South Africa's Best Golf Courses
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South Africa's courses offer some of the world's best golfing and the climate is ideal for golf year-round. Many of the courses have featured on both the European PGA Tour, as well as the local Sunshine Tour. Compiling a list of the top ten courses will be contentious, but here goes.
Arabella Country Club
Host to the Nelson Mandela Invitational since 2003, and designed by Pete Matkovich, this Western Cape course was ranked among the top 100 best courses in the world, outside of the United States. Bordering a large natural lagoon, this demanding course stretches over rolling fairways, and has deceptive bunkers and tricky water traps.
Durban Country Club
The host of 16 South African Open Championships, this prestigious 18-hole, par 72 course has the honour of having three of its holes listed in the top 500 holes in world golf. The course undulates along the coastline, not far from the Indian Ocean, and wind variations will have a big effect on your game.
Fancourt Hotel Country Club
Located on the picturesque southern Cape, at the foot of the imposing Outeniqua Mountains, the four courses here have something to suit all types of golfer. Designed by Gary Player, the main courses have hosted major events, and Fancourt has one of the finest golf academies in the world, with state-of-the-art practice and teaching facilities.
Gary Player Country Club
Set in an extinct volcano in the Pilanesberg Mountains, this iconic par 72, 18-hole course hosts the annual The Million Dollar Golf Challenge tournament. One of South Africa's longest and toughest courses, it includes two holes that rank in Golf Online's list of the world's 500 best holes. The course requires accurate approaches, due to the many bunkers and water hazards.
George Golf Club
Near Fancourt, in the southern Cape, this par 72, 18-hole picturesque course, lined with trees, features wide fairways and requires accuracy, especially on the long seventeenth, which is rated one of the 500 best holes in the world.
Glendower Golf Club
Founded in 1937, the 18-hole, par 72 course hosted the Transvaal Open in which champion Bobby Locke made his world-record score. Over the years, the course has been reshaped and rebuilt, and trees, water hazards, and bunkers are plentiful. The fairways feature numerous hazards and the greens are excellent.
Leopard Creek Country Club
Arguably South Africa's best-known course, on the border of the world famous Kruger National Park, was designed by Gary Player. Wild animals such as lions, elephants and rhinoceroses are separated from players through innovative landscaping techniques, and over 200 bird species have been noted. The elegant clubhouse is sited on the bank of the Crocodile River.
Pecanwood Golf and Country Club Estate
This Jack Nicklaus-designed, flat course, bordering the Hartebeespoort Dam, and with the beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains in the distance, has well-placed bunkers and caters for golfers of all standards. Carefully positioned water features and strategically placed bunkers make the course a challenge.
River Club Golf Course
The exclusive River Club Golf Course in Johannesburg is for members and their guests only. The long course is kept in stunning condition, and has one of the toughest finishing stretches in South Africa.
Wild Coast Country Club
With the Indian Ocean as your backdrop on nearly every hole, this 18-hole, par 70 course near Port Edward has a testing layout, with wide fairways and huge greens, and is one of the most scenic in the country. When the wind is up, this course is tricky. Carts are compulsory.
South Africa's Best Golf Courses
By: Joey Simmons