Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Must Play Courses -

Peter Matkovich has drawn much ac­claim for his links-style de­sign at the up­mar­ket Ebotse es­tate in Benoni, where he used vast quan­ti­ties of sand from a dis­used quarry to cre­ate a mas­ter­piece of a lay­out that is unique to the Gaut­eng re­gion. A few years ago the golf club elected to add the word Links to their name to con­vey to golfers how proud they were of this con­nec­tion. It is ranked No 32 in the Golf Di­gest Top 100.

Stand­ing on the tee of the first hole, with dunes lin­ing each side of the fair­way, and an­other tow­er­ing be­hind the green, it’s easy to con­vince your­self that you could be in Ire­land or Scot­land. The links de­sign theme con­tin­ues through­out all 18 holes, al­though some stand out more than oth­ers.

Built on the site of a quarry, and ad­join­ing a large dam which is used for water­sports, Ebotse Links of­fers a great deal of va­ri­ety from one hole to the next. The ter­rain un­du­lates on the first nine, while the par-3 11th is played from a high tee to a green perched far be­low on the edge of an­other large dam. That’s fol­lowed by a lengthy par 5 which skirts the wa­ter’s edge from tee to green, and then a short par 4 where you can drive the green. It’s ex­cit­ing stuff!

Ebotse have re­cently com­pleted an up­grade to their club­house, with R12 mil­lion spent on re­fur­bish­ments which have trans­formed the dou­ble-storey build­ing, cre­at­ing more space and out­door ar­eas over­look­ing the dam. They have also ap­pointed a new CEO, Stephan Vorster, for­merly the es­tate man­ager. Mem­o­rable hole: There are many at Ebotse, but many like the short par-3 eighth, with its el­e­vated green set against a back­drop of the main dam. Golf Di­rec­tor: Craig Stick­ling.

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