wo-thirds of the courses in the Eastern Cape are rural 9-holers, and several of them are worth making a detour to play. Graaff-Reinet in the Karoo was ranked among South Africa’s 10 best 9-hole courses in Golf Digest’s 2013 rankings, and it is a gem of a course, next to the Sundays River. GraaffReinet itself is the fourth oldest settler town in South Africa, 230 years old, and was once an independent colony. The golf club was founded in 1897, but this is a relatively new course, opened in 1994.
Golf in this country had its roots firmly in the Eastern Cape. Such was the popularity of the game here among the stock of British settlers that 15 clubs were founded in the 1890s. Country town golf clubs are generally struggling today with a lack of members and money, and several have closed in the Eastern Cape. Conditioning is not what it used to be, but notable 9-hole courses include Fynbos, Hankey and Zwartenbosch in the west, Cradock, Somerset East, Bedford and Stutterheim in the hinterland, and Kei Mouth at the start of the Wild Coast. Port Elizabeth has two 9-holers in Walmer Golf Club, now part of an estate, and Shark River, while Gonubie in East London has proved to be a popular club. One of the remotest courses is at Barkly East near the Lesotho mountains.
Tel: 011 397 6671 Fax: 086 615 8280