South African golfers are stirring it up in the big leagues – Junior Golf paved the way
If Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn, is noticing, so is the rest of the golfing world. This past weekend, 2 twenty-one-year-olds, Wilco Nienaber and Garrick Higgo, both won! Wilco earned his European Tour card with a Challenge Tour victory at Fancourt. Garrick averaged 65 per 18-holes for three tournaments in the Spanish Canary Isles, winning twice and finishing 7th behind Dean Burmester, another SA winner.
GolfRSA and Johann Rupert, in particular, would love to see young talent remain amateurs longer so that they can mature in all ways before going for it all. Tell that to Gary, Dale, Ernie, Retief, Trevor, Louis, Charl, and so many others. It is easy to say pursue your dreams and be successful like those named above. But we don’t talk about all those who turned pro and failed miserably. You can name them too.
GolfRSA and the amateur bodies are working hard to see that real talent is being produced on the local stage before chasing dreams. The junior programmes and developed academies have really enabled South Africa to punch above its weight. Parents driving all over the country to support their kids in programmes that barely get by financially. This past Sunday we hosted 77 EP Juniors from 8 to 18. This was a different day to many in the past. Gerhard, who heads up the programme is on a mission to see players of colour allowed to gain life skills through golf. The older boys played from the white tees in windy conditions and the younger boys and girls played from the red. But then there was a twist. Gerhard paired the younger boys with the older boys to gain experience. It was quite a change in the approach and I think it works on days like this.
Then there was another great story. Colin Mavuso from Port Alfred and a regular tournament player for many years drove a donated bus full of kids from Port Alfred to play here. They left at 4 am and arrived on the first tee with eyes as big as saucers! They had hand-me-down shoes and clubs but came with golf swings, respect for the game and smiles on their faces. This was a real treat for them. One of the boys, 15-year old, O Matawani, hits the ball a country mile and shot 77 for the best gross score on the day.
Thank you for giving up your course for the kids. It does make a difference in their young lives.
The winners of each section on Sunday were as follow:
Best Nett: C. Taggart 75 Best Gross: J. Froy 84
Best Nett: O. Hani 73 Best Gross: S. Viljoen 83
Best Nett: J. Hobson 73 Best Gross: J. Hobson 81
Best Nett: T. Horrmann 72 Best Gross: O. Matiwana 77
Best Nett: R. van Eyk 75 Best Gross: R. van Eyk 78
Happy Mothers Day
Golfers of the Week!
5 May 2021
Wednesday Men School – Medal/Stableford
1st – Chris van Rensburg 77 Gross
1st – Scott Keevy 73 Nett C/i
2nd – Tony Gunton 73 Nett C/i & C/o
Individual Points Stableford
1st – Norman Pretorius 43 Points
2nd – Cassie Lotter 35 Points C/i
3rd – Gavin Gobby 35 Points C/o
5 May 2021 Wednesday Ladies – Fun Day
1st – Sally Nienaber, Gill Hammond, Lynn Obray 53 Points
2nd – Jaunita Gobby, Linda Muller, Lynne McMillan 51 Points
3rd – Carol Boonzaier, Madelaine Barry, Helen Bridges 48 Points
7 May 2021 – Selective Lighting/The Fireworks
Front 9 Comp – Better Ball Stableford
1st – Ernest and Linda Muller 23 Points C/I
2nd – Juanita Gobby and Bimpie Olivier 23 Points C/O
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Team member of the Week:
Working at St Francis Links was a goal of mine from very early in my professional career. So, it was with great delight that I started to work here on 1 Mar 2016. Since my first day in St Francis Bay, my life has changed a great deal, an opportunity I will value forever. My position in the estate is PGA Assistant Professional under my old friend and previous manager, Thinus Keller. The first professional position I held was at Silver Lakes Golf Estate in Pretoria. There I did my apprenticeship and qualified as a PGA Professional.
I strive to contribute as much as I can to the company and the community. On a day-to-day basis, I am a manager in the golf department which includes: Operational inputs towards the Pro Shop and Golf Course; management of the golf cart fleet, and golf coaching. My favourite part of the job is interacting with people. I enjoy being outdoors and creating lifelong memories for members and guests.
Most of my family is in Gauteng except for my younger brother. HE HAS BEEN A ST FRANCIS LOCAL FOR 6 MONTHS NOW. Johan is an engineer, and I am very proud of him. My wife, Corlea, and I stay in St Francis Bay. She is pregnant with our first child, a blessing we are very excited about.
My father shared quite a few valuable lessons, but one that I try to live by every day is: “Treat every new person you meet as a potential best friend”.
OOPS – Last week’s Team Member of the week was actually Johan Marais – our very able Estate Mechanic! I left his name out.
Thank you all for caring about your course – #leading the way
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
29-30 May Pam Golding Ladies’ OPEN Weekend
2 Jun Monthly MEDAL
4 Jun Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
9 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
18-21 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 Aug Ladies’ Invitational
26 Aug Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance,
1 Sep Monthly MEDAL
3 Sep Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 14h00 shotgun
8 Sep ITEC Open Wednesday
12 Sep Foursomes
25-26 Sep Links Cup (Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits)
27-11 Oct Hollow-tining Spring Programme (Course Closed – Provisional)