Hotel guests at Sun City were given letters by management on Thursday night apologising in advance for any inconveniences caused by the looming Saccawu strike, but they promised that life would go on here with as little disruption as possible.
There certainly appeared to be no obvious shortage of workers here on Friday, and it’s unlikely anyone would notice if there were to be a full-blown strike here.
For several years I have been disappointed by the poor standard of service at Sun City – I don’t think industrial action would make it worse.
One lady told me this morning that her room was not cleaned yesterday (mine was, by the way) and then at midnight a staff member walk into her room without knocking! It turns out the reception desk thought the room was unoccupied – even though she had been there two nights already.
Maybe guests need to go on strike against this type of poor service!
On the flip side, however, I must say that the two golf courses here – the Gary Player Country Club layout where the Nedbank Challenge is being staged, and the Lost City course – are both world class and are worth a round or two (or three) for all golf enthusiasts.
To play here, the poor service is worth every penny.
Golfers are not the only ones at Sun City this week – the Miss World contestants are here too.
I spotted them at lunch on Wednesday, and had to queue behind them for the self-service buffet. By the time I got there, they had polished off the rice and the spinach!
There was no shortage of meat dishes and desserts, however.
A great perk for golf writers is the occasional invitation to play on a wonderful course.
Every year Sun International invite us to play the Final Round at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City – the last round before it is closed for nearly a month while being prepared for the Nedbank Golf Challenge (formerly Million Dollar).
I have attended most years since 2001, and I have never ever ever broken 100. Hell, I don’t think I’ve managed more than 20 Stableford points!
That course has been my master on each occasion, but this time, come November 9, I’m determined to play 18 holes without exceeding double digits.
The reason for my optimism is that my game has improved dramatically in the past year.
But I know the real test will come once I’ve stepped onto the course … Yikes!
Ernie Els, for the second year in a row, is to miss the Nedbank Golf Challenge, formerly known as the Million Dollar.
In explaining his decision, the star says “the Sun City tournament will go on because nobody is bigger than the game itself” (click here to read the full story).
While he may be correct saying that nobody is bigger than the game, I think you would find that Els is the most popular golfer in South Africa. I have no doubt that many fans will be disappointed by his decision.
While golf has suffered somewhat in the global economic meltdown, it appears that some of the top golfers are avoiding the pinch – Els presumably doesn’t feel the need to go after the first prize, which last year came to $1.2-million. The last-placed finisher took home $200,000.
As it happens, Els has made more money from the NGC than any other golfer, having pocketed almost $8-million from 15 starts (Nick Price is the next highest with $4.6-million.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Richard Sterne, the Sunshine Tour’s order of merit winner, are confirmed for the 2009 tournament. The other 10 players have yet to be confirmed.