Traff Goes Back-to-Back at Greencard Golf Holidays South Africa Tour Event
We’ve been hosting Greencard Golf Holidays in South Africa as part of our amateur golf tour for a number of years and this amazing country never fails to deliver a wonderful golfing experience. This year was no different. We all met at the Vineyard Hotel, located in the Claremont suburb. The venue is ideally located to access all that Cape Town has to offer and the courses that we would play during our stay here.
Cape Town – Teeing off at Jack’s Place
There were three rounds scheduled during our stay in Cape Town, the first of these being a team AM AM at Pearl Valley. This masterpiece was shaped by the vision of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his unique touch is evident throughout the course.
As is synonymous with Jack, bunkers were in plentiful supply, avoiding them is the key to achieving a good score. The winning team included Reuben Fielding, Gwyneth Fielding Gary Corbett and Jean Corbett with 96 points. Richard Bleakley, Jackie Bleakley, Arthur Jowle and Jez Morgan finished in the runners up place.
The following day gave people the chance to explore Cape Town and the surrounding area or simply relax around the hotel. There is so much to see and experience here whether it is taking a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, visiting Robben Island, driving to Cape Point or Simon’s Town where penguins can be seen in their natural habitat.
Round 1: Arthur Jowle leads the way at Clovelly
The next day we headed to Clovelly Golf Club played the first of the individual competition rounds of the 2017 Greencard Golf Holidays South Africa event. Clovelly golf course is regarded as one of the area’s most picturesque and challenging layouts. It is famous for championship quality greens, computer-irrigated fairways and testing holes. Arthur Jowle came in with the highest score of the day with a superb 38 points. Debbie Morgan was rediscovering her form and found herself in the highest overall position since her fantastic win in Bermuda. Debbie’s 36 points was matched by Malcolm Barker. Last year’s winner in South Africa was Gary Corbett and he began his title defence with a solid 33 points.
Stunning Views at Steenberg Golf Course
The following morning we played the second team game at Steenberg. This is a great layout and as can be seen to the left the views are simply stunning with Table Mountain providing the backdrop. The winning team included Gary Corbett, Melanie Barton, Arthur Jowle and Chris Hegarty. Their margin of victory was a mere four points from Geoff Henney, Rita Barker, Stuart Munday and Marian Raybone.
Leaving Cape Town Behind for Beautiful Arabella
After a further free day to explore Cape Town, it was time to move to the superbly positioned Arabella Western Cape and Spa. The drive is approximately 90 minutes and takes in stunning coastal views on the way to Hermanus. The location of the hotel is simply breathtaking. The rooms enjoy views over the golf course and the lagoon beyond. This year we had three nights with two rounds of golf, allowing people to enjoy the facilities on offer, including the fantastic pool and spa.
The first of the two rounds on Arabella was an AM AM. This was the closely fought affair with three teams finishing on 75. The result came down to countback on the back six with Simon Klimcke, Gwyneth Fielding, Gary Corbett and Fred Parks taking the victory from Neil Giilam, Lucinda Marchessini, Jim Barton and Jean Corbett.
Round 2: Good Scoring on Tough Test As Traff Makes a Move
The following day we played round two of the individual event. Scoring on Arabella is far from easy and there are many holes which demand an accurate drive before testing you with a tough approach. However, the views once again ensure that even if the game is not on song it is difficult not to enjoy playing here.
Anthony Trafford shot the best score of the day with a tremendous 35 points. Fiona Rickard also had a solid round with 33 whilst Fred Parks, Jez Morgan and Ian Irving all finished with 32.
Joint Leaders at the Halfway Stage
At the half way stage Anthony Trafford and Arthur Jowle were leading the field on 66 points. Chris Hegarty and Debbie Morgan were in just behind with 63. Then came Fred Parks, Ian Irving and Marian Raybone all on 62.
That evening the majority of the group had dinner at a wonderful beach restaurant. The memories of this magnificent setting will not easily be forgotten.
Images from Greencard Golf Holidays South Africa 2017 Tour Event
Final Stop – the #1 Destination for Golf Holidays in South Africa
The next morning it was time to check out and drive to Fancourt. There are a couple of routes that can be taken, one is along the motorway and the other is the scenic road over the mountains and dropping into George.
Fancourt is recognised as South Africa’s number one golf resort with three courses, including the famous Links. This is all set in beautiful surroundings with the Outenique Mountains as the backdrop. It is an idyllic resort with superb practise facilities, restaurants and a lovely clubhouse bar overlooking the 18th green of the Montagu course.
The local town of George is just a short taxi ride away, and is always well worth visiting to have dinner in the evening.
In our opinion golf holidays in South Africa are not complete without a visit to Fancourt and it remains one of our favourite stops on the Greencard Golf Tour Calender
Magnificent Fancourt Golf Courses
We would have two rounds on each of the Outeniqua and Montagu courses with an optional round on the Links. All of these courses were designed by Gary Player, rank highly in the lists of best golf courses to play in the World and are hugely enjoyable to play.
The first of these rounds was an AM AM on the Montagu. This time the victory went to Reuben Fielding, Gwyneth Fielding, Jim Barton and Melanie Barton. The winning margin was five points from Stuart Munday, Irene Munday, Chris Hegarty and Gail Hegarty.
The following morning we had our last team game on the Outeniqua. Once again we had a tight finish with the result going to countback on the back nine. In the end Jim Barton, Simon Klimcke, Marian Raybone and Colin Baker took the victory with a score of 81 from Malcolm Barker, Arthur Jowle, Di Hudson and Melanie Barton.
Round 3: Reuben Fielding Charges Through the Field
The penultimate round of the individual tournament was played on the Outeniqua. Reuben Fielding made his way through the field after a superb 38 points. Sandie Klimcke followed suit with 37 and Neil Gillam moved up the leaderboard to second place after his round of 36 points. Anthony Trafford’s score of 32 ensured he had a two shot lead over the field.
Fred Parks was in third on 95, a score matched by Debbie Morgan. Arthur Jowle had slipped down to fifth place after he carded 29 points in the third round and Fiona Rickard was in sixth position. However, with only 5 points separating the top six places, the competition was still wide open going into the final round.
Relaxing Day Taking on The President or Lunch at Knysna
There was no official golf planned for the next day and several of the group took this opportunity to visit the nearby picturesque town of Knysna. It is the perfect place to visit and then enjoy a relaxing lunch. Others took on the challenge of the Links course, which has hosted the President’s Cup. This is a great experience to play, keeping the ball on the fairways has never been so important! If you are offline then it normally requires a reload.
Round 4: Can Traff Hold off the Chasing Pack on Montagu
The final round of the individual competition was held on the fantastic Montagu. There isn’t a weak hole on the course and the closing stretch includes the signature par 3 over water before the 18th par 5 with an island green in front of the clubhouse. It certainly tests those in contention.
There were some impressive scores from the chasing pack with Chris Hegarty shooting an excellent 36, Ian Irving’s 35 included an impressive 21 points on the back nine. Reuben Fielding shot 19 on the front and ended the day on 34. This was enough to give him seventh position overall and the necessary Tour Points required to confirm his qualification to the Greencard Finals, which will be held in La Manga in November 2017.
It’s Trafford v Parks with Nine to Play
Meanwhile the final four ball were still battling it out. Anthony Trafford had enjoyed another solid nine holes with 19. Fred Parks had been struggling and only had 10 points after seven holes but back to back birdies on 8 and 9 ensured he reached the turn in 18 and was hot on the heels of the leader. Neil Gillam was on 14 and Debbie Morgan was on 11. It appeared that the race was down to two players going into the final nine holes.
Pressure Mounts at Stunning 17th
As you can see from the picture below the 17th hole on the Montagu is a par 3 over water. It is a stunning hole and extremely tough when victory is in sight. Anthony Trafford and Fred Parks were still pretty much level pegging when they approached the penultimate hole. Fred’s tee shot found the bunker and when he didn’t manage to secure his up and down it opened the door for Anthony Trafford who secured his two points. So with one hole to go Anthony Trafford had a one shot lead over Fred Parks.
Tournament Win Comes Down to the Last Tough Hole
The shot below shows the crowd gathered around the island 18th green to watch the final group come in. It is one of the toughest shots in golf, a pitch onto an island green, with an audience watching and the tournament at stake.
Fred played his approach first and the ball bounced off the wall surrounding the island green. We all watched as the ball flew up into the air, it could have easily rebounded back into the water but thankfully for Fred it came to rest at the back of the green. Anthony Trafford was next to play and after a pulled second shot, his approach came from the trees. It was a solid contact with the ball clearing the water and landing beyond the green on the edge of the bunker.
Neil Gillam then played a delicate pitch to within a few feet and had the chance to make birdie. His putt just fell short but he secured his par. Fred Parks finished the hole with a bogey six and two points. Anthony Trafford played his chip onto the green, his putt then just fell into the hole at the side, but it was enough for a par and three points.
It’s a Tie on the Day and Back-to-Back Wins for Traff
Both Fred Parks and Anthony Trafford ended the round with 36 points ensuring that the two point lead held at the start of the day remained in place. It was a tremendous effort from both players. Huge congratulations to Anthony Trafford who has now claimed two 2017 season victories, and personal back-to-back titles after winning in Spain earlier in the year.
Fred Parks finished in second place and Arthur Jowle claimed third position after a superb 35 points in the last round. Chris Hegarty was fourth and Neil Gillam ended the event in fifth place. Fiona Rickard was the leading lady, finishing in sixth place overall.
Congratulations to both Arthur Jowle and Neil Gillam as they collected the necessary amount of Tour Points required for qualification to the Finals.
Amazing Golf Holidays in South Africa
We marked the end of the event that evening with prize giving and a BBQ on the terrace overlooking the course. It was a wonderful end to a superb event.
At this time of year, golf holidays in South Africa are a perfect way to escape the European winter, and we can’t wait to return to this stunning golfing destination. We hope that you will be able to join us.
Greencard Golf Holidays South Africa Tour Event: Final Leaderboard
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