Last month, Golf Digest SA released their ranking of South Africa’s Top 100 Courses for 2018.
Here’s a closer look at the Top 5, along with our take on why they cracked the coveted top spots on this year’s list.
# 1 Fancourt Links
Where: Fancourt, The Garden Route
Designed by: Gary Player (2000)
The finest golf experience in South Africa by far! From the moment you arrive, the team at The Links rolls out the red carpet. Where else in the world does the starter give you a rundown of the day’s play along with a shot of fine single malt before tee off?
The golf course is immaculate all year round, and playable no matter your handicap. The Links is a walking only course and caddies are compulsory. Since Fancourt is well known for their caddy programme, you know you’ll be in excellent hands.
If you’re fortunate enough to play The Links, then definitely make a day of it. The practice facility is arguably the best in South Africa, so you want to arrive at least an hour early. We love the halfway experience, and it would be a shame to leave before having had a drink (or two) at the clubhouse bar.
“#12 is a great long par-4, where your score is reliant on a good, solid drive. Then a long iron shot onto a green with a ridge running right down the middle. Sheer Murder!” – Warren
# 2 Glendower
Designed by: Charles Alison (1937)
Johannesburg’s premier parklands course. Glendower has hosted the SA Open on numerous occasions. Should you have a 1-night stay in Johannesburg, then we’d highly recommend heading out to the Glendower Golf Club.
“#17 is a long par-3, where altitude is your best friend!” – Warren
# 3 Gary Player Country Club
Where: Sun City
Designed by: Gary Player (1979)
This challenging yet magnificent course is built in an extinct volcanic crater. Gary Player Golf Course has hosted the Nedbank Golf Challenge for many years, and is high up on South Africa’s must-play golf courses.
Gary Player Country Club is one of two golf courses at Sun City, the second being the Lost City Golf Course. While Gary Player is a walking course (caddies are compulsory), the Lost City is golf carts only.
If you’re looking to tick off Gary Player CC but don’t like big resorts, then we’d recommend staying at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. One of our favourite Pinlanesberg lodges is Shepherd’s Tree, just a 20-minute drive away.
“#9 is an iconic par-5, reachable in two (ridiculously good) shots to an island green.” – Adam
# 4 Durban Country Club
Designed by: Laurie Water (1922)
Just north of Durban City lies Durban Country Club. This iconic club is regarded as one of the top golf courses in the world – and one of the Top 100 outside the USA!
Short and narrow, the course will challenge all golfers. Leave your driver in the bag, except at the 18th which is a short, driveable par-4.
The clubhouse here has a great atmosphere with Durban curry pies that are nothing short of legendary, and staff that have been here for years.
“Has to be the 18th; a classic risk reward, short par-4 to end the round. Grip it and rip it!” – Warren
# 5 Pearl Valley
Where: Cape Winelands
Designed by: Jack Nicklaus (2003)
The #1 course in the Cape! Pearl Valley is well known for its excellent greens, and was also named ‘Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape’ (Golf Digest, 2018). Host of the SA Open for three consecutive years from 2007 to 2009.
Pearl Valley is a Jack Nicklaus Signature course, so in true Jack Nicklaus style expect lots of bunkers. A great practice facility and magnificent scenery add to the overall golfing experience.
“#2 is a challenging, medium length par-4 with water running all the way along down the fairway and next to the green.” – Adam
And that’s just the Top 5 in a list of 100!
Looking through Golf Digest’s full list it’s clear how fortunate we are to have such an amazing selection of top end golf courses that cater for all golfers no matter their handicap.
Drop us a message to find out more.
Written by: Warren Weitsz