Quite a shock to find The Links was recently set on fire. Not a case of arson, but a controlled burn on sections of the back nine. It first becomes noticeable on the tenth tee. Closer inspection from the Kilimanjaro green, one of the high points, reveals hectares of scorched earth in the vicinity. The mounds surrounding the par-3 11th are blackened stubbles. The burn has been done to remove the unwanted thick vegetation in these areas and replant with a “special mixture” that will enable the natural grasses and fynbos to return instead. I’m told that happens remarkably quickly. I had never previously been to The Links in late June, the middle of winter, and the conditioning is simply outstanding from tee to green, tribute to the course staff. The air is cooler though, even on a sunny day, perhaps more reason before playing to indulge in a tot of whisky from the decanter on the first tee, one of the treats at The Links.