Everyone who comes, leaves an ambassador!
Over the past three weeks, we have hosted events at St Francis Links that have attracted the country’s top junior golfers (and their parents), top senior golfers (for tournaments here and at St Francis Bay GC), our members and their special friends in the 10th annual Invitational, top sportsmen in the Oakley Crossover (that will be aired time and time again on Supersport) and to cap it all off, our PGA of South Africa’s finest Club Professionals, Administrators, Tour Players and Teachers as the paid their own way to come here from all over country.
Recent events bring more good reviews for St Francis Links
Why do I say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? Because my role and our role at St Francis Links is to attract these people to our fine estate to experience our world-class course and facilities, to be treated to anticipating service with smiling faces serving great food and drink. These guests have also experienced our accommodation on and off the estate, our restaurants, our beaches, our trails and even our canals! This year was our best attended Invitational with 86 participants. The deck was full for the welcome cocktail party and closing lunch. All 54 of our Professionals who arrived on Sunday enjoyed a fantastic braai to accompany the most amazing Open Championship in years (if ever). In addition, they received an amazing cruise on the canals and a great night out at one of our locals restaurants – the Brewery where the food and atmosphere was excellent. The professionals were treated to great weather and great golf.
All of these events also generate good “winter season” revenues when we need them the most.
OUR Mission was to share our fine estate and community with the hope that, at the very least, our friends would go back to their respective Clubs and communities singing our praise. Judging from the letters I have received, that is the case. Ultimately, every person who comes through the gates to St Francis Links is a potential investor and homeowner.
Our 4th Nicklaus Champion of Champions Qualifier!
This Saturday, July 30 (the OPEN Championship)
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
Brian Wessels is our latest Graduate
Brian Has completed his three year course with the PGA of South Africa. The course was far from easy as he studies a range of subjects from business law to sports science. Along the way he passed his teaching exams and playing exams with ease. I am proud of Brian as he becomes another great asset to our profession and our Club.
Brian giving Jean Fynn her prize
The 10th Invitational comes down to one point!
It is said that a squeeze of lemon in a glass of warm water every morning will keep you healthy for life. If everyone did that, the fruit farmers from Kirkwood would be smiling even bigger than they are already! This year’s Invitational left no sour tastes in anyone’s mouth unless you were Hein Spangenberg and his partner, Eddie Nel as they fell one shot shy of the title. That trophy goes to our member, Leslie Krause and his playing partner, Hermanus Potgieter, who will be smiling all the way back to Kirkwood! Their solid start with 41 points was followed by a 7-under par betterball performance and a combined 33 points on Sunday. They leapt over the leaders from Day One with that finish. Hein and Eddie came second, followed by Scott Keevy and Jimmy Johnson, Keith Simpson and Ben Ferreira and Tim Elliott and Ken Niewenhuizen. Great golf and Great Comaraderie!
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 30: Jack Nicklaus Qualifier – No.4
July 31: Inter-Estate Challenge HERE – Shotgun at 11:00 (84 players)
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)
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.
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