December was better than we could have expected
We expected the best and the worst for December because of Covid. The worst we thought would have been closing the provincial borders, That didn’t happen. But closing the beaches and then the rivers was unexpected and it did impact the number of people coming to St Francis Bay. It also left fewer options for outside entertainment – the winner – GOLF!
At St Francis Links we are more concerned about providing a quality experience than a quantity experience, limiting our fields to two hours and two tees in the morning and 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. Play moved smoothly and and that was good for all. Sadly, the added lockdown measures that followed eliminated the sale of alcohol and made it impossible to get our staff here before 7am.
That meant TK and I were the range setter-uppers and cart-staging guys. Christo and Divot followed us in and everything was in place before the first golfers arrived – all 3100 of them in December and another 1400 rounds in the first 10 days of January. We smashed the budget, thank goodness.
The members filled the morning times throughout the season where as in the past, we would move guests down if the spots weren’t taken. Very little chance of that this year as the course was fully booked, on paper, from the 24th to the 7th of January.
The best part of it all was the great condition of the golf course. Charl and his team kept it in the best condition ever with great greens, lush fairways and groomed surrounds. Complimenting the course was the quality of the food served. We budgeted much less for food and beverage knowing that we could not host any events – NO Christmas lunch (300+), NO shows (800+) and NO NYE (250).
The families and friends who were here for the holidays were very “Covid-aware” and went out to eat less than normal. With no booze, few people stayed long after the games. Yet, Chef Rauzhea, and his small team, cooked up a storm, receiving compliments from nearly all our guests. Eugenie and Liezl and their team were the welcoming faces throughout the holiday.
14th Annual Men’s Champs
When the Buckhams bought property here, I knew they all were mad golfers starting with Brian who gets it around quite nicely at 82, Son, Michael, and the three Grandsons, Adam, Thomas and Jack all entered the Champs. Michael WON and Brian placed in the Stableford! The final round became a shoot-out between Michael and Chris v Rensburg, who trailed by a single shot on level par starting the day. Chris dropped the 1st and Michael birdied the second and the lead was three. Then Chris went BIRDIE, ACE, BIRDIE!. Michael went PAR, PAR, BIRDIE and they were all square. It came down to the last and Michael got up and down from a tough angle below the pin to secure the title with a record score of 143 (-1) for the tournament.
Click here for the results
The Member-Member Partnership with record-breaking scores
Mark Ward and Richard Sharwood stormed through the field on the final round with two record scores, 63 on the day (25 betterball and 38 combined) and a total of 107 to get their names on the Champions’ Board.
Boetie Zietsman and his partner, Lesley Krause, set the pace on day one with an amazing 50 points, a record score for the 1st day’s play. It included a Hole-in-ONE on the 4th for Boetie (his first)! The scoring for the tournament was brilliant with the top 8 teams posting scores that would have won 11 of the previous 13 events.
Click here for the results
Grey High is too much for St Andrews
I am always amazed at how South African friendships stand the test of time, no better displayed than with golf events. Keith Simpson rounded up classmates and friends for the 4th annual match between the schools and Grey came away with the famous golf ball trophy (too priceless to display in public). The event, played in great spirit, carried on for hours on the lawn above the 18th after.
Links TEAM to assist (as always)
The recent bush fires could have been much worse if it weren’t for the full team efforts provided the the area fire departments and volunteers. We provided water trucks and pumper trailers along with manpower and support to aid the cause.
We look forward to our sponsored days with ITEC and Selective Lighting/The Fire Works and Pam Golding Properties and Village Square SuperSpar events.
New events – Ladies’ and Men’s Medal will be played on the 1st Wednesday of every Month
7-8 Jan Men’s Member-Member Partnership, Mark Ward and Richard Sharwood, Champions
13 Jan ITEC Open Wednesday, Hein Spangenberg and Yan Coesens, 51pts
29 Jan Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
2 Feb Monthly MEDAL
9 Feb ITEC Wednesday,
14 Feb Valentine’s Day Dress-up Golf;
19 Feb Greensomes
23 Feb Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
2 Mar Monthly MEDAL
9 Mar ITEC Wednesday,
19 Mar Foursomes
30 Mar Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
1 Apr Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
6 Apr Monthly MEDAL
15-17 Apr Easter Weekend
27 Apr Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
29 Apr-1 May Stableford Club Championships (Men)
6 May Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
11 May ITEC Wednesday
25 May Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
26-27 May Woodlands Dairy Days for HOSPICE
1 Jun Monthly MEDAL
3 Jun Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
8 Jun ITEC Wednesday
23 Jun Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
30-3 Jul Nomads National Order of Merit (International Points)
7 Jul Monthly MEDAL
16-18 Jul Men’s 15th Invitational Member/Guest
18-20 Jul 30th Road Trip (PGA Invitational)
28 Jul Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
6 Aug Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun (postponed)
11 Aug ITEC Wednesday –
14 Aug Greensomes –
21-22 Aug EP Champs – Strokeplay
26 Aug Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
28 Aug EP Champs – Matchplay
1 Sep Monthly MEDAL
3 Sep Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
8 Sep ITEC Open Wednesday
25-26 Sep Links Cup (Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits)
27-11 Oct Hollow-tining Spring Programme (Course Closed)