Gary Player Designed Golf Courses' Challenge

Southern Africa is home to some of the continent’s finest golf courses and this is perhaps not surprising considering that the region has also produced some of the World’s best professional golfers.

If you have ever wondered why the region punches so far above its weight in golfing terms - currently placed third overall among those countries with the most winners of golf’s Majors in the modern era - the golf courses these players developed their skills on is a key part of this recipe.

Gary Player’s record stands head and shoulders above the rest of his fellow countrymen while his on course exploits inside the ropes have now been matched by his flair for design and golf course architecture.

The Gary Player Design Courses Challenge will allow the golfer to play some of the Black Knight’s best courses in South Africa, while the itinerary will take in some of the region’s key sights and features and provide you with the opportunity to turn the trip into a family vacation.

The tour will start in Gauteng, which is South Africa’s most densely populated province and the country’s commercial and political hub.

It all starts in here... Part 1

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Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate

Day 1 to 3

Gauteng: Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate

The first leg will feature games at Blair Atholl, which is unique in that the course has been constructed on the farm on which was Gary Player’s home on the Highveld.

In the course design, Gary took inspiration from the thousands of miles he has travelled and the 100’s of golf courses he has played over the years. This has included a selection of what he considers to be the best features of some of the many golf holes he has played.

A best example of this would be the club’s third hole which bears a strong resemblance to the par 3 12th at Augusta National.

The non-golf section of the programme provides an exciting ‘menu’ of parallel activities suitable for the whole family.

This can include visiting the restaurant and shopping areas in Sandton City and Sandton Square - one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest malls and the opportunity to visit and explore the region’s more natural attractions.

Gauteng’s central location is perfect for ½ and full day access to a number of must-see places, including visits to areas of cultural significance and historic interest, the Voortrekker Monument, the Cradle of Humankind (a World Heritage site) and the ‘city’ of SOWETO as examples.

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Sandton Sun Hotel

Typical Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in South Africa at OR Tambo International Airport | Transfer to Sandton and check into your hotel of residence | Introduction to the programme and welcome dinner

Day 2

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes at Blair Athol Golf Club | Non-golfer programme | Evening at leisure

Day 3

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes and first round of the Challenge at Blair Atholl Golf Club | Non-golfer programme | Evening at leisure

Sun City here we come... Part 2

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Gary Player Country Club

Day 4 to 5

North West Province: Gary Player Country Club

In the Northwest, which is the province adjoining Gauteng’s northern borders, Sun City Resort, in its role as the home to the Nedbank Challenge, should need no introduction and it is possibly just about as ‘complete’ a resort as one could hope to find.

The world-famous Gary Player Country Club off the ‘tips’, even in the thinner air of the Highveld, is a ‘big’ course in every respect.

Still if you swallow your misplaced golfing pride and play the course from the tees suitable to your handicap level, it will be a memorable challenge and a tick on your personal golfing bucket list!

The non-golfer can have a ball of another sort with a range of diversions from balloon safaris in the Pilanesberg National Park, to which the resort has its own entrance, and para gliding on the Sun City lake.

Four hotels and a host of bars and restaurants, various entertainment areas and a casino mean that there is also always something for everyone to do at night.

 

A final comment on the subject of Sun City would be that it could be said that if you can’t find something to do at this resort, then you might already be dead!…so it is a paradise for all ages and both golfers and their families.

Day 4

Breakfast at hotel of residence  |  Transfer to Sun City Resort by road  |  PM - 18 holes at Lost City Golf Club  |  Non golfer programme  |  Dinner and introduction to the programme section

Day 5

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes and second round of the Challenge at Gary Player Country Club | Non golfer programme | Dinner and prize-giving

The Garden Route... Part 3

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Fancourt The Links

Day 6 to 8

Western Cape: Fancourt The Links, Outeniqua and Montagu

The tour will now move down to the Cape’s Garden Route, which is home to one of South Africa’s most iconic coastlines, and is where Fancourt will play the host duties for the group in the penultimate leg of the Challenge.

South Africa’s number 1 ranked golf course (38th in Golf Digest’s most recent World Rankings), The Links, is one of three courses at Fancourt, all of which are in South Africa’s top 20 list.

The Links, which hosted the famously tied President’s Cup in 2003 and Gary Players considers to be his finest work as a golf course architect, is a ‘serious’ golf course.

Not only is The Links a wonderful layout, but it is a shining example of what can be achieved by man, both for his own sporting entertainment and also in terms of the finished product protecting, sustaining and enhancing the ecology and environment in which it was as constructed.

It is a private members’ club, with access limited to a small number of Fancourt Hotel and Manor House guests who satisfy certain reservation requirements.

The Outeniqua Course, which has been named after the mountains which provide the backdrop to Fancourt, is the ‘friendliest’ of the three courses, but don’t be fooled it is no pushover, with 11 of its holes played over or near to water!

The Montagu, which was the first of the courses completed at Fancourt, is at number 8 on SA’s top 20 listing and is a gorgeous parkland layout.

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Fancourt Outeniqua

All the courses at Fancourt are superbly conditioned as befits a resort which has won numerous awards and was recently voted in the top 10 of CCNGo’s World list and by the World Golf Award’s as the best golf hotel in South Africa.

 

If the non-golfers can manage to prise themselves away from the attractions of the resort they will find a number of marvellous beaches, for which the region is justly famous, close to hand.

The Montagu Pass is a must visit while the concierge’s desk, at either Fancourt Hotel or Manor Lodge, will be able to recommend and book a wide range of activities.

Day 6

Breakfast at hotel of residence | AM - Balloon Safari in the Pilanesberg | PM - transfer to George on the Garden Route | Check into Fancourt | Dinner and introduction to the programme section

Day 7

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes at Montagu or Outeniqua or The Links | Non golfer programme | Evening at leisure

Day 8

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes and third round of the Challenge at Montagu, Outeniqua or The Links | Non golfer programme | Dinner and prize-giving

The Cape... Part 4

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Erinvale Country and Golf Estate

Day 9 to 12

Western Cape: Erinvale Country and Golf Estate

For its final leg the Gary Player Designed Courses Tour will move down to Cape Town in the Western Cape.

 

South Africa’s ‘mother city’ is also one of the World’s most visited cities and steeped with history.

Near Somerset West lies Erinvale Golf & Country Estate which will be the host course for the final leg of this golfing journey and which, since being opened in 1995, has blossomed into one of the region’s finest estates.

The course is framed by the Helderberg and Hottentot Hollands mountain ranges and this majestic backdrop is echoed by the golf course.

Apart from being beautifully conditioned, in this design Gary Player has managed to capture that elusive mix of a championship test, which can also be enjoyed by the average golfer.

The Cape possesses a long menu of things to do, from a visit to Cape Point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet to a trip, weather permitting, up the city’s world famous Table Mountain.

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Erinvale Country and Golf Estate

It would be fair to say that no trip to this region would be complete without a visit to one of Cape’s iconic wine farms.

However, if history and culture are your ‘thing’, then a visit to Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope and the Bo Kaap or District Six museums should satisfy this thirst.

For the nature lovers, you can go whale spotting in Hermanus, dive with great white sharks, or alternatively just while away a sunshine filled day on one of the peninsula’s fabulous beaches.

Day 9

Breakfast at hotel of residence | Depart - for Cape Town | Check into Erinvale Hotel & Spa | Welcome dinner

Day 10

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes at Erinvale Golf & Country Club | Non-golfers programme | Dinner and prize-giving

Day 11

Breakfast at hotel of residence | PM - 18 holes and fourth and final round of the Challenge at Erinvale Golf & Country Club | Non-golfers programme | Dinner and gala prize-giving dinner

Day 12

Breakfast at hotel of residence | AM - wine tour and lunch | Depart

THE COSTS

Each programme’s final budget is tailor made and determined by various factors including the number of guests, choice of venue, type of functions and activities, etc.

 

CONCLUSION

The chance to sample some of the best golf course design work by South Africa’s most famous golfer - Gary Player and all of this within a programme designed to make the perfect family vacation.

 

PS - younger family members are particularly welcome!

 

CONTACT INFORMATION 

For more information please contact: John Cockayne. Mobile: +27 (0) 73 896 7931 | Email: cathco@mweb.co.za