Mossel Bay is a lovely seaside town on the Garden Route of the Western Cape Province with a climate said to be the second mildest in the world after Hawaii – which is great for all-year golf, but a little hard on the golf club’s water bill for irrigation!
The Mossel Bay course lies on pleasantly undulating cliff tops with fairly open fairways which – as the club are proud to tell you – have ocean views from each and every one of them, especially at the 4th and 10th holes.
The club, like so many other South African golf clubs in recent times, decided in 1999 to take advantage of the boom in residential golf estate development and they entered into a partnership with property developer Urs Windholz to build houses around some of the fairways, as well as upgrade the course and clubhouse.
The original course at Mossel Bay was located at the local aerodrome but moved to the present site in the 1920s when Robert Grimsdell routed the 18-hole cliff top course. Danie Obermeyer and Philip Basson were given the task of revamping the course in 1999 and this was done over a period of two years, completed well in time for the club’s centenary celebrations in 2005.
More recently, Obermeyer was brought back to work on two problem holes, the 15th and 16th. The par three 15th was changed, with a new green laid out 20 yards further back and to the right of the old putting surface and the short, uphill, par four 16th was totally revamped by removing the left dogleg, adding half a dozen fairway bunkers and elevating the green.
The outcome of all these developments has seen the transformation of a long established, though relatively impoverished, backwater course into a top class golf facility or, as one commentator has put it, the club has gone “from sleepy hollow to bustling business”.