Guide to Golf in South Africa
South Africa remains a relatively underappreciated destination for golfers traveling internationally, but that perception quickly changes once you discover what this nation can offer. Boasting incredible landscapes that are regularly illuminated by an appealing climate, wildlife and vineyards, there is much to savour here. Whether it be Cape Town or Sun City, playing at Fancourt or Arabella, a future golf holiday to the southern hemisphere is a hugely attractive proposition for those seeking the experience of a lifetime.
Recording an average temperature of 25°c and minimal rainfall between November and February, South Africa provides an embracing escape from the depths of winter at home. For more on South Africa and packages, visit Golfbreaks.com.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest cities in the world, Cape Town is considered to be South Africa’s golf capital. Easily accessible through direct flights from London or diverted travel via Dubai, they call this ‘The Mother City’ and there is unsurprisingly much to see during a visit.
Possessing an impressive selection of courses, Cape Town is a rich treat for the keen golfer. From Erinvale to Stellenbosch, there is something for everyone, but the spectacular Arabella Western Cape is hard to surpass as a venue, home to an acclaimed Ernie Els design that overlooks the lagoon.
Other recommended accommodation options include the five-star Steenberg Hotel and Majeka House, in addition to the striking Victoria and Alfred Hotel Waterfront. Sampling this beautiful port city that rests below the imposing Table Mountain is a must inclusion on anyone’s proverbial bucket list.
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Fancourt & The Garden Route
For those of a more adventurous disposition, driving along the breathtaking Garden Route is an unforgettable opportunity. From Mossel Bay to Storms River, there is over 200km of the most scenic coastline to digest, renowned for its beaches, lakes and mountains, this is among South Africa’s most popular attractions.
Taking in this stretch of land is intoxicating, but the bonus for golfers is that there are many great courses along the way. The Links at Fancourt is the best known of the bunch, stage of the 2003 Presidents Cup, presenting a layout that is widely viewed as being among the finest around. Elsewhere on the Garden Route, the likes of Pezula and Simola contribute to an itinerary that is hard to beat anywhere.
These courses all have a luxurious and award-winning resort attached to them, Fancourt being the most notable, ensuring that your evenings away from the fairways and traveled roads will be just as rewarding.
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Home to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, Sun City provides an entirely different experience to visitors, a venue that is simply a paradise for golfers. Situated on the fringes of the Pilanesberg National Park near Johannesburg, this destination is home to a pair of remarkable golf courses.
The Gary Player Course is ranked near the summit of golf in South Africa and is known for its many water hazards, cunningly positioned bunkers and hidden pins, which make it a fantastic test for all standards of golfer. Additionally, the Lost City Golf Course is not one that you’ll forget in a hurry, carved through a mountainous, rocky terrain, and famous for its 13th hole, a par three played from an elevated tee to a green that is modelled on the shape of the continent of Africa. More than that, the water on this hole is home to around 40 Nile Crocodiles. Now, THAT is a hazard!
In terms of accommodation, well, Sun City is quite something. The Palace of the Lost City is one of the most striking hotels on the planet, offering luxury and beauty in the most naturally atmospheric of surrounds. Likewise, the Cascades Hotel is surrounded by tens of thousands of exotic and indigenous trees and flowering plants, with facilities onsite including restaurants, casinos and spa.
Safaris at Pilanesberg and the nearby urban attractions of Johannesburg and Pretoria ensure that Sun City is the holiday of fairytales.
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The bustling city of Durban is famed for its Golden Mile beachfront, uShaka Marine World and Botanic Gardens, enjoying a warm, subtropical climate on South Africa’s eastern coastline. The city possesses many superb golf courses and hotels that enjoy views of the Indian Ocean.
Among the most notable are Selborne Golf Estate and Durban Country Club, which overlooks the Blue Lagoon Estuary and has hosted the South African Open more than any other venue. The Oyster Box and Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani are hotels based nearby within the city, but for an alternative, visitors are drawn to Leopard Mountain Lodge that is situated in the 56,000-acre Manyoni Private Game Reserve, an outlet to breathe in the African wilderness. Durban is an exceptional place to visit.
When it comes to escaping the darkness of winter in the British Isles, South Africa is becoming a popular option for golfers seeking a holiday blessed with tremendous courses, magical scenery and unforgettable experiences.
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