South Africa’s Top Five Golf Courses

This is a list of our top five golf courses in South Africa, based on nothing more scientific than personal preference. Although we have tried to give some justification for our choices the over riding principle is simple; if somebody offered us an all expenses paid trip/round at a course of our choice, where would we choose to play.

  1. Leopard Creek

    This is the definition of a South African golf course. Scotland has it’s Links courses, South Africa has it’s bushveld courses and this is our favourite. It’s location and overall experience count heavily in it’s favour, as on golf course design alone in another setting we’re not sure if it would still hold onto number one but, would certainly be right up there. It has our favourite set of par fives in the country.

    The 13th hole at Leopard Creek

    The 13th hole at Leopard Creek, our favourite golf course in South Africa

  2. Gary Player Country Club

    No surprise that it’s another bushveld course at number two. This is a great design and for the most part very playable for golfers of any ability but, if you stray off line in some places don’t bother looking for your ball! The setting and aura around Leopard Creek just pip Gary Player CC into the number one spot.

    17th Hole, Gary Player Country Club

    17th Hole, Gary Player Country Club

  3. The Links at Fancourt

    Often rated at number one in the country and to be honest there is very little to choose between the top three, even the top five for that matter. This course is beautiful and in great condition but it’s brutal! Especially if the wind blows! We also found it somehow feels out of place, like it’s missing an ocean view here or there. It’s spectacular in it’s own right but not as natural as either Leopard Creek or Gary Player CC.

    14th hole at The Fancourt Links

    Late afternoon on The Fancourt Links

  4. St Francis Links

    Another fantastic links style course. It suffers a similar problem to Fancourt in that it is probably a little too tough for the average golfer to enjoy day in and day out, especially in anything less than perfect conditions. The greens can also be a mystery if you only play here once in a while. That said it is beautiful, always in great condition and unlike The Fancourt Links the surroundings feel very natural. It just loses out slightly on the strength of the layout.

    Late afternoon at St Francis Links, looking down the first hole towards St Francis Bay

    The 1st Hole at St Francis Links

  5. Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, East Course

    This could well be our favourite layout of all. Unfortunately it just can’t compete on the overall experience side of the top four. Royal Joburg is a classic members golf club and it’s busy, this makes it impossible to keep the wear and tear as low as those more exclusive facilities. Winter in the Highveld also makes all the courses brown and therefore not in ideal condition but play it anytime between November and April and you’re in for a real treat. If this course had less traffic and was in a location that it stayed green all year round with an exotic location I’m pretty sure it would be competing for number one! Be forewarned however, like the rest of the Top Five, it’s also a tough course.

    Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, 11th hole, East Course

    The East Courses signature hole, number 11.

So there it is our top five courses in the country. What are your favourite golf courses and why? What do you think of our selection, leave us a comment.