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A message from the host, Tony Perkins

Last Wednesday we gathered for the 3rd Pezula Nature Retreat Classic. Despite a few late withdrawals we still had a total of 38 players from both South Africa as well as a group from Botswana. Proceedings started with a welcome and introduction to the event and this was followed by a delicious lamb spit braai.

It quickly became clear that yet again we had a great group of competitors who were looking forward to three days of competition with a sense of anticipation mixed with a sense of trepidation. After dinner the group retired to their rooms as they prepared for the first round of the competition.

On a reasonable day weather wise, there was some very good scoring with 9 pairs beating the par score of 36 points. In the end it was the experienced pair of Richard Murgatroyd and Barry Richards that won the day with a superb 44 points. Here are the results:

Day One: Betterball Stableford

For the evening we were treated to a ‘Question and Answer’ session with cricketing legend Barry Richards, one of the true greats of the game. He provided an insightful journey through his career and also the future of the game. A big thanks to him for joining us and also to well known cricket commentator Alan Wilkins for his opening introduction. The Q and A session was accompanied by a choice of curries which from the feedback I received were as good as any of us had ever tasted. It truly was a gastronomic treat!

The second day greeted us with the most glorious sunshine. With not much wind about either, it would surely be a good day for scoring. But today was a different beast with Medal being the order of the day. True enough as the groups came into the Clubhouse we had the usual tales of woe – “we were going well until we got to the x hole” and “if only we hadn’t made such a Horlicks of such and such hole” – the joy of Medal play.


For those who managed to avoid any disasters there was indeed some very good scoring with the same number of pairs as the Stableford format beating the par score of 72. An excellent nett 65 from the Gibbons proved to be too good for the rest of the field. A mention in dispatches also to local members Gavin Victor and Rob Crouse who helped to make up the numbers at the last minute and who also had a 65 nett. Thanks to both of you. Here are the results:

Day Two: Betterball Medal


The format for the last day was to be Multiple Choice Stableford with a mix of best score, both scores added and the dreaded multiplier! Tactics in this format together with mathematical gymnastics are the order of the day. Indeed it is suggested that when Archimedes exclaimed “Eureka” it had nothing to do with alchemy but rather that he had mastered this scoring system. As it happened, no such arithmetical dexterity was required as overnight it looked as if the weather had completely changed with the threat of rain all around us. Miraculously, all of our pairs managed at least nine holes but Mother Nature was not to be beaten and as the wind increased and the temperature dropped we soon became engulfed by a veritable deluge and with flooded greens we were forced to abandon play.

Interestingly enough, Saturday was Independence Day in Botswana and their national currency is the Pula. As I understand it, Pula means rain or blessings, so maybe the rain was indeed a blessing on our Botswana friends’ National Day.

Anyway, with competitors having to abandon their rounds at different stages it was decided to convert the competition to betterball Stableford over nine holes. This would clearly benefit some more than others but it was a tribute to the spirit engendered within the group that everyone accepted the change and all in good spirit. Thanks!

Before we completed our prize giving, we all enjoyed a fabulous three course Dinner complimented by some fabulous wine from one of our sponsors. Yet again Chef Al and his team excelled themselves. Here are the results for the final day:

Day Three: Nine Hole Betterball Stableford

Again a big thanks to local member Dave Anderson for marking for Gavin Jones and Paul Sheldon. Much appreciated.

Final Championship Result

The overall competition proved to be a bit closer than predicted but in the end it was Richard Murgatroyd and Barry Richards who prevailed. I hope they won’t mind me saying but with a combined 158 years of experience behind them it in many ways emphasized why golf is such a great game. It really is a game for life. We celebrated their win with defending champions Frans Nel and Koos Van Wyk in a very creditable runners up position.

In conclusion there are a number of thanks that I must make in no particular order:

 Pezula Championship Golf Club

A big thanks to Ashley Weir and all his Staff. Considering the horrendous weather that proceeded our arrival, the course was in excellent condition. All of the staff from check in, to the Proshop, bag room, carts, halfway house and the caterers after golf each day were a credit to the Golf Club.

Pezula Nature Retreat

The Staff at the Hotel were warm and friendly from the moment we arrived and we were all well looked after. To Kogin and his team a big thanks.

To Owen and Julie and their team of waiters and waitresses a big thanks too.

To Chef Al and his catering team, a hearty congratulations on the quality of food at all of our functions – it really was first rate. Certainly one of the highlights of the event was the way in which you warmly recognized all of the host venue staff at the Presentation Dinner. It makes a huge difference to their day and I know it was much appreciated.

Our Sponsors

We really could not make the event such a success without their continued support. Next time you see one of their products maybe give them some reciprocity

Classic Team

To Tanielle Myburgh and Jaco De Villiers – a big thanks from myself and also on behalf of all the Classic group. Tanielle puts in an inordinate amount of hours behind the scenes in such a friendly and efficient manner. She really is the engine room of the event and we would all be lost without her. She is ably supported by Jaco De Villiers. Keep up the good work both of you. Thanks for your contribution to the success of the event.


Finally I must thank each and every one of you, including non playing partners, for supporting this event. Without you there wouldn’t be a competition. Many of you travelled a long way and the level of commitment was best emphasized by Gavin Jones who after the storms was cut off in Pringle Bay. It would have been easy for him to have just cancelled but he wasn’t going to miss out, and so he hired a helicopter to take him to Cape Town to collect his golf clubs and then drove through to Knysna. He shall forever have the nomenclature of “Chopper” – a legend is born

Through the support of our attendees we also managed to raise R8000, which will be handed over to one of Village n Life’s ‘Do Good’ programs, supporting one of the local nonprofit organisations in our community. Thank you for all the support!

The mantra of this event has always been “to meet as strangers but leave as friends”. I know that this was again accomplished and we look forward to seeing you all at another Pezula Nature Retreat Classic.

Yours in golf,

Tony Perkins

Classic Host