The Garden Route is famous for its green spaces, from rugged mountain valleys to untouched forests, but there is another kind of green space that also attracts many travelers to the region - the area’s fantastic golf courses!
The Garden Route is home to more than 25 golf courses that attract golfers, from amateurs to the world’s best professionals. If you’re planning a golfing getaway up South Africa’s coast give yourself enough time to enjoy the diverse courses on offer.
But before we look at the courses in detail, here's an example of an ideal golfing in the Garden Route Itinerary:
6 nights in Knysna playing the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay Courses. You can book a room at Alkira Lodge, or should you prefer an exclusive-use villa for 2 or up to 20 friends, choose from Beautiful Knysna Villas or Beacon House luxury apartments at the waters edge with wonderful views. If you let the staff at Beautiful Knysna Villas know your requirements, they will recommend the best accommodation for you and will arrange t-off times for you at any of the local courses, in-house meals with their private chef, and road transfers too if required.
If you would like a day of rest; lazing at your pool, or in the hot tub, or enjoying a massage, eating, shopping, hiking, boating, and biking, or exploring other aspects of this beautiful part of the world, then you may like to stay longer?
Beautiful Knysna Villas offers discounts on stays from 7 nights to all summer long. You might even be in the enviable position to join a tradition of ‘Swallows’, the affectionate term by the locals for travelers who follow the sun and return to their Knysna ‘home’ each year to escape the European winter and enjoy the very well priced green fees offered by these golf courses, delicious and affordable restaurants and the varied natural beauty of the area.
Keep reading to discover our TOP golf courses that are easily accessible from the popular and scenic town of Knysna.
One of the most played courses in the Garden Route. This much-awarded course cannot be missed. It is famous for its outstanding scenic beauty and incredible panoramic views. Pezula was designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA to suit even the most advanced golfers, with the first hole arguably the most challenging and setting you up for an interesting game. Carts are a requirement for players on this course and are included in the green fee along with a halfway house meal.
Perched above Knysna, framed by the Outeniqua Mountains and forests, Simola Golf Estate features a magnificent course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Simola is the first course in South Africa to be designed by this golfing great. Nicklaus designed the course to take advantage of the natural terrain and the result is an exquisite 18-hole, par 72 Championship Course that boasts incredible views. Unlike some of the other golf courses in the area, the wind doesn’t really play a factor on this course and this allows a pleasant test of skill from beginners to professionals. Carts are a requirement for players on this course and are included in your green fee along with a halfway house meal.
The Knysna Golf Club course has seen extensive renovations over the years with new additions of Crenshaw bent grass greens, tidal pools, channels, and bunkers. The hazardous water features and shapely bunkers make this course attractive and interesting. If you are up for a gentle stroll through tree-lined fairways, looking out for flowers and birds along the way, and enjoy a friendly 19th hole chitchatting with the locals, then the Knysna Golf Club is for you. This course doesn’t pose the extreme challenge of some of the other golf courses in the area and is one of the few that can be walked.
Set in a private nature reserve, the Plettenberg Bay Country Club features an 18 hole par 72 golf course as well as two bowling greens and four all-weather tennis courts. The club is busy with both locals and tourists and provides a tranquil escape amongst indigenous flora and fauna. You may be entertained by the antics of vervet monkeys and beautiful birds, including the elusive Knysna Loerie, as you make your way around the course. The course is easy to walk while carts are also available for rental.
Designed by Gary Player, the 18 hole golf course at Goose Valley Golf Club is located in pristine surroundings, with a great setting overlooking the Keurbooms River lagoon. The quality bunkers of this course provide the biggest challenge for golfers while thick, regional fynbos lines many of the fairways. This indigenous vegetation provides a home for a number of animal and bird species including tortoises, small buck, and more. Look out to sea while playing and you may also be lucky enough to spot some whales or dolphins in the bay! Golf cart hire is an option but the course is easily walkable while a driving range with practice, chipping, and putting facilities is also available for testing your skills.
Located at beautiful Herold’s Bay near George, Oubaai Golf Club is home to three times Major Championship Winner Ernie Els’ first signature designed course in South Africa. The course features a links layout, covering more than 6.5km. It offers players spectacular views of the mountains and the sea, while the moderate difficulty appeals to a wide range of skills. Facilities include golf cart rental, a driving range, two practice putting greens, and a clubhouse with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.
Offering players a traditional woodlands course, the George Golf Club is very well maintained and loved by locals and travellers alike. This is one of the oldest courses in South Africa, established in 1906, and along with a rich history, boasts picturesque views of the surrounding mountains. The traditional parkland-style course has held its basic shape since 1937 with the signature 17th hole voted as one of the top 500 holes in the world. The course is easily walkable with a gorgeous halfway house providing the perfect spot to rest and enjoy nature.
Pinnacle Point offers iconic views out to the sea, with a dramatic setting perched on the clifftops. Its dramatic setting may mean it has some of the best golf course views in the world but it also means players need to take strong winds into consideration! Large drops and elevations also add to the challenge this course presents. While walking this course is the best way to really enjoy those spectacular views, golf carts are also available to rent.
Fancourt offers three major golf courses, including their exclusive links course which is one of the toughest courses in the country. To play all three courses on Fancourt players need to stay at Fancourt where they will then enjoy the opportunity for a varied golfing experience. For amateurs, the estate’s Outeniqua and Montagu 18-hole courses have both been designed by legendary Grand Slam golfer Gary Player. The courses provide a fun test for players of all skill levels while a full-length range and a chipping and bunker area allow you to get in some practice swings before your game. Packages can be booked that includes access to all three courses, a caddy, and your golf cart.