South Africa is home to an abundance of signature golf courses, ranging from undulating greens draped over cliff faces to courses in the heart of the bushveld with plains game wandering onto the course. Home to the big five, coastal splendour and inland wonder, there’s plenty of scenery to form the ideal backdrop for a Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player designed golf course. Whatever your handicap, budget and reason for a golf safari in South Africa, you’re bound to find something to suit your needs.
Here are our top 3 courses for a golf safari in South Africa. These lodges are the best combination of golf and safari:
Legend Golf and Safari Resort
This signature 18 hole golf course is the brainchild of a group of golfers that came together to create a world-class course, with a unique spin – a 19th hole that is only accessible via helicopter! Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman, Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia and Gary Player all had a hand in the design of the course. The extreme 19th hole is the longest par 3 in the world and sits at a whopping 400 metres above the green. A challenging and exciting course, Legend Golf and Safari Resort also takes full advantage of its natural surrounds.
Located in the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo province, the area offers a combination of pristine landscape, wildlife and award-winning golf. The course is located in the heart of 22 000 ha of bushveld landscape, home to the big five.
The modern, sweeping architecture of the resort comprises 220 rooms which are surrounded by open bushveld. There are no fences or gardens – just the raw natural landscape of Africa! Guests can expect dinners under the stars, rounds of golf, big five game drives and luxurious spa treatments.
Visit Legends for iconic golf and picture-perfect rolling greens.
Sun City and Lost City
Sun City is the hub of golfing entertainment and home of the Nedbank Golfing Challenge, a golf competition that sees golfers from around the world flocking to compete on the legendary the Gary Player golf course. With an abundance of different types of accommodation, activities and entertainment centres, both Sun City and Lost City make up one of the world’s most fascinating resorts.
There are two golf courses – the Lost City Golf Course and of course, the Gary Player Golf Course at Sun City. The Gary Player Golf Course was designed by world-renowned golfer, Gary Player. It is an 18-hole par 72 championship golf course and it’s a walking only course, which means no golf carts. Ranked as one of the leading courses in the world, the Gary Player course is well-worth a round or two!
The Lost City Golf Course is somewhat more of a challenge and the start of the course is tricky. The course is also an 18-hole course and is designed in such a way to resemble a desert dotted with oasis of water. On this 72-par course there is a huge waterhole hazard teeming with over 30 crocodile.
Golfers on a five star bank balance have the option of staying at the elite Palace of the Lost City, which is grand and full of splendour. Sun City caters for a variety of budgets and accommodation options include the Cascades, Sun City Hotel & Casino, The Kingdom Resort and the Cabanas.
Hans Merensky Hotel and Spa in the Limpopo Region
This huge hotel and spa comprises 166 rooms set in the pristine bushveld and is home to with a Bob Grimsdell 18 hole Par 72 championship golf course. This is the place where you will share the greens with giraffe, hippo, crocs and many other permanent wildlife residents. Coupled with that, this golf course has been voted as the best walking course in the country! While you tee off on the third, look out for plains game wandering across the greens.
The structure and layout of the lodge is simple comfort, with a focus on bringing in natural elements into the lodge. Owners have incorporated locally manufactured sleeper wood furniture into the decor. Hans Merensky is a family friendly hotel and rooms are spacious with the option of sofa beds for children.