Sun City - North West Province
GM Sport & Recreation: Ken Payet
Course superintendent: Jomar Snyman
Golf operations: Thabiso Rampete & Victor Motsumi
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 68.6 out of 100
Conditioning11.4 / 20
Playability14.7 / 20
Aesthetics11.1 / 15
Design Variety10.4 / 15
Shot Values11.0 / 15
Memorability10.0 / 15
Three tees / Par 72
Green 6683 metres, CR73.4/145
White 6192 metres, CR70.9/141
Light green 5080 metres, CR67.3/121
Women’s light green, CR71.9/141
Visitor green fee
R980 day visitor
Includes golf cart
Gary Player 1993
Central golf reservations:
58 (2022) & 50 (2021)
The second course at Sun City is a highly creative and varied design, very different from the Gary Player CC due to its setting in a smaller valley between two rocky hills. It’s more undulating and Player has used the slopes of the hills for stark green designs and elevated tee boxes. It deliberately invokes an arid, almost desert look in terms of its bunkering and vegetation compared to the lush grassy expanse of the older GPCC.
At times the bushveld atmosphere makes it feel as if you are in an actual game reserve, rather than surrounded by the fences of one. It’s rough terrain off the fairways, and there’s a large crocodile pit adjoining the famous par-3 13th hole. This is a green at which to linger and admire these magnificent reptiles lazing in a natural enclosure whose steep vertical walls prop up the edge of the putting surface.
The green is shaped to represent Africa, and No 13 is played from a high tee on the hillside so you have a good view of the crocodile compound to the left of the green. It gobbles up golf balls, and there have been foolish golfers who have leapt into the pit to play their balls, including once in a tournament. The pro was subsequently disqualified.
A unique African-style clubhouse, stunning in its ancient-looking architecture, stands sentinel over the ninth and 18th greens. The two closing holes on each nine run parallel to each other, separated by a broad expanse of water, the ninth a long par 4, and 18 a risk-and-reward par 5.
While the GPCC is conveniently located for resort guests, who can walk from their hotel rooms to the first tee, transport is required to reach the Lost City in another valley of the Pilanesberg. And the Lost City is a compulsory cart course for an improved pace of play. There are some long walks from green to tee on the back nine.
Additional Course Facts
62 by Hennie Otto in 2013 Investec Cup (31-31);
Jeff Inglis in 2014 Nedbank Affinity Cup Qualifier (32-30).
The entrance to the 5-star Lost City Palace is close to the Lost City Golf Course, away from the main resort area. Sun City has a wide range of accommodation, including the 3-star Cabanas and self-catering options which are part of the Vacation Club.
Full-size range adjoining the tenth hole, and putting green at the first tee.
Did You Know
1/ The Lost City course and clubhouse is closed on Tuesdays, except when the GPCC closes for Nedbank Challenge preparations.
2/ Like the GPCC, it has been a regular tournament venue over the years, most recently for the Sunshine Tour’s Investec Cup finals from 2013 to 2015, and the Gary Player Invitational charity event.
3/ Gary Player had his 80th birthday celebrations at the Sun City Superbowl in November 2015. He has served as host of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in recent years.
4/ Shortly after the course opened for play, the Sunshine Tour visited Lost City in January 1994 for the Telkom Masters, won by Chris Davison. American Scott Dunlap won the 1995 Masters.
Course and Facilities Rating
The Lost City Course is 30 years old, and major excavation work is taking place during the quieter winter months to replace the entire irrigation system. The project will be completed in 2024 and improve the overall conditioning which tends to suffer during the dry Pilanesberg winters. The course was surprisingly lush this week after late rains, yet we were disappointed to find recently hollow-tined greens we weren't warned about. We were the only golfers on the course, a big group having cancelled at the last minute. Presumably they heard about the greens. The timing of hollow-tining is tricky at Sun City in that both courses need to be open throughout the summer, and the Lost City must be open when tournaments are on at the Gary Player, such as the Nedbank Junior Challenge from May 1-3.
18 May 2023
The Lost City was in need of "TLC" after the pandemic. It is pleasing to see the recovery of the course and it was in good condition over the holidays. The greens were excellent, with a true roll and consistent putting surfaces. The thinning of overgrown vegetation was noticeable, returning unobstructed views and good definition from the elevated tee boxes. Lost City is an enjoyable outing, heading back to expected levels, including clubhouse service which was improved from my previous visit. The finishing holes on each nine are fun to play. The par-4 ninth, stroke 2, is a brute, while the par-4 17th (stroke 1) is an equally stern test.
09 January 2023
It was pleasing to see that work has been done clearing out and trimming the excess bush and overgrown vegetation on most of the Lost City holes, opening up the views. This is particularly evident on the signature par-3 13th with its green alongside the famous crocodile pit. Standing on the hillside tee there is now an uninterrupted view of the green and surrounding area. Lost City must have one of the best set of par 3s in SA, each of the four (3, 8, 13 and 15) a memorable challenge.
27 December 2022
Unfortunate that a lot of work was being done on the course and the greens hollow-tined, so Lost City was not in good condition.
Willem van der Merwe
02 November 2022
If the Lost City Course was not situated at Sun City, and therefore considered the second course at the resort after the famed Gary Player Country Club layout, it would probably be rated much higher.
04 August 2022
Spectacular layout even though it is overshadowed in stature by the Gary Player CC at the Sun City resort. Stern test with tricky greens.
27 January 2022
Always an enjoyable experience to play here albeit the course was not its usual self. Lost City is where a camera must be kept close as the breathtaking views can make you forget any lousy golf. A great foil to the Gary Player CC and a decent score can be had if you avoid the ever waiting bush. The playing surface is generous even for wayward shots. The halfway house/19th hole offers the most majestic views of any course in the country. The halfway house food presentation was 5-star, though it did take a while to serve the food even after ordering in advance on the ninth tee.
27 April 2021
Despite the course showing its age the quality of the design and layout still remains great and a pleasure to play. Variations of hole lengths demand good choices in club selection, and you'll get to need most of them in your bag. Many elevation changes offer some spectacular vistas. Over the years the course has become overgrown in places, but that does not detract from it being a true "African Bush" golfing experience. Planned future maintenance should bring Lost City back to a high ranking.
18 April 2021
Lost City's design variety is good, and several elevated tee boxes provide challenging carries, particularly at the par-3 eighth and par-5 11th. The greens have been impacted by heavy rains, with many not running true. The bunkers are inconsistent which is frustrating when you encounter one without much sand. The fairways and presentation is of the high standard you expect at Sun City. The course would benefit from tree trimming and cutting back of some brutal rough close to the fairways.
16 April 2021
Our fourball experienced five cart breakdowns in one round of golf! We were stressed out and our round was spoiled. Two punctures (smooth tyres) and three battery-related issues. One replacement cart only lasted two holes! We overheard other golfers complaining of the same problem and we must assume management are aware of it. When we complained the duty manager did offer us a free round. Whilst this was appreciated we should never have been placed in this position. The Lost City course is showing significant neglect which I presume is Covid-related. Specifically the overgrown (usually beautiful) water feature between the ninth and 18th fairways, as well as the height of bush which affects the view on some par 3s and other holes. We also experienced a lack of balls at the range. One simply cannot charge five-star prices and offer one-star service.
14 April 2021
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