Gary Player - North West - South Africa

Gary Player Country Club,
Sun City Resort,
North West,
South Africa


  • +27 (0)14 557 3700

  • Golf Club Website

  • 100 miles NW of Johannesburg, off the R556

  • Welcome - Course is closed on Mondays for routine maintenance

  • Paul Kelley

  • Gary Player

  • Not known

The Gary Player Country Club is perhaps South Africa’s most famous course thanks to the annual Nedbank “Million Dollar Golf Challenge” which has been hosted here since 1981. Naturally the “Black Knight” designed the course and it’s one of the longest courses in the country, stretching out beyond 7,000 metres from the tips.

The Sun City Resort is a huge Las Vegas-styled entertainment complex and should you find yourself drawn to the glamour and the glitz, you’ll have two great courses to choose from – Lost City and Gary Player. Undoubtedly the hard-as-nails Gary Player course is the best.

Topographically the land is relatively flat but don’t let that lull you into thinking that this is a boring course. It is not. Routed through the bush, past lakes and strategically placed bunkers this is a serious test for any golfer. The greens here at Gary Player Country Club are simply stunning. Some are shaped like kidneys and others shaped like clover but all the greens are well protected by cunning bunkers, water hazards, swales or mounds. Once you reach the slick putting surfaces you’ll need your finest touch to avoid three putting, or worse!

The par fives at the Gary Player Country Club are especially exciting, but the 9th will stick in the memory for eternity. This is a genuine three-shot-hole for most golfers but if you are a long hitter you might be tempted to go for the island green in two. Take a deep breath, hold your nerve and swing smoothly. What a cracker!

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Reviews for Gary Player

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: The Gary Player Country Club is perhaps South Africa’s most famous course thanks to the “Million Dollar Golf Challenge”. Naturally the “Black Knight” designed it and it’s one of the longest courses in the country... Rating: 5.4285714285714 out of 6

Great caddies. Great challenge. Awesome greens. A must play ..

July 18, 2017


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The Gary Player country club course is the show piece course for golfers visiting the gambling resort of Sun City. It is more conventional than the Lost City course, beautifully manicured with some really interesting golf holes. Initially I was unhappy that I had to use a caddie, but he proved worth the cost as he always found my errant shots in advantageous positions in the rough :-) The fairways and greens were excellent condition, the latter proving very readable.
April 03, 2016


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For those of us who are not living in South Africa, we have the benefit of seeing this course every year on television for the annual Nedbank Challenge tour event. Sun City is just over 2 hours northwest of Johannesburg which feels like the absolute middle of nowhere, with the last 70km of the journey highly recommended only to be driven in day-light hours. South Africa’s answer to Las Vegas becomes visible when you pull into the “Palace of the Lost City”, which is easily on the short-list of the best hotels on earth on any rating scale. The Gary Player Country Club opened for play in the early 1970s named after the country’s most famous golfer. The course is located close to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, so the feeling of being surrounded by the Big 5 is never far away. But that’s when the “walk in the park” ends, as every hole makes you work hard even to make a par. Certain features of the club feel outdated, and the bunkers are a little uninspiring – but the holes are tight with vegetation on either side of the fairways and the rolling land makes for a very enjoyable walk. The course is very long and challenging from the back tees which validates its credentials as a tough venue for the professionals, but offers plenty of playability from the shorter tees. The par 5 10th hole has possibly the smallest green for a long par 5 I’ve ever seen and plays as a true “three shotter” to get the back nine started. The variety of long and short memorable par 4s were the highlights for me, in addition to the unique experience of the kikuyu grass. I hit every club in the bag and sincerely enjoyed the challenge of the climactic 9th and 18th holes over the water. The entire Sun City experience will be a jewel on any South African holiday. Expect not to want to leave!
September 07, 2015


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Although the resort can feel a bit dated, the course is another matter. Absolutely stunning condition, fast greens, and some really devious positioning of hazards which makes your second shot selection a bit tricky! The golfing facilities (practice area etc) – aren’t as fantastic as you might expect – but the course is well worth the drive from Johannesburg (2hrs). Beware, choose which tee to use carefully because from the back tees it is fearsomely long, and will show up any weakness in your game (not difficult for my game!). I know the ball travels further at altitude – but this is still close to 8000 yds from the back! Out on the course you’ll have a wonderful feeling of being completely alone, the vegetation is quite high so you can hardly see another golfer when you’re on the fairway – it feels like you’ve got the course to yourself. Wonderful.
December 02, 2010


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The Gary Player course at Sun City had been on my radar for years now, but due to the logistics of getting there this was more on my dream list. Thankfully, I have a supportive girlfriend who has picked up golf like a natural, she has also twigged that courses like these are in great locations with plenty of other destraction's, thus providing ideal holiday solutions, i'm a lucky man.

Anyway back to the course; due to coverage from the Nedbank and playing it on Tiger Woods 09, it was one i felt i knew well when standing on the 1st tee. The 1st itself is a kind opening hole which is handy when you have only just become acquainted with your hired driver, the course wakes up with a solid par 5 2nd. Once you have settled down, the finish to the front 9 really starts to ask tough questions, with 8 and 9 being the devilish kind of fun which i enjoy from a course. The 9th is both strategic and stunning in equal measure with its island green, and a hole that would easily make my all time 18.

After a cracking burger from the hut its off to the 10th tee, for what in my opinion, is the toughest of the par 5's. It may be short, but this narrow driving hole ends with the smallest green on the course and is sure to trip up players. I found the 11th the most intimidating driving hole with nothing short, and the danger of flying the fairway playing on my mind Also i had a group of spectators watching in the form of a clan of meerkats; which bought its own pressure. The back 9 continues with a couple of tough holes before coming to a one of the best finishing stretches i've played. Holes 15-18 are a great mix, leading up to and running along the lake, with the 18th testing your yardage off the tee before what is probably the hardest 2nd shot on the course.

As an experience it certainly did not let me down; it was almost what i wished for, although the greens had been hollow tined (which is understandable at this time of year) robbing them of speed. They ran at a medium pace, however i did manage to sink a couple of beauties so no excuse can be derived from them - it just would have just been nice to play them at full strength. The stands were going up for the forth coming Nedbank and these helped to frame and provide some theater, especially on 18. Of the mainland European course's i have played i would compare it to Sotogrande. Its a must play if you have the chance, and if this really is the 3rd best course in S.A then standards must be high and it gives me a reason to return to this fabulous country and experience more golf. One last thing, do take the option of using a caddy. They are cheap, great fun and they know the greens, which i believe to be the true defense of this course, like the back of their hands
September 30, 2009


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Firstly the condition. We played on a normal Wednesday afternoon and the greens were 12 on the stimpmeter - they are quite simply phenomenal! Add to that some stunning natural beauty (far better than the adjoining Lost City course) and some extremely long and challenging holes. On top of that, the current exchange rate means that a round costs just over £30 - and for value for money world class golf you cannot get much better than that.
July 12, 2007


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Played here last year just prior to the million dollar challenge. Good fun course with many risk/reward holes. The course meanders through some lovely terrain. The rough is also brutal so straight long hitting is the order of the day...sadly I had a stinking hangover and visited many 'interesting' areas of the course. Politically this was always SA's number one, but I agree with top 100 that Durban and Leopard Creek are better....however a really good test of golf and if you walk of the 18th with a par you will have done well.
July 18, 2006


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