St Fran­cis Bay

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Promotion -

Once a sleepy re­sort with a 9-hole course, it has grown enor­mously and now boasts two 18-hol­ers, in­clud­ing the mag­nif­i­cent Jack Nick­laus­de­signed St Fran­cis Links, ranked No 7 in Golf Di­gest’s Top 100.The old St Fran­cis

9-holer was ex­tended to 18, and this smaller lay­out – it­self ranked No 96 – per­fectly com­ple­ments the es­tate prop­erty across the road. On a windy day this is the course to play, be­ing more shel­tered and man­age­able to play than the Links.The club­house, in the heart of the vil­lage, is a social place to be, whether you’re play­ing golf or not.

St Fran­cis Links is a course best ap­pre­ci­ated in good weather. For me, it’s a brilliant de­sign, a mod­ern master­piece, but I wouldn’t ven­ture out in a gale, be­cause there are playa­bil­ity is­sues on cer­tain holes. Say­ing that, though, the land­ing ar­eas are now much wider than they were when it was opened at the end of 2006. One thing that has dis­ap­pointed me is that the Links has be­come some­thing of a cart course, with few walk­ers, be­cause of the ter­rain, and a few steep climbs from green to tee. It some­how seems sac­ri­le­gious to drive a cart around one of golf’s most nat­u­ral de­signs.

The Eastern Cape is a friendly province, and you will find a warm wel­come at all the cour­ses, but par­tic­u­larly so in St Fran­cis Bay, where the lo­cals go out of their way to make vis­i­tors feel at home.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.