Visitors are often surprised at how popular golf is in Cape Town. Spoilt for choice, there are more than 20 golf courses available for play throughout the year. You don’t need to travel far to be walking down pristine fairways, enjoying the challenge of golf under the African sun. Join with us as we take a peek into the oldest club in South Africa as well as two of the most popular.
The Royal Cape Golf Club holds the honourable title of South Africa’s oldest, as it was conceived on 14th November 1885. This was the day that Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Torrens chaired a meeting at the Castle in Cape Town for the purpose of establishing a golf club in the city. Torrens had been appointed the year before to command the British troops in this country. Being a golf enthusiast, on finding no venue, he set about to remedy the situation. The golf course, a far cry of what we see today, was created and soon play commenced. Torrens had the honour of teeing off in the first medal competition in 1886, which he won with a gross score of 94. A photograph was taken of this momentous occasion and it hangs proudly in the Royal Cape Clubhouse. Apart from being the oldest club in the country, it has other assets to recommend it. Spectacular views of Table Mountain range, beautiful tree-lined fairways, picturesque water hazards, sandy bunkers and well maintained greens make it an attractive but challenging par 72 course to play. It is also a championship course with ten of the South African Opens taking place at the Royal Cape. Book your tee-off time at www.royalcapegolf.co.za
(Royal Cape Golf Club – courtesy of www.royalcapegolf.co.za)
Steenberg Golf Course is a private estate course with much to recommend it. About 45 minutesdrive from 26 on First, you will tee off on what is also, a working wine farm, residential estate, hotel and spa. Some of the holes at Steenberg are memorable to the extreme. For example the short par 3, 165m at the 7th hole is entirely surrounded by both water and a bunker. Challenging indeed! The 14th hole boasts, at 63m, the longest single green in the Southern Hemisphere. Don’t expect it to be too easy, though. The green is surrounded by bunkers and is very undulating. At the end of the day’s play, freshen up in a world class locker room, enjoy a pint at an exclusive bar or sit down at a choice of 2 five star restaurants on the premises.
(Steenberg Golf Club – courtesy of www.steenberggolfclub.co.za)
Situated in Cape Town’s deep south on a picturesque peninsula, between two oceans, lies Clovelly Country Club, the home of a prestigious and historic golf course. As golf became more popular in Cape Town, the naval officers in Simonstown were known to play at Clovelly in the early 1920s. It was then a 9 hole golf club. A recession later on that decade threatened closure of the club, but it was rescued by business entrepreneurs Gus Ackerman and Michael Pevsner. In 1932, Clovelly Country Club was formed. The Ackerman name remains synonymous with Clovelly. Gus Ackerman was life president until his death in 1966. His son Raymond Ackerman took over from him and remains president of the club. Being close to the sea, the view from the clubhouse is spectacular. The course is surrounded by sand dunes, natural fauna, wetlands and the Kalk Bay mountain range. Expect several water hazards in the form of beautiful lily filled ponds, a bubbling brook and watering holes for families of Egyptian geese who have made this piece of paradise their home. Peacocks, exotic fish and squirrels add to the country flavour of golfing at Clovelly. Another unique Cape Town golfing experience awaits you!
(Clovelly Country Clubhouse – courtesy of www.clovelly.co.za)