Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

The Eastern Cape is home to sev­eral fes­ti­val golf weeks, one of the most pop­u­lar be­ing the Cala­mari Clas­sic, hosted by St Fran­cis Bay Golf Club, this year on Septem­ber 22-24, a long week­end. The suc­cess of the Mad Hat­ter week at Royal Port Al­fred in April (started 1995) in­spired the club mem­bers to in­tro­duce a tour­na­ment of their own, at a quiet time of year.

Mem­ber Ed­die Len­nox came up with the name, a per­fect fit for a sea­side re­sort which is the hub of the cala­mari in­dus­try. Chokka boats fish off­shore for squid at night, their lights bob­bing on the wa­ter, and many are based at Port St Fran­cis.

The first clas­sic was in 1998, when St Fran­cis Bay was a 9-holer. The in­au­gu­ral event was a golfer’s night­mare, gale-force winds and rain all week­end mak­ing for mis­er­able play­ing con­di­tions. But those who were there had such a fab­u­lous time, their spir­its buoyed by good food and en­ter­tain­ment, that it was a re­sound­ing suc­cess. Cala­mari do­nated by lo­cal fish­er­men was pre­pared and cooked in a large potjie. Sadly, the cala­mari potjie is no more.

The course’s ex­pan­sion to 18 holes meant ex­tra sup­port, 260 golfers each day, so the club­house con­tin­ues to heave with cel­e­bra­tory golfers and hang­ers-on over the three days.

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