Yellow 6101 metres, CR72.9/143
White 5812 metres, CR71.5/140
Blue 5524 metres, CR70.4/135
Red 5145 metres, CR68.5/128
Women’s blue, CR76.4/135
Women’s red, CR73.8/129
Fred Hawtree 1976,
Rob O’Friel 2000
044 533 2132
First-time visitors to Plettenberg Bay CC usually can’t hide their excitement over the discovery of this attractive and cleverly designed course. When the SA Senior Open was played here in 2017 many of the veteran tour professionals were effusive in their praise. And only the champion, Mark McNulty, was able to break par for the tournament.
PBCC is a holiday resort course catering for a high number of visitors, yet can be extremely challenging around the greens. Talented Gauteng North golfer Louis Moolman set a course record 9-under 63 in the first round of the 2018 SA Mid-Amateur, yet failed to break par in his subsequent three rounds.
A major renovation by Gauteng designer Rob O’Friel in 2000 transformed the original layout and boosted the number of rounds. Plettenberg Bay is a busy course considering the relatively small community and another 18-hole facility at Goose Valley. For the last 10 years it has averaged over 100 rounds every day.
Its charm lies in the interesting variety of holes – water hazards, wetlands and streams regularly come into play – artfully contoured greens, and outstanding year-round conditioning. The back nine meanders through a tranquil valley among indigenous bush and contains some of the more beautiful parts. The bunkers were redone by Better Billy Bunker in 2018 to improve drainage. The clubhouse is on a ridge overlooking the course, and while this makes for downhill starting holes on each nine, the ninth and 18th are played uphill.
63 by Louis Moolman in 2018 SA Mid-Amateur
The yellowwood is SA’s national tree, a protected species prevalent in the Garden Route coastal forest. Mature yellowwoods flank the fairway and frame the green of No 16, a testing par 4 with a well-bunkered green fronted by a stream. The beauty of this hole is best viewed from the elevated back tee. No 4 is a strong par 5 with a wetland right of the fairway, and a stream crossing 50 metres short of the green. The par 3s vary from a wedge to long iron and have narrow greens. No 14 is a sharp dogleg par 4, with two giant oak trees guarding the entrance to an elevated green.
Redbourne Country Lodge is on the entrance road to the country club.
Excellent short-game area in front of clubhouse, and practice net near first tee. No range, but areas where golfers can hit balls with the aid of a caddie.
1/ Plettenberg Bay originally had a 9-hole course in sandy dunes overlooking the Robberg, but the land was purchased in the 1970s by a property development company, and the golf course relocated inland to the Piesang Valley.
2/ The Piesang River, most of the time a stream rather than a torrent, runs through the course, and numerous bridges have had to be built on the course to enable golfers to move around conveniently.
3/ The course is home to several troops of baboons, who are generally docile, and their presence is an attraction for visitors.
4/ This is a country club, so there are bowling greens and tennis courts for members.
5/ The SA Senior Open has been played at Plettenberg Bay the last two years, both won by Mark McNulty. The club hosted the 2018 SA Mid-Amateur Champs, and 2019 SA Country Districts.
Lukas Steyn & Fiona Pocklington
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.