Herold's Bay - Garden Route

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General manager: Rob Thöle
Greenkeeper: Igor Duvel (Turfworx)
Club captains: Warwick Head & Helen de Bruin

Course Summary

Five tees / Par 72

Yellow 6446 metres, CR73.6/134
White 5987 metres, CR70.7/125
Green 5747 metres, CR ????
Blue 5380 metres, CR67.9/117
Red 4768 metres, CR64.6/107
Women’s blue, CR74.2/124
Women’s red, CR70.0/115

Visitor green fee

R650 until Oct 31
R900 to Dec 14
R950 to Dec 31
Cart hire R350

Course designer

Ernie Els 2005


044 851 1263

Oubaai is a stay-and-play destination with the first Ernie Els signature course in South Africa. It’s a beautiful modern links-style course without trees on a headland above the Indian Ocean.

Two interesting aspects of the design are firstly the out-and-back routing – due to the clubhouse being positioned close to the ocean – and secondly that there are five par 5s and five par 3s. It’s renowned for its excellent conditioning.

The first nine heads back inland towards the estate entrance and there’s a halfway house near the Oubaai Hotel & Spa. The course returns to the clubhouse at the 15th green, and a round ends with three scenic holes where you look down on the Gwaing River gorge and then finally encounter ocean views at the attractive par-3 17th. The closing hole tees off high above Oubaai Cove, where ships used to offload cargo more than a century ago. It is an unusual boomerang-shaped dogleg left par 5 in front of the clubhouse. The bold line for the second shot is across the corner of a deep bushy ravine.

Oubaai is exposed to the wind, and the opening three holes are pure links design in terms of their look, creative mounding, bunkering and run-off areas. Golfers have wide fairways at which to aim though, and the challenge lies more in the approach shots to relatively small greens.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

61 by Ernie Els in ????; Jovan Rebula in 2015

Feature Holes

The par 5s are all strong holes, from the back tees each of them at least 500 metres. Water guards the green of the 12th. The par 3s are a varied collection, from the signature hole, 141-metre 17th from an elevated tee to a narrow green which looks as if it’s built on the edge of the ocean, to the daunting 189m sixth played across a ravine.


The luxury Oubaai Hotel & Spa is situated at the entrance to the estate, a 10-minute drive from George Airport, and hosts conferencing and wedding functions. The award-winning Freesia Spa offers seven treatment suites. There are four restaurants, and a leisure centre with swimming pools. 

Practice Facility

Full-length range at estate entrance, close to Oubaai Hotel & Spa. Home to ASM Academy owned by Adam McKinlay (Southern Cape PGA Pro of the Year) which offers junior programmes aimed at US college scholarships. PGA pro Maurice Prinsloo does lessons. Club fitting with TrackMan. Head office of Switch Grips SA. At the clubhouse there is a short-game area and separate putting green.

Did You Know

1/ Oubaai is close to the holiday resort of Herold’s Bay, where Ernie Els and his family have had homes for many years. It was where he entertained members of the International team during the 2003 Presidents Cup match at Fancourt.

2/ Walkers are welcome at Oubaai, and there are pull carts and clubs to hire.

3/ There are 176 homes and 120 apartments on the estate, all occupied. There are outdoor gyms at various areas in the estate. Activities include a heritage hiking trail, fishing, cycling, bird watching hides, and a whale viewing deck.

4/ Oubaai hosted 2013 SA Strokeplay championship, won by Haydn Porteous with a 13-under total of 275, and 2010 Vodacom Origins Final won by Justin Harding.

5/ First club in SA to host men’s Interprovincial events in three consecutive years: 2017 Mid-Amateur; 2018 Premier; 2019 Juniors.

6/ Course designer Ernie Els and nephew Jovan Rebula, 2018 British Amateur champion, share the course record of 61.

Club Champions

Caylum Boon & Lensa de Jager

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Course Reviews
The layout at Oubaai provides an interesting Ernie Els design for a good day out. At the time of playing the course was in good condition with the greens running true. The tee boxes were not up to the typical standard, and some bunkers were not consistently levelled. Those points aside, Oubaai is a popular stop with stunning views. One of the best 19th holes on the Garden Route. Worth considering for a tour to this region.
Jon James
12 October 2020
Oubaai is similar to Pinnacle Point in having a practice range far from the clubhouse. It's at the entrance to the estate, alongside the hotel. It's a reasonably wide course where a long hitter in my fourball had fun all day trying to see which bunkers he could carry. Outstanding greens, but approach shots tore them up! Plenty of pitch marks unrepaired.
Thomas Souness
08 March 2020
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Oubaai is a highly enjoyable course. There's plenty of room off the tee on virtually every hole, and Ernie Els has been creative with the design of his greens. They're slick but there are no funny slopes or ledges. He's taken the wind into account. The layout has a links feel to it, although kikuyu fairways mean you unfortunately don't get much run on the ball. There are several holes where golfers would benefit from being able to bounce the ball in from short of the putting surface.
Stuart McLean
04 March 2020
Conditioning good throughout the year. Wind is always a factor , with many cross-wind holes, so it is a great test of ball striking.
Ivan Palframan
19 February 2020
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