A fairy tale win by Spanish golfer Pablo Larrazabal in a European Tour event on Sunday in South Africa will tempt Spanish tourists, who play golf, to try the private course for themselves.
The exclusive Leopard Creek course is like Valderrama, Larrazabal said moments after he won. It was already his favourite course, but you can only play if you are invited, he said on television.
There is a way to play if you are not a member, though (see below).
The course is world famous because of the dramatic wild life scenes that unfold during television coverage of the event. The course is at one of the gates into the Kruger National Park and the green of the signature 13th hole has been built 32 m above the Crocodile River, with Kruger National Park on the other side.
It was at that hole that Larrazabal reached his lowest ebb. The course was playing extremely tough and although starting the day leading by three shots he appeared to crash out.
Later he explained a blister on his foot meant he was hardly able to get to the car park to start his final round. At one point he took off his golf shoes.
Then the nightmare started. He lost his lead within five holes. He continued to make more bogeys. In the end commentators could not believe that a winner on the European tour could make 6 bogeys and a double bogey in the final round and win an event. It was high drama on the final hole with 5 players in contention to win. That was when Larrazabal sunk his third birdie in four holes to emerge the impossible winner.
It is not widely known, but Leopard Creek has an arrangement with some of the high-end lodges in the area where guests are allowed to play at the private club. Details and contact number can be found at https://www.leopardcreek.co.za/visitors