OUDTSHOORN – GAR­DEN ROUTE / KA­ROO

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Must Play Courses - Gideon Baden­horst. Win­ston Co­ere­cius.

Vis­i­tors can al­ways ex­pect a friendly wel­come at one of the old­est golf clubs in the re­gion, whether it’s to play golf, or have a drink in the club­house over­look­ing the course, and look at the mem­o­ra­bilia. Oudtshoorn not only has the only 18-hole course in the Ka­roo with grass greens, fair­ways and tees, but the lay­out was de­signed by the late great Bob Grims­dell, who cre­ated some mem­o­rable holes in a harsh dry land­scape.

The “new” course was opened 60 years ago, on May 31, 1957, and it has been en­joyed by many golfers in that time. It used to host the SA Coun­try Dis­tricts In­ter­provin­cial – the Ka­roo Golf Union us­ing it as their home base. The club is not as busy as it once was, but it con­tin­ues to be a rare Ka­roo gem which should be played by any keen golfer pass­ing through this quaint town with its many tourist at­trac­tions.

Golfers suf­fer­ing wet weather in the Gar­den Route, on the coastal side of the Outeni­qua moun­tain range, should al­ways con­sider driv­ing over the Outeni­qua pass to play golf at Oudtshoorn, which is bound to be dry! It’s just 64 kilo­me­tres from Ge­orge.

A hous­ing de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing a re­tire­ment home, ad­join­ing the course has been ap­proved by the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and this could ben­e­fit the golf club to the ex­tent of their get­ting a new club­house, irri- gation sys­tem and bent grass for the greens.

The par-72 course mea­sures 6 210 me­tres from the back trees, and trees line ev­ery hole. Bunkers are few and far be­tween, and there are three wa­ter haz­ards. The greens have a mix­ture of Bayview and bent grass. Vis­i­tors are wel­come in Wed­nes­day and Satur­day com­pe­ti­tions, when the green fee is R190. Phone 044 2724201. Mem­o­rable holes: Oudtshoorn has the “Horse­shoe” from 11 to 13 where three pars is a good score. On the par-4 11th you drive through a nar­row gap of trees, avoid­ing a dam on the right. The 12th is a pic­turesque par 3 guarded by two dams, and 13 is a par 5, again with the dam on the right, and thorn bushes on the left. Club cap­tain: Pres­i­dent:

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