• Five Star Finale

    San Lameer
    The host venue

    The inaugural Compleat Golfer 5 Star Golf Series concluded with a weekend of action on the KZN South Coast, writes WADE PRETORIUS.

    In 2018, Team Compleat ventured out for a week-long golf road trip. Sure, it may sound strange but few had taken in the golfing delights sprinkled down the coastline.

    With an idea to launch a four-event series in mind, it didn’t take long for San Lameer Country Club to work its way to the top of the pile as the host venue. The superb Peter Matkovich/Dale Hayes design is playable while providing a test of your all-round game, the staff go out of their way to turn guests into friends, the facilities on the estate cater for young and old, and the weather is too good to turn down this time of year. While Cape Town was being battered by a storm, San Lameer basked in the sunshine and a gentle breeze.

    Anyone who’s travelled in a group for a golf tour will know that lugging golf bags and clubs requires a vehicle built for the task. The team from Hyundai put forward their new Santa Fe to test. The drive down the coast was a pleasure as we dropped down into the low gear that dictates life in this beautiful part of the world.

    The practice round was the perfect introduction to the series’ conclusion
    for the regional winners and guests.

    A shotgun start ensured that pace of play was never going to be a problem, although when the whales emerged on the horizon the players did slow down a bit. The pace at the top of the leaderboard was also a teaser of what was to come with scoring low.

    At sunset, Meyer du Toit, the club’s golf director, took over proceedings as the guests enjoyed a shootout on the deck, aiming at the 9th green. There were thrills and spills – the 9th is guarded by water.

    The final round was delayed to allow for a gathering at the 19th hole for a screening of the Rugby World Cup semi-final. You could be forgiven for thinking San Lameer was on the South Coast of England such was the passionate support against the
    All Blacks.

    Again, another perfect day in paradise was in store as players tested themselves against the layout and the field.

    Up for grabs were private safari villas overlooking the Kruger National Park, Sun City holidays, Nedbank Golf Challenge hospitality tickets, Maui Jim sunglasses, a selection of Glenbrynth Premium Scotch Whisky, Cobra MIM wedges, Srixon gear and balls and a host of other goodies.

    Alexander Knotze and Marius de Bruyn, who came out on top at the Pearl Valley qualifier, made an early move on the leaderboard and thanks to VPAR, the leading golf-scoring app, all the competitors knew exactly where they stood.

    Glendower qualifiers Oliver Pretorius and Slade Dixon and Gary Player Country Club qualifiers Nic Garner and Don Wolmarans battled to the end but there was no stopping Knotze/De Bruyn as they kept their foot on the pedal.

    The pro competition was all but a head-to-head between Arno Bartholoma and Jeff Inglis until the latter surrendered to the par-five 13th where his ball cannoned out of bounds off a cart path. That left Bartholoma a clear run to the winner’s cheque, ending with a four-under-par 68.

    Such was the spirit in which the weekend was played and the generous support of the Compleat Golfer sponsors, most in the field received a prize to take away, even if they struggled to replicate the great scoring by the leaders.

    The final dinner was served with some top-class entertainment as the ‘pressure’ of the competition was replaced by plenty of laughter and the usual 19th-hole reminiscing of the great shots and the moments that got away. Until we do it all again next year.

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