The dramatic Extreme 19th hole is just one of many challenges facing golfers at South Africa’s Legend Golf & Safari Resort.
THE VIEW FROM THE DRAMATIC 19TH HOLE IS JUST ONE OF MANY ATTRACTIONS – AND CHALLENGES – ON OFFER AT SOUTH AFRICA’S LEGEND GOLF & SAFARI RESORT.
To play the Extreme 19th, a bonus hole at South Africa’s Legend Golf & Safari Resort, you take a helicopter to the peak of a red-hued sandstone mountain. The tee box at the top affords a view of the 22,000-hectare Entabeni Safari Conservancy – and the 365-metre vertical drop to the green. The Signature course is notable for more than just its bonus hole, however. The layout is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among 18 PGA Tour professionals, including Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomery and Jim Furyk. A designer created the basic footprint and then each golfer shaped one of the course’s holes into his own design. Altogether, the layouts form a course of elephantine dimensions, running some 7,772m through the bush at the foot of Hanglip Mountain. Fences shield the Signature course from lions and other native predators that roam the surrounding Entabeni Game Reserve, about three and a half hours’ drive from Johannesburg, but golfers encounter freely roaming giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and other benign creatures throughout the grounds. The reserve itself forms the bulk of the greater Entabeni Safari Conservancy and spans mountains, bush, lakes and streams. But the Extreme 19 is its most memorable. At 704m, the world’s highest par 3 is also the longest. Depending on wind conditions, the hole requires the equivalent of a 250m-275m shot. A short fairway rolls down to the green, which is shaped like the African continent and framed by sand. Staff at the tee box communicate via walkie-talkie with a caddy ranger positioned near the green to locate balls. Playing the Extreme 19th costs about NZ$390, a supplement to the $86 fee for a round on the Legend Signature course. The price includes the chopper ride and a DVD recording of your experience. Actuaries say the odds of a hole in one are one in 100,000, but the figure to note is US$1 million – the prize the Legend resort will award to anyone who achieves the unlikely feat.