event is a "bar raised" event when it comes to entertainment, prizes and gifts. On arrival, each guest received a welcome pack in their rooms that included shirts and a jacket for the event, food and drinks provided by our local Village Square Superspar (they worked their tails off). Our team took the room drops to 76 bedrooms on the estate and to Dune Ridge and Sandals off the estate! We held the opening function here at The Links with celebrity, Dan Nicholl hosting the function (watch his show, The Dan Nicholl Show on Tuesday Night) and Pete, the Greek on guitar. After round one, the second evening was hosted at Walskipper with seafood and meat cooked on the coals and presented fantastically. The Grosvenor Road Band from Cape St Francis provided the music with Dale Hayes and Denis Hutchinson sharing stories. The Pro-ams both featured "activation stations" on the course with everything from oysters and champagne to more than 700 pieces of sushi and Sake (thanks Gavin). We set up a halfway stop that looked more like a "pit stop" complete with our staff washing the windscreens and checking the tyres! (see the attached pictures). The final function returned to The Links where Dan again was the host. Speeches were made, prizes awarded and a great time was had by all. Each participant went home with Taylormade utility clubs, Bulgari cologne, wine and much, much more! Spoiled good!
Sponsors happy and participants happy!
The Main Event - Mark Williams earns Victory!
84 Professionals from South Africa, Switzerland, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia teed off at 6h20 knowing the Mother Nature was in a bad mood. At 8h32 play was suspended as winds rose from nothing to 50kms plus in minutes. The leading two-balls off the 1st and 10 tees, completed 9 holes before th horns were sounded. The last players off were only in the first fairway. After waiting more than three hours, the winds only grew in strength and play was called for the day; "she" let rip with gusts to 70 kms plus. Charl and his team started moving sand back in place later in the afternoon as the winds slowed and then returned at 4am, as they did all week, to mow all of the greens and rake the bunkers before play resumes at 6h30 - quite the effort! After the day's play with some of the players playing almost two complete rounds, the scores were good and 20 players were under par! Atop the leader board was veteran golfer, Mark Williams at 9-under par. Mark finished second in last year's regional event held here. 1st-time winner at Fish River, Christiaan Bezuidenhout was in 2nd and a trio of golfers, including former winner here, Keith Horne, were tied for third.
After a long day on Friday, all was back on track for Saturday's final round. The winds continued to play their part with gusts to 25 kms but Mark was ready for his first Sunshine Tour victory. A good number of members and friends came out to watch and the new terraces above the 18th made for good viewing.
Thinus and I were joined on the first and tenth tees by members, Tim Elliott and Geoff Garratt for the starting duties. It gave us a chance to talk to all the professionals and they all sang the praises of our great course and staff. Mark received the customary Santa Burger along with his first Champion's trophy.
A special Thank YOU to all who have participated in this year's Inter-Estate Challenge. Simola and Pinnacle Points came from nowhere with big performance at Simola and Goose Valley last week. Go well in the Final match at Pinnacle Point!
St Francis Links pays tribute to our stars!
All participants from our Wednesday school and everyone else who would like to share an evening of entertainment, great food, drink and laughter, should make a plan to be here on Wednesday, the 23rd of November! Who leads from the front and who knows how to pick a partner. Who are our Order of Merit winners and our major champions? Join us as we celebrate the highs and not-so-highs from this year's golf.
Claudi and Sharon's Turn
The Golf Shop is filled with new items for spring and summer!
...and there's more!
We continue to introduce the great mermbers of our St Francis Links Team. This week we are featuring members of the Golf Operations department and the Food and Beverage department.
Golf Cart Attendant – Driving Range
Somzi Ndzengu has been with us since the 2nd of February 2016.
Somzi lives in Humansdorp. His friendly smile will be very familiar on the driving range.
Jonita Felix – Waitress
Jonita is from Humansdorp and has been working for St Francis Links approximately 6 years. She has a daughter named Jonique who is seventeen years old. In her free time she enjoys dancing.
Somzi and Jonita are always smiling and ready to see to your needs!
Proudly Sponsored - ITEC SOLUTIONS 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!
(every Tuesday) - 10am Coffee Break for our lady members
November 9: ITEC open Wednesday - special rates for your guests and "the meat"
November 19-20: Pam Golding Ladies OPEN Weekend
November 12: Nomads Eastern Cape/Southern Cape Challenge (11am onwards)
November 13: Nomads at St Francis Bay GC
November 19-20: Pam Golding Ladies' Open Weekend
November 23: Wednesday School "Oscars" night - our annual awards!
November 27: Inter-Estate Challenge at Pinnacle Point
December 7: SHARP Classic with Seartec - Special day, guests welcome
Bob Skinstad and friends to speak afterwards
December 8: 10th Anniversary Event - Night Golf Shoot-out and Spitbraai
December 9: 10th Anniversary Event - Ultimate Par-3 Championships (Men's and Ladies' Champions)
December 9: 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner with special entertainment
December 10: 10th Anniversary Event - Anniversary Tournament - Winner from every tee!
December 11: Family Day for the entire community - live entertainment
December 18: Kromme Enviro Trust Golf Day (visitors most welcome)
ST FRANCIS LINKS “MAJORS” AND “SPECIAL EVENTS” FOR 2016
Note the Date Changes for 2016:
April 9: 1st Qualifier for the Nicklaus Champion of Champions
April 23-24: Club Championships, Sean Botha and Janine VD Merwe, repeat Champions
May 29: Interestate Challenge at Mossel Bay (4th from 7)
June 4: Ladies 10th Annual Invitational - Helen Bridges and Jean Fynn, Champions
June 18: 2nd Qualifier for the Nicklaus Champion of Champions
July 9: Sanlam Cancer Challenge – SFL Qualifier
June 26: Inter- Estate Challenge at Oubaai
July 15-17: Men’s Invitational - Leslie Krause and Hermanus Potgieter, Champions
Proud Sponsors of the Ladies OPEN Weekend and the ANNUAL
July 17: 3rd Qualifier for the Nicklaus Champion of Champions
July 30: 4th Qualifier for the Nicklaus Champion of Champions
July 31: Inter-Estate Challenge at St Francis Links
August 6: 5th Qualifier for the Nicklaus Champion of Champions
August 8-23: Spring Programme – Course and Clubhouse Closed
August 21: Sanlam Cancer Challenge FINALS
August 21: Inter-Estate Challenge Simola
September 24: Final Qualifier for the Nicklaus Champion of Champions
September 30, October 1-2: Links Cup - South Africa are again the Champions
October 2: Inter-Estate Challenge at Pezula - St Francis Links were the winners!
October 30: Inter-Estate Challenge at Goose Valley NEW DATE
October 31: Inter-Estate Challenge at Pezula NEW DATE
October 30-November 6: Vodacom Origins of Golf FINALS (Sunshine Tour - course Closed)
November 19-20: Pam Golding Ladies OPEN Weekend
November 25-27: Nicklaus Champion of Champions (Serengeti)
November 27: Inter-Estate Challenge FINALS at Pinnacle Point
December 9-11 - 10th Year Anniversary Activities (watch this space)
2016 International Events
US Masters - Augusta National, Georgia - April 7-10 - Danny Willett, Champion
US Open - Oakmont CC, Oakmont, Pennsylvania - June 16-19 - Dustin Johnson, Champion
Open Championship - Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland - July 14-17 - Henrik Stenson, Champion
US PGA - Baltusrol (Lower Course), Springfield, New Jersey - July 28-31 - Jimmy Walker, Champion
The Ryder Cup - Hazeltine, Minnesota - September 30 to October 2 - USA USA USA
Every Great shot starts with a SMILE