Situated a few of kilometres inland from Chintsa in the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape, the 18-hole layout at the Olivewood Private Estate & Golf Club is the first design of former Sunshine Tour professional Algy Kietzmann, who became so involved with the project that he personally shaped all of the green complexes.
Unusual for a modern course, it’s routed as an out-and-back layout, with the front nine heading away into the Chintsa River valley and tidal lagoon before the back nine then climbs back uphill towards the clubhouse. The outward half is rated as a par 37 whilst the shorter inward half (with three par threes at #11, #15 and #17) attracts a par of 35.
It’s mandatory to take a golf cart at Olivewood as the landscape is very hilly and walking would be quite a tall order. From the back markers, the course is rated with a slope of 148 so it’s a tough track for those who choose to take it on from the tips. However, with six tees in play on every hole, there’s plenty of scope to find the correct yardage to suit your game.
Tees, bunkers and water hazards have all been planned and positioned to great effect and the rough is quite short but if you stray too far offline then the fairways are flanked by the long grasses of the bushveld. Greens are carpeted with bent grass for a superior putting experience and excellent drainage allows for ideal golfing conditions all year round.
Feature holes include the steeply downhill par three 7th, played to a green that’s benched into the hillside; the long par four 12th (rated stroke index 1) which runs alongside the river; and the short par three 15th signature hole, requiring a tee shot carry over dense bush to reach a sand-protected green that slopes markedly from back to front.