3 of the world’s top 100 golf course are in SA

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 23 January 2020

Golfscape’s recently published its list of top 100 golf courses in the world for 2020, arriving at the final selection with the help of a panel of industry leaders.

Three South African courses feature within the top 30 of these 100 golfing destinations, including Leopard Creek which lies on the banks on the Crocodile River, just outside the Kruger National Park.

The course which often has wildlife on its greens was placed at 26 on the list, while the links course at Fancourt in George ranked 19th – both of these courses were designed by Gary Player. The East Championship Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club took the 28th spot.

The world’s number one golf course, according to this list, is the Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland.

Below is a list of golf courses in South Africa which are well-worth travelling for.

Pearl Valley, Paarl – Western Cape

This golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus is among the top 10 in South Africa, according to Peal Valley’s website. The signature course is close to the Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine region, with a number of restaurants and spas in the area for when you’re not on the greens.


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Zimbali, KwaZulu-Natal

Ranked as one of the top 25 golf courses in South Africa according to its website, Zimbali Coastal Resort has beautiful views over the ocean and an 18-hole course ‘designed to maximise on the natural landscape whilst remaining ecologically-sensitive’.


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Fancourt, George – Western Cape

Fancourt’s famous Gary-Player-designed course lies at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountain range and with a hotel on its ground it’s the perfect place for a family break. The hotel has facilities such as a spa with an indoor heated Roman bath, children’s club, teen lounge, gym, cinema and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Leopard Creek – Mpumalanga

On the banks of the Crocodile River and a stone’s throw away from the Kruger National Park sightings hippo, crocodile, giraffe, buck and elephant are not unusual on this highly-rated course, which makes for a truly unique golfing experience. This is the ideal spot to combine golf and a safari.

Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club – Gauteng

The East Course at this club has been named Africa’s best course, has made it into the world’s top 30 courses and has hosted 11 Johannesburg Opens and nine SA Open Championships. It’s one not to miss.

Arabella, Kleinmond – Western Cape

Located in the Kogelberg Biosphere, close to Hermanus (recently named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy) and with a luxurious hotel and spa on-site, Arabella is a great spot to get away from it all.

Simola, Knysna – Western Cape

When you’re not playing a round, enjoy magnificent views over the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course from the restaurant and bar at the five-star hotel on the grounds.

Gary Player Championship Course, Sun City – North West

The only course out of hundreds that Gary Player has designed that bears his name hosts the Nedbank Golf Challenge – one of the world’s richest golf tournaments – each year. The course is conveniently situated in Sun City Resort making it another golfing-holiday destination.


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Blair Atholl Golf Estate, Centurion – Gauteng

This course is the third-longest course in the world and was also designed by Gary Player, who lived at this estate previously. The looping course is described as ‘perfect for scratch players to test their mettle’.

Mount Edgecomb – KwaZulu-Natal

Mount Edgecomb, inland of Umhlanga Rocks, boasts two championship courses which lie among the hills of the KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast. One review described the courses as the ‘ideal for any handicap’.


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Image credit: Leopard Creek

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