Pinnacle Point is one of a rare group of golf courses in the world built on high cliffs overlooking the ocean. It’s a spectacular experience and ranks with the likes of Pebble Beach in California, Old Head in Ireland, Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand and Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic.
Several of the holes at Pinnacle Point are amazing in terms of wow factor, and even when you’re playing inland you still enjoy wonderful views of the Indian Ocean. The Peter Matkovich course in Mossel Bay is possibly South Africa’s major golf attraction for tourists, and has contributed immensely to the success of the Garden Route as an award-winning golf destination. With sensational views from every tee, it was once described by St Francis Links CEO Jeff Clause as golf on an “Imax Screen.”
It became a global phenomenon from the day it was first opened for play in late 2006, and was soon featured on the covers of international golf magazines. American writer George Peper described it as being set “on more jaw-dropping terrain than Pebble Beach and a much better course than Old Head. This is extreme golf, but it is honest golf. There are no silly holes – just engaging, exhilarating ones.”
Pinnacle Point is primarily a cart course owing to the severity of the terrain. The opening three holes climb uphill, and there are long walks around ravines where having a cart helps speed up play.
For the club’s tenth anniversary the clubhouse, pro shop and restaurant were revamped, while next door there is the La Vita Spa, plus a function venue and new cart barn. A new fitness centre was opened alongside the driving range and reception area. The estate itself has grown enormously, and luxury homes have been built on the peninsula behind the ninth tee.
Additional Course Facts
64 by Jordan Duminy in 2019 Pinnacle Point Open
Where to start? There are three fabulous par 3s on the cliff edge, while the par-3 17th playing towards the ocean is one of the country’s best one-shotters. There are downhill holes like the par-5 fifth; a short par 4, the eighth, where long hitters can attempt to carry a ravine over the ocean; and a dramatic tee shot at 12 with plenty of hang time where the fairway is a distant long drop. And the round finishes with a scary downhill par 5 to a green on the edge of the cliff.
Excellent range, which includes the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Academy, is at the entrance to the estate, before you drive through security to the clubhouse. There are practice putting greens at the clubhouse.
Leisure Rentals offer luxury lodges, villas and penthouses on the estate.
2022 Jordan Duminy & Ilze Nel 2021 Jordan Duminy & Ilze Nel 2020 Herman du Plessis & Ilze Nel 2019 Martin Vorster & Ilze Nel
Did You Know
1/ Pinnacle Point welcomes new members. In a special deal for 2022 a new member pays R8639 for an annual subscription which includes 20 free rounds. Phone 044 606 5322.
2/ The World Golf Awards voted Pinnacle Point as South Africa’s Best Golf Course for 2020, having previously triumphed in 2016 and 2017.
3/ New Pinnacle Point member Aldrich Potgieter, 17, won the 2022 British Amateur. Members Martin Vorster and Christo Lamprecht are both SA amateur champions. Vorster won the 2021 SA Strokeplay title at Randpark plus the 2018 Junior British Open. Lamprecht was youngest SA Amateur champion at 16 years & 25 days in 2017. The two were in the SA team which won the 2019 Junior World Cup in Japan.
4/ The estate’s only Sunshine Tour event in November, 2018, the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final, was won by Englishman Steve Surry on a six-under total of 210. The two most difficult holes for the pros were both par 3s, the ninth and 17th.
5/ Pinnacle Point hosted the first-ever South African Par 3 Finals in 2017. Setting up the course with temporary tees at short distances from each green was first made popular by St Francis Links CEO Jeff Clause, and it caught on at Pinnacle Point and other Garden Route courses.
Course and Facilities Rating
Pace of Play
Playability is often a question of conversation when Pinnacle Point is discussed. It does have a reputation of gobbling up golf balls, many of which lie undisturbed in the fynbos around the course, as golfers are threatened with a R5 000 fine if caught venturing into these environmentally protected areas. But Playability isn't measured by the number of balls lost. It's about how a course allows weaker golfers to enjoy a layout that is challenging for better players, and Pinnacle Point does that well. The Slope of 129 for the blue tees (5262m) is not high. Pinnacle has a distinctive variety of tees on every hole to suit all levels. I like the way a number of them create different angles to the hole. Some black tees (6460) are in scarily thrilling positions, requiring nerve as much as power. That at the par-3 17th is up near the 11th green (you take a different cart path to reach it) and it tackles the green from a greater height and straighter angle than the other lower ones. At 226m the green looks tiny. If you're up to an adventurous round at Pinnacle, try a few of these out.
30 June 2022
Pinnacle Point is great fun, especially for a golf tour group and if the wind isn't blowing. Some mesmerising holes and incredible views. But also some equally awkward holes, a lot of slopes either up or down or sideways, make it tough, despite the course being fairly short in windless conditions.
27 May 2022
View more reviews
The natural beauty and vistas at Pinnacle Point are among the best you will experience. The course conditioning is very good, the greens running true and fairways in fine shape. Signature holes are frequent, and the par 3s are among the most photographed, especially 7 and 9. No 7 requires only a short iron but is intimidating with the cliff drop-off right of the green. The drive on the short par-4 eighth offers you two choices off the tee if downwind, a safe option left or a risky drive across a deep gorge to the green. The par-5 18th is another incredible hole which needs careful navigation before you can relax at the world class 19th hole. We are fortunate to have courses of Pinnacle's quality, at a fraction of the price of a similar overseas experience. The Louis57 Experience package is recommended.
20 May 2022
Some absolutely spectacular holes. This may be Africa's equivalent of Cypress Point. You stand on some tees and think "how did they put a golf hole here?" One or two weak holes away from the coastline but a truly remarkable golfing experience.
30 January 2022
A fun course to play at any time because of the variety of thrilling shots on offer from tee to green. Standing on many of the tees you can't help feeling excited about the challenge ahead. Nothing really routine. I don't think much of the opening three holes played uphill from the clubhouse. They are boring and a chore playing into the wind. But it's like a rollercoaster starting out. A steep climb to the top, and then the thrills begin. And so they also do at Pinnacle Point, starting at No 4, a strong par 4 and the flattest hole on the course. The last 15 holes are brilliant, and make this the bucket list course it has become for many golfers from around the world. The service and clubhouse facilities are excellent. Upstairs in the clubhouse terrace you have heavenly views of the coastline and the closing holes. Is there a better après-golf experience on this planet?
Dieter ten Haag
27 December 2021
Pinnacle Point excels as a golf experience in its wonderful finishing holes on each nine, backed by stunning scenery. On the front nine the last three holes, from 7 to 9, include two superb cliffside par 3s and a sensational short par 4 (No 8) where a brave golfer can risk a direct tee shot to the green over a deep chasm. It's possible to have three consecutive 3s on the card with three solid tee shots. The back nine finish from 16 to 18 is a different proposition. Two very different and challenging par 5s, and one of the toughest par 3s in the country at No 17. This is a fabulous golf hole from an elevated tee to a long green protected on the left by an array of bunkers. The back pin position brings dangerous outcomes into play.
27 May 2021
Great course in terms of beauty, degree of difficulty, maintenance and management.
21 January 2021
A visual treat. A tough course when the wind blows as the landing areas are blind on many holes and tight. A spectacle to play and the greens are more then generous. Always in good nick and you will never be disappointed with the overall experience.
22 April 2020
Played on a windless day when a sea mist was shrouding the coastline, adding its own mystique to the course. Some holes it was difficult to see the pin, while others higher up the slopes were bathed in sunshine. Pinnacle Point is looking great, and it has such a wide array of both interesting and dramatic holes that on a good day it's impossible not to enjoy your round.
08 March 2020
I like to hit balls before a round, so if you're playing at Pinnacle Point you need to remember the range is at the entrance to the estate, nowhere near the golf course. It's part of the Louis Oosthuizen Academy, and is an outstanding facility. The golf course itself is busy at this time of year with visitors. The spectacular setting of Pinnacle Point is a magnet for overseas tourists. A big asset for the Garden Route.
04 March 2020
Submit Your Review & Ratings
HAVE YOU PLAYED Pinnacle Point RECENTLY?
If you've played this course recently, why not tell us all about it? Follow the link to our review section, complete our grading criteria and give us some details on your experience. If selected, your review will appear amongst the course’s collection of player reviews.