FAIRWAYS & FAMILY FUN AT SUN CITY
Two premier golf courses offer a diverse offering for golfers.
Sun City’s two premier golf courses lie at the heart of a resort complex that prides itself on being a destination for the entire family, and the character of each course reflects the diversity of this offering.
The Gary Player Country Club is the recognised flagship course within the Sun International collection. This par-72 layout was opened in the late 1970s and from the start has been a championship test of the highest calibre.
From early days hosting the Sun City Classic on the Sunshine Tour, to becoming the home of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, hosted by Gary Player, this course has seen all the legends of the game compete on its fairways.
It remains a bucket list experience for golfers. “Every year after the Nedbank Golf Challenge our phones never stop ringing with requests from people to play the course they’ve seen on TV,” says Sun City Golf Director Ken Payet. “Our job is to make sure they come here, have a great golf experience and go away and tell their friends and family.”
To this end, the versatility of the course has seen it serve as a challenge for the world’s leading professionals while also hosting top women’s tournaments and amateur events. “It has stood the test of time,” confirms Sally Little, South Africa’s most successful female professional with multiple victories on the LPGA Tour.
Even in the modern era the course commands respect from the very best.
“Pretty much everything in your game must be on song. It’s a brutal test, especially when the wind starts swirling,” says 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge champion Branden Grace, who shares most South Africans’ love for the course as well as the tournament it hosts. “There’s nothing like this tournament. It’s a great week. For me growing up as a South African, it’s our African Major. This is what we dream of. This is the tournament to play in.”
The resort’s other course, The Lost City Golf Course, is also a regular host of professional and amateur tournaments and presents an entirely different golf experience. It has more of an African feel to it, and is probably closer to designer Gary Player’s heart than his other more famous course at Sun City.
“It’s a course that is unique in character. The bushveld atmosphere gives it that African feel, and in that sense I always feel like I’m truly at home when I play there. I think it’s a fabulous advertisement for what golf in Africa is truly like,” says Player.
The Black Knight is so fond of The Lost City Golf Course that he annually hosts his Gary Player Invitational, presented by Coca-Cola, charity tournament there.
Sun City’s golf offering is complimented by a variety of entertainment that includes everything from gaming to watersports, and game drives to adrenaline-charged zipline rides. It’s an experience recognised by even the world’s top professional golfers as unlike anything they find elsewhere. That’s certainly the opinion of 2016 Nedbank Golf Challenge champion Alex Noren. “This place is amazing. It has everything.”