Top 100 Golf Courses of South Africa 2012
8th January 2012
Top 100 Golf Courses extends its South African rankings
Top 100 Golf Courses (www.top100golfcourses.com), 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?
Click here to see the detailed South African Top 100 list.
08 January 2012 Respond to this article