Acres of Diamonds!

Jeff ClauseSanta Says

big wave Grimbeeck

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“The best getaway is in our own back yard” 

What started as an idea is now a fast-growing reality! The Chokka Trail is an amazing walk and it’s in our own backyard! I am betting most of you have neve discovered our own “Acres of Diamonds”

5 May 2016
Thanks so very very much for an absolutely fabulous hike with you – you made it so easy peasy and pleasant and well beyond our expectations – we were not used to all the lovely food and sleeping places and pampering! I have persuaded all family and friends to book NOW and do it soon – so let’s see!
Love Nets

27 November 2015
Thank you for a delightful hike! It was truly wonderful to explore a beautiful new part of South Africa and to meet you and all the amazing people who work together with you and make this trip a memorable experience in all spheres! I also have to compliment you on your organisational skills and for the great package that you have created. I certainly intend to come back and hike your new trail!

11 September 2015
Can’t believe we finished our long awaited hike a week ago. The Chokka Trail was wonderful and we all enjoyed it. We will definitely recommend it to all our friends.
The accommodation was very good with beautiful scenery from every window and the food was a gourmet’s delight. Everyone enjoyed the lunch packs and even had extra to take home for another hike.
An added benefit was our knowledgeable guides, Esti, Eric and Maggie. What a pleasure to share the delights of nature with you.
We all agreed that we received real value for money with the sherry, canal cruise, home cooking (thank you Sandy), chokka tasting and wine, visit to the penguin rehab centre, lovely wood fires burning – I could go on and on!
Thank you, John and Diane.

The Chokka Trail has evolved and improved over time. Before you plan your next break, consider the Chokka Trail – like living the world without the travel time! 

big wave Grimbeeck  Cindy Sand River
a walk on the “wild side”                                                                        Cindy Nel knows how to pick her holidays!

The Chokka Trail – Gold Edition
Ever thought of combining your favourite sport with some hiking? The Chokka Trail, a hiking holiday between Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis with accommodation in top class establishments, offers two days of golf included in the 56km hike. Non-hikers are welcome to add golf in Hankey, Humansdorp and Eersterivier, and rejoin the hikers for dinner.
Day 1
Arrive in St Francis Bay, book into Sandals Guest House, and play a round of golf at the St Francis Golf Course. Dinner is served at Christy’s Catch, a seafood restaurant within walking distance from Sandals.
Day 2
After breakfast, drive to the St Francis Links where you will leave your car for the duration of the hike. We will take you to the Oyster Bay Beach Lodge in Oyster Bay where you will receive a lunch pack and set off on a hike to Thysbaai. Return to the Lodge in time for dinner.
Day 3
We leave the Lodge at around 8h30 to tackle the Sand River, a 16km dune sea, which will take us up to 6hours. The hike finishes at the Dune Ridge Country House, where you can relax around the pool before you sit down for a scrumptious dinner.
Day 4
The 15km coastal hike starts at Dune Ridge and finishes at the Cape St Francis Resort, your host for the evening. The hike includes many highlights – the second largest blowhole in Southern Africa, an unmarked grave, shipwrecks, middens, and a visit to the SANCCOB penguin rehabilitation centre.
Day 5
After breakfast, we continue the hike towards Port St Francis, where you will enjoy a calamari tasting and tour of the Port. The hike follows the St Francis Bay shoreline until you reach the famous St Francis canals for a canal cruise and lunch at the Quaysyde Restaurant on water’s edge. Accommodation is at Brisan B&B on the Canals.
Day 6
You will be transported to the St Francis Links for 18 holes of golf, followed by a farewell lunch in the Clubhouse.

For all Chokka Trail options, check out their website at 


Junior and Senior Champions 

Luca Filippi beat the weather on the 2nd day of the Nomads National Order of Merit played here and he held off a strong field, as well. His prizegiving speech was emotional and from the heart as this win got the monkey off his back after a number of near misses. Second place finisher, Christo Lampbrecht from Oubaai, played great golf, shooting 72-76 (with 7 on the last). He finished 5 shots back of Luca, who also finished withg a double on the last for a 71-73 finish. Christo used his fine porformance here to provide the confidence he needed to win  the Dimamnsin Data tournament that followed at Fancourt.

Luca  didatajunioropen champions paper  
SFL winner Luca Filippi                            Runner-up and Di-Data champ, Christo Lampbrecht

Mzuyanda  Zingela showed off his course knowledge as the former EP Champion cruised to victory in the Eastern Cape Seniors’ played here last week. He led a quality field with rounds of 71 and 72 to take top honours. Former national winners Jock Wellington, Ivan Palframan, EP contender Doc DeKock and many other top players were in the field. Mzuyanda went on to St Francis BayGolf Club on the weekend where he blew past the field again. The best in the Eastern Cape shown the rest of the country what he could do by shooting 71 and 69 for the EP OPEN title.

Z   W 
Our Champion, Mzuyanda Zingela and the young Super Senior Champ, Jock Wellington


The 10th Annual Men’s INVITATIONAL 

July 15-17 – Friday to Sunday – Your invitation is coming to you now! 
Gentlemen, this is your special time to bring a special friend as the Annual Invitational that is growing by the year! This year, we are adding a special warm-up event on Friday to get to know the course and the greens – make a plan to play in the Ultimate Par-3 event and Shoot-out to follow. The main event, played over two days, Saturday and Sunday, will once again, feature three formats – Modified Betterball, Betterball and Combined Individual Stableford. 

member guest












 Former Champions, Johnny Johnson and Riaan Gous

Our 3rd Nicklaus Champion of Champions Qualifier!

Sunday, July 17 (the OPEN Championship) 

Saturday, July 30 (The PGA Championship) 
Saturday, September 24 (The TOUR Championships)

The Top FOUR point-getters from their best THREE qualifiers will represent St Francis Links at Serengeti!

Entry Fee: R75 per event



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!

March (every Tuesday) – 10am Coffee Break for our lady members
July 1:  Member Get-together with Ultimate Par-3 and dinner
July 13: ITEC Wednesday – invite friends 
July 15-17: The 10th Annual Men’s Invitational 
July 17-20: The 25th Anniversary Pro-Pro Road Trip
July 30: Inter-Estate Challenge HERE – Shotgun at 10:30 (84 players)

August 9-23: Club and Course CLOSED (please scroll down) 



Note the NEW Dates 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 – Special NEW Friday event and Shoot-out

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 Goose Valley
August 6: Ladies’ Invitational
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 25: Inter-Estate Challenge at St Francis Links
September 30, October 1-2: Links Cup
October 30: Inter-Estate Challenge at Pezula
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)

COURSE and CLUB Closed – August 9-23

When love and hate collide
I know the heading of my article sounds like a song, and maybe it was written for Course Superintendents as they start their Spring treatments on the course every year, the time of the year when course superintendent punch holes in their well-manicured greens that resembles billiard tables, also the time of the year when members “love to hate” the poor guy maintaining the greens, the Course “Sup” .Why would any person in their right mind want to mess up a perfect green?
I hope to answer some of these questions from a Superintendents point of view.
Why do we hollowtine?
It is hard to believe that hollowtining helps you keep your greens perfect, but this is true. The main reasons why we do hollowtining will be named and highlighted in this article.
Thatch removal is a key reason why greens and fairways for that matter gets hollow tined, the definition of thatch can be described as, “Thatch is a tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems, leaves and roots which accumulates between the layer of actively-growing grass and the soil underneath. Thatch is a normal component of an actively growing turf grass. As long as the thatch is not too thick, it can increase the resilience of the turf to heavy traffic. Thatch develops more readily on high-maintenance lawns than on low-maintenance lawns.” The definition sums up why it is important to remove thatch on greens.
Compaction relief, with this I mean compaction caused due to traffic moving over the green on a daily basis, whether it is the machines cutting the grass or golfers enjoying a nice round of golf .Imagine walking in a veld and ahead of you are animal paths heading in all directions, have you ever noticed that nothing grows where all the traffic is focused on? This is all due to compaction and outside stresses that are not advantageous to normal plant growth, take the traffic out of the veld and the weeds will start growing on these compacted areas and water will struggle to infiltrate the soil. Let me explain how hollowtining helps with compaction relief. A hole gets punched into the greens surface and a core extracted (or not in the case of solid tines) , immediately the tine breaks the hard crust under the surface and depending on the severity of the compaction the Superintendent can set the depth of tining accordingly. Now for the rest of this article I will focus on “Hollowtining” where we extract a core from the actual green and fill the hole with sand to ensure a smooth putting surface. By filling the hole with new sand it creates a new growing medium for the roots to move into, and the more roots you have, the stronger the plant, and the stronger the plant, the less it will suffer under the stresses of heat and disease.
The open holes on the greens give the Superintendent the perfect opportunity to get all the needed soil amendments down to ensure optimum plant growth. The open holes also promotes air movement within the soil, and like all living things, the most important components to stay alive are air, water, food and temperature. I think I have touched on most of these key components now, except water. Due to the compaction relief, water now drains freely through the soil profile where the plant can absorb the water through its roots and also due to the water movement, a lot of unwanted salts can get washed out of the soil that will usually be harmful to the plant.
The time of the year when most clubs do their tining will be dependent on weather, golf days and scheduled tournaments, but most courses do it between September and November and some courses even do it twice a year, with this I mean that they do it again in March or April. This seems a lot, but the only reason most clubs don’t do it twice a year is because of budget constraints and loss of income during and after the hollowtining.
Now you can take this information and apply this to your lawn at home, trust me, you will see some amazing results. There are contractors that specialize in hollow tining and scarifying of lawns. Ask your course Superintendent for some advice; he might just be able to put you in contact with contractors like this.
This is in short why we hollowtine and how we can keep giving you great greens surfaces for most of the year. Next time you see your Course Superintendent, have a chat with him and ask him more about the process, because the more we all know the better, and remember this “sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind to get the best results”.
Greetings from St Francis Links where we hope to make a first impression a lasting impression.
Charl Blaauw.


2016 International Events


US Masters – Augusta National, Georgia – April 7-10 – Danny Willett, Champion
US Open – Oakmont CC, Oakmont, Pennsylvania – June 16-19
Open Championship – Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland – July 14-17
US PGA – Baltusrol (Lower Course), Springfield, New Jersey – July 28-31
The Ryder Cup – Hazeltine, Minnesota – September 30 to October 2

I think this will be an awesome read!

Dale Hayes says he has ticked another “Bucket List” wish off!
He wrote…

Dale Hayes


Every Great shot starts with a SMILE santa


The St Francis Links Team

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