Golfing in South Africa

For the golf enthusiast, South Africa is a wonderful destination – and that’s an understatement. The country boasts an ideal climate for spending time out on the fairways under the bright African sun, and golfers here are blessed for choice.
If you enjoy the challenge of a coastal course, there is a stunning selection available; if you prefer playing at altitude, where the ball flies that much further, the selection is just as good.
Probably the most famous golf course in South Africa is the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City, home to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, that offers the biggest first prize of any tournament in the world.
However, there are many other world-class courses that have featured on both the European PGA Tour as well as the local Sunshine Tour, and a wealth of excellent courses to choose from.

Top Courses in South Africa

Leopard Creek
Rated the best course in South Africa, Leopard Creek is situated on the border of the world-famous Kruger National Park, so it’s not unusual to come across wildlife when you play a round there.
Players are protected from the wildlife by means of innovative architectural and landscaping techniques – although water hazards might include the odd hippopotamus or crocodile! Gary Player’s design takes advantage of the natural environment, which is home to Africa’s “big five” – lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo – and over 200 species of birds that make their homes in the surrounding trees, some of which are over 100 years old.
The 505 meter par-five 13th is a standout hole and plays along the contours of the Crocodile River. The green hangs out over the edge of the river, but is 32 meters above it and provides amazing views of the Kruger National Park on the other side. *Limited bookings only through selected lodges in the area and only during the week.
The Links at Fancourt
Located in the picturesque southern Cape, The Links at Fancourt hosted a memorable 2003 Presidents Cup clash between the USA and the International Team, which ended in a thrilling tie, as well as the inaugural Women’s World Cup of Golf in 2005. Never mind playing it, simply looking at it, the Links provides a dramatic, beautiful picture. Gary Player himself has often referred to it as his greatest design feat.
*Limited to hotel guests only
Gary Player Country Club
Host to the Nedbank Challenge since 1981, the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City in North West province features two holes that have ranked in Golf Online’s list of the 500 best holes in golf: the 520 meter par-five ninth, and the 402 meter par- four eighteenth. The course is one of the longest in South Africa and certainly one of the toughest. It places a premium on accurate approaches, with plenty of bunkers and water hazards sprinkled around the layout to test even the best.
Bordering the largest natural lagoon in South Africa and overlooked by the Kogelberg mountain range , with the 9th, 17th, and 18th running parallel to the water, Arabella Country Club provides both a wonderful golf challenge and an eye- catching landscape. The course was designed by Pete Matkovich, who has designed over 20 of the country’s leading courses. It was named the best new course in South Africa in 1999 by Golf Digest, and it has kept up the high standard ever since.
Pearl Valley Golf Estates
Designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, Pearl Valley was named “best new golf course of the year” by Golf Digest Magazine in 2005. It went on to host the South African Open from 2007 to 2009.
The course, which is surrounded by mountains and vineyards, in true Nicklaus style features 81 white sand bunkers, including a monster bunker on the 14th, which despite the visual challenge it poses is actually the course’s stroke 18 hole. Water features and immaculately maintained fairways and greens provide an appealing contrast to the white sand of the bunkers. Wind plays a big role in the challenge the course provides. On a calm day it can be inviting, but on a windy it can be a monster.
Example of costs from Arabella: Pricing examples from: Hotel Guests US$52.-, Non hotel guests US$73.- Cart US$30.-  Clubs to rent US$30.-

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