Bay Courses move up in the rankings
Golf Digest SA has announced their Top-100 courses for 2016 and both St Francis Bay courses moved up in the rankings! St Francis Bay moved up from No. 99 to No. 96, made even more significant by the fact that 9 NEW courses entered the Top 100. Joining the Top 100 from the Eastern Cape were neighbours, Wedgewood, NEW at No. 88 and PE Golf Club, re-entering the Top 100 at No. 95.
St Francis effectively moved past three great courses in rising to our best-ever position at NUMBER 7! We moved passed Arabella and Pearl Valley, both former Top-5 courses, and Blair Atholl, which fell from No. 4 to No. 14 after some internal problems on the estate. Glendower was the big mover in the ratings this year as it moved from the second 10 to the Top-5. After hosting 3 National OPENS on the trot, the parkland got its proper recognition. Durban CC moved back to the top-5 as their renovations over the past years have helped the course return to greatness. We are in very good company with this year’s Golf Digest SA Top 10 and Top 100.
Other movers on the list were Ernie Els’ Highland Gate near Dullstrom and Humewood Links in Port Elizabeth. Highland Gate is located on a beautiful piece of land that offers superb shot-making and great conditioning with an amazing mountainous backdrop.
Humewood with its greens renovation by Sean Quinn has pushed its way back up the rankings to No. 11.
I think it all spells – ROAD TRIP!
Courses today still allocate large percentages of their golf operations budget to the care of the golf course. I am extremely pleased that we maintain our “top conditioned course in the Eastern Cape” and one of the “best conditioned courses in South Africa” on a very conservative budget. Charl Blaauw and his teams have done an outstanding job. Note: Please bare with us as we improve our tee surfaces after nearly 10 years of play.
Seems appropriate that our 7th Hole “Wetland” accompanies the Number 7 ranking
The 1st Ever…10th Annual!
Colin Higgins brought his golfing mates to St Francis Links for the first time in early 2007. All eight of the original group returned for their 10th Annual aloe aloe! Every year our Chef prepares their evening supplies for dinner and they do the rest. The first two days play feature betterball matchplay in the morning and foursomes matchplay in the afternoon. I think they may have been involved in the first ever “Shoot-out” on the 17th. This year’s competition was a tight as it could be with the sides even going into Sunday’s Singles matchplay – when it was all over, only one point separated the competitors!
Oh, there are some traditions “on tour” – like Bloody Mary’s! So, I took some to them on the course – the timing was good!
A little “swing oil” for the Singles Matches
Members’ Get-together draws a good crowd!
The members get-together was held this month at the Leisure Centre with one of the best fish braai’s in the history of fish braai’s.
The turnout was good but a number of you were noticeably absent. Make a plan for the next Get-together on Friday, the 1st of April (don’t be an April Fool). Book in advance so we can plan accordingly! We will introduce you to “corn-holing” and the launch of the “pool” season (pool table, that is).
Photos by Christopher Scott
More Ambassadors for our Links
PGA Professional Derek Crawford and I have been friends for years, even though he is from Scotland and has been running a golf course near OSLO, Norway for nearly as long as I have been doing the same here in South Africa. He manages to push through nearly 18 000 rounds of golf in only a few available summer months – however, when it is summer, the days are long! “We only really get going from about 2pm!”, he said. But it has been easy as, like everywhere else on the planet, he gains and loses golfers. Judging from his marketing efforts and care for the customer, I’ll bet he doesn’t lose as many as most.
He brought the President from their Club at Tyrifjord and the two had two days of golf and a nice stay at Brisan on the Canals with Brian and Sandy. Add a Monday Night dinner, and a Santa Burger after play, and I am pretty sure the St Francis Links flag will be flying in Oslo.
Santa with President of the Club, Jan Pedersen and PGA Professional, Derek Crawford
Proudly Sponsored – ITEC SOLUTIONS and Harcourts will be our sponsors for OPEN Wednesday (2nd Wednesday) and Harcourt’s Wednesday (3rd 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!
February 26: Burger Night – hamburgers, chicken burgers and Calamari burgers
March 9: ITEC OPEN Wednesday
March 16: Harcourts Wednesday
March 27: Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Sunday Lunch (separate events)
April 1: April Fool’s Day Get-together at the Pool – Golf, games and dinner
April 13: ITEC OPEN Wednesday