Johannesburg golfer Hugh Baiocchi – well respected member of the European Tour in the 1970s and 1980s – designed the 18-hole championship course at Champagne Sports Resort and it first opened for play in 1997.
Located in the Drakensberg mountain region between Johannesburg and Durban, the golf course here is one of several outdoor pursuits on offer at a 122-bedroomed hotel complex, including fishing, mountain biking, hiking and horse riding.
It is easy to see that no expense was spared in setting up the course – greens were sown with L93 bent-grass, fairways with kikuyu grass and bunkers lined with white Bronkhorstspruit sand , providing a well balanced test over 7,363 yards from the back tees.
With the Champagne and Cathkin Peaks as a spectacular backdrop, teeing it up in the mountains here is an exhilarating experience that really should be sampled during a golfing getaway trip!
In this short extract from the book he co-authored with Jamie Thom entitled South Africa’s Greatest Golf Destinations, Stuart McLean writes:
“Golf of this stature and quality of conditioning is a relatively new experience in the Drakensberg, where for many years the courses were predominantly of the shortish 9-hole variety like neighbouring Monks Cowl, its fairways firm and fast in the winter months.
Champagne Sports, which graduated from a 9-holer in the late 1990s to a 6,700-metre layout, has kikuyu fairways and bent grass greens that retain their colour all year, even if the surroundings turn brown after the first frosts – making it both a summer and winter golfing destination.”
The most beautiful inland course on my books. Perfect fairways taking your breath away next to the gorgeous Drakensberg mountains. Take in every moment, good golf will be a side dish to the beauty you are privileged to walk in.
I would travel to play this course, cracking facility.
Buggies are worth going for as the terrain is very steep and hilly.
So many memorable holes here, with high tee-offs to low greens, driving across rivers, approach shots over dams, longest hole in SA at 605M!
This place has it all! can be very dry in the winter due to it being in the Berg, but it's maintained well and greens are great.
Summer golf here is epic!
Play this course if you can.