Protea 6301 metres, CR73.9/143
Springbok 5986 metres, CR72.0/141
Galjoen 5603 metres, CR69.9/138
Yellowwood 5099 metres, CR68.4/131
Blue Crane 4953 metres, CR 66.6/126
Galjoen women, CR76.2/140
Yellowwood women, CR74.4/135
Blue Crane women, CR72.1/130
Visitor green fee
High season, Nov 1 to March 31
Hotel guest R1155 (includes halfway house)
Low season, April 1 to Oct 31
R975; Cart hire R520
No day visitors allowed
Gary Player 1997.
044 804 0030
Fancourt is South Africa’s premier resort experience, a major conference centre, and a winner of numerous international awards. The Garden Route region has much to offer golfing visitors, and Golf Digest voted it South Africa’s No 1 golf destination.
The resort offers guests two magnificent 18-hole courses, the Montagu and Outeniqua, which are ranked in South Africa’s Top 20. Under Covid-19 protocols, both courses are only for the use of members and hotel guests. No day visitors are permitted.
While both are challenging layouts on gently undulating terrain, the Outeniqua is the shorter of the two courses from the men’s back tees, and most golfers tend to find scoring easier there. The Springbok markers (men’s club tees) are 5 986 metres (6 546 yards) compared to 6 324 metres (6 916 yards) on the adjoining Montagu course.
What these two courses have in common is superb conditioning, and fast-paced firm greens which put a premium on the short game.
A round at the Outeniqua begins in front of the outside deck of Monet’s restaurant, and the undulating opening hole, a short par 4, gives a good impression of what lies ahead. There are water hazards on 11 holes, and the course is well bunkered from tee to green. The Outeniqua, unlike the Montagu, is an out-and-back layout through the Fancourt residential estate, and only returns to the clubhouse after 18 holes. There is a separate halfway house.
The terrain is constantly changing, with notable elevation changes in places, particularly along the tree-lined boundary of the property.
When golfers leave the 13th green they enter into a beautiful parkland arena of five holes gathered around water hazards which constitute a memorable closing stretch. There are two strong par 4s, a par 3 with a peninsula green extending into the water, a downhill par 5 reachable in two yet with water closely guarding the green, and a shortish par 4 to finish.
Fancourt has a strong local community caddie programme, and golfers playing the Montagu or Outeniqua can either employ them to carry bags or serve as forecaddies for golfers using carts.
Fancourt has no official records, but 61 was scored on the Outeniqua in the 2020 Dimension Data Pro-Am by Christiaan Bezuidenhout, the winner that year.
The Outeniqua has an outstanding variety of holes so that every tee box offers a new experience. The par 3s each offer a different challenge, and the fourth is regarded as the most fearsome, with water guarding the left half of the green. The fifth is a fabulous short par 4, water running along the entire right side of the hole from tee to green. The 11th is one of South Africa’s best par 5s, a cleverly constructed dogleg right hole which has a stream curving through and around the fairway all the way to a water hazard left of the green. Any ball missing the green on that side runs down a slope into the water.
Guests staying at Fancourt have a range of luxury accommodation to choose from. There are 113 guest rooms and suites, either in The Manor House (18 suites) or elsewhere on the estate. Its facilities include four restaurants, a spa, gym, hair salon, business centre, four swimming pools, tennis courts, a leisure centre with Kidz Club, cycling, hiking and jogging trails. There is a discount on green fees for hotel guests.
There is a full-size range and warm-up facility with multiple bays close to the first tee of the Outeniqua, with a large short-game area, separate greens for putting and chipping.
1/ Each tee marker represents national emblems. The Protea is the national flower, Springbok the national animal, Galjoen the national fish, Yellowwood the national tree, and Blue Crane the national bird.
2/ Pace of play is monitored by marshalls. Golfers are given four hours 30 minutes to complete a round. The halfway house is included in the green fee.
3/ Southern Africa Hall of Fame member John Bland lives at Fancourt, and joins members and guests for the weekly roll-up on a Monday on either the Outeniqua or Montagu courses. His wife Sonja is an 11-time club champion at Fancourt.
4/ A separate practice facility, close to Fancourt Links, is home to The Academy at Fancourt, which is managed by Doug Wood and Garth Milne of Wanna Be A Champion Golf & Fitness Academy. The Academy utilises the latest technology. Val Holland is the head coach.
5/ Fancourt regularly hosts Sunshine Tour events, beginning with the Hall of Fame tournament in 1991. The Presidents Cup was at The Links in 2003 and Women’s World Cup in 2005.
6/ Since 2010 the resort has hosted the Dimension Data Pro-Am in February. 156 professionals and 156 amateurs play in betterball teams over all three resort courses.
7/ The Heritage Classic, last played in September 2019, has been cancelled.
2020 Kyle de Beer & Sonja Bland
2019 Ben van Wyk & Annelie Swanepoel
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