In the quest for South Africa’s most luxurious golf courses
Destination: Pearl Valley
Location: Western Cape
Set in the Western Cape, Pearl Valley is home to the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, considered by some to be one of South Africa’s most challenging courses. The course was inaugurated in a famous match between Nicklaus and Gary Player, two of the country’s greatest sportsmen, in 2003.
Water features keep the course interesting, especially the par five 4th which meanders over a creek three times from tee to green and two par fours, at 7th and 8th, circumnavigate the largest of Pearl Valley’s five lakes.
A short drive from Cape Town, Pearl Valley has won numerous awards, including best golf course. The 170-acre championship course (par 72) is situated amongst beautiful vineyards of the Cape Winelands as part of a 500-acre residential estate, in a valley of the Drakenstein Mountains, and is easily one of the most spectacular venues in the world. The South African Open was held here for three consecutive years from 2007.
Location: Western Cape
Website: fancourt.co.za or thelinks.fancourt.co.za
Situated within the Fancourt Estate is the exclusive gold club The Links. Sculpted into what Gary Player has described as his greatest design as a course designer, The Links is a golfing hallmark.
Featuring windswept terrain that echoes the surrounding landscape, the course is ranked number one by Golf Digest and has appeared many times in the world’s 100 greatest golf courses. Stunningly beautiful, the club also boasts a state-of-the-art academy and two club shops.
Drawing on inspiration of the classic links courses of the British Isles, The Links is considered a masterpiece and plays host to a range of global golfing legends including John Bland, Justin Rose, Retief Goosen, Branden Grace and Ernie Els.
The Links has hosted some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, including the Presidents Cup (2003), the SA Open (2005) and the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions European Tour.
Destination: Blair Atholl
Situated on Gary Player’s original farm, Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate is a natural oasis located a short distance from Johannesburg.
Player, who is widely considered the best golfer to ever play the fabled game as well as a renowned course designer, thoughtfully designed the course and it does not disappoint. The golf course is the longest in South Africa and celebrates its position amongst rolling hills and is an exclusive club for members play only or a guest of a member.
This is no ordinary golf course. To play here is to play the way Player imagines the most challenging to any level of play. No less than 11 water featured holes highlight the course, designed in a loop, which make it both challenging and rewarding. Stand north of the stone-clad clubhouse looking through the indigenous bushland and you’ll see the famed Crocodile River.