I thought I should give you a few pointers of where you can tee it up in the coming months.
We are fast approaching ‘golf season’ in South Africa – or the ‘festive season’, as it is commonly known and South Africa is blessed with some incredible courses and I’m fortunate enough to have played a number of them. Have you played any of these?
If you’re going to be in Johannesburg, I highly recommend Royal Johannesburg and Kensington. Apart from the ‘royal experience’, the courses are sublime. You don’t necessarily have to play the championship East Course. The West Course is equally enjoyable for any level
of golfer. In fact, if you wanted to take the kids for a late-afternoon nine, this is the spot for you. Maybe use it as a reward for good grades on your child’s final report card? This would definitely have got my attention as a kid.
If you’re planning to take a trip up north for a dose of the Kruger Park I recommend Skukuza Golf Club. You don’t get more raw and untouched surroundings than that place. The course is fun to play and the team at the club have been working tirelessly to get it back to its best. From what I hear, it’s looking fantastic.
The Kruger is quite far to travel, though. So if you’re planning to stop in the Lowveld, Elements Private Golf Reserve is the place.
It has some of the best greens in the country which always makes for an enjoyable round. However, I suggest you see your coach before going up as it is quite demanding, tee to green. Maybe a few pointers from your local PGA pro will not only save you a few shots, but a few balls too.
For those fortunate enough to be enjoying South Africa’s coastline over December, you’ve got a smorgasbord
of incredible courses to choose from.
The KZN coastline is littered with some of the best courses in the country. From Prince’s Grant on the North Coast to the Wild Coast on the south, you’ve got a lot of options. One I thoroughly enjoy is Simbithi. With my parents living in Ballito I often sneak out on to the course, which is a smaller version of the traditional one, and the prospect of a quick round before the family rises from their slumber is appealing. My dad and I often tee off at 7am and are back home by 9:30, in time for the traditional holiday brunch with the still-sleepy family.
If links golf takes your fancy, Port Elizabeth is the place for you. Humewood Golf Club has a tremendous heritage, sprinkled with many historic golfing moments. Who could ever forget when Ernie Els won the South African Open there in 2006? The course is a real challenge, especially if the golfing gods send through a three-club wind. It’s always in fantastic condition and promises an entertaining day with your buddies.
However, the Garden Route is South Africa’s golfing Mecca over the holidays. With the likes of Pezula, Simola, Fancourt and Mossel Bay within a shortish drive, it’s no wonder so many flock to this region in December.
One of my favourite courses in the area is George Golf Club. It’s as traditional as they come and a fantastic day out. It is guaranteed the course will be in excellent condition and the banter awaiting you at the 19th is among the best in the country.
If you’re heading down to the beaches of the Western Cape I recommend paying homage to history. Royal Cape is the oldest golf club in the country – and I admit I have a little bit of bias when it comes to this course. After all, my first professional victory came on those hallowed grounds, at the 2015 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open. But a fun day out is a certainty, provided the south-easter doesn’t get hold of you.
If it does, good luck!
The list of courses I could mention would go on and on, but what is certain is that the clubs around the country will be a hive of activity over the ‘golfing season’.