3rd Ranked De Beer controlled the show!
Over the last two weekends, the players who competed for the Strokeplay and Matchplay titles were treated to golf at St Francis Links with great course set-ups and all kinds of weather. The opening Saturday competition was medal over 18 holes. Rain was predicted and it drizzled that kind of soaking drizzle most of the day. Kyle de Beer was the medalist with an excellent 38-32=70*. That put him in the Matchplay as 1st seed. But 31 others finished on 82 or better in the challenging conditions. On Sunday, Thinus left the pins in their Saturday positions but really set up a “cool” Matchplay course with teasing short tees on the par-5, 3rd as well as the 5th, 8th, 11th and 12th. They were equalised with back tees at 2, 4, 7, 9, 10 and 13. In the end, the bold and aggressive players won with only highly regarded, Malan Potgieter going down in the first round. He rebounded quickly and walked his way through “the Plate” defeating our current Club Champion, Boetie Zietsman in the final, 8-7 over 29 holes. The second weekend gave the players a “little puff” from the east on Saturday and then flipped to the west on Sunday. I was proud that so many members came out to support the event.
Kyle de Beer continued his good form with dominant victories over his opponents in the Matchplay:
Dillion Germshuys 5/4
Gareth Larkan 6/5
Jean Louis Du Plessis 6/4
Altin van der Merwe 5/4
In the 36-hole Matchplay final Kyle played against Wian van Aswegen, (Humewood). Kyle was 2 up after the first 18 holes and won another two holes to go 4 up with 9 to go. Wian fought hard and made it difficult for Kyle to close out, winning the 13th and 14th holes. Ultimately, Kyle’s consistency over the two weekends was good enough to beat Wian 2/1.
Shaun and Micah make the under-11 side for EP! Joe will play in the Under -15’s
EP teams taking part in the Triangular against Border and Southern Cape on the 11th of October.
- Jarryd Froy
- Shaun Viljoen (10)
- De Wet Hills
- Lincoln Steenberg
- Mikah van Eyssen (7)
- Ruan Els Manager: Gerhard Hills
- Johndre Luddick
- Jean Upman
- Jon Hobson
- Adam Brown
- Joe Dickinson (14)
- Charles Rose-Innes Manager: Garron Evers
We are extremely proud of our juniors and how they have improved their golf. Micah is the son of Fred and Kelly Van Eyssen; Shaun is Wayne and Almarie Viljoen’s son and Joe is Percy Owen’s grandson.
The US Open at famed Winged Foot
The US Open returns to Winged Foot in New York (only 6 hours away) for this year’s US Open and the course looks amazing and brutal at the same time.
A quote from Lee Trevino about the Winged Foot rough in ’74: “Your caddie would put the bag down to look for the ball and you’d lose the ball, the bag and sometimes the caddie.” Perfect.
“The courses are beyond great. But I would join just for the locker room, for the clubhouse — and for the lunch”.
There is so much history at Winged Foot that it is one of the most sought after rounds of golf in America.
From the PGA Tour…
1. BETTER BY THE HALF-DOZEN
This will be the sixth U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Only Oakmont Country Club and Baltusrol have hosted more. Oakmont hosted its ninth U.S. Open in 2016, while Baltusrol, another A.W. Tillinghast design, has been the site of seven U.S. Opens.
Winged Foot joins Oakland Hills and Pebble Beach as courses that have hosted a half-dozen U.S. Opens.
Winged Foot hosted its first U.S. Open in 1929, just six years after it opened. This will be its first U.S. Open there since 2006, when Geoff Ogilvy won after Phil Mickelson famously double-bogeyed the 72nd hole. Ogilvy is the only winner of a U.S. Open at Winged Foot who didn’t win multiple majors in his career.
Bobby Jones, Billy Casper, Hale Irwin and Fuzzy Zoeller also won U.S. Opens at Winged Foot.
The club also hosted the 1997 PGA Championship. Davis Love III won, which means four of the six men’s majors at Winged Foot have been won by members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
2. THOROUGH EXAMINATION:
Mike Davis, the USGA’s chief executive, calls Winged Foot the “quintessential U.S. Open golf course.”
“With its wonderfully challenging green complexes and dogleg holes that emphasize proper placement off the tee, Winged Foot offers the best players in the world a spectacular test of golf,” he says.
That may be an understatement. The winning score was over par in all but one of the U.S. Opens at Winged Foot. That was in 1984, when Zoeller and Greg Norman tied at 4 under par. Norman shot 75 in the playoff, which means just one player has finished under par in the six U.S. Opens at Winged Foot.
U.S. OPENS AT WINGED FOOT Year Winner Score Margin 1929 Bobby Jones 294 (+6)* Playoff 1959 Billy Casper 282 (+2) 1 1974 Hale Irwin 287 (+7) 2 1984 Fuzzy Zoeller 276 (-4) Playoff 2006 Geoff Ogilvy 285 (+5) 1 * – played as par-72
In 2006, Winged Foot played to a 74.99 scoring average. Only one hole, the par-5 fifth hole, played under par for the week. There were just 12 under-par rounds in 2006, and none lower than 2-under 68.
Winged Foot’s difficulty doesn’t come from intimidating water hazards or stunning landforms. It was built on a fairly flat site, but Tillinghast produced 18 difficult holes.
“The golf course gets tough on the first tee and never gets any easier,” Jack Nicklaus once said. “That’s why it’s a great golf course. You can’t make a mistake and get away with it here.”
Tillinghast’s courses put an emphasis on approach shots, and Winged Foot is no exception. The greens complexes make getting up-and-down a difficult task.
“A controlled shot to a closely-guarded green is the surest test of any man’s golf,” Tillinghast once said.
Ogilvy won without breaking par in any round. Jones’ final-round 79 in 1929 is the highest final round by a U.S. Open winner since World War I. No one broke par in the final round of the 1959 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and no one was under par in the first round of the 1974 U.S. Open.
3. ‘WE’RE NOT TRYING TO HUMILIATE THEM’
The most famous of Winged Foot’s U.S. Opens was in 1974, when Hale Irwin won with a winning score of 7 over par. No major has had a higher winning score in relation to par since.
The 1974 U.S. Open was dubbed the “Massacre at Winged Foot” and produced one of the most famous quotes in golf history. “We’re not trying to humiliate the best players in the world. We’re simply trying to identify them,” said USGA president Sandy Tatum.
Many believe the 1974 U.S. Open was the USGA’s response to the previous year’s championship, when Johnny Miller shot 63 to win at Oakmont. How thick was the rough at Winged Foot? “They had trouble finding their ankles, much less the golf ball,” said one player. Players lost balls in the rough and putted balls off the greens.
“It was easily the most difficult golf course I have ever seen,” Irwin said.
The A.W. Tillinghast design has stood the test of time. There are no lakes or large water hazards. Just a couple creeks. There are no dramatic landforms. It just consists of 18 difficult holes.
“The question of the week was why,” famed golf writer Dan Jenkins wrote in Sports Illustrated. “Where did it say in all of that lore of the game that Winged Foot was a killer? The answer was in the subtle design of the course. No water to speak of, and even the trees do not often come into play, but, ah, the tumbles and turns of those old-fashioned, elevated greens and, ah, the bunkers.”
4. TILLIE THE TERROR
His nickname was Tillie the Terror.
Tillinghast is one of six golf course architects to be elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, after Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Alister Mackenzie, C.B. MacDonald and Pete Dye.
Tillinghast had his hands on more than 250 golf courses, most of them in the Northeast. His most famous designs include Winged Foot, Bethpage Black, Baltusrol, Quaker Ridge, Sleepy Hollow and Somerset Hills.
He was born in North Philadelphia in 1875, the privileged only child of a rubber baron.
He made his first pilgrimage to St. Andrews in 1896, where he studied under Old Tom Morris.
“I got to know the old man very well indeed in succeeding years, and I spent many happy hours with him in his little sitting room over his shop,” Tillinghast wrote. “It was there that I handled the champion’s belt won by his son, as Old Tom got it out reverently and his eyes filled with tears as he told me many things about his boy.”
Tillinghast returned to St. Andrews several times. He became skilled enough to finish 25th in the 1910 U.S. Open at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
His architecture career started when a family friend asked him to build a course in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania. His services quickly became in high demand after that course opened.
It was the architect’s job, he wrote, to “produce something which will provide a true test of the game and then consider every conceivable way to make the course as beautiful as possible,” Tillinghast wrote.
He didn’t like overly long courses, hating layouts that emphasized “brawn over finesse.” He liked small, tightly-bunkered greens that put an emphasis on approach play.
After falling on hard times during the Great Depression, Tillinghast died in 1942 at the age of 67.
“He was an unusual man, to say the least,” Tatum once said, “but he was a certifiable genius. You always know when you’re on a Tillinghast course without being told.”
5. HUMPS AND BUMPS
Nicklaus once called Winged Foot’s putting surfaces “the most difficult set of greens I’ve ever seen.”
Colin Montgomerie, runner-up in the 2006 U.S. Open, said they may even be more difficult than the game’s most famous putting surfaces.
“These greens are as quick downhill as Augusta and with possibly more slopes on them than Augusta,” he said. “I think everybody will three-putt out here.”
Colin Montgomerie eyes the greens on the 18th hole during the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Winged Foot’s greens were rebuilt by famed architect Gil Hanse a few years ago. Many of the greens were expanded to their original size. Making the greens 15-25% larger has allowed some of the original hole locations to be used.
‘What makes Winged Foot special is the greens,” course historian Neil Regan says.
How sloped are Winged Foot’s greens? “You can see the bottom of the cups from the fairways,” because of the amount of back-to-front slope, joked one PGA TOUR putting instructor.
Jack Nicklaus ran his first putt of the 1974 U.S. Open 30 feet past the hole.
“Putting uphill here, you can take a run at it,” one observer noted. “Downhill, you just touch it and hope that maybe the hole will get in the way. Somebody with a jerky stroke will not stand up at Winged Foot.”
6. CLASSIC FINISH
Tillinghast and the clubhouse’s architect, Clifford Wendehack, used to say that the multi-tiered 18th green was like a set of steps leading from the course to the clubhouse.
Fourteen years ago, several players dejectedly made that trek. There are others who have been exuberant as they ascended the 18th green and walked to the clubhouse.
Winged Foot’s final hole has been the site of some of golf’s most memorable moments, both good and bad.
A view of the 18th green during the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
We all know what transpired on that hole in the last U.S. Open at the storied club (and if you don’t, you’ll soon be apprised). It was one of the wildest finishes in golf history. Mickelson’s double-bogey alone is worthy of a documentary. But it overshadows the other collapses that occurred on the closing hole. Colin Montgomerie flared a 7-iron right and made his own double-bogey. Jim Furyk missed a 5-footer for par. They all tied for second, a stroke behind Ogilvy. Padraig Harrington also bogeyed 18, his third bogey in a row, to finish two back.
It seems that each major held at Winged Foot has been capped by a trademark moment.
It started with the first U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Bobby Jones holed a downhill, sidehill 12-foot par putt to force a 36-hole playoff with Al Espinosa. Jones won the playoff by a remarkable 23 strokes. That par putt may have changed the course of golf history.
Jones once led by as many as seven, but he triple-bogeyed the 15th hole. He needed a par on the final hole just to get in a playoff, but missed the green with his approach shot. His touchy chip shot stopped 12 feet short. The shaft of his famed Calamity Jane putter had been cracked and was held together with cords but he used the damaged implement to sink the putt.
O.B. Keeler, the Atlanta Journal’s golf writer and Jones’ biographer, believes Jones would have retired if he had missed that putt on the 72nd hole and blown such a large lead.
“I knew in a sort of bewildering flash that if that putt stayed out, it would remain a spreading and fatal blot, never to be wiped from his record,” Keeler wrote. “I will always believe that the remainder of Bobby’s career hung on that putt and that from this stemmed the Grand Slam of 1930.”
In 1974, Irwin lashed a 2-iron to 20 feet and two-putted for victory. It was the first of his three U.S. Open titles. Ten years later, Greg Norman holed a 40-footer for par on the 18th hole. Zoeller, standing in the fairway, waved a white towel in surrender, thinking that the long putt was for birdie. Zoeller went on to win the next day’s playoff.
When Winged Foot hosted the PGA in 1997, Love capped his five-shot win with a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole. A rainbow appeared behind the green, which many felt was Love’s late father, Davis Love Jr., a PGA professional, smiling down upon his son.
7. THE “OTHER” COURSE
Winged Foot is considered the finest 36-hole club in the country, and possibly the world. And for good reason.
The West Course, which is hosting this week’s U.S. Open was 11th in Golf Digest’s list of the United States’ top 100 courses in 2019.
Winged Foot’s East Course, which was also designed by Tillinghast, came in at No. 52 on the same list. The East Course is shorter, but it’s no pushover for players who may be seeking a reprieve from its difficult sibling.
A view of the 13th hole on the East Course at Winged Foot. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
The East Course hosted U.S. Women’s Opens in 1957 and 1972. Betsy Rawls shot 7 over par and won after Jackie Pung was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Susie Maxwell Berning shot 11 over par but it was enough to win by one.
Rawls (4) and Berning (3) combined to win seven U.S. Women’s Opens. They are both in the World Golf Hall of Fame, with Berning being elected this year.
The East Course also hosted the inaugural U.S. Senior Open in 1980. Roberto De Vicenzo won by four shots with a 1-over 285 total.
8. CLUB PROS
Jenkins called Winged Foot the Yankee Stadium of golf because of its history.
“Its monuments are not in centerfield. They’re in the bar,” Jenkins wrote in 1974.
World Golf Hall of Famer Tommy Armour was a member, as was Fred Corcoran, who was instrumental in the creation of the professional tour. Babe Ruth was a regular. There is a photo of Bobby Jones teeing off on 18 in 1929, and Ruth is just a few paces behind him.
“It has often been said that the quickest way to get over-golfed is to spend an afternoon on Winged Foot’s terrace,” Jenkins added. “Armour used to sit there telling tales for hours. (Claude) Harmon and Corcoran still do. Because of the character of the membership, Winged Foot, more than any other club in the metropolitan area of New York, has been looked upon as the Yankee Stadium of golf.”
The club also has a long lineage of accomplished club pros.
The club’s first head pro was Mike Brady, who was runner-up in the 1911 and 1919 U.S. Opens. Winged Foot’s next two head pros won majors during their tenures.
Craig Wood, who succeeded Brady in 1939, won the Masters and U.S. Open in 1941.
Claude Harmon, who was the club’s head professional from 1945 to 1978, is the last club pro to win a major (1948 Masters). He is the patriarch of the first family of golf instruction, as several of his sons also went on to become noted teachers.
Major champions Dave Marr and Jack Burke Jr. spent time as Harmon’s assistant professionals.
Harmon was succeeded by another TOUR winner, Tom Nieporte, a former NCAA champion at Ohio State and three-time PGA TOUR winner. He served as the club’s head professional until 2006.
9. ATHLETE’S FOOT
So, why Winged Foot?
It comes from the logo of the New York Athletic Club. Though the two organizations have never been affiliated, the group that founded Winged Foot included several NYAC members. The group was led by Charles “Nibs” Nobles. They tabbed Tillinghast with simple instructions.
“Give us a man-sized course,” they told him, according to legend. He listened.
Clifford Wendehack, one of the foremost residential architects of his era, designed the clubhouse. The cornerstone was laid by the membership on April 14, 1923. Players teed off on Tillinghast’s masterpiece two months later.
Pool code is 77710867
We look forward to our sponsored days with ITEC and Selective Lighting/The Fire Works and Pam Golding Properties and Village Square SuperSpar events.
4-5 Jan The Pam Golding Annual, SFBGC Champions, Series tied 7 all
7-8 Jan Men’s Member-Member Partnership, Roger Smith and Charlie Gilmore, Champions
8 Jan ITEC Open Wednesday, Dr Danie Cronjé and Mel Maubec, winners on 51pts
18 Jan Windhoek Pairs qualifying, Geoff Garratt and Ernest Müller, winners on 49pts
29 Jan Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Gill, Hool, Garratt and Wilson-Jones on 87pts
12 Feb ITEC Open Wednesday, Karl-Johann and Nyana Persson on 45pts
14 Feb Valentine’s Day Dress-up Golf; Dinner with entertainment, The Gobby’s 45pts
26 Feb Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Coesens, White, Gobby and Spangenberg 91 pts
12 Mar ITEC Open Wednesday, TK and Percy Owen 51pts
22 Jul ITEC Open Wednesday, Keith Simpson and Mark Ward 46pts
26-27 Jul PGA Regional Finals (SFBGC and SFL) Canceled
29 Jul Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, The Gobby’s and the Nienaber’s 85pts
7 Aug Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun (postponed)
12 Aug ITEC Wednesday – Izzy Obray and Madelaine Barry
14 Aug Greensomes – Dr Lynn Slogrove and Sally Nienaber 42pts
26 Aug Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Zietsman, Schoeman, Potas and Nel 93pts (C/I)
28 Aug Foursomes Maggie Langlands and Dave Hart, 40pts
4 Sep Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun Scott Keevy and Doug Cornish 25pts
5-6 Sep EP Amateur Championships Kyle de Beer 32-38=70 Strokeplay
9 Sep ITEC Open Wednesday Carol Boonzaier and Sally Nienaber, 46pts
12-13 Sep EP Amateur Championships – Matchplay finals Kyle de Beer, Champion, Malan Potgieter, Plate
30 Sep Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
2 Oct Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
3 Oct Stulting Golf Day
14 Oct ITEC Open Wednesday
17-18 Oct LINKS CUP South Africa New date
24 Oct Ladies’ Invitational new date!
28 Oct Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
5 Nov Eastern Province SENIORS
6 Nov Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
7-8 Nov Men’s Invitational – new date
11 Nov ITEC Open Wednesday
17 Nov Men’s Muirfield Day (3rd Annual)
20-21 Nov Ladies’ Club Championships – new date
22 Nov “The Trophy” – St Francis Links sponsored Amateur Champs
25 Nov Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
25 Nov Members’ Oscars
5 Dec Ladies’ Member-Member
9 Dec ITEC Open Wednesday
12 Dec Ultimate Par-3 Championships
16 Dec The Kromme-Enviro Trust Amazing Race
5-6 Jan Men’s Member-Member Partnership
8-9 Jan The Pam Golding Annual