Kat­berg Eco es­tate

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Promotion -

My next des­ti­na­tion, af­ter Olive­wood, was the Kat­berg Eco es­tate. I had an in­ter­est­ing drive, to­wards a largely empty moun­tain­ous wilder­ness which also in­cludes the Hogs­back.Af­ter de­tour­ing through Komga, which has a 9-holer, I took the new N6 high­way to Cath­cart, a wide and fast road com­pli­mented by the most pic­turesque scenery. I was told this was the best way to reach Kat­berg from East Lon­don, even though you first have to drive north, be­fore turn­ing south again.There’s no di­rect route through the moun­tains.At Cath­cart you turn off for the R67 and the beau­ti­ful Nico Malan Pass which takes you down to Sey­mour and then via dirt roads to Kat­berg.

The es­tate is 930 me­tres above sea level, and it’s a stun­ning prop­erty for those who en­joy peace and tran­quil­ity. Now that the old re­sort ho­tel has been closed, the only ac­com­mo­da­tion is in houses on the es­tate.With no shop you need to bring in all your pro­vi­sions, although there is a pub/restau­rant at the club­house. Pop­u­lar at week­ends, it’s a place to re­lax and es­cape the out­side world, and there’s few to match it in that re­spect.

Golf Data built an 18-hole course in 2008, and Kat Leisure own this and Si­mola in Knysna.The course is 5 661 me­tres from the tips, and the lay­out can thus be en­joyed by good golfers and novices alike. Small­ish greens and the hilly na­ture of the holes make for a pleas­ant chal­lenge, and the con­di­tion­ing is re­mark­able for some­where so re­mote. It ends with a su­perb par 3 from a high tee down to­wards the club­house.

Kat­berg is al­most equidis­tant from both Port Elizabeth and East Lon­don, no more than 2½ hours by car. I re­turned to PE via Gra­ham­stown, and then went on to St Fran­cis Bay, stop­ping off at Wedge­wood, an­other ex­cel­lent new Golf Data course which has en­tered the Golf Di­gest Top 100. It’s a re­mod­elling of the orig­i­nal Wedg­wood, which you can recog­nise in places on the hilly back nine. It’s a pay-and-play fa­cil­ity, and is prov­ing pop­u­lar among PE golfers, be­ing good value, en­ter­tain­ing to play, and pos­sess­ing bent grass greens of a supremely good qual­ity. Bay

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