George - Garden Route
General manager: Liesel Quinn
Head professional: Rob Wiederkehr
Golf director: Clifford Howes
Greenkeeper: Ivan van Heerden
Club captains: Ymke Schutte & Elizma Joubert
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 64.5 out of 100
Conditioning14.5 / 20
Playability13.9 / 20
Aesthetics9.0 / 15
Design Variety9.1 / 15
Shot Values10.3 / 15
Memorability7.7 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
Yellow 6206 metres, CR73.0/139
White 5897 metres, CR71.6/136
Blue 5544 metres, CR69.6/134
Red 4969 metres, CR67.2/116
Women’s White, CR78.0/138
Women’s Blue, CR75.6/134
Women’s Red, CR71.7/127
Visitor green fee
R310 S Cape affiliated
Danie Obermeyer 2007
87 (2022) & 90 (2021)
Kingswood Golf Club is part of a popular residential estate in George; the modern course privately owned by general manager Liesel Niehaus and former club professional Mike Quinn. They bought it in 2017 from the estate developers, and introduced new categories of membership which cater for both the regular and the occasional golfer.
“We changed from an outsourced club to an in-house model where we run the golf operations, range, pro shop and restaurant,” said Niehaus, who has a marketing and business background.
Kingswood, adjoining Fancourt Links, is the youngest golf club in the Garden Route, opening in 2007 at the tail-end of the region’s golfing boom. With competitive green fees it is popular with foreign tourists.
The golf course is the pride and joy of local architect Danie Obermeyer, also the course superintendent for many years. He continues to consult for the club. Obermeyer’s greens complexes are magnificently creative designs, and the equal of any Garden Route layout in terms of conditioning with their pure and consistently quick surfaces.
The course covers undulating terrain, and most golfers drive carts to get around. There’s an interesting variety of holes, wide in places, narrow in others. The front nine with three par 5s offers birdie opportunities; the par 35 back nine is more challenging, particularly the closing stretch. A distinctive feature of the design is the steep-faced bunkering.
Additional Course Facts
60 by Christo Lamprecht in 2020 Cape Province Open. He was out in 7-under 30 with 5 birdies and an eagle 2 at No 8. Home in 30 with 5 birdies. He won by 9 with a 26-under total of 262.
There is an adventurous and scenic stretch from 10 to 13. The 329-metre 10th plays steeply downhill before leaving a short uphill pitch to an elevated green; the 351m 11th has a wetland and bunkers to avoid off the tee; the tee shot on the 176m 12th needs to carry the wetland to a long narrow green; while the 297m 13th is an unusual hole with two options off the tee, a safe shot left with a longer approach, or a bold strike up a hill to get close to the green.
Spacious 250-metre long two-sided range next to the clubhouse, with a short-game area, open to public. Robert Wiederkehr, fluent in German, is the head teaching pro (email@example.com for bookings). Former European Tour player Roger Wessels also coaches. Kingswood pro shop has an experienced club fitter in Clifford Howes.
2022 Wendell Bossenger & Sandra Winter
2021 Blake Botes & Sylken-Leigh November
2020 Calvin Maia & Sylken-Leigh November
2019 Aidan Boon & Sylken-Leigh November
Did You Know
1/ Kingswood does not have a halfway house. Instead there are two “quarter-houses” on the sixth and 14th tees for golfers to grab refreshments and stop briefly. The home-made pies are scrumptious.
2/ It is one of four Top 100 courses which finish with a par-3 18th – others are Beachwood and Umhlali in KZN, Katberg in the East Cape.
3/ Kingswood won the 2018 John Collier Survey award for good governance and environmental compliance, the first to be presented to a club in the Southern Cape Golf Union.
4/ Several top amateur tournaments have been hosted by Kingswood, notably the 2013 Ten Nations Cup and 2017 SA Strokeplay Championship.
5/ The KeNako Golf & Sports Academy is next door, and their students utilise the range. The director of golf is Roger Wessels, former SA PGA champion and European Tour player.
Course and Facilities Rating
The course at Kingswood estate has been owned by the Home Owners' Association since 2020 and the quality of the conditioning is back to being pristine. Plans are afoot by the HOA to build a new clubhouse.
13 November 2022
Kingswood, one of the excellent range of courses in the George area of the Garden Route, is in exceptional condition, its bunkers and greens having improved significantly. It has an interesting mix of risk-and-reward holes, with two par 5s in the opening three. Each provides good birdie opportunities, but water lurks to the right of No 1 green so caution is necessary. The par 3s are memorable, notably the 12th playing towards the Outeniqua range. The location of the green makes for a challenging tee shot over a wetland with bunkers lurking around the putting surface. The finishing holes are strong, No 17 being one of the most demanding par 4s. The par-3 18th is quirky with a small landing area. The bunkers have typically been a major defence at Kingswood and not always well received by visitors due to the deep caverns awaiting an errant shot. But the quality and consistency of the sand now makes for a good test, rather than an unplayable lie in thick sand. Our group enjoyed the challenge and made some good sand saves.
23 May 2022
A very nice course until the wind blows. I enjoyed my two rounds here and was well received by friendly and helpful clubhouse staff.
27 January 2022
Kingswood's greens are especially good, and contributed to my enjoyment of this estate course which has an interesting mix of different holes. Some are wide, some are tight, the round was a constant surprise with so much variety.
Dieter ten Haag
17 November 2021
The course is now owned by the home-owners, and improvements are happening daily. The temporary clubhouse, The Gatehouse, is having a facelift, and plans are underway to build the proper clubhouse in its north-facing position with a beautiful view of the George mountains.
13 February 2021
What a pleasure to find a course without that mandatory halfway house stop. Kingswood have two grab-and-go facilities at 5 and 13 which works well. I can confirm that the home-made pies are good! Stay clear of the fairway bunkers to avoid blow-ups!
08 March 2020
Playing Kingswood today I thought I was back in Scotland when I landed up against the sheer-faced wall of a greenside bunker face and had to play backwards away from the pin. The bunker to especially avoid is the one at No 15! While I'm not sold on Danie Obermeyer's bunkers, I am a big fan of the Kingswood greens. They are magnificent to pitch to and putt on, although the subtle breaks mean you need to read them carefully. For golfers who love showing off their short-game skills, this is heaven!
04 March 2020
Kingswood has severe links-style bunker faces on the fairway bunkers which makes them almost unplayable, together with severe slopes on some greens. The layout is interesting and varied though, with elevation changes, and the condition is generally good.
19 February 2020
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Other Top 100 Courses in the Area
The Links at Fancourt
George Golf Club