One of the most addictive sports on the face of the earth, golf has seen a surge in popularity over the last few decades. Traditionally considered a gentleman’s sport, viewed as the game of choice for the privileged country club set, the golfing community was hardly as expansive as it is today.
What changed? Well the first major of the year, The Masters, saw a player of considerable potential not only reach but, exceed the heights of talents in spectacular style. The player, Tiger Woods, would go on to arguably become the greatest player to grace the game. His success encouraged a generation of new players. The sport exploded on a world scale.
Today, save for Antarctica, the game has graced continents the world over. From the far corners of South America to the remotest countries in Europe, the game truly has a worldwide appeal. This is no more apparent than in South Africa.
Compiling a list of the top five courses in South Africa isn’t an easy one to make. Across the great continent there is a wealth of courses worthy of this accolade. However, if you intending to pack your bags you cannot afford to miss these courses.
Arabella Golf Course, Western Cape
Designed by Peter Matkovich, Arabella Golf Course is similarly classical and offers some of the most spectacular scenery of any course in South Africa. The course has played host to international events, attracting some of the best players in the world. Located on the shores of South Africa’s largest lagoon, in close proximity to Hemanus (home to the world-renowned whale watching) you’d be hard pressed to pass up an opportunity to pass up the opportunity to tee off from Arabella Golf Course.
The Links at Fancourt, George
Legendary South African golfer, Gary Player, describes the course as, a ‘remarkable phenomenon in design, manicuring and design.’ The inland links course will test even those with single figure handicaps. This course itself has a design reminiscent of the greens of Ireland and Scotland. With a favourable climate and a view of the Outeniqua Mountains, The Links at Fancourt, George has proved very popular with golfers of all handicaps.
St. Francis Links, Eastern Cape
St. Francis has been bestowed with one of the highest accolades imaginable of a golf course. Designer, Jack Nicklaus is thought to have said of the course, ‘(it) may be the best course I’ve ever seen……that’s better than the best I’ve ever done.’ Is there any way that any golfer could pass on the opportunity to play St. Francis Links? I’m guessing not.
Leopard Creek, Mpumalanga
Designed by Gary Player and Johan Rupert, Leopard Creek, Mpumalanga easily earns its place on our list. This spectacular course located on the border of Kruger National Park, one of South Africa’s largest game reserves covering almost twenty thousand square kilometres in the province of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Perfect for those wanting to catch a round of golf in between game drives Leopard Creek is an unobtrusive part of the environment. Open just seven years the course has already been praised as the second best course in South Africa.