Great events, great course and Great food!
On Monday, we held our first Board Meeting for the year. It was suggested that I share part of my CEO report for the 1st quarter (Oct-Dec) as it is a fairly good review.
General Summary – Links Golf Club (RF) Limited
All indications from tourism led us to believe that we would struggle to achieve the good numbers we experienced in 2018. With no Vodacom Championship or Ladies’ Weekend on the cards (we made the decision to move the event to May), I budgeted fewer rounds and slightly reduced income in golf and food and beverage for the opening two months. Fortunately, we lobbied for and were awarded the regional finals for the BMW Golf Cup International. This event is properly run by the team from Flooid (the events arm for Sail). While it was only a one-day event, the feedback was good and the organizers were very pleased, again, with what we produced on and off the course.
We were the favoured venue The Rugby World Cup, filling the bar and even the deck for the semi-finals and finals of the event. Winning is always good for business
The marketing of yearend parties really paid off in November with several local and regional companies choosing us. The Simon and Garfield Tribute Show with well-known local musicians was the first of a season of sold-out shows here. December started very slowly with no weddings this year. On the 17th, I looked at our figures to budget and we were on 17% in golf and nearly the same in F&B. Then the season kicked in and all our events in the Club were fully booked. The course, despite the lack of any proper rainfall, held up beautifully through the season. The type of golfer over the years has improved. There are still those who come for the annual family outing, but many of our golfing fans, line up multiple games, playing with members in many cases. As time goes on, we will continue to see the rising number of member-based rounds as we build and occupy more homes on the estate. As stated in the AGM, we delivered more lemons than ever, with most of our members in residence. Several homes were rented out with holidaymakers filling the beds.
One thing that reflects the current economy is the amount of time spent here after the games; in our early days, spouses and families would often join their golfing partners for lunch and drinks. Our SuperSpar is the busy place in the village with braais replacing what used to be a lot more time out. Having said that, we were extremely busy from Christmas through New Year’s, once again feeding the world on New Year’s Day.
Looking ahead, the forecast for the next couple of months looks great! January picked up where December left off with two great events to start the year. The Member-Member with Charles Gilmour and Roger Smith winning was made better by the fact that they had never played together before! St Francis Bay GC brushed the Links aside in the Pam Golding Annual levelling the series at 7 wins each! The internationals returned early, and we surpassed our budgeted revenue comfortably. F&B took a step in the right direction with a strong January, as well. There are 5 weddings coming up in February that will ensure another good month ahead. My friends in the industry are all feeling good support from the Internationals. The cricket series with England also brought a strong support group from the Barmy Army. Some played here before the PE Test and another group from the oldest and most renowned Cricket Club, Marylebone. Joe Root’s parents played in a match hosted by our members. Not only did our members enjoy the day, but Tom Norton also made history with our first albatross on a par4.
Work on the course
We started reshaping bunkers and adding sand to the blown-out bunkers to get the original sand level back.
Reeds in dams were cleared on the 18th and we will try to control the very aggressive growth pattern of the reeds in the future
The slab at the range was done to allow mats to be put down on the slab in order to rest the grassed areas.
Dam levels keep dropping and we are stretching the irrigation cycles to use the least amount of water as possible on the course.
Our new ride-on greens mowers arrived with the first cut 14 January 2020.
We focused on holes 1 and 6 where we cut back more bush and opened clear lines from the fairways to see the green.
Dry weather with not much rain for the near future keeps testing our ability to keep the course looking like the 5th best course in the country.
New distance markers for all tees will go on shortly which includes the par 3 course.
It’s NOT good-bye!
Mike Wylie has been our leader, our mentor and our Chairman of the Board at St Francis Links since we opened in 2006. On Monday, at the 1st quarter review, he stepped down as Chairman and we welcomed Chris Kelway, a long-standing homeowner member of the Board as our new Chairman. Mike has run the Board without forcing decisions or blocking ideas. He has led from the front through rough periods where the recession forced us to restructure. Throughout those years, we never produced negative results. Monday night we gathered to thank Mike with a special party at the Leisure Centre, another developer “gift” to the members when it was built.
Before the dinner, a number of us recorded messages to Mike, recalling what meant most to us about him. It was good fun and well-received.
Have you entered yet?
Club Championships April 24-26, 2020
Now the Number 1 Jack Nicklaus Course in AFRICA
The 2020 Calendar
This year, we will be seeing more weddings, fewer golfing National events (due to rotation) and more member functions as our member play is the fastest-growing category in golf. We look forward to more sponsored days with ITEC and Selective Lighting/The Fire Works and the addition of a new partnership between Pam Golding Properties and Village Square SuperSpar.
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
14 Feb Valentine’s Day Dress-up Golf; Dinner with entertainment
26 Feb Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
12 Mar ITEC Open Wednesday
25 Mar Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
27 Mar Ernie Els for Autism Golf Day
3 Apr Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
8 Apr ITEC Open Wednesday
11 Apr Greensomes
24-26 Apr Club Championships
1 May Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
13 May ITEC Open Wednesday
21-22 May Woodlands Dairy Charity Days for HOSPICE
24 May Nomads at St Francis Links (10h30 off 2-tees)
27 May Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
6 Jun The Bard’au Ladies’ Invitational
10 Jun ITEC Open Wednesday
12 Jun Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
17-19 Jun Nomads National Order of Merit* – Juniors earning International points
5 Jul Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
20 Jun Foursomes
21-22 Jun PGA Pro Pairs (SFL)
24 Jun Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
8 Jul ITEC Open Wednesday
17-19 Jul Men’s Invitational
27-28 Jul PGA Regional Finals (SFBGC and SFL)
29 Jul Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
1-2 Aug EP Amateur Championships (course closed)
7 Aug Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
8-9 Aug EP Amateur Championships – Matchplay finals
20-3 Aug/Sep Closed for Spring Programme
4 Sep Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
9 Sep ITEC Open Wednesday
25-27 Sep LINKS CUP South Africa (Ryder Cup at Whistling Straights)
30 Sep Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
2 Oct Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
3 Oct Stulting Golf Day
14 Oct ITEC Open Wednesday
28 Oct Pam Golding/Village Square SuperSpar Alliance
5 Nov Eastern Province SENIORS
6 Nov Selective Lighting / The Fireworks – 15h00 shotgun
11 Nov ITEC Open Wednesday
16 Nov Men’s Muirfield Day (3rd Annual)
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