‘WHERE you see the sea from every tee’ - this is the breathtaking view for all visitors and regular golfers at Jeffreys Bay Golf Club who strive to master the art of golf.
With Kouga Express’ visit to the club, which is based on a family unit where all golfers get to call it their second home, the wind caused golfers to put in the extra effort to get the ball in the hole - which seemed nearly impossible. Luckily, these golfers know exactly how to swing the ball against strong winds.
Jeffreys Bay Golf Club
The club, home to 230 active members, was founded by Harry Bidden, Sonny Collings, Tommie Ferreira and Dr Schoeman in 1946. It was originally laid out by a Scotsman with the nine holes against the beach front, which stretched up the hill in the vicinity of Petunia and Tulip Street.
The old course was built on the slope in a wave crest where Strelitzia, Sable and Petunia streets are located.
However, it was a nightmare course, especially when the west wind waved. If you hit the top of the field, the ball usually rolled down to the bottom of the road near Da Gama Road.
“It was decided to build a new course,” says Club Manager, Len Rodriquez.
“Pieter Vermaak made himself available in 1965 to build the course in cooperation with the municipality. The golf clubhouse was where the current bowling clubhouse is now. The new course was commissioned in 1965 and designed by Allan Brooks. The current number 8 was the number 1 hole and the current number 7 hole was the old number 9.”
The current course was built by labourers using spades, picks and wheelbarrows. “There were no mechanical tools available then and the labourers had no choice but to use the equipment they had,” he says.
One of the main events on the club’s golfing calendar is the J-Bay Golf Classic Tournament, which will be held from December 20 to 22 this year.
“The tournament started some 12 years ago and has become one of the highlights for the club over the last few years,” says Rodriques.
The tournament is said to attract 120 players per day over a three-day period, ensuring a large number of visitors and local support from the community.
“The tournament is growing from strength to strength and we believe that it has become a major event in the festivities calendar of the Kouga Region. The prospective players are already enquiring about the dates for the event.”
Unlike other ball games, golf has a handicap system and your handicap reflects your potential. When the new dispensation came into effect, two non-professional players’ handicaps could differ by 40 plus hits. This means that the good player (low handicap) plays up to 40 hits better than the other player in order to get the same result. “We have a variety of players that are over the age of 80 years, who still participate in competitions and tournaments. If the knees are a bit weak, a golf cart can also be used.”
Golf is a game that can be played for years, and becomes competitive among players - whether you are 10 or 80 years old.