Water Security – taking the lead!

Jeff ClauseSanta Says

water wise

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SUP Charl is taking the first steps toward reducing our irrigation water on the course 

We have always respected value of water at St Francis Links – irrigating the course, gardens and surrounds with Borehole water from our approved wells on the estate. With the current water crisis, we have cut back on everything that uses irrigation water and potable water – from shortening the irrigation cycles and reducing heads to washing golf carts and limiting the use of our showers. Our members on the estate abide by the restrictions imposed and our guests are made well-aware of the situation is the Eastern Cape. 

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This past week, we initiated another water-saving programme for the course – being proactive with a calculated approach to the long-term play ability of St Francis Links on surfaces comprised of local grasses. The programme will promote the faster spreading and knitting of the local grass known as Kweek, a variety of Cynodon dactylon… 

Cynodon dactylon plays an important role in conservation, because it prevents soil erosion. It provides good grazing, is very useful as a lawn grass and is recommended for the protection of waterways. In traditional medicine it is used for indigestion and the treatment of wounds. According to an old Venda tradition, it is used in the fermentation process to make beer sour

The Kweek has been allowed to spread on the course since the day we opened – however, the Rye, Bentgrass and Poa-Annua were the cool season grasses that remained dominant on the fairways and surrounds. Rye was used as the “grow-in” grass because it rooted so quickly. This was needed against the fresh coastal winds. While the emerald green colour that came with the Rye was evident here year around, it also needed more water to protect it from the heat and winds of summer. The Rye plays like the Cynodons found in Scotland and Ireland – provided more roll on the ball and more options for shot-making. We feel strongly that process of tyning in Kweek sprigs will significantly speed up the the transformation from cool season fairways to natural fairways dominated with local Cynodon, Kweek, the warm-season option. 

Once established, the Kweek will require different cultural practices and maintenance, but all at a lessor cost . 

Please view Charl’s video describing the process – use the You Tube link https://youtu.be/B7zcE-xP1BM

sprig    mix

machine  filling

From harvesting the sprig, to formulating the mix, to punching the holes, to filling with mix…working toward better solutions that employ measures for saving water without compromising playability (maybe even making our course more “LINKS” by definition. 

Moving UP! The Golf Digest ratings are out! 


I probably could have made this the lead story as moving up to Number 6 in South Africa is great news! However, I still place our course management and water security above it. People around the world are discovering the best natural links in SA and its going to be even more natural by the next rating in 2020! We know that St Francis Links has evolved and become more playable (though our efforts) over the past 11 years. We are often compared favorably with Fancourt Links, rated number ONE once again (this time without Leopard Creek pushing them as the course is under re-construction). We are also criticized for our bunkers, shaped by Mr Nicklaus and his team, re-shaped by Mother Nature with every strong westerly or easterly, that’s what keeps us natural. The sand we use is dune sand, also natural, and the bunkers play like their name, HAZARDS. We will, over the next two years, work on keeping them more playable, repairing the affects of the wind to ensure and easier exit when your ball finds them. The course rates high in shot-making and is now more balanced in shot-values (challenging for the better player and more playable for the improving golfer). Hey, we provide one of the most aesthetically pleasing and natural golfing experiences in Africa, maybe the world. Our real raters who are here everyday, are you, our members and those who travel from all over the world to experience this gem in the dunes above the Indian Ocean and beeeeeautiful St Francis Bay. By the way, St Francis Bay Golf Club moved up a number of spots to No. 90 out of more than 450 courses in SA. Humewood remains in the high teens, at 13, and Wedgewood moved up 12 spots from 88 to 76. My friend Meyer at San Lameer can be pleased that his course moved up nine-spots to 61 (I thinks it deserved better) and Justin Roux, who is now at Gowrie Farm has seen their course rise to 49 – wait for 2020 on those two. 

Am I happy? Hell Yes! Am I satisfied? Not a chance!
As the ad says, TOP TEN again (for the 6th consecutive time) and we are in great company! What a privilege it is to be at St Francis Links – where the world comes to play, by choice! 

Dr Lynn does it again – retired from Teaching but not from Golf

In a text message, Dr Lynn Slogrove sent me a little note telling me she had won the EP Senior Strokeplay recently. As stated in her note below, she was “making up the numbers”. Lynn is now retired from teaching at NMMU in PE and has dedicated her time to playing more golf here at St Francis Links – that bodes well for growing ladies’ golf here at SFL. She will inspire others as she continues to set the pace. This Iron Lady is currently play off 6 – yeeowzers!   

Hi Jeff
I merely made up the numbers in the A section (80, 84, 82). See ECWGA.co.za for all the results- excellent scores!! We played 36 holes on Sat and 18 on Sun last weekend.


 Please VOTE for US! 


Dear Mr Clause, 

Congratulations! Your organisation has been nominated for the 5th annual World Golf Awards.

You have been nominated for:
South Africa’s Best Golf Course 2018: St Francis Links

Voting is now open and members of the golf community – consumers and industry executives alike – are asked to vote for who they think is the very best of the best in golf tourism.

The full list of 2018 World Golf Awards nominees can be viewed at worldgolfawards.com/nominees/2018 where votes can be cast.

Voting closes on 20th September. The winners will then be notified so arrangements can be made to attend the red-carpet 5th annual World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place over the weekend of 1st-4th November 2018 at La Manga Club, Spain – with industry leaders, luminaries and international media in attendance.

W(HOA)…News from the Estate!

partnership 1

Our Next Get-together is on March 9th – there is so much happening – JOIN US! 

The Year Ahead – Your planner for 2018

Please take note of the dates and post them where you will see them and ENTER! 

 Links Majors and Special Events for 2018

Jan 2-3        The Pam Golding Annual (St Francis Bay wins – the overall is tied 6 games each)
Jan 5-6        Men’s Member/Member Partnership, Chris and Jandré Lessing, Champions
Jan 20         Windhoek Lager International Pairs (3rd Qualifying), Percy Owen and Norman Dyer
Jan 27-28    EP Champs (course closed)  Altin VD Merwe, Strokeplay Medalist (74-68=142)
Feb 3-4       EP Champs (semi-finals and finals) Naldo Claassens, Champion; Hugo Maritz, Plate Winner
Feb 14        Couples/Mixed Golf – Valentine’s Dinner
Mar 10        Greensomes over 18 holes
Apr 22-26   National Senior Inter-Provincials (90) (course closed)
May 6-7      Club Championships
May 13-16  Senior Women’s Nationals (SFL and SFBGC) (courses closed)
May 18-20  St Francis Bridge Invitational
May 20       Nomads Monthly Game (11am Shotgun)
May 24-25  Woodland’s Golf Days
May 26       Foursomes over 18 holes
June 2        Ladies’ Invitational
June 16      Quarterly Couples/Mixed – US Open
June 17      Father’s Day Golf and Lunch
June 21      EP Seniors
June 25-26 Nomads Coastal NOoM
July 7          The Inaugural Muirfield Day (foursomes and fourballs)
July 20        Oakley X-Over
July 20-22   Men’s Invitational
July 22-25   PGA Road Trip – Pards Cup
Aug 25 to
Sept 11       Spring Programme (Club Closed)
Sep 28-29   Links Cup / Ryder Cup (Paris)
Oct 6          Quarterly Couples/Mixed Golf
Nov            Pam Golding Ladies’ Open Weekend (date – TBD)
Dec 1         Ladies’ Member- Member Partnership
Dec 8         Par-3 Championships
Dec 14-15 Pam Golding Annual (SFBGC host)
Dec 17      Kromme Trust Amazing Race
Dec 20      Food and Wine Festival
Dec 22     Year-end Couples/Mixed – Pro Shop Sale
Jan 3-4    Men’s Member-Member Partnership

Important Note: We endeavour to keep our “Majors” on the same weekend each year to encourage the best participation. We are forced to move the Annual Club Championships back a week this year because we were the chosen course in the Eastern Cape to host the National Senior Inter-Provincials, a tournament featuring the country’s top golfers. It finished on Thursday the 26th, leaving no time for practice or course preparation. I apologize and the Champs will return to the last week in April in years to come.


http://www.Leadingcourses.com   –  Please rate St Francis Links 

Leading courses



February Birthdays 

11- Mark Mans
14 – Chris Kelway, Clive Bishop, Lebogang Mkopane
15 – Christo Wenzel
17 – Cheyyann Barton
18 – Brian Barnard
20 – Jos Strydom 
21 – John Barnes
22 – Jacques Du Toit
24 – Carla Schrieber, Johan Spangenberg
26 – Gillian Hammond
27 – Marius Alberts

 More to Come! 

February 2018 sm


Itec Golf Days 2018 sm

Itec are 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!

Monday Roll-up! Pitch up and play (9 holes or 18 Par-3 from 2pm) let’s add you to the What’s app group
All day Saturdays: Morning and afternoon fields – the afternoon field will be booked from 12 noon backwards with emphasis on “ready golf”

Monday Men’s Book Club – 5pm in Jack’s Bar (no reading required)
Ladies’ Tea (and Coffee) – Every Tuesday at 10am on the Veranda

February 20         Electrial Outage (Eskom repairs) 
March 9                Member’s Get-together 
March 10              2nd Annual Greensomes (sponsored) 
March 14              ITEC Open Wednesday
March 30              Good Friday 


 Check this out – 1-stop shopping! 


Every Great shot starts with a SMILE! 

Santa and the Links TEAM 


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