Developer Peet Cilliers wanted the scale of the golf facility in the Entabeni Safari Conservancy to match the surrounding African landscape so he made a wise move to bring in Kuwaiti-based IFA Hotels and Resorts as a partner when it came to financing an ambitious project that cost a reputed $30 million.
Everything at Legend is larger than life in an enormous 50,000-acre estate where herds of giraffe, zebra and antelope roam free alongside fairways that weave though open grassland and dense bushveld in two large circuits of nine.
Each of the holes has been assigned its own “signature designer,” starting with Trevor Immelman at the 1st and ending with Retief Goosen at the 18th. The bunker style has been standardised throughout with no hidden hazards to negotiate, just as the pros like it.
In between the opening and closing holes, the marketing men have allotted holes to top names who appeal to as wide a spectrum of golfers as possible, showcasing emerging talent like Camilo Villegas at the par four 8th and established major winners such as Vijay Singh at the par four 15th.
Legend would, of course, have to be the longest course in all of Africa so it measures up at almost 8,500 yards from the championship tee markers. Even allowing for some extra distance due to altitude and heat, that’s still an awful long way to have to propel a golf ball from the first tee box to the last hole.
Of course, all of this gargantuan golf pales into near insignificance when compared to the gimmick that is the Extreme 19th – a par three played from the top of nearby Hanglip Peak, 470 yards above the level of a massive green that’s contoured in the shape of the African continent.
Golfers reach the tee box by helicopter and their tee shots from the longest, highest par three on the planet take more than 20 seconds to reach terra firma. Mulligans are allowed, as it would be a shame to pay an extra 200 quid to play this monster and not have a second shot to play on the ground!
For those who don’t have a head for such heights, there’s a 10-hole par three Tribute course which features replicas of some of the more famous short holes from around the world.
The course at Legend Golf & Safari Resort closed in October 2019 for a full revamp and is scheduled to open again in 2021.