Golf in South Africa
Golf had become one of my new found passions and the request of several clients, so I decided to investigate several courses in South Africa to see where my clients might like to play. Lucky me! I loved the courses in the Western Cape. As I am a novice at this new sport, I asked my husband to join me to get more of an experienced players views. As most of these courses are visited by Europeans I wanted to share my insights for the American market. We played the Montague and Links courses at Fancourt. The Links (Gary Player designed - where the famous Presidents Cup match was played) was beautiful and a huge challenge for me as I spent most of the time looking for my balls in the long grass making it rather a long day for my poor caddy.
However, for the more experienced golfer it is a must. Nearby was a lovely and forgiving course called Oubaai (Old Bay) which was built by Ernie Els. The course sloped down to the ocean with undulating fairways and beautiful scenery. At one time, we were held up by the resident Springbok as they grazed in the early morning. The next day we drove to Knynsa to play Simola. This is lovely, but a huge challenge if you have a phobia about heights. It is nestled up in the side of a mountain overlooking the Knysna lagoon. Pezula is also lovely, but we didn't have time to play there. Next we drove to Hermanus to play Arabella. I loved this course, and was told that on a windy day it was a huge challenge for all. I was grateful there wasn't any that day.
There are several wonderful courses all over South Africa and if one has the time they are worth playing. Leopards Creek, situated in Mpumalanga on the Crocodile River, is annually ranked in the top three South African courses along with the Links. Recently restored, a visit there can be combined with a Safari in the Kruger area. On any given day the wild animals cross the fairway - something incredible and exciting to see.
My conclusion - for American golfers, one or two rounds on the top courses while visiting South Africa should be seriously considered.