CLUB OF THE MONTH: VREDENBURG - Challenging lay-out and proud club history

- 29 January 2021

The Club started off as the Saldanha Golf Club back in 1964 and was started by some of the locals and Fishing factory managers together with senior Defence Force officers at the Academy and S A S Saldanha. The course was in the Military area in Saldanha. There were two Clubs the West Coast Defence Club and the civilian Saldanha Golf Club.
In 1986/87, the committee called a Special General Meeting to put forward a proposal to build a new course for the Saldanha Golf Club. The members agreed to go ahead with a new course and the various possible sites were investigated and the site next to the Municipal dumpsite at Eenzaamheid was selected.
Bertus Valentyn was in charge of the course construction. He was full of energy and ideas.

OPENING OF COURSE

By October 1989 six green were completed and the fairways were grassed. On the 28th October 1989 the very first Saturday Competition was held.
In March 1990 the new Club House was officially opened.
The community of Vredenburg played a huge part in the construction of the golf course.

FARMERS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE JOINED HANDS WITH GOLF CLUB

Many local business people joined hands and provided the necessary material, skills and labour for the building of the golf course – people like Bokkie van Dyk and his brothers Billy and Deon as well as Archie Grimwood, Charles Hutchinson, Alan Carnegie and Tony Petter-Bovyer.
Dr Wynand Malan, Member of Parliament, also did a lot for the club as well as dr. Neels Steyn who later became President of the SA Golf Association.
As always, the farming community were generous with their assistance during the construction period of the golf club – names to be mentioned include farmers like Piet Schreuder and Piet (Holvlei) Laubscher.
For many years Sakkie Papier and his wife Liesbet played a huge part in the successful running of the Vredenburg Golf Club.
Sakkie was a dedicated worker and to maintain the course in good condition was always his pride and goal. He did an excellent job and for many years the greens of Vredenburg were rated amongst the best in the Western Cape.
Liesbet ran the halfway-house and did an excellent job.
The hard work of committee members must also be mentioned and the dedication of committee members like Neels Steyn, Steve Borstlap, Jimmy Cook as well as the current President Pottie Potgieter played a huge part in the running of the club.

CHALLENGING LAY-OUT

The lay-out of Vredenburg is challenging. Many fairways slope either left or right – so golfers need to be able to work the ball both ways. The excellent bent greens have always been a feature of the course.
Two feature holes are the short par 3 (5th) and the long and difficult hole 6 (par 4).

ANDRE VAN DYK

The stand-out player in the history of Vredenburg Club is Andre van Dyk (son of one of the founder members, Bokkie).
Between 2000 and 2010 Andre won 10 consecutive Club Champs of Vredenburg.
During the club champs Andre posted a 65 for the course record.
After scoring 35 over the first 9 holes, he exploded on the back 9 and came home in 30.
It included two scores of 2 on consecutive holes. On hole no 11 (par 4) he got home in 2 with an accurate 7 iron. On hole 12 (par 5) Andre hit a great 4 iron into the cup for an albatross 2!
Since playing in senior tournaments Andre has gone from strength to strength and has earned his SA Senior Colors.
• Another ex-Vredenburg member Frans Bruwer has played with distinction for Boland golf teams.

CLUB’S OWN JOHN DALY

Vredenburg member Morne Zurnamer (also known as Big Z) has made name for himself as one of the longest hitters in golf in South Africa (at Zwartkop during a long drive competition his longest drive was measured at 411 m!)
Zurnamer was a runner-up during the SA Long Drive Competition and represented South Africa at the World Long Drive Champs in the USA.

HUGE HONOUR FOR VREDENBURG MEMBER

Local dentist Dr Neels Steyn was for many years a stalwart at the Vredenburg Golf Club – as a league player as well as committee member.
He also served as President of the Boland Golf Union and was later elected as President of the SA Golf Association.
He died tragically during a motor accident in 2014.

Boland Golf Union; Vredenburg golf club