Notes From The Editor

Notes From The Editor

11 years ago Jordy Smith won the Billabong Pro in JBay. © WSL/Kirstin


300 words. That’s what I need to write to get acknowledged by Google. It is such a strange concept. Unless you write to a specific word count and with a particular style, including keywords and backlinks, then it is a pointless exercise writing today.

So this is a bit of filler for me to get to my word count total. Hope you don’t mind. I am controlled by Google. I am a Google robot. 

Who knows how the word Google came about? It is was a typo. Yep, everyone makes spelling mistakes. In this case, they were trying to spell googol. According to the wiki, ‘A googol is the large number 1 with 100 zeroes. In decimal notation, it is written as the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeroes. 10,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000.

So now you know.

The PGA Golf Championships 

It’s on, at The Links. The guy in the lead going into today, Friday, Steve Surry, scored a hole-in-one on the par-three seventh hole. An ace in a PGA Championship is pretty incredible. “It was certainly one of my better on the course,’ said a self-effacing Surry in what will be remembered as one of the understatements of the tournament. 

Jordy Smith

Two times runner up to the surfing world title, Durban born Cape Town-based surfer Jordy Smith is in the zone, and if you want to watch him surf, he will be at the beachbreak this morning. Smith finished the World Tour at 7th place last year and is good to watch.

He’s hanging with Durban surfer James Ribbink. Come watch, get signatures etc

Ben Trovato

We have a new columnist in world-renowned writer Ben Trovato. He is nothing but trouble, but he has been known to make people chuckle as well. When in town, he is always in the lineup at Seal Point, dodging deadlines. His first column drops today, and it just might make a few locals laugh. To keep sane in these crazy times, one good solution is to learn to laugh at ourselves. 

So that’s 350 words. 



A Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato

A Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato

Warning. Contains humour, satire, ridicule and bad language. If you do not appreciate any of that, then look away!



A Walk On The Wild Side, with Ben Trovato.

I’ve always fancied living in St Francis. I mean, let’s be honest, the dude from Assisi was pretty damn cool as far as saints go. Anyone who walked around with badgers and wombats on his shoulders and spoke fluent pigeon deserved to have a cute town named after him.

A couple of years ago, while living in Cape Town, my wife and I came very close to moving there. We had even found a place to rent on the canals. Just before we were due to leave, it occurred to me that getting divorced was the more sensible thing to do.

I once went to St Francis for lunch and ended up staying for three months. That’s how long it took to recover from the hangover. The current editor of this newsletter, Craig Jarvis, has to shoulder a fair amount of the blame. Some responsibility must also be shared by St Francis Brewery and a grungy pool bar called Stix in Cape St Francis. I, of course, was entirely blameless.

These days I find it safer to stay in Jeffreys Bay, although I still can’t resist taking the back roads to St Francis while I’m there. There are never any cops around and one can quite safely enjoy a beer while driving. Not being a big fan of poverty porn, I tend to race through Pellsrus. The scenic route only really begins once the shacks are in the rearview mirror. Aston Bay feels a bit creepy, as if it’s hiding something, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We all have skeletons in our closets. In Aston Bay, though, this might be true in a literal sense.

One time, having been on the road for twenty minutes and in need of cold beer, I pulled in at Mar Azul on the beach. The owner seemed surprised to see a customer. I’ve been to rustic beach bars in my time, but this was something else entirely. I didn’t stay long for fear of having my organs harvested.

Crossing that ridiculously skimpy causeway over the Seekoei estuary always makes me laugh. A bit of rain upriver and you’d find yourself floating out to sea. Paradise Beach sounds more idyllic than it is. The people are strange and something feels off-kilter. Curtains twitch as you drive down the unnaturally quiet streets. I don’t know what they do there for entertainment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it involves wife-swapping.

The tarred road quickly gives way to a hellish stretch of dirt and gravel that will destroy your kidneys if you drive too fast. And if you go too slowly, maniacs driving tractors will overtake you and you’ll be blinded by the dust and veer off the road into a cow.

When I finally reach the tar, I swear never again, and then I have more beers in St Francis and do it all over again on the way back.

I think I’d rather live in St Francis Bay than Cape St Francis, and not just because that’s where Craig J lives and we’re both afraid of bumping into each other because our livers are no longer what they used to be and one of us would probably die.

There’s just more to do in St Francis. Also, I need to be near restaurants otherwise I would starve to death. It would help if I played golf, which I don’t, even though I wrote a book about it once. I would need a girlfriend, of course. Not only to reassure menfolk that their village hasn’t been infiltrated by a maladjusted lone wolf and that their wives are safe, but for reasons of comfort and conversation. The winters are brutal and my willy would shrivel up and fall off if I had to spend every night alone.

See you all soon.

Ben Trovato


• Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.


Ace carries Surry into lead at The Links SA PGA Championship

Ace carries Surry into lead at The Links SA PGA Championship

Ace carries Surry into lead at The Links SA PGA Championship

On a magnificent day at St Francis Links, England’s Steve Surry produced an equally magnificent round of golf when he scored a hole-in-one on his way to the first-round lead of the South African PGA Championship.

Surry aced the par-three seventh hole in a bogey-free round of nine-under-par 63 to lead by two shots over his nearest challengers Jayden Schaper and Ruan Conradie.

“It was certainly one of my better days on the course. It’s always nice to have a hole-in-one during a round, and even more so when it can actually mean something at the end of the day,” said Surry after the ninth hole-in-one of his career and his third in a tournament.

“I had about 191 yards into the wind and took a four iron off the tee. I was actually trying to play right of the flag and ended up pulling the shot a bit. I saw it bounce but didn’t see it finish. I was playing with Keith Horne and he said he thought it went in, but we looked at the scorer on the side of the green and he was doing nothing. It turns out he didn’t see it either, but when we got to the green, there my ball was in the hole.”

It capped a day of magnificent ball striking by Surry, who took the most advantage of a rare windless day on a St Francis Links course that can be brutal when it blows.

“It’s a bit of a treat to play this course without much wind. I think my iron play really stood out today and was the main strength of my game. But it was just really nice to be able to turn it all into a good score.”

Surry came into this week with two missed cuts in his last two tournaments, but says an equipment change made the difference.

“I put some different shafts in my irons and I’m a bit more familiar with them, so I think that helped.”

The Englishman is hunting his second victory on the Sunshine Tour and appreciates exactly what leading the South African PGA Championship means in the context of the history of South Africa’s second oldest professional tournament.

“I’ve been coming to play on the Sunshine Tour for about eight years now and I love it here. It’s like a second home for me now. After the SA Open, the SA PGA Championship is one of the biggest up there in terms of history. It’d be a great one to try and win.” – Michael Vlismas