Alexandria Golf Club is definitely on the map, despite Google’s insistence that it is not, writes ANDY CAPOSTAGNO in Compleat Golfer magazine.
What happened was this: Brett Proctor, cricket commentator extraordinaire, was preparing to do a radio commentary on rugby at Kings Park. The Sharks
were playing the Griquas in a Currie Cup game and he and I were the only people in the press box. So we got chatting and I asked him if he knew that Curwin Bosch was from Alexandria.
‘Alexandria in the Eastern Cape?’ he asked.
‘The same,’ I replied.
He then said: ‘Just past Kenton-on-Sea there’s a nine-hole golf course next to the highway as you drive through. Looks lovely.’
I was intrigued. I’m funny that way.
So, on Monday morning I sat down at my computer and looked for Alexandria Golf Club. Bingo. Tom Lehman is the pro there. Drive north-west out of Minneapolis on Interstate 94, and about halfway between St Cloud, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota, you’ll find Alexandria. ‘Easy to get to, hard to leave,’ says the mayor, Sara Carlson.
Wait a minute … wrong continent.
The Alexandria Golf Club we are looking for is a little more modest and on the other side of the world.
Google Maps denies its existence, but Worldgolf.com not only acknowledges it, but tells you everything you need to know. The nine holes were built in 1955, it’s closed on Mondays, has clubs for hire and welcomes visitors.The important bit comes right at the end: ‘Price range … R40-R70.’ Read that and weep, Minnesota. Nine holes of golf for under $5. One of the many reasons South Africa is the greatest country in the world.
I could have stopped, but somewhere deep within my psyche is an investigative journalist trying to escape.
There’s a Facebook page with pictures. Intriguingly, only one is of the course, an unidentified green with the sun going down in the background. But there’s a lovely pic of a Cape vulture, and many more of well-fed people accepting awards for the pursuit of the dimpled ball.
There’s also a pic of the bronze award given to the club by the John Collier Environmental Compliance and Governance Survey, one of the golf industry’s annual measures of sustainability.
So, Alexandria GC is definitely on the map, despite Google’s insistence that it is not.
How do I get there, I hear you ask. Well, you could ask Curwin Bosch. Or you could head east out of Port Elizabeth along the coastal road. Past Colchester on the N2, you make a right on to the R72 and about an hour later, hey presto, you’re in Alex.
I couldn’t help thinking about that other club, though, the one in Minnesota. It’s right in the middle of Garrison Keillor country and I’m a big Keillor fan. There are lakes everywhere and one of them is certain to be called Lake Wobegon. Alexandria is the home of the annual ‘Grape Stomp’ festival, and of Big Ole, a 25-foot statue of a Viking which was built for the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964.
On second thoughts … Eastern Cape, here I come.
– Andy’s column first appeared in the September issue of Compleat Golfer