Knysna - Garden Route
General manager: Francois de Lange
Operations manager: Ashley Weir
Greenkeeper: Jaco Fourie (Turfworx)
Club captain: Gary Fagan
Chairman: Albert McLean
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 74.3 out of 100
Conditioning13.6 / 20
Playability13.3 / 20
Aesthetics13.2 / 15
Design Variety12.0 / 15
Shot Values11.2 / 15
Memorability11.0 / 15
Five tees / Par 72
Black 6393 metres, CR75.2/145
Yellow 5936 metres, CR72.8/139
White 5584 metres, CR70.8/131
Blue 5148 metres, CR68.5/125
Red 4629 metres, CR65.7/122
Women’s white CR76.6/143
Women’s blue CR74.0/137
Women’s red CR70.7/122
Visitor green fee
R1 400 including cart non-affiliated
R1 000 including cart affiliated
Students R450, Juniors R190
Ronald Fream, David Dale 2000
044 302 5310
Pezula has some of the most photographed holes in South Africa. A round at this course on the East Head high above the town of Knysna delivers one exceptional hole after another. The front nine has magnificent views over the Knysna Lagoon, and the drama reaches a crescendo on the back nine as the holes tumble downhill to the brink of the high cliffs above the Indian Ocean.
Pezula’s attraction lies in the originality of many of its holes, and the exhilarating elevation changes. Taking your driver out has never been this exciting or as much fun. The routing by American designers Ronald Fream and David Dale was inspirational. Given such undulating and inaccessible terrain on an environmentally sensitive property, there are only three holes where you play uphill.
And five different tee options on every hole means Pezula caters exceptionally well for a broad range of golfers. The front tees are 1 800 metres shorter than the championship tees.
Pezula is a cart course for good reason due to the East Head terrain. Even for fit and strong walkers the course is best enjoyed in the comfort of a cart, particularly in terms of pace of play. There are long walks between shots, and unless you are the only golfers on the property you would be holding up other groups in carts. There’s an extremely steep and twisting climb from the 16th green to 17th tee.
While Pezula is part of an estate, the houses have been built well back from the golf course.
Additional Course Facts
63 by Kevin Stone, 2006 Vodacom Origins
On the par-5 13th, from a tee on the edge of a sheer precipice facing the ocean, the hang time on tee shots seems to last forever. The short par-4 14th is thought of as Pezula’s signature hole, with the ocean views, sloping fairway and challenging short-iron approach to a well-bunkered green. On the front nine the long par 4 seventh stands out. A downhill tee shot is followed by a further descent to the green.
The luxury Pezula Resort, Hotel & Spa sits alongside the golf clubhouse, and offers both suites and villas for guests. High above the 18th hole there is two-bedroom self-catering private villa with its own pool. Additionally there is the self-catering Pezula Golf Villas across the road from the clubhouse, suitable for golf groups.
Pezula has a short-game area close to the first tee.
Did You Know
1/ Pezula achieved an Honourable Mention as part of the Platinum Clubs of the World (5-star clubs of excellence) in the Golf & Country Club category. The Top 100 Clubs and 75 Honourable Mentions comprise the top 1% of all private clubs worldwide.
2/ The 17th, at 284m from the back tee, is a fun short par 4 where golfers have had aces, the green being in range for a well-struck driver. However, the green cannot be seen until you reach it, as it’s hidden by a dune ridge.
3/ Club champion Danny Maritz in 2007 founded Turfworx (George), which has the maintenance contract at Pezula, Pinnacle Point and Oubaai. He has been in the industry for more than 20 years and worked previously at many Gauteng courses.
Danny Maritz and Elizabeth Keller
Course and Facilities Rating
One criteria on this website for ranking courses is Playability, which measures the challenge of a course for low handicaps and how its design also helps higher handicaps score well. Looking at the scores recorded by our tour group on a brilliant windless day for golf, then Pezula should receive an excellent mark for Playability. Our average individual Stableford score was 36 points, easily the best result of five Garden Route courses we played in a week in May. The course is mainly very fair, although the uphill 16th is one hole that came in for criticism, perhaps because it is more intimidating than the rest. The landing area for tee shots is extremely undulating, leaving awkward stances for the uphill shot to the green.
14 June 2021
Pezula is a great layout and I was fortunate to catch it on a calm day. I was playing with two golfers who had never seen the course before, so it was interesting to see how they experienced it and approached each hole. While always a spectacularly visual course to play, I did find alien grasses creeping into the fairways, plus areas battling from too much rain and limited run-off, so it was damp in parts.
18 January 2021
Although a must play course I feel that Pezula loses something in golfers not being able to walk due to the severely undulating terrain. It is clearly a cart course because walking requires a great amount of time and effort between some of the holes. In saying that the course is well designed, enjoys stunning views, and has good holes which test each club in your bag.
21 December 2020
Greens and tees were excellent. However, some bunkers were unplayable; the rest were muddy, hard and semi water-damaged. Some fairways were too long, having not been cut. I would not expect this after a hefty green fee. I'm a big fan of the course design and the collection of holes on two contrasting nines.
02 November 2020
Played a twilight round as a twoball sharing a cart, and it was a terrific experience on a calm and sunny afternoon. We were round all 18 holes in under three hours, which just shows how playable and accommodating the layout is. The later in the day you play the more likely you are to see some of the local wildlife, including bush buck and a puffadder we spotted crossing the cart path. We began on the back nine, heading towards the ocean, so we were treated to a glorious sunset at about 6.30 as we played into the setting sun from the sixth to eighth. Pezula undoubtedly gives you some of the most panoramic and exciting tee shots of anywhere on the planet; lots of thrilling moments to savour and remember.
23 October 2020
Pezula has had a hard time due to Covid and is only now getting back to its usual high standard. The greens had been hollow-tined 10 days before so my good rating could easily become excellent in a month. The fairways were irregularly cut which will be corrected when the rainy season (exceptional this year) has passed. Bunkers were too variable to be considered good. Still a good test of golf with wonderful views.
03 October 2020
This is a remarkable golfing site. The creative design work on such undulating topography is superlative. Several holes would rate among the best in SA. Pezula hasn't had the recognition it deserves as a world-class resort and venue. The difficult opening hole might be a reason. Too intimidating for many golfers.
19 February 2020
Superb championship course, with variety in design and spectacular views. Friendly staff in the clubhouse make this a great place to play and relax.
19 February 2020
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