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Your Guide to Brilliant Golf in South Africa

This post is an excerpt, republished from a post by Latitude’s partner in South Africa:

New Frontiers Tours

Megan Hinton · 19 May 2020 New Frontiers Tours

South Africa is known as one of the top golfing destinations in the world due to both the abundance of championship golf courses and the wide variety of attractions away from the golf courses. Where else in the world could you enjoy a round of golf before enjoying a sunset cruise on the Knysna Lagoon, a trip up Table Mountain or a wine tasting in the Cape Winelands? Many of the properties detailed below do offer golfing packages on a 'by request' basis and the team at New Frontiers Tours is able to assist with pre-booking tee off times and golf cart hire which can usually be either pre-paid or settled directly. We would suggest booking a larger vehicle type for both those wishing to self-drive and for transfers while it is also important to check the checked baggage policy regarding golf bags for any flight bookings. Western Cape

Steenberg Golf Estate, Constantia Valley, Cape Town Steenberg Golf Estate and private Golf Club is situated in the lush Constantia Valley, just 20 minutes from the centre of Cape Town. The golf course - consistently named one of the best conditioned courses in South Africa Golf Digest's annual Top 100 - attracts golfers seeking a total golfing experience. Known for its hybrid plan, it offers traditionalists the opportunity to 'bump and run' (a rare shot in South Africa) in the rough around the greens, and to meet the challenges of strategically placed sand pits and waterways. The par-three, not-so-short 14th hole, features the largest green in Africa at 76 meters in length. Indigenous shrubs guard the green and the mound has been shaped to echo the distinctive mountain range behind. The 18-hole golf course was designed to make full use of natural features and hazards such as the vineyards, pine forest and gentle waterways. Its environmental diversity gives the course its unique character. The Steenberg Golf Club is open to the public, but priority and special green fee rates are given to hotel guests and members. Members Only Competition Days: Wednesday afternoons, Saturdays and the 1st Sunday afternoon of each month. Where to stay: · Steenberg Hotel (guests of Steenberg Hotel receive discounted green fees at Steenberg Golf Club) · The Last Word Constantia · Cellars Hohenhort · Cape Town hotels on the V&A Waterfront or in the City Bowl The Garden Route

The Links at Fancourt

The Links is the iconic golfing hallmark of the Fancourt estate. Golfing legend Gary Player described it as his greatest ever feat as a course designer. Exclusive to its members and their guests, The Links offers limited tee times to Fancourt Hotel and Manor House guests who meet the minimum reservation requirements. The Links is currently ranked as the number one golf course in the country by Golf Digest South Africa. It also ranks 38th in Golf Digest US edition's list of the worlds' 100 greatest golf courses that compared 464 courses from 18 countries around the globe. Featuring an undulating, windswept terrain and dune-style landscape, the course is the collaborative handiwork of Gary Player, course designer, Phil Jacobs and Fancourt owner, Dr. Hasso Plattner. Once an airfield, today it is a living piece of environmental and golfing heritage. Fancourt also offers another two golf courses the Montagu and Outeniqua courses both of which are ranked within the Top 15 of the Golf Digest's top 20 courses in South Africa. Where to stay: · Fancourt Hotel (negotiated green fees are available for guests wishing to play golf).

Eastern Cape

St Francis Links, St Francis Bay

Voted as the Best New Course in South Africa for 2007 and consistently ranked as one of the top 10 courses in South Africa, ST Francis Links is a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. The Links surpasses every expectation and is not to be missed on a golfing holiday itinerary. Age-old golfing traditions are combined with modern facilities and a challenging course, pristine natural surrounds and superb personal service combine to create a memorable golfing experience. Where to stay: · The Sands @ St Francis

· On The Beach Guest House

Sun City (Johannesburg)

Gary Player Country Club, Sun City The Gary Player Country Club Golf Course, designed by non-other than Gary Player, is an 18-hole par-72 walking course, with a 5km running trail along the course. Built in an extinct volcanic crater, this immaculate golfing paradise conforms to the stringent US PGA specifications and was recently named South Africa's Best Golf Course in the World Golf Awards 2015. When construction of the Sun City Resort began in 1978, the decision was taken to build a golf course that would rival the best in the world. Today, despite stiff competition, the Gary Player Country Club is deservedly ranked as one of the most prestigious golf courses on the African continent. Please note that the course is currently closed on Mondays for routine course maintenance. Where to stay:

· The Peech · The Residence · Fairlawns · The Saxon · The Palace of the Lost City · Sun City Cascades Mpumalanga

Leopard Creek

Innovative architectural and landscaping techniques ensure that the Leopard Creek golf course and living areas are naturally protected from animals, while lakes and small streams have been diverted through the development to create scenic vistas and interesting golf strategies. Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles. Extensive use has been made of water features and sightings of crocodile, hippo, antelope, buffalo and elephant are commonplace, on the course or in the Kruger Park bordering the course. The 505-meter par-five 13th is one of Leopard Creek's most memorable holes. Here the green is right on the edge of the Crocodile river but 32 meters above the level of the water, offering magnificent views up the river and into the Kruger Park. Gary Player is especially proud of the par-five 18th with its island green and the par-four 9th with its peninsula green jutting out of the same body of water. Where to stay: Leopard Creek allows limited booking through selected lodges in the area including · Jock Safari Lodge (22 kilometres from Leopard Creek and located in the Kruger National Park) · Olivers (a 45-minute drive from Leopard Creek and located in White River) · Lion Sands Tinga Lodge (2 hours drive from Leopard Creek and in the Kruger National Park) · Lion Sands, Londolozi, Sabi, Leopard Hills and Singita (all approximately 3 hours drive)

Rovos Rail Enjoy a unique nine-day golfing safari while you journey aboard the Rovos Rail. This special itinerary departs from, and returns to, Pretoria and includes golf at Sun City, Champagne Sports Resort in the Natal Drakensberg, a round at one of Durban's renowned courses, the Royal Swazi Sun in Swaziland and a round at either Leopard Creek, Nelspruit or White River before returning to Pretoria. Those guests not wishing to play golf are able to enjoy a full itinerary including game drives in the Kruger National Park, the Hluhluwe Game Park and Mkhaya Reserve in Swaziland. Other highlights for non golfers include a lecture about the Spionkop Battlefield and a visit to the gorgeous Botanical Gardens in Durban. Combined with the luxury and world class hospitality of the Rovos Rail, this is an unforgettable journey.

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