The links-style fairways at the Langebaan Country Estate overlook the 10 mile-long Langebaan Lagoon and the natural harbor of Saldanha Bay – where trains from the Sishen mines unload iron ore for export – and they’re set in a figure of eight around a large residential development.
The 393-yard 1st is a challenging par four to begin the round. Manatoka trees flank the fairway and it’s often played into a prevailing southeasterly wind. The par three 6th sits at the highest point on the property and tee shots have an intimidating area of fynbos to carry from the tee to the raised green.
On the back nine, the 158-yard 11th is another fine short hole, this time played a putting surface protected by water and waste areas to the right of the large green. The 452-yard 18th ends the round in fine style as it’s a short par five offering a birdie opportunity to those who can steer clear of the water that fronts the home green.
I played Langebaan Country Estate last week twice with my wife on consecutive days on the recommendation of a friend but probably because it is the only course in the immediate vicinity. I am fortunate to have played Gary Player Country Club at Sun City and sadly this course bears little comparison and I doubt whether the great man himself had any bearing on the redesign.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad course but I'm not sure it deserves the 6 stars of its previous reviewer 7 years ago ! The very fact that it languishes at the bottom of the Western Cape rankings speaks volumes. There was very little rough to speak of and it was sometimes difficult to distinguish where the rough ended and the fairway began. The fairways were not in great condition and looked like mosaic mud in places (I do realize they have had very little winter rain in the last 3 years) and when we reached the 15th green on our first day we found about a dozen bontebok happily grazing behind it ! Fortunately the green keeper has managed to keep the greens in good, fast condition.
For me though the one thing that lets it down overall is that it is not very memorable or challenging. I would not rush back. I have played many other courses not only in the Western Cape but also in England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mauritius and most of them are more interesting and offer a greater golfing experience.