Jack Nicklaus, golf’s greatest player and renowned golf course designer, first came to the dunes and wind-swept land above St Francis Bay nearly 10 years before construction and completion of the award-winning St Francis Links in 2006. Before his introduction at the Opening Night festivities, Mr. Nicklaus spent another five hours with his team, checking what was to become one of the great golfing destinations in South Africa. That first view of the dunes in 1995 led to a design that embraced what Mother Nature had already provided – a perfect natural canvas, seven dunescapes, covered with indigenous grasses and beautiful fynbos. He routed 18 unique holes, no two alike, through the dunes, preserving the natural Milkwood trees and following the contours provided. His words at the Opening reflected the emotions he felt after that final review before opening for play. The following morning at the press conference, he was asked,
“You (Mr. Nicklaus) said last night that this may be the best course you’ve ever done…” Mr. Nicklaus interrupted the gentleman by stating, “I did not say that; I said it may be the best course I’ve ever seen (pause) that’s different (pause) that’s better than the best I’ve ever done!”
He added, “You always feel as though the last course you’ve done is the best course you’ve done but I have never made that statement about any golf courses I have done because I’d have 200 and some people become very upset. This golf course is so spectacular and this is such a spectacular piece of property that … it was our job not to mess it up.
St Francis Links is turning seven this year! The course looks and plays like it has been here for centuries – reflecting the perfect balance between nature’s gift and golf’s best surfaces for shotmaking.
St Francis Links, acknowledged as one of the ten best golf course in South Africa, is now regarded as the best destination for ‘brides to be’ as well. The venue, the attention to detail provided the Club team and consistent and quality food and beverage service has been validated by the two consecutive Bride’s Choice Awards for Best Club Reception. An hour by car from Port Elizabeth, The Links golfing and Club “experience” is complemented by their staff’s friendly and personalized service. Enquire about the fine options for accommodation, restaurants and other local activities that will ensure lasting memories and return trips for a short stay or a lifetime.