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Olivewood

Chintsa East - Eastern Cape

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Golf manager: Dylan Reid
Golf director: Ashley Wicks
Greenkeeper: Adam Sewedi
Club captain: Sean Coetzee
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 61.1 out of 100
Conditioning13.8 / 20
Playability10.3 / 20
Aesthetics11.2 / 15
Design Variety8.3 / 15
Shot Values9.8 / 15
Memorability7.7 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6207 metres, CR74.1/148
White 5682 metres, CR72.5/143
Blue 5249 metres, CR69.5/136
Red 4820 metres, CR66.9/128
Women’s blue, CR75.0/145
Women’s red, CR72.4/141

Visitor Green Fee

Affiliated R435 to R475
Non-affiliated R545
Includes golf cart

Course designer

Algy Kietzmann 2016

Contact

087 350 4310
www.olivewoodestate.com

Previous ranking

Unranked

This new upmarket estate course 30 kilometres from East London is built among rolling hills inland from the coast, and high enough to have ocean views. Unusually, it is an out-and-back layout, the first eight holes tumbling downhill into the Chintsa River plain and tidal lagoon before climbing back uphill and returning to the clubhouse. It’s a 37-35 split, with three par 3s on the back nine. Attractive greens complexes are planted with A1/A4 bent.

The terrain is Eastern Cape bushveld, many of the holes framed by rugged indigenous bush and trees.

Olivewood possesses a beautiful single-storey clubhouse modelled on the original 1920s farmhouse belonging to the Schafli family, with wide open colonial verandas. It has a superb restaurant attached and a boutique hotel was opened in December 2019 alongside the 18th hole with 24 spacious ground-floor villa-type rooms.

With so much in the way of elevation changes, feature holes abound on the layout, and include the dramatic par-5 eighth, which tumbles downhill from a high tee over a bushy ravine; the long par-4 12th alongside the Chintsa River to a green built into a raised mound; the challenging uphill par-4 16th, and the scenic par-5 closing hole.

Two very contrasting par-3s stand out. The seventh is a stunner, steeply downhill to a wide green perched on the edge of the hillside, while the 15th is a beauty in the forest where you again play downhill to what appears by a trick of illusion to be a thin sliver of a green fronted by bunkers.

Golf carts are compulsory at Olivewood, as the topography means it is no easy walk. With a Slope of 148 from the back tees it pays to be accurate driving towards sloping fairways. The wide variety of holes on offer is a big attraction.

The par-5s at Olivewood are among the most challenging. From the back tees they are all at least 500 metres long, with the 560m eighth being one of the longest holes in SA at sea level. It begins with a daunting tee shot to a narrow fairway flanked by the indigenous bush.

The par-5 tenth has water running diagonally across the fairway, presenting a challenge on the second shot. Water guards the right of the green. The dogleg left 524m 18th is an excellent closing hole, a wide fairway giving golfers the opportunity to be aggressive off the tee, although three fairway bunkers are there to catch the long hitters. It concludes with another large elevated green.

Olivewood was a first design experience for local Eastern Cape man Algy Kietzmann, a former Sunshine Tour pro, who was very hands-on with the project, personally shaping each of the greens complexes. In the last year he has improved the playability of the course by widening the playing corridors and cutting back the rough.

Additional Course Facts

Unofficial Course Record

65 by Sean Coetzee

Practice Facility

Short-game facility in front of clubhouse, plus a range overlooking the 18th where you need your own golf balls and a caddie.

Accommodation

Attractive boutique hotel alongside the 18th hole with 24 spacious ground-floor villa-type rooms, where you can park your car outside the front door.

Did You Know

1/ Olivewood estate offers conferencing facilities and is popular as a wedding venue. Residential homes have been mainly built away from the golf course.

2/ Golf carts are required to get around this hilly layout, but some golfers do walk. However, there are several steep climbs from the 12th green to the 17th tee where you might regret not having a cart.

3/ There is a magnificent 7-kilometre long beach at the popular village of Chintsa East nearby.

4/ Comfortable chairs and couches adorn the veranda of the clubhouse, where breakfast is also served.

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Greens
Bunkers
Tees
Fairways
Presentation
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Service
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
Six months since my last round at Olivewood and this extremely undulating course has substantially improved its definition, while work continues on widening the playing areas. Whatever reputation it had as a "ball-chomper" in its early days no longer applies. It is eminently fair and fun to play due to the interesting variety of unique holes. Going into winter, though, the bent grass greens are quick, and putting on them presents a distinct challenge, notably on the uphill short par-4 13th where the sloping green from back to front can catch the unwary. However, they are true, and reward a good stroke with the blade.
Stuart McLean
11 May 2021
Great course overall with fantastic greens. Very challenging.
Jacques Roos`
02 May 2021
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Tee boxes could do with some work. Greens good and pretty consistent speed throughout. Overall excellent.
David Conway
28 April 2021
Fabulous. I truly enjoyed the layout and liked what I saw of the architecture.
Rob Lovemore
21 April 2021
Well manicured, aesthetically pleasing and challenging.
Robin Reid
05 April 2021
Build a proper braai area outside.
JP Berg
05 April 2021
The course has an issue with the Nyala and Impala leaving tracks on the greens.
Daryn Flanegan
05 April 2021
Played the first nine off the blue tees (5249m) and second nine off white because the course was too short off blue. Olivewood are clearing the waterways from reed overgrowth which will enhance the aesthetics. A problem with the tees will be rectified by adding calcium to change the soil composition. Impala damage to greens and bunkers is being addressed. Clearing back the indigenous bush has made a difference to playability.
vaughan sammons
01 April 2021

Even after a great amount of rain the course has drained really well, with no wet patches.

Seth Brumer
25 March 2021
A driving range please.
Stuart Thompson
25 March 2021
Great course. True test for any golfer. Greens are true and quick.
Travis Hensberg
25 March 2021
Such a beautiful course, but very challenging.
Noelene Ross
19 March 2021
Course is dry, but Olivewood still has the best greens in the Eastern Cape.
Fanie Maritz
19 March 2021
Awesome setting and fantastic facilities.
Brett Dustan
19 March 2021
Tees and fairways were dry and hard but the greens excellent.
Justin Wittrowski
19 March 2021
Service at the pro shop good, but limited stock. Overall a wonderful experience. Brilliant design, improving all the time.
Stuart Warren-Stone
09 March 2021
Fantastic experience from arrival to leaving. Will keep coming back.
Hennie Swart
09 March 2021

The course is looking beautiful with the many indigenous trees and shrubs. The variety of game is tame. The Olivewood staff are helpful, friendly and never forget your name or the drinks ordered at the 19th Hole.

Anthony Hiscock
05 March 2021
The layout is demanding, very dependent on your tee shot. On the par-4 fifth hole -- a blind tee shot over a hill down to the green -- they should remove the bunker in the middle of the fairway and then build a new bunker in front of the long green on the right.
Johann Fourie
24 December 2020
Beautiful course which has grown year by year. Holes that take your breath away and others that are challenging. It is rewarding and makes me want to play more.
Dane Beckermann
10 December 2020
Incredible course with magnificent views. Greens some of the best I’ve played. Friendly welcoming staff.
Greig Mager
10 December 2020
On arrival at Olivewood you soon realise it is a special place, from the friendly welcome to the immaculate changing rooms and the colonial style veranda overlooking the practice putting green. The course is unique with its elevation changes and natural coastal bush. Golfers experience both inland and sea views. A must play for any visitors to the East London area.
Paul Neilson
02 December 2020
An enjoyable course. Course management is crucial and you will be rewarded for being patient. The greens are superb and the facilities and hospitality second to none.
Allan Clarke
11 November 2020
My first round at Olivewood was an adventure, and I played it again the next day, discovering I liked it even more. It's one of those unconventional courses that grows on you the more you understand how it plays. The rolling topography, extreme at times, means there are only three flat holes, Nos 10 to 12 in the lower section close to Chintsa River. There was initial criticism of the playability, but that has been rectified by cutting back the rough and bush to create wider playing corridors. Algy Kietzmann took on an immense task in his first entry into course design and has done a remarkable job. He shaped the greens himself and they are uniformly superb, nothing fancy, just subtle slopes. There are some fabulous holes which most golfers will enjoy, and several others unique in appearance. It's challenging, but even with all the ups and downs extremely fair. I'd recommend it as a novel experience which compares with the likes of Wild Coast and Pinnacle Point. It will leave you wanting to play it again as soon as possible.
Stuart McLean
09 November 2020
Fantastic course with a unique design, mostly set on a hillside overlooking Indian Ocean. Great challenge. The use of the landscape for the design is brilliant. Impeccable service and facilities.
Ayrton Pretorius
06 November 2020
Great day out! The course has improved in recent times and I will play here more regularly.
Dan Taylor
06 November 2020

Awesome changes to the course have made it more user-friendly for higher handicaps.

Craig Nelson
06 November 2020
Olivewood, still a young course, has great potential once it has settled down. The greens are impressive, especially as the Eastern Cape does struggle with regular rainfall. I played after a considerable amount of rain and the fairways were covered in earthworm "droppings" which slowed down the ball.
Brent Kleve
24 August 2020
Wonderful layout and every hole unique! Greens are spectacular. Truly a gem.
Andrew Manthe
26 June 2020
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