Spring Programme and annual leave
Just when the course seems to be at its very best, we close and punch holes in the greens and tees. This year is no different. From Monday, 16 August until 1 September the Club and Course will be closed for maintenance and annual leave. The Admin staff will be on duty Monday to Friday.
For the golfers, we have arranged special rates at Clubs from Knysna GC to Humewood. Allow us to assist with booking times for you before we shut down. Simola will be closed at the same time for hollowtining, so choose from KGC, Pezula, Plett, Goose, Wedgewood, the Hill and Humewood for special pricing during the break. I am sure that if you are travelling further, we can assist. That’s what friends are for!
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 turfgrass. 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 promote 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 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 the first impression a lasting impression.
Devan and Elizmari tied the knot here on Saturday. PGA Professional, “The Divot” has done himself proud. Three cheers for the newlyweds and we all wish them a life of happiness!
Please, please, please do your part!
New Dates for our Majors
Due to the Covid lockdown, we have been forced to reschedule the Men’s Invitational. Please check that you are ok with the new dates and reconfirm your entry.
Men’s Invitational – 17-19 September (fully booked)
Players of the Week
Monthly Medal – Ladies – Silver – Lynn Slogrove; Bronze – Sally Nienaber; IPS – Joan Pratt
Men – Gross – Shaun Viljoen, Nett- Charlie Gilmour; IPS – Pandy Katakuzinos
Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – Graham Botha and Norman Pretorius
Saturday School – Alliance – Ronnie Nienaber, Ant McMillan, Malcolm White and Gavin Gobby
Click Here for details of these events
Highlights of the Week
Team Member of the Week – Lolly
My name is Nkosikhona Lolli Nondlwana. I started working at St Francis Links in 2019. I work in the Shoe Room & Lockers to ensure everything is ready for the golfers when they tee off or come back from their round of golf. I also work as a golf guy & cart mechanic but what i enjoy most about my work is giving excellent service to members and guests who come to The Links. I am a big fan of golf and play the game myself. I have built up a lot of knowledge and experience working in the golf department and that can only help me to build my future. I am a very relaxed person, who does not like bad vibes. I try to see the positive in everything! I come from Grahamstown, a place called Makhanda. We are a very close family who shares a lot of love among ourselves and we motivate one another to strive for the best!
My motivation to everyone is: Make peace with yourself and chase opportunities. Hustlers do not sleep!!
Download the Zapper app and take a chance!
Thank you all for caring about your course – #leading the way
The 2021 Calendar and results
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
27 Jan Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Hein Spangenberg, Yan Coesens, Daryl vd Vyver and David vd Vyver, 92 Points
3 Feb Monthly MEDAL, Shaun Viljoen and Lynn Slogrove
10 Feb ITEC Wednesday, Yan Coesens and Hein Spangenberg, 47pts
14 Feb Valentine’s Day Dress-up Golf; Gavin and Jaunita Gobby, 41pts
20 Feb Greensomes, Scott Keevy, and Deon Marais, 41 pts
24 Feb Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Simon Haigh, Yan Coesens, Charl Blaauw, Hein Spangenberg, 86pts
3 Mar Monthly MEDAL, Gross – Fred V Eyssen, Nett – Brett Wilson-Jones, 69, Stableford – Hein Spangenberg, 35pts
5 Mar Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun, Graham Botha and Geoff Garratt, 24pts
6-7 Mar Pam Golding Annual – SFL vs SFB, SFB, 37.15 ave, SFL, 36.83 ave (.32 difference)
10 Mar ITEC Wednesday, Charlie Gilmore and Neil Jones, 44pts
20 Mar Foursomes, Dave Micklem and Norman Rock, 40 pts
31 Mar Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Norman Rock, Tim Elliott, Michael Barratt, and Ronnie Nienaber, 81pts
2 Apr Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun, Debbie McCracken and Michael McGahey, 24pts
2-4 Apr Easter Weekend
7 Apr Monthly MEDAL, Rita Du Plessis and Malcolm White
9 Apr Masters Par-3, shotgun at 15h00 (sponsored by Fitch and Leeds), Graham Botha
27-28 Apr Ladies Championships, Medal, Lynn Slogrove (G), Rita DuPlessis (N)
1-2 May Stableford Championships (Men and Ladies) Chris V Rensburg (A), Doug Cornish (B), Dave Hart (C), Lynn Slogrove (A), and Alison Bosch (B)
7 May Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun Ernest and Linda Muller (donated back).
26 May Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Brett Wilson-Jones, Norman Rock, Nico Van Rensburg and Gavin Gobby, 88pts (85%)
29-30 May Pam Golding Ladies’ OPEN Weekend, Jaunita Gobby and Lettie La Grange, 86pts (85%)
2 Jun Monthly MEDAL, Chris V Rensburg, Lynn Slogrove, Lesley Fisher and Carol Boonzaier
4 Jun Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun, Lesley Fisher and Gillian Hammond, 22pts c/i
16 Jun Easy Life Kitchens/ Wednesday, Lesley Fisher and Susan Gray, 45pts c/i
23 Jun Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance Noelie Pearson, Jaunita Gobby, Bimpie Olivier and Sue Gray
26 Jun Windhoek Lager International Pairs, Norman Pretorius and Deon Marais
30-3 Jul Nomads National Order of Merit (International Points) Rescheduled for October
7 Jul Monthly MEDAL, Shaun Viljoen, Lynn Slogrove and Alison Bosch – Gross
18-21 Jul 30th Road Trip (PGA Invitational) Rescheduled for November
21 Jul Easy Life Kitchens/ Wednesday – Jaunita Gobby and Bimpie Olivier
28 Jul Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Charlie Gilmour, Neil Mulder, Dave Webber and Mike Anderson
6 Aug Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun – Norman Pretorius and Graham Botha
14 Aug Greensomes –
15 Aug Nomads Annual Game
16 – 31 Aug Hollow-tining Spring Programme (Course Closed)
1 Sep Monthly MEDAL
3 Sep Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
15 Sep Easy Life Kitchens/ Wednesday
12 Sep Foursomes
17-19 Sep Men’s 15th Invitational Member/Guest (fully booked on 166 players)
25-26 Sep Links Cup (Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits)
2/3 Oct EP Champs (course closed)
9/10 Oct EP Champs Matchplay finals
16 Oct Ladies’ Invitational
20 Oct Easy Life Kitchens / Wednesday