Played Pearl Valley when staying in Franschhoek and the course is located midway between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. The gated community was well underway when I played and the focus seemed to be on the selling of real estate rather than the course. Having said that, the course itself was in famous condition but there were development scars around the edges of the course where the property was clearly meant to be. I suspect things have now changed, as it was a back in 2005 when I was there. The course is a classic Nicklaus layout with risk and reward (read water) the name of the game. Bold bunkering, plenty of water, enormous greens and numerous teeing grounds are the order of the day. Considering the relatively flat topography, they have created a decent course which played long and tough when I was there. I couldn’t help but gaze at the foothills of the mountains wondering what this course could have been had they been able to utilise more significant changes in elevation.
Date: April 10, 2008