Grand slamming up and down the Golf Coast
Our pick of the five most spectacular golf courses along the South Coast…
It’s tee-off time! The South Coast, otherwise as the ‘Golf Coast’, offers some of the greatest opportunities to hone your golf skills in a subtropical, ocean-flanked paradise.
Ditch your boardies and gather up your golf clubs for some golfing fun in the sun. Use Scottburgh’s famed Blue Marlin Hotel as your ideal base from which to explore the South Coast’s world-class golf courses, which are all within an hour’s drive from this beautiful seaside hotel.
Scottburgh Golf Course
Small but spectacular, the 18-hole Scottburgh Golf Course is set in attractive subtropical surroundings. The sound of the Indian Ocean in the background is sure to give you the necessary Zen to sink even the most challenging ball.
This relatively short golf course (5 323 metres) with two par 5s and five spectacular par 3s has some challenges that could bring even the most experienced golfer to their knees. Dubbed the ‘white knuckle hole’, the par 4 third hole is without a doubt the most talked-about challenge of this golf course. It has the narrowest of fairways with out of bounds on the right and a coastal forest on the left to contend with.
The signature hole? Finish your round of golf with the most spectacular shot on this golf course: the par 4 18th hole. Fly the drive over the towering trees into the wild blue – hopefully it will drop onto the fairway below.
Selborne Golf Course
Once upon a time, the Selborne Golf Course was an 80-hectares dairy stud farm belonging to Lord Selborne, the Secretary for the Colonies. In 1985, the farm was transformed into a luxury golfing complex, the first residential golf estate in South Africa. Today, Selborne is a seaside ‘utopia’ with world-class facilities, which has been rated by Golf Digest magazine as one of the top 100 courses in South Africa.
Dubbed South Africa’s ‘Augusta’, a round of golf at Selborne will without a doubt be a challenging game, but it is also rewarding. Where else can you tee off while enjoying some of the most amazing sea views and at the same time spot indigenous wildlife?
The 18-hole Par 72 course has challenged some of the most proficient players in the world. But, for weekend warriors the course provides an enjoyable round of golf with water features, sculpted bunkers and forests.
The signature hole? Without a doubt, the par 5 third, which was described by Dale Hayes as ‘A hole not for the faint-hearted’. It curves and sweeps through a thicket of trees until reaching the green, which is surrounded by water.
Located in Pennington, the Selborne Golf Course is a short 15-minute drive from the Blue Marlin Hotel.
Port Shepstone Country Club
Share the green with birds, monkeys and other wildlife at the Port Shepstone Country Club, located along the uMzimkulu River. A nature lover’s paradise, this golf course has been called the South Coast’s ‘best kept secret’.
Play your first nine holes in a luscious coastal forest with a large variety of indigenous trees and mangroves linking the fairways. Whereas the first nine holes are the ‘pretty’ part of the course, the second nine holes are the more ‘challenging’ part and have a distinct links feel about it.
The Port Shepstone Country Club is an easy 45-minute drive from the Blue Marlin hotel.
Southbroom Golf Club
Dotted with palm trees and tropical foliage, it’s not surprising that Southbroom Golf Club is one of the most popular golf courses on the lower South Coast. It’s pretty unique to play a round of golf with views of the ocean alongside the lush indigenous vegetation of the Frederika Nature Reserve.
This short 18-hole course (5564 metres) is sure to test your skills as a golfer and will have you using every single club in your bag. Over the years, the challenge and natural beauty of the course has been systematically enhanced by the introduction of more indigenous flora, dams, water features and delightful stone bridges.
The signature hole? The par 3 fourth must be the most famous hole on the Golf Coast and is undoubtedly the hallmark of this beautiful golf course. At just 112 metres, it has spectacular sea views and you can hear the waves crash over the rocks below the tee box. Depending on the direction and strength of the wind, you may be playing a gentle wedge into the green or hitting a full-blooded four iron.
The Southbroom Golf Club is located about 90 km from the Blue Marlin Hotel, and makes for a scenic one-hour drive.
Wild Coast Sun Country Club
If you’re up for an adventure, the Wild Coast Sun Country Club is for you. You’ll play over hills, ravines, rivers, dams, lakes and waterfalls to sink your ball amongst the most breathtaking views. With its rugged terrain along the Indian Ocean, this course creates a truly dramatic golfing experience.
The course’s design by Trent Jones Jnr is definitely not for sissies and will immediately expose a golfer’s weaknesses. Although quite short in length, this course offers one of SA’s most testing layouts, especially if you’re faced with the prevailing winds for which the Wild Coast region is famous. The winds can turn this short, six-par-three layout into a true monster. More than a few top golfers, among them Hugh Baiocchi, rate this course as their favourite.
The signature hole? The 13th par-3, is played across a waterfall to a green that is partly hidden by rocks and bush. This dramatic hole is regarded as one of the best short holes in SA.
Consistently ranked in the 10 golf courses in SA, the Wild Coast Sun Championship Golf Course is definitely worth the scenic one-hour drive from the Blue Marlin Hotel.