South Africa has so much to offer, but for the golf fanatic and wine connoisseur there is no better, or more scenic, place in the world! Our destination is Cape Town with stunning Table Mountain, it's mix of classic and modern styled golf courses and the beauty of the surrounding vineyards.
The grand course to play in the Cape Town area is Pearl Valley in the tiny wine village of Franschoek (French corner in Dutch). Designed by Jack Nicklaus as one of his signature courses in 2003 it has all the modern amenities one might expect at a top-class facilty. The course is known for it's world-class conditioning. This December it will host it's third consecutive South African Open!
After your round a visit to Boekenhoutskloof winery to taste through a line up of what arguably may be South Africa's great red wines is a must. Try pronouncing that name after tasting through their wines! Should you be hungry try Reubens Restaurant which was voted the top restaurant in South Africa in 2005.
The primary wine growing region in the Cape is Stellenbosch, home to DeZalze Wine and Golf Estate. This course winds through vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields and was designed by my friend Peter Matkovich. It hosted the World Amateur Team Championship in 2006. Matkovich has quickly become the top course designer in Africa and has perhaps designed the most scenic course ever built in Pinnacle Point, a little further up the coast. Peter was recently interviewed by Golf Club Atlas.
When in the Cape Town area I would also recommend playing at another Matkovich design, Clovelly Golf Club and Trevor Immelman's boyhood course Erinvale Golf Club. For a links flavor with incredible scenery of Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town give Milnerton Golf Club a try, but watch out for the 'Cape Doctor' a fierce wind that will challenge the best ball strikers.
In summary this is what to expect:
- Golf: good to very good, good blend of old and modern style
- Caddies: great experience and personality, request class A caddie, a worthwhile upgrade
- Red wines: very good to excellent, try Pinotage, South Africa's indigenous grape
- White wines: excellent, sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc are as good as anywhere
- Food: spectacular, steak and seafood is truly world class
- Value: excellent, the Dollar is currently about R10-$1, a great dinner with wine for four will run about $25 per person! Green fees will never be more than $100!
For your next exotic golf trip consider South Africa. It has great golf and so much more available! To read more on traveling the South African winelands click the link.