Yellow 6215 metres, CR 73.5/136
White 5864 metres, CR72.4/132
Blue 5392 metres, CR69.3/124
Red 4945 metres, CR67.9/117
Women’s blue, CR74.9/137
Women’s red, CR72.9/128
R400 affiliated; R500 non-affiliated
Golf Data 2000
021 553 2223
When The R&A first introduced International Final Qualifying venues for the Open Championship, their immediate choice in South Africa in 2004 was the new Atlantic Beach course at Melkbosstrand, 30 kilometres north from the Cape Town CBD. The linksy look of Atlantic Beach and the prevailing wind closely resembled the conditions you would expect to find at the Open. Today, Atlantic Beach is one of the country’s most successful golf estates, sold out with 860 homes, and the course retains that firm and fast links look.
Atlantic Beach, close to the ocean and Robben Island, has stunning views of Table Mountain, and offers a different golf experience to the other courses in the Western Cape. It has a rugged natural look, with the holes shaped and running in varied directions amidst indigenous Cape fynbos. The wind is usually a factor, but the layout has generously wide fairways. The greens are presented so they accept running shots into the pin, with swales and run-off areas. It is a wonderful winter venue in the Cape, with the sandy soil draining quickly after rain.
Atlantic Beach suffered during the 2018 Cape water crisis when their effluent water supply built up a high concentration of sodium and chloride. The greens are now superb, while the fairways – reseeded with a drought resistant cynodon – have only partially recovered through continuing lack of water. The crisis enabled Atlantic Beach to be better prepared and water wise for the future.
63 by James Kingston, 2004 Open Qualifying
The opener at Atlantic Beach is a magnificent links hole, a daunting 404-metre par 4 where you tee off in front of the clubhouse. Australian Darius Oliver, in his book Planet Golf, rated it among his best 18 holes in the world. The left side of the fairway rises to a low sandy dune, and then falls away steeply into a valley before the green. Look out for some creative greens complexes, notably at the par-5 sixth which has two levels, a flat upper tier on the left, and a steeply sloping section on the right.
The Lodge at Atlantic Beach is a 20-room boutique hotel inside the estate and close to the clubhouse with a spa and leisure centre.
Driving range on estate with 250-metre carry, and home to A2B Academy headed by Blanche Lamprecht.
1/ The South African flag is proudly displayed on each of the 18 flagsticks.
2/ The men’s club champion is 14-year-old Jack Buchanan, son of past champion Giles Buchanan.
3/ Foreign visitors love the estate’s tranquil surroundings, and magnificent herd of springbok on the course.
4/ Atlantic Beach is the only SA club with a GEO certificate for work fostering nature, using resources responsibly, and supporting the local community.
5/ International Final Qualifying for the Open Championship was twice held at Atlantic Beach, in 2004 and 2005.
6/ On May 21, 2003, Atlantic Beach members Clive van Druten and Giles Buchanan had consecutive holes-in-one at the seventh (now 16th), both using 8-irons.
Jack Buchanan (age 14) & Ashleigh Mills
Atlantic Beach is one of the unsung gems among coastal courses in South Africa. It is 20 years since it opened and the more I play it the more I appreciate how uniquely interesting and challenging this layout has become. It has so many of the characteristics of a true links, with a fabulous variety of holes. It is unconventional compared to all the other Cape layouts -- designer Mark Muller was creative with his terrific greens complexes -- and this to me makes it so much fun to play in the right conditions. The current conditioning is excellent.
An awesome layout, challenge, aesthetics. Current struggle with water supply has hampered fairway conditioning.
Unfortunately the effects of Cape Town's water crisis is still evident here, although the greens remain excellent.
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