Oubaai - Western Cape - South Africa

Oubaai Golf Resort,
Herold’s Bay,
Western Cape,
South Africa


  • +27 (0) 44 851 0131

  • Rob Thole

  • Ernie Els

Established by the Kuwaiti Kharafi Holdings Company in 2005, this 18-hole golf course on the Oubaai residential estate in the Western Cape is the first signature course designed in South Africa by local golfing hero, Ernie Els.

The Big Easy has his South African home nearby at Herold’s Bay so he is well aware of the strategic importance of this new layout, competing as it does against some of the more modern golfing big hitters in the area such as Pezula and Simola.

Fairways at Oubaai are generally wide with large landing areas but don’t think this makes it an easy course to score on as strategically positioned fairway and greenside bunker complexes deftly increase the degree of playing difficulty.

The signature hole is the par three 17th, played downhill to what, in modern course design parlance, is termed an “infinity green” with the sparkling Indian Ocean as a backdrop. If conditions are kind, it should be relatively straight forward to avoid the four bunkers protecting the green to card a three here, but if the wind is up on such an exposed cliff top, who knows what score might be posted.

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Reviews for Oubaai

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Description: The signature hole at Oubaai is the par three 17th, played downhill to what, in modern course design parlance, is termed an “infinity green” with the sparkling Indian Ocean as a backdrop. Rating: 4.5 out of 6 Reviews: 6

This was the best course I played on a golfing tour of George and surrounds. Ernie Els has crafted a course for all levels (although the carry from some tees to fairways were a bit dramatic, such as the par 3 sixth). There is a good mix of short and log par fours and threes, with plenty of bunkers to keep the mind focused. I loved the way many holes were sculptured around there fairway bunkers. The trick of the eye that made it seem like a narrow fairway, thus putting fear into the golfer, when in fact, with a little bit of thought, there were many wide expanses to find. Here is where Oubaai shines, because it is a course where the 18 handicap can always find a way to the green for a bogey, while the scratch golfer has to take on the hazards to make their score. I found the par threes to be all a challenge - there are five of them - but for sheer terror, the aforementioned 6th, is a knew trembler. Long enough at 190 meters, it requires a carry of some 160 meters over a deep ravine into which any ball hit will never be seen again. The view over the hills to the surrounding mountains is spectacular. I can only imagine Ernie standing at the area where the tee is now and thinking, "tee, green, nothing else to do".

However, the standout holes were definitely 17 and 18, the short par three with nothing behind it except the Indian Ocean, and a par five with the dramatic views from the tee, and a second shot required to fly over the cliffs to get a crack at a birdie. However, it is these two holes that also, perhaps, highlighted Oubaai's biggest weakness. The most dramatic land had been used for housing, not the course, and I found it sad that only two holes skirted the coast. But this is a nitpick. Oubaai is a fine challenge for all golfers, you don't need a dozen balls to get round, and you will want to play it again.

4 / 6
Oubaai
December 02, 2017


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Oubaai really is a quite beautiful course. Not designed in the mould of a lot of resort courses, it makes the most of it's outstanding position overlooking the Indian Ocean. It provides a tough test for golfers with some lengthy carries off the tee, but is a well laid out and fair challenge.

The final three holes are what I felt were the stand out holes.

Compared to some more local courses, the green fees are steep, but I left feeling we'd received great value for money.

Tip: It's a long course to walk around so I'd strongly recommend a buggy unless you're feeling particularly energetic.

5 / 6
Oubaai
April 29, 2016


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Oubaai is a pleasant golfing experience but many of the holes are mundane, it is still worth playing if you are in the western Cape. That said if your time is limited you would be much better concentrating on the other courses in the area such a George, and the Fancourt 3.
3 / 6
Oubaai
September 15, 2014


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On my recent trip to the Western Cape, the toughest course I experienced was Oubaai and that was after pars at the first two holes! A car journey from Cape Town will take around five hours but the Oubaai golf experience is a must. The course has many tough holes but as this has been built on the cliff-top, it is the wind that is the biggest problem, add in some very tough rough and all golfers will be challenged– make your score with the wind behind and then hold on to your hat for those holes ‘into’. The 5th hole is a beauty but oh so tough! A 420 yard par-4 dog-legging right and with a left to right sloping fairway towards the Gwaing GorgeOubaai Golf Course - Photo by reviewer meaning the tee shot is so important. The very next hole is a par-3 and this time the gorge has to be carried – if you can get through these two holes intact, you are doing very well. On the day I played, many of the back nine holes, certainly from the 12th onwards played into the strong wind making correct club selection nearly impossible. Hole 15 is a par-3, with no bunkers but again was into the wind; I felt a little better when told that even course designer Ernie Els had used driver to reach the green once! The par-3 17th is the signature hole, a short par-3 with the ocean as the backdrop – I can understand this style of hole getting the ‘signature’ badge but for me it is the closing the hole that is the best on the course. It is a par-5 with the tee by the ocean requiring an accurate drive to a narrow target, another accurate lay-up around the sharp left turn to the green to the side of the great clubhouse – as for a comparison, the hole is a little like the last on Kapalua’s Plantation. Oubaai has a great club atmosphere with the clubhouse being around a mile away from the hotel accommodation which gives the golf a nice separation feeling – the bar overlooking the final hole is well worth spending time in post-round.
5 / 6
Oubaai
April 23, 2014


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Oubaai is the most similar course I have played to Dye Fore, in Dominican Republic were I lived for 2 years. The piece of land borders a River (like the Chavon in DR) with far away views from the Ocean in plenty of spots of the course. The venue hosted the South African Stroke Play Championship and it is fair to state that this course suits perfect for Championship golf: long, middle and short holes, some dramatic carries, small and bigOubaai Golf Course - Photo by reviewer greens, chances to miss but some shots are very penalized if the miss goes the wrong side, great greens with some challenging breaks and the sensation that although hitting fairways is important there is always a chance to bounce back when missing. We played it in a very nice afternoon, with just a gentle breeze, it was great. I believe that with some hard winds this course can be terribly tough. The elevation from the close ocean is quite a bit, so the importance of the wind is a lot. Good holes? All of them. Great holes? Most of them. Amazing holes? Par 3 6th (Signature hole) with a dramatic carry over a cliff and par 5 7th with that cliff on the right side. Outstanding holes? 17 & 18 make it a fantastic end of round with that short par 3 facing the ocean and 18 with a challenging carry over the cliff to get there in 2 shots. Another great golf course, staff again very kind and helpful and a great hotel where to stay if you wish luxury. Amigos, if you travel for golf think of South Africa! Something at the higher standards awaits for you.
5 / 6
Oubaai
July 05, 2013


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This beautiful course is a challenge for a golfer of any level with almost 5 tee boxes to chose from. Dont get lost in the scenary as you will need all the concentration you can get to dodge the strategicly placed bunkers and hazards. Upon arrival at Oubaai you will be greeted by the most impeccable service. prepare to be treated like a king/queen. In my opinion, Oubaai is more enjoyable than Simola and Pezula which i have played as well. Do not even think twice about playing at this outstanding Golf Course designed by the Big Easy. Good luck if you are treated to a bit of mist in the morning!
5 / 6
Oubaai
March 11, 2010


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