While Nelson Mandela, Table Mountain and Big Five safaris are the first things that come to mind about South Africa, the Rainbow Nation is actually much more than that. From the incredible acrobatics of giant whales near the shore, ancient customs still practiced by the Zulu tribes and active trading in the world's most widely held gold bullion coin, the Krugerrand, this is an epic country of amazing diversity.
With such stunning natural distractions, South Africa is also a one of its kind golf destination. Here, wildlife freely walks on the fairways, a helicopter takes you to tee off from a mountain-top, awe-inspiring cliff-top holes bear strong resemblance to Pebble Beach and inland links remind of Scottish fairways. It feels at times that the oceans, animals and veneration you see when golfing are literally spilling over on to the golf course.
South Africa has produced more great golf champions than almost anywhere on earth including Gary Player, Bobby Locke, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Louis Oosthuizen. The country has 18 major championship trophies on its mantle and Gary Player is in an elite company of only four other golfers to have won all 4 Majors. There’s no doubt that this success on the global stage has helped accelerate growth of the sport in the country, albeit in specific pockets.
The Western Cape featuring Cape Town and its surrounds along with the Garden Route makes for the crown jewel of golf in South Africa with several highly-ranked, world-class facilities in the province. The next largest concentration of courses are in the North around Johannesburg, nearby Sun City and along the Limpopo Golf and Safari Route. The area around Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal brings up the third golf trail in the country with some truly fantastic layouts.
The golf seasons are distinct in South Africa. Western Cape is best enjoyed between September to March, while Durban experiences drier winter months from June through September. The northern regions remains good for golfing round the year. This is one of Africa's best all-round destinations, offering almost everything you can expect and you can never go wrong with a golf vacation in SA!