Legend visited by a living legend
Bernhard Langer, former Ryder Cup captain and US Masters winner, visits the Legend Golf & Safari Resort
15th December 2011
Former Masters champion Bernhard Langer was the latest world-class golfer to visit the hole that bears his name on Legend Golf & Safari Resort’s unique Signature Course, in South Africa.
Each of the 18 holes was designed by one of the world’s top players and Langer’s visit followed similar trips by the likes of three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia, Korean KJ Choi, South African legend Retief Goosen and former European number one Justin Rose, who each designed a hole on the award-winning course.
It was the 54-year-old German’s first visit to Legend – at the heart of the Big 5 Entabeni Safari Conservancy in the Waterberg area of Limpopo – and he was impressed with the final look of his hole, the fourth, and awestruck by the majesty of the world’s longest par-three: the Extreme 19th, played from the top of Hanglip Mountain.
Langer, who this year won on the Champions Tour, 31 years after recording his first professional success, said: “I’m delighted with the way the hole looks and I’m very impressed by the golf course and the whole resort. The people looking after the golf course are doing an excellent job; everything is well managed.”
During his visit, the former Ryder Cup captain – whose burgeoning design portfolio includes Navarino Dunes, in Greece; Portmanock Links, Ireland; and Le Touessrok, Mauritius – requested a slight change to the hole that bears his name.
David Riddle, the resort’s golf director, explained: “Bernhard was really taken with his hole, particularly the potential of changing the distance and direction of approach by using the five different tees.
“The one slight tweak he requested was to make the bunker protecting the right side of the green a little smaller in the front, to allow weaker golfers a bigger area to bail out in to.
“He was also very impressed with his flight to the golf course especially having seen rhino and giraffe from the air. He said he would love to come back and stay a few days as the whole experience was amazing.”
Riddle accompanied Langer in the helicopter ride to the tee of the Extreme 19th – the only way to access the 400m high par-three – and saw the world’s first official number-one golfer record a bogey four.
Langer said: “Amazing! What an unbelievable experience. I can’t believe how high it is. What a fantastic and beautiful place. God spent overtime here when he created this.”In addition to the Signature Course, Legend Golf & Safari Resort also has a unique 10-hole Tribute course, paying homage to some of golf’s most iconic holes; a golf academy; conference facilities; the Field of Legends sports complex; a wildlife and cultural centre; and more than 200 luxury resort suites – with a further 50 suites due for completion by the end of the year; and a new clubhouse and additional conference centre to be added in early 2012.
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