A RICH HISTORY
The story and inspiration behind the idea of the Extreme 19th started in November 2000. Legend has it that the rst time anybody ever landed by helicopter on Hanglip Mountain was when resort founder, developer and CEO, Peet Cilliers, celebrated his 41st birthday on the mountain, as a ‘surprise family picnic’ from his wife, Mart. This amazing experience was the beginning of the unique ‘helicopter breakfast on Hanglip mountain’, which many groups and guests from both Entabeni and Legend continue to enjoy to this day. When Peet ew a friend by helicopter on the mountain to share this experience with a sundowner bottle of wine, showing him the building of the golf course in progress, he asked: “Now why don’t you also hit a golf ball from here?” Another glass of wine and it was decided to do just that and to make the target a huge green some 400 metres below.
On rst investigation, building the Extreme 19th seemed impossible to work in practice and the golf course designers, who were approached, thought it was a mad idea. Finally the quote given to build the hole was roughly R5-million - a ‘hefty punt’ to take! Peet, as the developer, couldn’t resist taking the risk and leap of faith that this would actually work, which became one of his best decisions ever.
Within months it was done. It was decided that the hole would be built by a contractor and overseen by David Riddle, the golf director at the time, who designed the green in the shape of Africa. Teams of golfers and assistants had been employed to be the “guinea pigs” with protective headwear, including a World War 1 helmet and motorcycle crash helmets, to plot the position of balls hit from the mountain with a variety of clubs.
All this in the heart of wild African Bushveld, in Big 5 territory. Lions were a regular reason to take to the trees and stop work.
After a few months of hard work, a green in the shape of Africa took shape and emerged from the bush. Thus was born one of golf ’s greatest global attractions.