You are here


Greetings from Stellenbosch Golf Club

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 16:29

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Hello 2018,

All the best for the New Year and I hope it will be a year to remember for everyone! Welcome back to all our members and friends who I hope had a wonderful rest and enjoyed the holidays and spending it with family and friends, on and off the golf course.

We had 5049 rounds from members and visitors during December 2017, not bad considering how many members are away during this period. I also had the opportunity to play a few more rounds than usual with my handicap paying the price, but as Gary Player says, the more you practice the luckier you get… #SeeYouOnTheRange

One of the rounds was with longtime friend and fellow professional Jean Hugo. Joining us for the round was Oliver Bekker and Justin Harding, standing on the yellow tees the Friday morning it was quite intimidating knowing that between the three of them they had 30 professional wins. Jean and myself paired up against Ollie and Justin and luckily I had a couple of good holes that resulted in 'the old timers' taking the cash. It was great to see just how well these guys play and I would like to wish them all the best for 2018. May there be many more victories! #TheseGuysCanPlay

Xmas spirit all the time during December

Joining three tour stars for a round during the festive season…

Early on the morning of 21 December 2017, a few members and visitors teed it up for the Marathon of Golf. 5 AM the first of many rounds started, ending with tired bodies just before sunset and 84 holes completed...yes that’s right 84 holes! Pieter Odendaal(19 handicap), Athur Johnson (3 handicap) and Johan Geldenhuys (14 handicap), completed 30 holes by 8h30 and by 17h30 they where finished with 72 holes. Chatting to Pieter after the round he said they did keep score although the idea was more to see how many holes players could complete. Ironically during their 4th round all three players played their best round.

They then went out for 12 more holes and by 18h50 the thought of a couple of ice cold beers was too tempting and they stopped. With darkness only becoming a problem after 20h00, the 100 hole target can be achieved!!! Even though quite a few members and visitors started at 5AM, sadly they did not make it to the end as the cold beers called them a lot earlier during the day. Never the less, thank you to everyone who participated and well done to our three champions! #84HolesDoneAndDusted #MarathonOfGolf

Three Champions played 84 holes on the 21st of December from dawn till dusk – Well done!

What better way to celebrate Christmas and go into 2018 than with a group of friends on the golf course. It’s always a special time for me to welcome friends from golf tours and golf courses from all over the world to Stellenbosch GC in December. This year was no different, I wonder how many of you would recognize some of the faces on the photo behind me, between them a Champion Down Hill Mountain Biker, Tour Caddie (PGA and European Tour) member from Royal Hong Kong Golf Club, a medical doctor, two professional golfers, two golf professionals, a golf retail expert and a sales man…at the end of the day it does not really matter who is who in life - what is special is that golf brings everyone together! #SmilesAllAround

My Chrisman Eve Game with friends from the club and
the Professional Tours around the world!

Starting off 2018 I would like to write about one of the most contentious issues during 2017, actually I should say since the addition of a bunker to the game of golf.

Let's start with the definition of a “bunker”: A "bunker" is a hazard consisting of a prepared area of ground, often a hollow, from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand or the like.

Grass-covered ground bordering or within a bunker, including a stacked turf face (whether grass-covered or earthen), is not part of the bunker. A wall or lip of the bunker not covered with grass is part of the bunker. The margin of a bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards.

A ball is in a bunker when it lies in or any part of it touches the bunker.

Now let's go and have a look where a bunker originated from and why it is called a bunker. Early golf developed on links land, where sand blew across the course and 'burns' (small rivers) ran across it to the sea. In time these were shaped into the hazards that they are today, especially the sand, putting it in pits called bunkers.

Reading the original definition, you will notice that it was actually formed quite naturally in the beginning. Nowadays millions are spent to provide golfers a better “experience” when the ball ends up in a bunker.

So now after the definition of a bunker and the explanation of where it all started comes my question. Why do all golfers have this “opinion” that they need to get out of the bunker every time they are in one or even worse, some feel they need to hit it close and make the putt? If they cannot achieve this the bunkers are defined as not being “good”! I might be generalising somewhat, but for me the topic most discussed during and after a round is bunkers. Usually by the players that could not achieve the perfect up-and-down scenario. Looking at the European Tour Stats you will notice that the best player also did not achieve this – no one has a 100% up and down percentage. As a matter of fact the best is 73.9% and the 5th best player, Richard Green, only achieved this 66.7% of the time. Now taking into account the time these players spent practicing these shots, I don’t think that we need to be too hard on ourselves. These guys are on the golf course and practice area at least 8 hours every day of their lives. A bunker is added to a green complex to make the hole more difficult, hence the reason it will most probably cost you a shot, maybe even two.

The irony is if you now go and look at the scrambling percentages on the European Tour it is even worse than that of bunkers - yes that’s right, but why am I telling you this? For most golfers I play with it is the same - players don’t up and down every time they miss a green. If they did, they would be playing on television and not with us in the Wednesday and Saturday members competitions. The fascinating point about this is a player will seldom become as upset if he miss the green or hits the ball 20 foot short or long from the flag, as when he is playing the same shot from a bunker. Our first hole is a great example with players regularly missing the green short or to the right of the green. Now to be fair some players have asked me about the grassbunker and mentioned that it is not nice to play from. I even had players saying they would prefer a bunker there to the grassbunker (Because you can up and down from a bunker). In the end if the grassbunker cost them a shot or two they don’t blame the grassbunker, but low and behold they end up in the bunker on the left of the green and it cost them a shot or two - crazy if you think about it like that. Same scenario when a player decides to putt from 30 yards short of the green and he ends up three putting, that’s OK because he was not in the bunker.

Let's change our mindset in 2018, recognise our ability and except it, understand why the bunker is there and enjoy the times we do get it out and by some chance get it close…or if you would like to play bunker shots like the guys on television, come and enjoy our fantastic range facility on a daily basis and I promise you, you will hit it closer more often! #BookALessonWithYourPgaPro

Sometimes you just have to laugh about it, even Rory has a bad day in a bunker.

Click to watch

Sunday School ending the year off on a high note – 31 December 2017
(No Hole-in-One for me this year)

On behalf of Stellenbosch Golf Club, the committee and staff I would like to wish you all the very best for 2018. May it be a year to remember! At the club we are looking forward to a busy and hopefully very wet 2018. We have three members playing in the 107th SA Open at Glendower Golf Club starting on Thursday. I would like to wish Oliver Bekker, Justin Harding and JJ Senekal all the best. Fly the Stellenbosch flag high and make lots of birdies, no bogeys and the odd par. #SaOpen2018

Here is to a great year!