South Africa golf anyone?
I’m embarking on a trip to the Dark Continent tomorrow, where I will mainly write about golf in South Africa.
All I know about South Africa are the names Ernie Els, Nelson Mandela and JM Coetzee, one of my favorite writers. All I know about the golf is that the country has plenty of courses, many of them allegedly world-class.
I have no idea what to expect. This is similar to the time before I moved to Alaska, where I expected to find people living in igloos and polar bears wandering the streets. I found Anchorage has malls, McDonalds and some of the best bars in the world, and a handful of good courses.
I’d be happy to hear from anyone who’s had an experience in South Africa, golf-related or otherwise.
Will I see lions on the courses? Will I be charged by migrating wildbeest? Is the horn of the rhino really an aphrodesiac? I’ll let you know…
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While in Capetown be sure you go out to the lush area of Stollenboesch with its reputable course built adjacent to some of the vineyards. They have some wonderful country hotels in that same area.
On the Garden Route out of Durban, you will find a very early Robert Trent Jones, Sr course....the name escapes me just now (no time to look it up).
At Jo-burg, you have some very challenging courses with the main one being Royal Johannesburg.
Most likelyh you will be going to Sun City...a nice drive by car passing the new Jack Nicklaus complex on the way over. Gary PLayer has the most influence here. And, be sure you take some pictures of the Alligators in the various pits and canyons. Here you have to drive the ball over the canyon since it is most certainly out of play but not out of bounds. Thye stroke is not worth the possible loss of a foot.
The people around the clubs are particularly accommodating and friendly. You find this also to be so at the Ernie Els courses going towards George.
You no doubt have all this information but I just want to wish you a great trip to a wonderful part of the Golf World.
Michael C. Roseto
Founder - Wide World of Golf (1958)
Golf Arts & Imports, Carmel, CA
and Luxury Golf Link.
As President of Gary Player Design, I wish you the best for your trip to South Africa.
I am an American, but have traveled to South Africa numerous times for obvious reasons. That country's beauty is truly unbelievable, and I know that you will have a memorable experience touring the golf properties there.
The champions South Africa has produced is quite impressive...from Bobby Locke to Gary Player to Ernie Els to Retief Goosen. While we have been designing golf courses there for over 20 years, recent developement activity suggests that the country is establishing itself as a premier golf destination as well.
It would be a pleasure to assist you if you are planning to visit any of our properties, including The Links at Fancourt (host to the dramatic 2003 Presidents Cup), Gary Player Country Club (home of the annual Nedbank Challenge), Leopard Creek (in beautiful Kruger Park), and Erinvale (near Cape Town and previous host to the South African Airways Open).
Enjoy your trip and let us know if we can help. I look forward to reading your review.
Gary Player Design
Friends of mine played a year or so ago in the Cape, near George, and raved about it. The other famous ones have already been mentioned.
I'm hoping to go there next winter. One point, I know golf writers get freebies on travel, hotels, etc, but when you do your write-up, remember the poorer, paying golfers. Let's hear about reasonable price hotels and courses with realistic green fees (not just the chanpionship venues).
P.S. If you ever plan to visit France, I can recommend lot's of places and courses; it's one of the best destinations for choice and price right now with super courses from the grand and famous to everyday nice layouts.
Bob Henderson (an exiled Scot in Luxembourg!)
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