SAN LAMEER - KZN
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.