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Shortest month of the year

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 15:57

It’s February and it’s season time,

Not only the shortest month of the year but also the busiest month of the year at the golf club. All the staff at the club is in overdrive at the moment with averages of over 200 golfers per day. On Friday we had 306 golfers - a crazy number for a day! Hats off to Neil and his team from STM for the condition of the course at the moment, it is in great condition. It’s scary to think how the course looked a year ago in February! The F&B staff is always ready to serve before and after the round. What a great team we have…

You just got to love Facebook (for those of you on Facebook) and its memories that pop up from time to time. I got quite a scare when this one made its appearance last week! It’s frightening to think how quickly we forget where we were a year ago. Scary, Scary, Scary. For those of you wondering, we are currently in a good position with water and the course will remain in the same great condition as it is at the moment!

We forget quickly…

Welcome SA SAGES

It gives me great pleasure this week to announce that Stellenbosch GC will be the proud host of the SA SAGES Nationals in 2019! As the season comes to an end, we will welcome senior golfers from across South Africa as the Boland hosts this event in April 2019. Annually, the tournament moves around the country as different unions present the tournament each year. For the week (8 – 12 April) we will be arranging reciprocity with neighboring clubs for you, but - and yes, I just love a but, must be because of my kids ages - we will be doing a very special day on the 10th of April at the club for the members as it’s the week of the Masters! #masterschallenge

Wednesday (tomorrow) we are introducing the first of a brand new seven-part series called the Nashua Winelands Challenge. The format will be 4-Ball Six’s Stableford, with the best six score counting for the seven-part series. At the end of the challenge the team with the highest aggregate score will be walking away with a massive bonus prize! The dates are as follow, so diarise now:

13 February 2019
20 March 2019
22 May 2019
17 July 2019
14 August 2019
4 September 2019
October 2019

A big thank you to Nashua Winelands for this wonderful sponsorship, we are all looking forward to the first one tomorrow!
Another important date to add to your dairy will be the 27th of February when we will once again have the Windhoek Pairs Tournament. This day has also proven to be very popular amongst the members.

Congratulations to Gordon and Billy

Gorden Schultz and Billy Cooper - these guys can still play!

Gordon Schultz broke his age for the 3rd time on Saturday. What a special achievement at the age of 78 to shoot a 77! Well played Gordon, I hope I will still be doing it at your age.

There is one other member I know who has done the same: Billy Cooper, aged 82 has broken his age a number of times! During my time in the US I played with two other gentleman who both broke their age during the round. Nick Job, aged 69, shot 68 (gross) and Hugh Biaocchi, aged 72, shot 70 (gross) – wow, I know it was great to watch! Contact me if you have also had a similar great achievement! I would love to hear from you!

Beyerskloof Wynbar is officially open and it’s something special, starting with the name – Beyerskloof Wynbar! Nope, no mistake there. It’s Wynbar and I just love it… we joined them on their first day that they opened and I hope you all go and spoil yourself at this lovely venue in Ryneveld Street with a big glass of Pinotage.

Always smiling when you have a glass of Pinotage in your hand

New rules kick up quite some dust

Wow, the new Rules of Golf have been in the media a lot lately! This one has been discussed a lot. On Sunday, the 27th of January, in the last round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, China’s Haotong Lee incurred two penalty strokes.

First, let us see what happened:

Li was in breach of the new rule 10.2b (4) which states, that from the exact moment when the player begins to take his stance, the player’s caddie is not allowed to stand in the extension of the line of play away from the hole.

In different forums around the world the discussion has mainly two concerns that arose:

- Had Li begun taking his stance?
- Was it an unfair/wrong penalty?

There has been a lot of negative responses hereunder from European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, and from some players.

R&A on the contrary issued a statement where they confirmed that the penalty was correctly applied, and that the meaning with this new Rule was to penalize a player in such a situation. According to CBS Sports, Martin Slumbers from R&A, thus underlined that the Rule is “… designed to prevent any opportunity for the caddie to stand behind the player as he begins to take his stance. Whether the player intends to be lined up is not the issue.”

So, it does not seem like they intend to change this new rule.

By the way, Li finished tied for 12th place – without this penalty he would have finished third place. The difference in prize money was approximately US $ 100,000!

Some more really “interesting” news about the Rules of Golf:

Sergio Garcia was disqualified from the Saudi International for purposely damaging several putting greens. According to GolfChannel’s website it happened on five putting greens! The disqualification was under Rule 1.2a for a serious misconduct (see interpretation 1.2a/1).

According to the European Tour website, Garcia stated that he respected the disqualification, and that he had informed his fellow players that it would not happen again. I wonder if he can keep that promise? It is certainly not the first time Garcia has behaved like that... Not good for golf I think!

New rule regarding roads and paths

Back at Stellenbosch GC I’ve had some “mixed” interpretations regarding one change in our local rules. I am reffering to the local rule regarding Roads & Paths on the golf course. Relief is only possible from artificial hard surfaced roads & paths (tar and concrete). But if you are the winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Ricky Fowler, you just play it from the road...

Roads and Paths (RULE 16)

Artificially hard surfaced (tar and amp, concrete) roads and cart paths are an immovable obstruction. Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. The player must lift the ball and drop it without penalty within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief.

To summarize – you play the ball as it lies from all other roads…

The 65th best golfer in the World is a member at Stellenbosch GC and after another great finish, Justin is moving closer and closer to the Top 50 in the world. Happy 33rd birthday Justin for Saturday and congratulations on your 4th place in the ISPS HANDA VIC Open in Australia on Sunday.

Oliver Bekker finished 32nd in the Panama Open with JJ Senekal finishing 51st in the Cape Town Open. It’s great to have so much representation on all the tours out there - well done you three!

The Sunday School celebrating Justin’s great finish on Sunday after the round!

I’m off to spend a bit of time between all the golfers on and off the golf course – have a great week and for those not doing anything on Sunday, come and join me for the Sanlam Cape Mile swim. It promises to be lots of fun and yes – golfers can swim…