The Sun City resort in North West province is adjacent to the fourth largest game park in South Africa (the Pilanesberg National Park) and it’s an opulent man-made oasis in an inhospitable, semi-desert region.
Operated by the Sun International Leisure Group of Hotels, Resorts and Casinos, Lost City is one of two world class courses at the Sun City resort and although it is often overshadowed by the neighbouring Gary Player Country Club layout, it is still a great course in its own right – though some consider its cart only regulation a major drawback.
Fairways are generally open but don’t be too wayward as there’s plenty of waste bunkers to catch errant shots. Water comes into play at several holes, most notably on the par threes at the 3rd and 15th holes, not forgetting the multi tiered water feature between the 9th and 18th holes.
The most fearsome hazard is reserved for the downhill, par three, 13th hole where a crocodile pit (yes, you read that correctly the first time; an enclosure containing large reptiles!) guards the front of the green. Unlucky for some if a tee shot goes in there – just tee another ball up and try again!
The Lost City golf course is sited in the cradle of an extinct volcano at Sun City. The story goes that an ancient civilisation lived here until cataclysmic earthquakes forced them to move.
The site is shrouded in African mythology, and there is a wealth of tales and legends that have passed down through the ages....
It fell to Gary Player to design a sister course to his original at Sun City, and he has done a grand job.
Whilst the Gary Player course is relatively flat, The Lost City site has significant elevation change, particularly in the back nine.
Our group thought this course much more interesting than its sister, and I agree.
I found there was more thought required about line and length, and that Lost City was more strategic, more varied, more attractive to the eye. And more fun to play!
The course is obviously a desert style course, but effort had been made to sculpt the tees into the terrain, and the whole project was beautifully finished.
The clubhouse is right out of 'The Flinstones' set, all in keeping with The Lost City theme.
There is plenty of eye candy on the course with the mirrored finish to each nine with water down the middle a highlight.
The par 3's are all different, but attractive and challenging. And watch out for the baboons- they are everywhere!
The par 3, thirteenth hole certainly gets your attention with the crocodile pit in front of the green, but I thought the other short holes at 8, and 15 were even better.
Other holes of note were the par 5, fourth hole with a 90 degree dogleg, and the very strong uphill sixth hole...
Lost City is a unique course in a unique landscape, and great fun to play.
Perhaps the elevated tees are overplayed, and the par 3, water carry 3rd is a bit bizarre with random rocks defending the green....but you would not miss playing here for quids!
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
The Lost City Golf Course is the desert style and was designed by famed South African golfing figure, Gary Player. This spectacular par-72 course is a cart course, complete with a state-of-the-art clubhouse, and is a short stroll from The Palace of the Lost City. It features a water hazard of live 2-metre long crocodiles on the 13th hole with a green in the shape of the African continent. The Lost City Golf Course offers facilities such as a driving range, and a fully equipped golf Pro Shop! Probably it is one of the most beautiful golf courses in South Africa. I was played in the middle of January and was very hot here, but condition of course was pretty good. Greens were fast enough. Fairways also was in good condition. I had very nice experience here to play with caddie. They found all my balls in the rough. As I played in both Sun City golf courses during my stay here, can compare with Gary Player Country Club. Gary Player is shorter, more flat, more high-quality and complete course, but Lost City is more pleasure to the eyes, more enjoyable to play and bit easier. It‘s amateur point of view Also both of they are different in style and The Gary Player is a strictly walking golf course - no carts available. So without golf cart in middle of January with +35°C on the air the heat is a bit troublesome. The Lost City is more comfortable. About service is another story (was perfect in all cases), but I was great suprised when during my stay in shower my leaved golf shoes were cleaned, polished and looked better than the new ones. Respect for service!
The Crocodile Restaurant is a great place for a middle game lunch or light snack. Espacialy I like very good value for money: green fee for 18 holes including golf cart and halfway house lunch has very acceptable price!
Golf field rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria. I always rating by the following criteria: course complexity or challenging, fields condition (especially greens & fairways), service (only what you can get: buggie, club rent, condition of clubs, the amount of choice and etc. except staff and other subjective things that depends on your or staff mood), surrounding views or pleasure to the eyes and definitely value for the price. All criteries will be rating from 1 to 5 stars. Concerning Lost City my opinion is follow:
1. Challenging - 4*
2. Condition - 4*+
3. Service - 5*+
4. Surroundings - 5* (beautiful views around with dears, babuins and birds in fields)
5. Value for the price - 5*+ (one of the best I tied ever, less than twice you must pay in other top quality courses).
I think The Lost City Golf Course must be in South Africa TOP 10! Concerning surrounding Lost City much more impresive than Gary Player CC.
I hope will be back soon!