Whether you’re a seasoned golfing enthusiast who always keeps their clubs on them, or are the type who plays the odd game now and then to relax, luxury holidays in South Africa are impressively well catered for. South Africa’s varied terrain makes it a unique destination for golfers, with a mix of breathtaking coastal courses, a fine elevated selection and a good number included in international events. Then of course there’s the weather – the climate is absolutely ideal, with the bright sunshine perfect for those who like to spend their times on the fairways and outside the clubhouse Here are some of the best golf courses in South Africa.
If you only play a couple of times while out there, make sure one of these is on your list:
Leopard Creek is pretty much the undisputed jewel in South Africa’s golfing crown, and is a frequent inclusion in ‘World’s Best Courses’ lists. If you only play a handful of courses on your golf holiday in South Africa, make sure this is one of them. As well as being an entertaining and challenging course in its own right, what is really unique about Leopard Creek is its location: right on the border of the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The course (a Gary Player design) is sculpted to make the most of its location, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see a number of moving hazards around the water features, as warthogs, giraffes and crocodiles have been known to wander the course, and the trees are full of exotic birds too. With this kind of scenery, it’s an unforgettable round of golf, but don’t let it spoil your concentration for the final hole: a dramatic island green that has been known to make and break scorecards!
Gary Player Country Club
Unsurprisingly, this South Africa golf course was also designed by the legendary Gary Player, and it’s very much a challenge fitting for the man himself. This is one of the longest and toughest courses in the country, and not one for South Africa holiday makers who barely play. If you have the skills though, this course is another which frequently sneaks into ‘worlds best’ lists, albeit at a lower entry point than Leopard Creek. You need to have an accurate approach and watch out for the copious bunkers and water hazards to get a decent score here.
Wild Coast Country Club
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the incredible Indian Ocean views – this is actually quite a tricky course, especially if you find yourself straying into the rough, or the coastal winds whip up! It’s quite a varied course, featuring several unexpected changes in elevation, which offset the relatively wide fairways. Look out for the thirteenth hole, which is a particularly taxing one, craftily designed to be up there with some of the best in the world. If you’re heading for a golf holiday in South Africa, this is a must.
Fancourt Hotel, Country Club and Golf Estate
Yet another Gary Player design that’s world renowned for a great round of golf, the Fancourt Hotels’ golf course is located on the charming southern Cape. The views are stunning, as is the golf – though it took a lot of effort to make. Over 700,000 metres of earth were moved to make this links style course on a surface that was originally flat! It was well worth the effort though, and if Links style play is your preference then this is certainly worth a visit. The hotel itself is very nice as well, and a good choice if you want to combine a few rounds of golf with your luxury holiday in South Africa.
Arabella Country Club
Not even 10 years old yet, the Arabella Golf Club has come a very long way in a short time, and is now one of the most celebrated golf courses in South Africa. Designed by the celebrated South African golf architect Peter Matkovich, the course is a wonderfully memorable mix of rolling fairways, cheeky bunkers and well placed water traps. It’s quite a sight too, as the course borders South Africa’s largest natural lagoon!
There are plenty of golf courses in South Africa, and although most struggle to match up to the high standards laid out by these ones, the perfect conditions mean you’re pretty much guaranteed an enjoyable round wherever you go. So if you’re planning on a luxury holiday in South Africa, don’t rule out some quality time on the fairways!