South Africa boasts a myriad of world-class golf courses that rival some of the globe’s finest. Beyond the thrill and challenge of the game, golf courses in South Africa are set against spectacular natural backdrops encompassing everything from coastal dunes and cliffs to lush tropical flora, majestic mountains, and serene lakes. Every year, countless golf enthusiasts flock to South Africa, drawn by the allure of its golfing challenges and breathtaking beauty. Out of 450 golf courses in South Africa, have you ever wondered which are the best to showcase your skills?
Is Golf Popular in South Africa?
Golf holds a significant place in South Africa’s sporting landscape, with its popularity deeply rooted in the nation’s history and culture. The country has been a cradle for several internationally acclaimed golfers like Gary Player, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, and Charl Schwartzel, who have not only clinched major titles but also championed the sport within South African borders.
The allure of golf in South Africa is further enhanced by its collection of 450 golf course courses, such as Leopard Creek, Fancourt, and Sun City, celebrated for their unparalleled design and picturesque landscapes. 195 of which are 18-hole courses. A notable advantage that boosts the popularity of South Africa golf courses is its relative affordability, making it more accessible to a broader audience compared to many Western nations. Here, you can even enjoy a new experience – golf while observing wild animals, at Skukuza Golf Club – an unfenced golf course surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary.
The hosting of prestigious golfing events, like the South African Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship, provides a regular platform to showcase the sport. Furthermore, the country’s favorable climate allows enthusiasts to indulge in golf year-round, while the thriving golfing communities and estates reflect the sport’s embedded cultural value.
Best Golf Courses in South Africa
Leopard Creek Country Club
Location: R570 Leopard Creek Estate, Malelane, 1320, South Africa
Adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, Leopard Creek offers a distinctive blend of golf and game. Designed by Gary Player, the course uses water features from the Crocodile River, which forms a natural border with the park. This provides golfers with incredible views of the river and the wildlife beyond. Player has made a special effort to integrate the course seamlessly with its surroundings, ensuring the animals have the right of way. The club is exclusive, offering top-notch facilities and ensuring an unparalleled golfing experience.
The Links at Fancourt
Location: George, South Africa
Set in the heart of the Garden Route, The Links at Fancourt is a masterpiece designed by Gary Player. Often hailed as the finest links course in Africa, it draws inspiration from the classic courses of the UK, with undulating terrains, dunes, and a few blind spots. The backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains offers an aesthetic appeal while challenges abound in its tricky layout. The Fancourt estate itself is a luxury resort, providing premium amenities, making it a favorite among international visitors.
Durban Country Club
Location: 101 Isaiah Ntshangase Rd, Stamford Hill, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Perched atop dunes with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, Durban Country Club offers a unique fusion of coastal and tropical settings. Established in 1922, its rich history and classic design make it a must-visit. The course layout, characterized by narrow fairways and dense vegetation, challenges golfers of all levels. It has hosted the South African Open Championship more than any other course, adding to its prestige as one of the best golf courses in South Africa.
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club (East Course)
Location: 1 Fairway Ave, Linksfield North, Johannesburg, 2192, South Africa
Founded in 1890, the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club is one of the oldest golf establishments in South Africa. The East Course, renowned for its impeccable maintenance, has hosted the Joburg Open multiple times. Majestic trees line its fairways, and the bunkers are strategically placed to test the golfer’s skills. With a rich history and a layout that respects the traditions of the game, it’s a jewel in South Africa’s golfing crown.
Gary Player Country Club
Location: Sun City Resort, Sun City, 0316, South Africa
Situated in the famous Sun City Resort, the Gary Player Country Club is home to one of the world’s longest golf courses. Besides its length, the course is known for its careful design that incorporates various natural features, from water hazards to cunningly placed bunkers. The course is a regular host to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, one of the flagship events on the European Tour. With a backdrop of the Pilanesberg mountains and a design that challenges even seasoned pros, it’s an iconic African golfing destination.
Arabella Golf Club
Location: R44 Kleinmond, Overberg, Overberg, 7195, South Africa
Nestled between the Kogelberg Mountains and the Bot River Lagoon, Arabella is one of the most picturesque golf courses in South Africa. The course, with its pristine fairways and challenging design, offers both risk and reward to golfers. It features one of the best finishing holes in the country, a tricky par 5 with water hazards. Arabella is more than just a golf course; it’s a complete sensory experience with its panoramic views and tranquil setting.
St Francis Links
Location: 1 Jack Nicklaus Dr, St Francis Links, St Francis Bay, 6312, South Africa
Designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, St Francis Links boasts undulating terrains, dunes, and a native rough. With each hole offering a distinct challenge and view, it’s a golfer’s delight. The course captures the essence of links golf, with winds from the Indian Ocean adding an unpredictable element. The clubhouse, built on a dune overlooking the course, offers a panoramic view, making it a perfect spot to relax after a game.
Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort
Location: Mossel Bay, Garden Route, South Africa
Situated atop cliffs along the coast, Pinnacle Point provides one of the most dramatic golfing settings in the world. Seven of its holes are set along the ocean cliff, offering breathtaking views and heart-pounding challenges. The course design by Peter Matkovich and Darren Clarke takes advantage of the natural beauty of the site while adding elements that test golfers of all skill levels.
Blair Atholl Golf Course
Location: Ashanti Rd, Pretoria Rural, Lanseria, 1748, South Africa
Located near Johannesburg, Blair Atholl is a sprawling estate that offers an unparalleled golfing experience. Designed by Gary Player, the course stretches over several kilometers, offering diverse challenges from water hazards to strategic bunkers. It’s known for its length, beauty, and the tranquility it offers, being far from urban hustle. The estate also boasts horse trails, a spa, and gourmet dining, making it a holistic retreat.
Erinvale Golf Club
Location: Lourensford Rd, Somerset West, Cape Town, 7130, South Africa
Nestled at the foothills of the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland mountains, Erinvale’s setting is nothing short of majestic. The course is divided into two distinct parts: the flat, fertile valley and the hillier, rugged terrain above. Designed by Gary Player, it hosted the World Cup of Golf in 1996. With its combination of challenging holes, historical significance, and views of both vineyards and mountains, Erinvale proves itself to be one of the best golf courses in Cape Town, and South Africa in general.
Above, we have introduced to you the best golf courses in South Africa. All of them are designed by famous golf architects and well-maintained for the best golfing experience. Know any other wonderful golf courses in Cape Town to play in 2024/2025, just share with us by commenting on the box below. Thanks for your reading.