San Lameer has always held a special place in my heart, writes RYAN CAIRNS.
This is due to having spent so much time at the home of Malcolm and Tracy (my other parents) down there over the years.
It was during one of these trips to the South Coast, in 2013, when I first met San Lameer’s most valuable asset, the incredible golf director, Meyer du Toit.
For those of you who know Meyer, I have no doubt you are smiling at the mere mention of his name. He is a wonderful man and married to his best friend, Vickey-Lee, whom he affectionately calls ‘Par 3, stroke 1’. Why? Because she is short, but tough!
The two of them will not only take care of every detail throughout your stay, but will also have you cry-laughing around a braai, listening to some of their hilarious stories. So, of course, when Meyer phoned me in September to offer me their spare room for the Wild Coast and Selborne tournaments I accepted immediately.
Another strong personal connection to San Lameer came years later, when I began working for Peter Matkovich in 2018, as this also happens to be Peter’s first course design, alongside Dale Hayes, some 30 years ago. Peter still keeps in touch with the staff and management of the club every month, including regular catch-up calls with Meyer.
There is a fantastic story around how Peter and Dale won the contract to design San Lameer, but I am still trying to get all the facts together before having it published. Over the past year working at Matko Group and listening to Peter’s stories, I am convinced that if I ever begin writing about him in a column, I will need a few more pages!
Our first event of the three-week Sunshine Tour stint in KwaZulu-Natal is hosted by Sun International at Wild Coast, followed by a Vodacom Origins event at Selborne, before wrapping it up with the final Sun International event of the season, at Mount Edgecombe. Three fantastic coastal courses which present their own challenges off the championship tees on calm and breathless days, let alone when the wind kicks up to 30-40km/h!
In fact, I will never forget standing on the elevated 12th tee at Wild Coast one year, when it used to host the Nashua Masters event. The wind was ‘clocked’ to be gusting at over 60km/h and there was a five-group delay on the tee box as we walked off the 11th green.
After briefly wondering what could be causing such a delay the next player took aim and hit driver in front of the ever-growing ‘crowd’ of players on the tee. The ball was struck out the centre and started its journey perfectly on line, but then took a 90-degree turn to the right and I believe it was still going up as it soared over the perimeter fence. Three provisional balls later, he picked up his tee before looking at his caddie with eyes wider than his sockets were accustomed to and said: ‘I’m sure we will find one of them.’
Thanks for reading all about the escapades at Wild Coast golf course and sharing my trip down memory lane. If you pop into San Lameer for a round of golf, or a bite to eat in the restaurant, get ready to enjoy a cappuccino with your name etched into the foam and please give my absolute best to Meyer and Vickey-Lee.