Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life Passings -

It is 25 years since Peter Matkovich first in­tro­duced his dy­namic style of risk-and-re­ward course de­sign to South African golfers, at the be­gin­ning of the golf es­tate boom that was soon to en­gulf this coun­try dur­ing the rest of the 1990s. San Lameer Coun­try Club, cut out of trop­i­cal bush, rolling hills, and swamp­land on the KZN South Coast, was a re­mark­able cre­ation that few golfers in this coun­try had ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore.

San Lameer was the ex­act op­po­site of your stereo­typ­i­cal course de­sign. Matkovich made golfers sit up and take no­tice with mul­ti­ple wa­ter haz­ards, un­du­lat­ing greens, ex­treme el­e­va­tion changes, and a sub­lime par-3 hole, the fourth, that looked tougher to play than the fa­mous 12th hole at Au­gusta Na­tional. The course re­mains a fun ex­pe­ri­ence, and still a won­der­ful chal­lenge with its unique holes. It has proved a great tour­na­ment venue over the year, and in May hosted the SA Coun­try Dis­tricts.

There has been big in­vest­ment in ren­o­vat­ing the club­house and im­prov­ing the course which has taken the club to a new level un­der golf direc­tor Meyer du Toit. Rounds have al­most dou­bled as a re­sult. Un­der Du Toit’s guid­ance, San Lameer has be­come a more playable lay­out than ever be­fore, with more gen­er­ous land­ing ar­eas, while new grass on the greens a few years ago has trans­formed the con­di­tion­ing. It was No 69 in the last Golf Digest Top 100. Mem­o­rable hole: There are many, but pos­si­bly the most thrilling tee shot comes on the down­hill par-3 ninth next to the club­house, to a green cut into the edge of a wa­ter haz­ard. Golf direc­tor: Meyer du Toit.

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