The magnificent 18-hole championship golf course needs little introduction offering a regular challenge to both local and international golfers. The course is a Parklands type design, and makes for a challenging day out. The original layout, designed by Ken Elkin, who designed many of the Capes better known courses, has seen several improvements of late. Playing here early "before the field" must rate as the most peaceful golfing experience possible. Standing on the first tee, one immediately senses the magnificence of the natural beauty of the Stellenbosch mountains and vineyards, one of the main reasons the course is enjoyed by members and visitors time after time.
The name 'De Zalze' originates from the early wine farmers who produced wines on the three adjoining farms, namely Kleine Zalze, Groote Zalze and De Vleie, in the region. The historical buildings on the estate date back to 1838. De Zalze Golf Course was opened for play in November 2000 under the name Spier Country Club. It was only in December 2003 with the opening of the new clubhouse that it changed to trade as De Zalze Golf Club, in line with the De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate development. Renowned golf course architect, Peter Matkovich, designed the De Zalze Golf Course, making most of the stunning setting while placing a premium on accuracy. De Zalze offers a fine mix of parkland holes, its main defences being the water features on several of the holes. The oak-lined Blaauwklippen River winds its way through the golf estate and comes into play at various intervals.
Since the opening in 2000, De Zalze was quick to reap awards. De Zalze is consistently ranked in the Top 30 courses in the South Africa, as well as being ranked amongst the top 4 courses in the Cape Town / Winelands region and amongst the top 30 best conditioned courses in SA per Golf Digest magazine 2009. De Zalze has hosted a number of prestigious national golf events including the SA Amateur, SA Senior Amateur and SA Mid Amateur championships since 2005. De Zalze was selected to host the 2006 World Amateur Team Championships (Eisenhower & Espirito Santo Trophies), where the South African Ladies won for the very first time! De Zalze also received a service-orientated "Five-Star Golf Experience" Award, awarded by Compleat Golfer magazine, joining only about 20 other courses out of over 450 courses throughout South Africa to achieve this honour.
Hermanus, on the Cape South Coast, is a charming fishing village famous for the whales that come here annually to calve. Due to this influx, the Hermanus Golf Club has always experienced heavy traffic at certain times of the year. Despite this, the club, blessed with a dedicated and professional management has over many years deservedly gained a reputation for excellent year round standards. In 2006, this classic country course has undergone a major overhaul with the introduction of nine new holes, based around a new real estate component, and the charming and gentle layout of the past has been replaced with modern classically designed holes, that have added much to both the visual and challenging aspects of the course, without losing any sense of its former tradition.
This tradition, created by original designer Bob Grimsdell, which was based around the gentle mountain surrounds, sea views and country hospitality, and though those ingredients remain, this golfing venue has truly reached a new level. This is not surprising, as South Africa's foremost golf course architect, Peter Matkovich, was retained to infuse his special brand of flair and experience to maximise the potential on this scenic and gentle landscape. The flair is immediately noticeable in the use of new water and rocky features, as well as the introduction of visually pleasant grassy mounds adding definition and shape to the 27 holes.
At the Metropolitan Golf Club you enjoy your game in the most centrally situated green belt of Cape Town and adjacent to the V&A Waterfront, with magnificent views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill. The Metropolitan course has a variety of greens and tee's which result in a different challenge on the second round. In 1895 the Green and Sea Point Golf Club was founded and the first match between the club and Cape Golf Club (now Royal Cape Golf Club) was played in 1896. In 2006 the club was approached by council to accommodate the building of a new football stadium on the existing golf course. This was due to the fact that the country and Cape Town had obtained the rights to host the 2010 world cup football matches. After consultation with all its members and working closely with the city of Cape Town, approval was given by the club to redesign the golf course whereby all stakeholders were accommodated. The new design was approved at a special meeting in 2008 and the club will take possession in April 2010 of the new golf course.
The masterplan was shaped by the vision of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his unique touch is evident throughout the course at Pearl Valley Golf Estates. Nicklaus, who was recent named 'the most influential man in golf' in a prominent international golf magazine, has used his wealth of knowledge and experience in the game to develop a truly stunning golf course. Officially opened at the beginning of November, 2003 by Nicklaus and South African great, Gary Player, Pearl Valley Golf Estates was named 'best new golf course of the year' by Golf Digest magazine in 2005 and is currently ranked the '5th best course in South Africa' and 2nd best conditioned by Golf Digest. During the 2008 South African Open, 2007 US Masters Champion Trevor Immelman was full of praise saying, "I really feel like these fairways; they are some of the best, if not the best, that I've ever played on". In 2009, Pearl Valley was crowned "best Golf Estate" in South Africa by Golf Digest magazine.
To meet the 'Golden Bear's' uncompromising standards of golf course design and aesthetic beauty, a combination of the deep, lush green on the fairways and greens, together with the brilliant white river sand lining the 81 bunkers was carefully planned to make Pearl Valley Golf Estates the most visually spectacular golf course in the country and arguably the world.
If you are interested in professional golf assistance the golf-pro at Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Anna Becker-Frankel, will be able to help you with anything golf related. She is available to work on your woods, irons, bunker play, chipping, pitching or putting. You can book her for individual or group lessons or for 9 holes.
Anna started playing golf in 1983. She represented her country, Sweden, on many occasions worldwide and has won a gold medal at the European Team Championships. In 1996, she played college golf for Texas A&M University and in 2000 graduated with a degree in marketing. The same year she turned pro, Anna played on the Ladies European Tour for 4 years. Since 2004, she have been teaching at two clubs in Sweden as well as coaching the girls national team (under 17s). In between lessons and coaching jobs, she has played on the Swedish Tour – a feeder tour to the Ladies European Tour.
Website: www.devonvale.co.za (pro's corner)