The sheer scale and size of the Links course is a sight to behold by itself. It’s an immensely enjoyable and impressive course to play. Without debate, it’s Gary’s best design in his global portfolio. Don’t be fooled by the name, this is not a Links golf course by definition, however the inherent pot-bunkers, blind drives and swashbuckling fairways immediately give the sense that you are beside the seashore. You’ll say “Wow” many times walking this course, and it’s clearly the best course built in South Africa over the past 50 years. The downhill par 3 2nd hole oozes quality and gives you the first glimpse of a feature which you’ll face many times at Fancourt – namely, forced carries! This course is a championship layout which players for the first time out will struggle to even come close to their handicap range. You’ll see pin-point landing areas, demanding dog-legs, wonderful changes in elevation and green complexes which will challenge the best players in the world. The land is so vast and rolling that there feels like a change in elevation on every hole, it’s truly an incredible piece of land. Architecturally, this course gets very high marks – especially the layered sod in the excellently placed pot-bunkers. These stairways to hell are iconic features on any “true links” course. Mr. Player routed the course in many different directions, but really took advantage of the natural landscape without creating the feeling that dozens of bull-dozers dominated the skyline when the course was being constructed. I especially love the fact that every hole at Fancourt (Links) has a name, which only adds to the unique personality that each hole brings to the course. A heightened sense of interest comes upon the golfers as we discussed the names of the holes and appreciated the character that each hole brings as you aggregate them all together. It’s easy to remember every hole on this course, which is a true testament to its merits. This premier course needs to be on every South African golf itinerary.
Date: September 07, 2015