Known in South Africa as the best land-based whale watching place in the world, the small fishing village of Hermanus at Walker Bay is also the location of a very good golf course that has – over a 100-year period – progressed from a rudimentary 9-hole layout to a modern day, top spec, 27-hole complex.
Hermanus Golf Club was formed in 1907 and its original 9-hole course doubled in size to a full 18 holes in 1937. Robert Grimsdell remodeled these in 1952 and that’s how things were on the golf course for the next 50 years, with housing constructed in stages around the perimeter of the property.
All that changed in 2004 when Fernkloof Estate, the residential arm of the golf club, embarked on a plan to build over 300 properties in and around an adjacent parcel of land, with respected architect Peter Markovich weaving an additional 9 holes into the design (as well as upgrading the original 18-hole layout). The original and best layout consists of holes 1-18 and is now called the East course. Holes 19-27 and 1-9 are known as the North course, and holes 10-18 and 19-27 form the South course.
Markovich has introduced new water features and incorporated a number of rocky outcrops into the new routing, as well as adding definition with some clever mounding. These developments, along with new greens, lengthened tees and improved bunkering, have allowed Hermanus to move with the times, allowing it to face the future with real confidence.
So the course has been completely overhauled and, in the words of the club, “the charming and gentle layout of the past has been replaced with modern, classically designed, holes” – and all in good time for the club centenary in 2007!