Dear Members and friends of St Francis Bay Golf Club,
We find ourselves at the end of February and we have now had five (5) months of below average rainfall. In fact the rainfall since beginning of October has been about 50% of the average which has now become critical. There have been many comments about certain aspects of our Golf Course and we understand that you would all love to play on a pristine course. Due to the weather that has been far short of “playing the game”, I believe that we should show some more appreciation for the amount of work that has to be done to keep our course in a highly playable state. The course staff has much to do due to continuous outbreaks of Anthracnose and also the need to manually water certain areas.
As is very normal for our neck of the woods, we may soon have too much water again as there is good rain predicted for later in March and into April. We are hoping for nicely spread out rain rather than too much all at once.
The high tides have also done some damage to the beach dunes but we are at this stage still relatively safe and the Committee is busy looking at various options to ensure the safety of the 12th green for the short to medium term.
The new Committee is now fully functional and we trust that you will find the communications to your satisfaction and that you will continue to enjoy your golf and other activities at your Club.
From the Captain
Dear Golfers and Members,
Despite the challenging weather conditions, our rounds have not suffered too severely, who said we were fair weather golfers?
In pursuit of defending our title, the Kouga League (handicap) made a good start by coming a narrow second to hosts Zwartenbosch in round 1. Regrettably our Scratch League team, competing in the EP First League, is not faring as well. We wish both sides all the best in the matches ahead. The various knock-out lists are still on the board but are still a few names short before we can proceed. Surely we should try to resurrect these events, it would be a shame if we had to scrap this part of our history.
An enjoyable Valentines night was held at the club on the 14th Feb. It was oversubscribed by some 20 odd and thanks must be extended to Nicole Kellett and her helpers, club staff not forgetting the wonderful meal provided by our caterers, Janie / MYLC. Hopefully the St Patrick’s Day bash will be equally well supported on the 17th of this month. We recently introduced month end draws (whisky & attendance) on the basis that they be held every second month. Recent feedback suggests that they be held every month. Arthur Baggott has kindly agreed to run these draws and should you have an opinion, please liaise with him.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of our Calamari Classic, an event that not only put our club on the South African golfing map, but is still our biggest source of revenue. Golf Digest have agreed to give us some exposure this year as has Radio Algoa. Plans are going well but as ever, the more sponsors the better. In this regard please assist us through your contacts in acquiring additional support. If we all do our bit, it would make a huge difference.
Wishing you happy times on and off the course, heads down and spirits up!
Richard Vauqulin – Club Captain
CLUB ACTIVITIES – February
South Africa vs The Rest of the World
Monday 6th February saw the hordes drawn up in their battle-dress as the small country of South Africa yet again had to face the onslaught of the rest of the world. The battle waged from hole number one to hole number eighteen after which the exhausted and battle-scarred warriors all retired to the Clubhouse where they quenched their thirst and renewed the friendships!!!
The fact that South Africa again won the battle was of less importance when the one was able to see the camaraderie that was displayed after the encounter. Four players received the “Colli Cap” for participating in 10 SA vs the World events.
Our thanks to Peter Collison for starting this event and still continuing to put it all together as sponsor. Take a bow, Peter!!!
Windhoek Lager Pairs
Our second Windhoek Lager Qualifying event was also held in February and we again had a reasonable sized field which again allowed us to send two pairs to the Regional event. The winners and runners-up were:
1st Brian Hibbert & Keith Anderson 44Pts
2nd Justin Ackerman & Dane Shaw 44Pts
The third and last opportunity to qualify will be held on Saturday 11th March so make sure that you are entered and that you bring your A-game.
Hole in One
During February we also had Neil Robinson achieving what we all try for on every par three – He had a Hole In One on the eighth hole. Here he is proudly showing the written evidence of his achievement.
Well done Neil. I am sure that every “friend” crawled into the Club to come and enjoy a free drink!!!
Monday Seniors Champion
The Monday Seniors group put on their own Championships and true to form, Peter Townend came out the winner. Congratulations Peter. You are going to have to hold onto that Trophy tightly as there are many challengers for next year.
Handicap statistics for South Africa
3 648 162 is the number of rounds entered on the handicap system last year. That’s almost 10 000 rounds per day! It’s also a 2.45% increase on 2015 and means that, on a rough calculation, our golfers walked around 21 million kilometres last year.
We currently have 140 871 registered golfers on the system. Sadly, that’s down 3,7% on the previous year’s numbers.
Of all registered golfers, 29,7% fall into the 35-49 age bracket – the largest age category. Unfortunately only 3,9% of our golfers are juniors from the 0-18 age group category.
465 is the number of golf clubs we have in South Africa. 86 of these are found in KwaZulu-Natal, which is by far the most of any provincial union.
347 is the record for the most rounds played by an individual in 2016. There is, however, no word on the gentleman from Gauteng North’s marital status.
Despite the best efforts of certain players from Gauteng North, Central Gauteng remained the busiest union, racking up an impressive 599 930 rounds. Western Province was second on 482 728, with KwaZulu-Natal not far behind on 468 149.
Central Gauteng also has the most registered players, with 24 680, while Northern Cape has the fewest, at only 2 225 registered golfers.
Predictably, December was the busiest month for golfers, with 339 758 rounds recorded, followed by January, March and then April. September was the quietest month, with 267 764 rounds – perhaps due to all the Spring treatments going on.
16,81 is the average male handicap in the country, up 1,8% from last year.
25,34 is the average female handicap in SA, up 1% on last year.
42,2% of all registered golfers entered more than 20 scores in 2016.
7 clubs registered more than 40 000 rounds of golf last year. Of those, five were 36-hole facilities, with the top two 18-hole facilities from the Western Cape.
THE COURSE MATTERS
As mentioned earlier the Golf Course has been taking some strain due to the prolonged drought, high temperatures, humidity and drying-out winds. Over the past year the Grounds Committee together with Gordon Dennett has been looking at various options as far as grasses for our greens.
As a result the following greens have been over-seeded – 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th and 16th. The reason for over-seeding these oldest greens is to get a better and more resistant strain of grass to combat Poa Annua as well as the fungus attacks we have been experiencing over a number of years. The greens will, for the foreseeable future be mowed at a higher height of cut to assist in germination.
We ask and thank you for your patience over the next few weeks as we await the outcome of this experiment. Hoping that we will improve your golfing experience when playing our course.
GOLF ROUNDS FOR THE YEAR TO DATE
Looking at these numbers one has to keep in mind that we had an exceptional year in 2015/16. Everything possible is being done to increase the rounds and maintain the income stream.
UPCOMING EVENTS & COMPETITIONS
St Patrick’s Day Pub Evening – Friday 17th March
Beef and Guinness Pie, veg and dessert
Windhoek Lager Pairs Qualifier – Saturday 11th March
Regular Wednesday & Saturday Competitions (Subject to change)
Monthly Medal: Saturday 25th March
Toyota B/B Stableford: Wednesday 29th March
Please also note that we have a Sundowner Competition sponsored by Heather Rabie Properties every Friday afternoon. Please book and come and enjoy.
FRIDAY NIGHT DRAW
As mentioned in the Captain’s piece above, it has now been decided to hold a Friday Night Draw. This event will take place on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month. They would like to make it clear that ALL Fully Paid-up Members are included in the draw – there is no extra cost attached – but you have to be at the Club when your number is drawn to be able to claim the cash.
The Draw is standing at R300 and goes up by R100 every time it is not won.
Make sure you get to the Club for a meal and a drink and be there when your numbers comes up!!
ROTARY GOLF FESTIVAL
Also an early warning about our Annual Rotary Golf Festival with the main sponsor, Makro Store in PE.
In past years this competition was held over two days on our two courses in St Francis Bay. It has been decided to revert to a one-day competition with the first one being hosted at our Club on the 29th April 2017.
Please make sure that you book your tee-off time early and come and support Rotary and our Club as we host this competition.
Enjoy your golf,
OUR REGULAR SPONSORS
Cape St Francis Resort
Gabriel Jewellers – J-Bay
Heather Rabie Properties
Henry Tayler & Ries
Maritime Motors Port Elizabeth
Pam Golding Properties StFB
Pommes Frites Bistro
Sebastians Butchery – Humansdorp
St Francis SuperSPAR
The Pro-Shop Port Elizabeth
LADIES SECTION: KIEWIET REPORT MARCH 2017
It is with pleasure that I start this year as a new captain. I am extremely fortunate to have Shelley Owen, Pam Beaumont and of course Heilie Uys as Lady President to assist me.
We have started our ladies Tuesday golf with the support of our local ladies and our swallows, who swell our numbers and make our competitions such fun. The number of players increases weekly to such an extent that we had 16 ladies playing at the end of February.
One of our long-standing swallows will not be returning so it is with sadness we wish Henny Schuch farewell after next Tuesday. Henny and her husband have been loyal members of the golf club for many years and we wish them good health and happiness for the years to come.
JEFFREYS BAY LADIES OPEN
We have always been great supporters of the Jeffreys Bay Ladies Open. This day full of fun and prizes took place on Saturday 25th February in a gale force wind. Congratulations to Ronelle du Toit and her team of ladies who made every player feel special with gifts and a great lunch!
POP IN BEAUTY BAR GOLF DAY
The Ladies section has its first sponsored day on Tuesday 28th of March. Renee Botha of Pop In Beauty Bar is our generous sponsor. We will play a Better Ball format (enter with a partner) and after lunch Renee and her staff will treat us to a spa afternoon. Any friends who are not golfers are welcome to come and enjoy the afternoon.
MIXED OPEN COMPETITION
Our MIXED OPEN will be on EASTER MONDAY 17TH APRIL. Enter on the booking sheet at the club. Should you need a partner, we will find one of the great guys in the club. As for so many years in the past, Heather Rabie Properties will be the main sponsor again and we thank Heather for her continued support for this day. REMEMBER: There will also be a prize for the best dressed pair!
Our Strokeplay Championships are scheduled for 22nd & 23rd April. Ladies will compete in three divisions:
- A: Handicaps 0-18
- B: Handicaps 19-28
- C: Handicaps 29-36 (play stableford)
Please ensure that you enter for this important event on our calendar.
Our weather has been kind to us but the drought is difficult for the course. We thank Gordon and his team as well as the Grounds Committee for their knowledge and commitment in keeping our course in good condition in these trying times.
DO TRY TO SUPPORT YOUR CLUB AND YOUR CATERERS!!