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IMAGE: OUBAAI


South Africa GARDENROUTE The greens of the


A leisurely four-hour drive from Cape Town, the scenic Garden Route is a highlight for many travellers to South Africa. This stunning coastal region is famous for its beaches and charming seaside towns, with an array of activities that include whale- watching, shark-cage diving, hiking and wine-tasting. The culinary scene is excellent too, particularly in the towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Along the way, golfers can discover over a dozen fine courses, most near the city of George.


Oubaai Golf Resort & Spa Ernie Els has a clear affinity for this stretch of coast (he owns a beach house nearby), so it’s no surprise that he designed this stunning course. A blend of links-style sparseness and parkland charm, the course has an unconventional layout of five par-5s and five par- 3s. The signature 17th is unforgettable, a par-3 that plays towards a cliffside green with spectacular Indian Ocean views. Green fee: From £32. oubaaigolf.co.za


Fancourt This estate is home to three of South Africa’s finest courses. While the Outeniqua and Montagu tracks are charming and worthy in their own right, it is The Links that is spoken of in hushed tones. Designed by Gary Player, this Scottish-style course challenges players with its grassy swales and thick rough, bottomless pot bunkers and lightning-fast greens. Green fee: £120 (including compulsory caddie). fancourt.co.za


Simola Golf & Country Estate Strung out along the hills high above the charming town of Knysna, the sea views are distant, but the dramatic course topography makes for a memorable round, shielding this Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course from the fickle coastal winds. Challenging holes include the memorable par-3 ninth where players finish at a water-guarded green. Green fee: From £57 (including compulsory cart and halfway snack). simola.co.za


ESSENTIALS Oubaii


WHEN TO GO: Summer (December to February) is peak season. Spring (October to November) and autumn (March- April) offer the best weather and you can escape the crowds. GREEN FEES: From under £8-£65. FLIGHT TIME: 12h. VISA REQUIREMENTS: Free 90-day visa on arrival for UK citizens. Passports must have two blank pages available. Parents travelling with minors should be aware of the stringent requirement for presenting an unabridged birth certificate on departure. HEALTH: No vaccinations required but precautions required for travel in malaria-affected areas. GETTING AROUND: A hire car is recommended for exploring rural areas, but in large cities taxis and ride-sharing apps such as Uber operate. CONTACT: southafrica.net


158 ABTA Golf 2017


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