Charitable donation leads to special dinner
At a recent fundraiser, I auctioned a special night here at St Francis Links with Chef Brad. The highest bidder received dinner for 8 with a twist. All participants would arrive early, meet Brad and then go to the kitchen where they would learn something special about their own dinner of choice. They would then prepare the dinner and then, hopefully, enjoy eating it. I love it when a plan comes together! The special night, purchased by Mike Stark was also attended by three other couples. John Wilson shared his thoughts…
I would like to record our congratulations to Chef Brad and his team for the wonderful evening we enjoyed Chef Brad was absolutely excellent in his hospitality. He was welcoming, charming and patient is imparting his skill and knowledge! Being taught how to make spring rolls and samosas was really great and we will apply the new skills regularly going forward.The Chateaubriand steak was the best steak I have ever had the pleasure of eating – thank you and well done (sorry medium rare!) Brad! The crepes were also outstanding although I have to admit to just remaining at the table to enjoy the evening and missing the preparation of this course! This evening was a real credit to what The Links are capable of! Congratulations and thank you to all who were responsible for the event!
John and Gail
Nigel wouldn’t have it any other way – celebrating his life with a day of remembrance on the golf course he loved. A group of close friends have committed to play on the anniversary of his passing – this year it fell on Wednesday. John Wilson organized a great trophy and was supposed to present it to the champions – one problem – he won with Norman Dyer! So, I was happy to do the honors. Gill was on hand to present the trophy – well done!
Nigel Idris loved his golf. On Wednesday his friends celebrated!
Our 5th Nicklaus Champion of Champions Qualifier!
This Saturday, August 6 (the Olympics)
Saturday, September 24 (The TOUR Championships)
ORDER OF MERIT- BEST THREE SCORES FROM SIX (PLAY A MINIMUM OF THREE EVENTS)
The Top FOUR point-getters from their best THREE qualifiers will represent St Francis Links at Serengeti!
Entry Fee: R75 per event
Caryl’s Green Thumb
In an effort to open up the view of the 18th hole, we have done a lot of clearing of bush that was really encroaching on the hills above the green. We asked Caryl to clear the big stuff and come up with a plan that would provide good indigenous color without the height that was there before – another green thumb performance!
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.
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
August 6: Jack Nicklaus Qualifier – No. 5
August 9-23: Club and Course CLOSED (please scroll down)
ST FRANCIS LINKS “MAJORS” AND “SPECIAL EVENTS” FOR 2016
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 St Francis Links
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 Goose Valley
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)
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!
On Sale in the Golf Shop – get yours today!
Every Great shot starts with a SMILE
The St Francis Links Team