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Top 100 Golf Courses of South Africa 2012

08 January, 2012

Top 100 Golf Courses of South Africa 2012

8th January 2012

Top 100 Golf Courses extends its South African rankings

Top 100 Golf Courses (, the most informed and dedicated ranking website, presents its 2012 golf course rankings for South Africa.

For 2012, Top 100 Golf Courses has extended its South African rankings by 50 new entries to a Top 100. We can't claim to be the first publication to rank South Africa's Top 100 golf courses but we are the first to showcase them all online with detailed independent articles for each course.

South Africa boasts around 450 golf courses serving approximately 150,000 registered golfers across the Rainbow Nation, so the new Top 100 represents approximately the top 20% of golf courses in the country.

South Africa's top golf courses have been assembled based on detailed research, which utilises a unique process (see the "About Us" page on the Top 100 website for more details). The result is the most authoritative ranking list of South Africa's greatest golf courses, but it's not perfect. There are a number of very exclusive South African facilities that are not only hard to access but also rather secretive. A little like England's Queenwood, the Gary Player-designed course at Millvale Golf Estate keeps itself to itself. We have no doubt that Millvale should feature in the South African course rankings, but we have insufficient experience of the luxury facility.

In the few years since we last ranked South Africa's courses, many new, high profile facilities have opened. The signature course at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort is larger than life. The 8,500-yard course is set in an enormous 50,000-acre estate where herds of giraffe, zebra and antelope roam free alongside fairways that weave though open grassland and dense bushveld in two large circuits of nine. Each hole has been assigned its own "signature designer", starting with Trevor Immelman at the 1st and ending with Retief Goosen at the 18th. This gargantuan 18-holer pales into near insignificance when compared to the gimmick that is the Extreme 19th – a par three played from the top of nearby Hanglip Peak, 470 yards above the level of a massive green that's contoured in the shape of the African continent.

According to Peter Matkovich – the architect behind one of our highest new entries, Pinnacle Point – this is: "The most dramatic golf course site I've ever encountered anywhere in the world!" The prolific Zimbabwean architect is also the man behind Zebula Golf Estate, Elements Private Golf Reserve and Ebotse Golf & Country Estate which are debutants in our new 2012 South African Top 100.

The Jack Nicklaus-designed St Francis Links is our second highest new entry, which offers as links-like a game of golf as you will experience anywhere on the continent of Africa. The Golden Bear's Masai Mara course at the Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate burst into the limelight in November 2011 when it hosted the South African Open (which Hennie Otto won) and it's another of our new entries.

Our highest new entry is Gary Player's Blair Atholl, which measures a staggering 8,300 yards from the tips. Blair Atholl was Gary Player's home for almost a quarter of a century before developer Robbie Wray helped transform the property into a low-density residential estate with a championship golf course as its focal point.

This unique South African ranking list involved gathering, analysing and processing data from a multitude of sources. So, until a definitive description as to what constitutes a great golf course has been defined, the belief is that nobody does it better than Top 100 Golf Courses.

Feedback is genuinely welcome, in fact it's actively encouraged. So please tell us what you think about the latest list of Top South African Golf Courses. We won't ever claim to be "definitive" but we are the most "informed" golf course rankings in the business. If you've played any of our featured South African courses, we'd be delighted to know what you think, so why not contribute and post a course review or two?

Keith Baxter

Rank Move Course
1 No Change Leopard Creek
2 Up 3 Fancourt (Links)
3 New Entry Blair Atholl
4 Down 2 Durban (Country Club)
5 Down 1 Arabella
6 Down 3 Gary Player
7 Down 2 Pearl Valley
8 Down 2 Wild Coast Sun
9 New Entry St Francis Links
10 Up 2 Royal Johannesburg & Kensington (East)
11 New Entry Elements
12 Down 4 Fancourt (Montagu)
13 Down 6 Glendower
14 Down 4 River Club
15 Up 29 Simola
16 Down 5 Humewood
17 Up 1 Johannesburg (Woodmead)
18 Up 2 Erinvale
19 New Entry Pinnacle Point
20 Up 3 East London
21 No Change Fancourt (Outeniqua)
22 Up 4 Sishen
23 Down 10 Pecanwood
24 No Change Champagne Sports
25 New Entry Ebotse
26 Up 5 De Zalze
27 New Entry Serengeti (Masai Mara)
28 Down 9 Prince's Grant
29 New Entry Legend
30 Down 13 Pezula
31 Up 10 Oubaai
32 Down 17 Lost City
33 New Entry Cotswold Downs
34 New Entry Els Club - Copperleaf nee Gardener Ross
35 Up 2 Steenberg
36 Down 20 Durban (Beachwood)
37 New Entry Zimbali
38 Up 4 Royal Johannesburg & Kensington (West)
39 Down 9 Kyalami
40 Up 8 Houghton
41 Up 2 San Lameer
42 Down 3 Bryanston
43 New Entry Zebula
44 New Entry Eye of Africa
45 Down 18 Fish River Sun
46 Down 6 Randpark (Windsor Park)
47 Down 33 George
48 Down 20 Randpark (Randpark)
49 New Entry Kloof
50 New Entry Kingswood
51 Down 2 Southbroom
52 Down 23 Maccauvlei
53 Down 20 Pretoria
54 New Entry Hermanus
55 Down 17 Plettenberg Bay
56 New Entry Johannesburg (Rocklands)
57 Down 25 Hans Merensky
58 Down 11 Clovelly
59 Down 25 Royal Cape
60 New Entry Parkview
61 Down 25 Selborne
62 Down 37 Roodepoort
63 New Entry Nelspruit
64 Down 29 Silver Lakes
65 New Entry Krugersdorp
66 New Entry Mount Edgecombe (No.2)
67 New Entry Woodhill
68 Down 22 Umdoni Park
69 New Entry Irene
70 New Entry Mossel Bay
71 Down 39 Wanderers
72 New Entry Modderfontein
73 New Entry Parys
74 New Entry Goose Valley
75 New Entry Royal Durban
76 New Entry Knysna
77 New Entry Mount Edgecombe (No.1)
78 New Entry King David
79 New Entry Killarney
80 New Entry Umhlali
81 New Entry Wingate Park
82 New Entry Victoria
83 New Entry Paarl
84 New Entry Blue Valley
85 New Entry St Francis Bay
86 New Entry Rustenburg
87 New Entry Stellenbosch
88 New Entry Benoni
89 New Entry Orkney
90 New Entry Glenvista
91 New Entry Vaal de Grace
92 Down 47 Centurion
93 New Entry Crown Mines
94 New Entry Leopard Park
95 Down 45 Atlantic Beach
96 New Entry ERPM
97 New Entry Goldfields West
98 New Entry Langebaan
99 New Entry Dainfern
100 New Entry Euphoria

Click here to see the detailed South African Top 100 list.


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