A round-up of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg’s best golf courses for tourists with a yen for the green. By Michelle Colman
Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club
Royal Johannesburg is the first choice of Carl Reinders, Director and Owner of Pro Golf Safaris and Redsands Golf Travel. It has two courses, East and West, both being traditional tree-lined parkland courses. “When on the course, you forget that you are surrounded by the biggest city in South Africa. This club is host to an annual Sunshine Tour Event, so it is always in excellent condition and a challenge to golfers of all levels,” he says.
Glendower Golf Club
Glendower has hosted the South African Open on a number of occasions. The course was recently redesigned, and is another example of a parkland course. Despite its situation in a well-populated residential area, it feels completely isolated and free from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg.
Steyn City Golf Course
Suzanne Benadie, Sales and Marketing Director at Your Africa, recommends this new addition on the Johannesburg golfing scene in Steyn City, a residential area on the far edge of Sandton currently under development.
Blair Athol Golf Course
North of Fourways, the Gary Player-designed Blair Athol Golf Course is set on the old farm owned by the Player family, and is another Your Africa suggestion.
Pecanwood Golf and Country Club
Situated on the banks of the Hartbeespoort Dam, this Jack Nicklaus-designed course has a lot of bunkers to contend with, and so is a challenging course, says Benadie.
Tip: A convenient accommodation option in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs offering proximity to a number of golf clubs is the Premiere Classe in Melrose North. The hotel is on the doorstep of the Wanderers Golf Club, just 750m away. The Killarney Golf Course, Parkview Golf Course and Huddle Park Golf Course are all within easy reach. “We will offer golfers a discount of 10% should they stay for three nights and more,” says GM, Belinda Louw. Agents must advise at the time of booking and the offer is valid until July 31.
Durban Country Club
Durban lends itself to a beach and golf combination. The Durban Country Club (DCC), one of the oldest in the country, has hosted more South African Open Championships than any other course. According to Benadie, the Beachwood course opposite the DCC offers the more relaxed environment of the two.
Zimbali Country Club at Fairmont Zimbali Resort
Zimbali Country Club is just outside Durban on the North Coast. This course is linked to the Fairmont Zimbali Resort and is another example of a consistently well-manicured course, noted for providing a combination of holes with magnificent views, and others within indigenous forest surrounds.
Note: From Fairmount Zimbali Resort it is possible to take a series of excursions that showcase the area’s heritage, history, scenic beauty and arts and crafts. The comprehensive list includes Shakaland tours, the Albert Luthuli Museum, the Zulu battlefields, the Valley of a Thousand Hills, uShaka Marine World, the Pottery Gallery, Durban city tours and boat rides.
Mount Edgecombe Country Club
Just inland of Umlhanga, the Mount Edgecombe estate has two championship golf courses within a residential estate.
Royal Cape Golf Club
Royal Cape is the oldest Golf Club in South Africa, which automatically puts it on the playing list of many international visitors. Says Reinders: “The course is relatively flat and easy to walk, but narrow tree-lined fairways and the constant threat of the Cape wind can make this an extremely challenging course.”
Steenberg Golf Club
A short drive from Cape Town’s CBD, Steenberg Golf Club sits in the lush Constantia Valley. Vineyards, pine forests and waterways are some of its natural features.
Milnerton Golf Course
According to Benadie, this links-style course brings a different type of game into play. Table Mountain is a backdrop to every hole.
Atlantic Beach Golf Club
This Your Africa recommendation in Melkbosstrand winds its way around sand dunes and islands of fynbos.