Yellow 6506 metres, CR75.3/146
White 6202 metres, CR73.3/142
Blue 5840 metres, CR70.6/139
Red 5222 metres, CR68.4/129
Women’s blue, CR76.9/142
Women’s red, CR73.7/134
R1 375 without cart
Gary Player 1995
021 847 1144
Erinvale is blessed with a rare scenic site in South Africa, the back nine of the Gary Player course traversing the upper slopes of the Helderberg mountain overlooking Somerset West and the False Bay coastline. The tenth tee looks down from a height above the clubhouse. It’s the only Player design anywhere near Cape Town.
Erinvale was the first golf estate in the Cape Peninsula and Winelands, and the Somerset West development has been one of the success stories, thanks to its timely opening in 1995 which coincided with an upsurge in the local economy.
Developer David Gant had initially considered a basic course design, but Player convinced him to build a championship layout, which was the making of Erinvale. While it’s a mighty challenge for professionals from the black tees, the course scores high in playability for golfers from forward tees.
The front nine is flat, with water in play on six holes, while the back nine becomes a little more arduous for walkers as its holes climb the mountain slope. The beauty of the design though is that the holes play along the side of the slope, before you make the downhill run from the 15th. Golfers on the par-4 17th face one of the most daunting tee shots in the Cape, over the crest of a ridge with a fence on the right separating the estate from a nature reserve.
The once modest clubhouse has grown in size and been upgraded several times over the years, and architecturally fits in beautifully against its surroundings, making it one of the finest in the Cape.
63 by Hennie Otto, 2005 Vodacom Origins
The closing holes at Erinvale, both strong par 4s, run parallel to each other, finishing side-by-side in front of the clubhouse. For the SA Opens in 2003 and 2004 the European Tour flipped them around so that the tournament finished on the club’s ninth hole. It has a long, narrow green guarded by a stream on the left and bunkers on the right.
The Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa is a luxury Cape Dutch Style establishment just outside the entrance gate to the estate and golf course.
World Cup of Golf 1996, won by South Africa.
SA Open in 2003 and 2004, both won by Trevor Immelman.
Good-sized range a short walk from clubhouse, home to the EOGA Golf Academy
1/ Trevor Immelman, who won his two SA Open trophies at Erinvale, grew up in Somerset West and as a 15-year-old played golf at Erinvale with course designer Gary Player the year it opened.
2/ Erinvale had only been open for 18 months when the club hosted the 1996 World Cup of Golf, the first in South Africa. It attracted huge galleries in support of the victorious SA team of Ernie Els and Wayne Westner. Having a successful World Cup helped secure SA the Presidents Cup in 2003.
3/ The World Cup crowds were so festive and noisy that Ernie Els had to quieten them down: “We’re here to play golf, not rugby,” he said.
4/ Erinvale was originally a fruit farm owned by two Irish sisters, who sold to property developer David Gant in 1989. The word Erin is a romantic name for Ireland.
Philip Taberer & Vicky Traut
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