South Africa – Four of the Best Golf Courses in the Cape Province Await your Visit

Story By Barry Lotz

Pinnacle Point is about 20 minutes away from Gondwana Game Reserve. Superbly situated close to Mossel Bay on the edge of the magnificent coastline that signals the gateway to the Garden Route, Pinnacle Point epitomizes coastal luxury and exclusive living. This development, especially the golf course, will knock your socks off.

Sure there is Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Kingsbarn, Torrey Pines and Cape Kidnappers, and they are marvelous, but Pinnacle Point is in a class of its own! It’s the new Garden of Eden of golf. Pinnacle Point was recently voted one of the top ten golf courses in the world – it’s that good!

Nestled in an unspoilt natural paradise, embraced by the warm Indian Ocean, Pinnacle Point is situated at the gateway to the Garden Route in South Africa. The resort is just a 3-hour drive from Cape Town and a 20-minute drive from George International Airport, which in turn is only a short 1-hour flight from Cape Town International Airport.   

Pinnacle Point lies on a huge property of 400 hectares right at the sea and looks down on four kilometers of spectacular coastline and boasts dramatic cliff-side holes and over 1000 hectares of unspoiled beachfront of which 100 is a nature reserve.  The championship course was designed by Darren Clarke and Peter Matcovitch, who himself called it the most dramatic course he had ever worked on. Several of the holes are situated right above the ocean.

The emerald green fairways and tees provide the perfect surface for making shots and the bent grass greens will ensure a challenging and entertaining game. The views, especially from the ultra-modern clubhouse, are awe inspiring, with dramatic coastal views of the ocean from all areas of the course. Some of the holes are situated along the cliff side. In addition to this, the natural beauty of the indigenous flora and fauna complete this unique golfing experience. In fact, the resort is home to indigenous wildlife, bird life and 264 varieties of fynbos – a nature lover’s delight!

Leisure Rentals offer luxury accommodation available exclusively at the magnificent Pinnacle Point Estate. Accommodation options include the Golf Lodges, Golf Villas, Fynbos Villas and Luxury Penthouses which were all developed with opulence and comfortable living in mind.

The Lodges boast breath-taking Indian Ocean views; The Villas range from 1, 2 or 3 bedroom units ideal for both short and long-term stays. There are also 4 bedroom luxury Penthouses available which offer all the top of the range finishes a family or small group would require.

All units have access to beautifully landscaped communal gardens as well as swimming pools which provide the perfect relief after a round of golf, or from the spectacular African Sun.

Rates start from $110.00 to $410.00 per night depending on time of year and size of unit.

Ernie Els’ Oubaai Golf Course – Herold’s Bay, George, Garden Route, Western Cape.

Oubaai, an 18-hole Championship Golf Course, is just 8 kilometers from George and approximately 60 kilometers from Knysna. It is also near Herold’s Bay (and his beloved Bosvelt Saloon bar) which is one of his favorite holiday homes. His father Neels, lives two doors down. Ernie and his team have taken full advantage of the spectacular site they were given. Playing the course, your views and outlooks take in forest, sea, river and mountain – Spectacular!

The dramatic golf clubhouse overlooks the 16th, 17th and 18th greens and offers open air terraces and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, Outeniqua Mountains, natural forests and the Gwaing River Valley.

Not only is the course memorable and scenic, the course also fairly displays challenges and hazards whilst affording players the opportunity to use a full range of shots and plan strategically for individual holes. More importantly, it flows so well. Ernie did a magnificent job in his approach to golf course design which is primarily centered on flexibility and enhancement of the surrounding environment. Concepts are molded according to the landscape and not vice versa.

Simply stated, Oubaai is spectacular and of championship quality.

Green fees, depending on the time of year, range from $50.00 to $66.00 excluding cart ($30.00)

The stunning natural landscape is matched by the exceptional levels of service in one of the most beautiful luxury hotels South Africa has to offer. The 4 star hotel occupies an ideal position between the Indian Ocean and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains.

At the Oubaai Hotel, Golf & Spa you’re assured of some of the most comfortable, stylish and best-equipped contemporary hotel accommodation in the Garden Route.

Whether you choose a spacious suite with stunning views, a fully-featured Club room or a Standard Room that offers a level of luxury that’s anything but standard, our Garden Route accommodation guarantees a relaxing and pleasurable stay in Oubaai.

Rates vary between $170.00 and $450.00 per night.

Oubaai  Hotel Golf & Spa

Steenberg Hotel & Golf Club

Twenty minutes away from the bustling center of Cape Town is the amazing 5-Star Steenberg Hotel, award winning winery and golf course. The 30-bedroom hotel nestles in the tranquil Constantia Valley, against the slopes of the Steenberg Mountain.  It is, without doubt, the ultimate Cape experience. This luxurious estate is designated as a National Monument and is the oldest wine farm in the Cape Peninsula. The scenery is breathtaking and its championship golf course is outstanding.

Steenberg offers the elegant and exclusive Bistro 1652 and Catharina’s Restaurant, a producing wine cellar, and all the facilities of a top-class country hotel, yours to enjoy at whatever pace you choose.

This stunning boutique hotel is a haven of serenity with a choice of 30 elegant, air-conditioned rooms, the best being the contemporary design rooms, rather than those more chintz-clad—housed in the original manor house, barn and jonkershuis (house of the eldest son). Each en-suite room is tastefully furnished with exquisite antiques and all rooms overlook the vineyards, golf course or manicured gardens.

These beautifully renovated white-walled Cape Dutch buildings are grouped around a large manicured grass courtyard.

Amenities include an on-site hairstylist and beauty consultant and a gymnasium. Guests can shed their cares and surrender themselves to the upper level quality of personal service, unique to a small luxury hotel.

The Steenberg golf course is a wonderful golfing experience and is well known for its hybrid design by renowned South African golf course architect, Pete Matkovitch.

Opened in 1995, the course attracts golfers wanting a total golfing experience. Tradition is represented by aprons of bent grass around the greens that allow for the bump and run—a shot rarely seen in South Africa, where robust kikuyu grass usually takes this option off the table. The radical hybrid change instituted comes in the shape of sand- and water-protected island greens and waste areas (a la Pete Dye?) hugging entire fairways.

The club house has recently undergone an extensive renovation. Remember, irrespective of your score, you’ll want to try a glass of Steenberg’s stunning merlot at the nineteenth hole.

Yardage: 7,025. Par: 72.

Steenberg Estate, Tokai Road, Tokai, Cape Town

Greens Fees: $77 (hotel guest), $49 (with member). The golf course is open only to hotel guests and members.

Rooms: $280–$380. Suites: $600–$700.

Simola Golf and Country Estate – Knysna, Garden Route, Western Cape

If you have time to spare and do decide to play another round, try the spectacular Jack Nicklaus – Golden Bear 18 hole parkland style championship course at Simola . The course was designed to challenge the professional and inspire the amateur.

Situated high on the hills above the beautiful city of Knysna (6km away), Simola enjoys sweeping views down the Knysna River valley, and across the Knysna Estuary to the Knysna Heads and the Indian Ocean beyond – and equally dramatic vistas towards the Outeniqua Mountains to the north.

The luxurious, 160 roomed, 5 star Simola Lodge and Country Club’s facilities include a gourmet restaurant, pro shop and heated outdoor swimming pool with breathtaking views over the Knysna Lagoon to the warm Indian Ocean.

$55.00 green fee.

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