A Conversation for Great Golf Courses
The Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
Trout Montague Started conversation Jan 26, 2003
Thanks to entrepreneurial hotelier Sol Kerzner, the Gary Player Country Club is now probably one of Africa's most prestigious Golf courses, as it has since 1981 annually hosted Africa's 'Major', the Million DollarSince 2000 it is the TWO Million Dollar Challenge Golf Challenge event.
The course, designed by Gary Player in the late 1970s is always immaculate despite accommodating some 35,000 rounds of golf each year, and is the perfect venue for the blue-ribband Two Million Dollar Golf Challenge. Despite being brim-full, spectators never feel like sheep stampeding from hole to hole. Instead, it is just a leisurely stroll in the African sunshine, at the end of which access to the gallery at the eighteenth is assured (if you've got the corporate hospitality pass) without any fuss or bother.
As for the course itself, Ernie Els (I could have put my boot on him, I was so close to him on the second tee on day three of the 2000 event, which he subsequently won) describes the 545m par 5 ninth hole as the signature hole at the Gary Player Country Club...
"The hole is normally set up so as to encourage the second shot at the green, which can be intimidating. I've gone at the green with 2-irons, but if it's a 3-wood distance I back off. Even after laying up short of the lake, if the pin is cut back left or right, it is a tough shot; a couple of yards either way and the ball can be in the water."
For the best of Sun City stay in the magnificent 'Indiana Jones' style Lost City Hotel, or for a more tranquil experience pop "next door" to the tented camp at Pilanesberg National Park.
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