ProAm players praise Links course and discuss fierce winds on play

Edited by Bev Mortimer

Photo of Casey Jarvis

There was much excitement and anticipation up at the St Francis Links Clubhouse today for the Pro Am and the SDC Championship.
The place was swarming with cheerful players and there were great facilities for the accredited players and the media. Many voiced their admiration and approval on the slick organisation and smooth running in the clubhouses while those on the field enthused their approbation for the Links’ course.
The major DP World Tour event comes to St Francis Bay for the first time with this week’s SDC Championship and golf writer, Michael Vlismas, was there to have discussions with the players.
“The Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour have brought an international golf tournament to this Jack Nicklaus Signature Course for the first time in its history, and a course ranked fourth in South Africa has certainly caught the attention of this field. And so too the wind forecast for Thursday’s first round, which is predicting gusts of up to 65km/h,” Michael says.
In talking with players Michael recounts the main topics of discussion among the players are the impressive quality of the St Francis Links course and Thursday’s wind forecast. “I think it’s one of the best golf courses in the country,” young South African, Casey Jarvis, said during Tuesday’s pro-am. He knows this course well, having finished second in the 2022 South African PGA Championship which was played here.
“It’s just a really good golf course, and a challenging one in the wind. It’s quite soft around the greens so doesn’t play like a true links, but the overall layout is just really really good.”
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay was equally impressed with his first look at this golf course.
“The landscape around here is beautiful and I’m really impressed with the course. It’s a gorgeous piece of property. You can see that if you’ve played this course before you will have an advantage. I’ve always loved coming down here to this part of the world and I’ve been on holiday with my family here before.”
Ockie Strydom, two-time winner on the DP World Tour this season, also has fond memories of this golf course where he finished second in a Sunshine Tour event last year.
“I’ve done well on this course in the past. I feel like this course owes me one and hopefully that’s this week. There are a lot of good players here, but we’ve all got the same job – to keep it low and under the wind.”
The wind can certainly turn this golf course into a proper test this week, and most of the field are already bracing themselves for the challenge it will bring on Thursday.
“I’ve been watching the wind forecast, and especially the predictions for Thursday. You can definitely see the course has been built for a breeze and it’s no secret that this part of the country has wind that will flatten flag sticks. The wind will certainly change how this course plays. But I have to commend the green-keeping staff here because it’s in fantastic condition considering they’ve been in a long drought in this region,” said Brandon Stone.
“This is a great golf course, but it all depends on the conditions. I’m hoping for a bit of wind to test us all,” added Shaun Norris.

Photos below, of Brandon Stone, and St Francis Links course

Photos: Vlismas Media


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