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San Lameer

Near Southbroom, KZN South Coast - KwaZulu-Natal

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General manager: Pierre van Vuuren (AAA Class PGA pro)
Greenkeeper: Clinton Fouche (Matko Group)
Chairman: Stephan Barac
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 69 out of 100
Conditioning13.5 / 20
Playability14.2 / 20
Aesthetics11.0 / 15
Design Variety10.5 / 15
Shot Values9.8 / 15
Memorability10.0 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6104 metres, CR 72.9/143
White 5834 metres, CR 71.4/141
Blue 5375 metres, CR 69.0/136
Red 5055 metres, CR 66.4/119
Women’s white, CR79.1/150
Women’s blue, CR 76.3/143
Women’s red, CR 71.7/135

Visitor green fee

R420 affiliated
R560 non-affiliated

Course designer

Peter Matkovich 1992

Contact

039 313 5141
www.sanlameer.co.za

Previous ranking

60 (2023), 63 (2022) & 57 (2021)

San Lameer is a unique lifestyle estate on the Indian Ocean with an early Peter Matkovich golf course which first established his reputation in the early 1990s and led to several other golf estate commissions. It’s a high-adrenaline risk-and-reward undulating layout through parts of a sub-tropical forest which is fun and exciting to play. Water hazards are an integral feature, parts of the course having been built among wetlands.

The modern clubhouse is on different levels overlooking palm trees and water features defining a challenging collection of holes – the ninth, tenth, 13th and 18th. The ninth is a downhill par 3 with its green tight against water on the left; No 10 a short par 4 with water right from tee to green; No 13 a dogleg left par 5 with an island fairway close to the green; No 18 a short par 4 with water right of the fairway and around the green.

San Lameer is a year-round South Coast holiday destination in a tranquil, tropical environment catering for seasonal and permanent residents who have access to their own Blue Flag beaches, a variety of leisure activities, running and cycling trails, a hotel and spa, and villas of various sizes to rent. Holidaymakers have no need to leave the estate.

The course has an interesting mix of holes due to the hilly terrain. The front nine is long and testing, while the shorter back nine has more water hazards and four shortish par 4s. Walking is allowed, but it’s mainly a cart course. The only long walk is that between 17th green and 18th tee. The greens were upgraded in 2013 and new paspalum grass planted which has boosted conditioning.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

64 by Rossouw Loubser, 2004 KZN Open

Feature Holes

The second tee is the highest point of the property, with fabulous views, and it’s a thrilling downhill par 4, as is the sixth. The 150-metre fourth has a shallow green fronted by a water hazard with bunkers behind. The seventh is the strongest hole, a 463m tree-lined par 4 which curves right around a stream. The par 3s are all excellent and individual looking.

Accommodation

Hotel Accommodation

The San Lameer Resort Estate Hotel, recently upgraded, is situated on the banks of a lagoon, and has 40 rooms. Popular as a wedding venue and conferencing location. Its restaurant is open throughout the day for meals. The hotel has the 5-star award-winning Camelot Spa with the only Rasul chamber of its kind in the country. It’s the only true spa facility on the KZN South Coast.

Villa Rentals

Self-catering villas – bachelor apartments to 5-bedroom luxury homes – can be rented for a minimum stay of two nights. Phone 039 313 0450.

Practice Facility

A range adjoins the 15th hole, buckets on sale in clubhouse. Warm-up net at first tee, and practice putting greens.

Did You Know

1/ The estate land was acquired by Sanlam in 1974 and declared an eco-friendly private township, with 60% of the sub-tropical property being protected from development. Additional land was bought in 1990 to build a golf course and clubhouse.

2/ There is a good quality floodlit 9-hole mashie course on the property, fun for beginners and enjoyable for better golfers.

3/ Sunshine Tour events at San Lameer include the SA Masters in 1996 (Wayne Westner) and 1997 (Mark McNulty). Most recent was 2022 Vodacom Origins.

4/ San Lameer hosted the SA Women’s Open from 2014 to 2017. Lee-Anne Pace won on all three occasions. San Lameer was the venue for the Sanlam Cancer Challenge Finals from 1993 to 2009.

5/ The Mark McNulty Junior Golf Foundation is at San Lameer. McNulty, winner of more than 50 worldwide tournaments, is a resident, and his memorabilia are displayed in the clubhouse.

Club Champions

2023 Richard Lowe & Elsje Groenewald
2022 Johann de Beer & Marieta de Beer*
2021 Johan de Beer & Marieta de Beer*
2020 Rikus Vermooten & Elizabeth Bachmann
2019 Rikus Vermooten & Maritha de Beer
*Mother and son champions

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Course Reviews
San Lameer can lay claim to being the most enjoyable and at the same time challenging course on the entire KZN South Coast. It is in splendid condition and there are so many interesting holes and greens complexes, and ways to play them, that I never tire of visiting. It is distinctly different golf, not dissimilar to the Wild Coast Sun further south. The hilly nature of the terrain allows for numerous elevated tee shots, each usually providing a mixture of fun and fear which is what this early Matkovich design is all about, asking golfers to step out of their comfort zone and pull off risky shots where the future of your golf ball is at stake. An interesting feature of the course presentation is the "beards" around greenside bunkers. Thicker grass circles the bunkers, most noticeably on the artistic smaller ones which Matkovich has placed liberally here and there. They resemble mini volcanoes sloping to a small base.
Stuart McLean
15 May 2024
A tough course when the wind is howling down the fairway. Played in winds of 40-50kph. Lots of water around 18th. Greens quite firm, pitch marks offered resistance when making repairs. Found it difficult stopping the ball on longer shots. Would have been nice to access a range before teeing off but only had use of the practice net adjacent to first tee. A beautiful course and a challenge for most club golfers.
Martin Jones
28 March 2024
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The Vodacom Staff Champs were held at San Lameer on September 15-16. A gem of a course. Facilities were top notch. Back nine quite a challenge for a weekend golfer. I will be back, armed with a lot more golf balls!
Terrence Naicker
28 September 2023
I played just before a tournament, so the course was busy. The course is difficult; more time per hole per fourball should be allocated to avoid golfers getting frustrated. An additional spacing of two minutes per hole and a cart selling refreshments would go a long way to soothing the challenged player. The par-4 18th was my favourite hole on this beautiful course, because it’s so interesting and the relief of the 19th is in sight. Clubhouse catering offers a lovely menu and for our large group the staff should be commended. They handled the number of patrons very well, including 170+ energetic children.
Paula Smith
29 August 2023
Fantastic, challenging course. Friendly and helpful staff.
Dominik Boddington
28 August 2023
I had never played San Lameer until this round, despite often holidaying in the area. I was well aware though of its reputation for being a tough layout, which it definitely was. There is a lot of water, and I lost three balls which is above my average! The course constantly keeps you on your toes, demanding you think and commit to shots. The design wants you to take the heroic shot when you know you should play safe. While San Lameer is suitable for a competent golfer, where I think the course is lacking is its punishing difficulty for a high handicap. There are forced carries on more than half the holes and it has the toughest set of par 3s I have come across. You can definitely see it was designed by Peter Matkovich: elevated greens, wavy features and heroic shots. All in all I enjoyed the course as it forced me to concentrate for every shot and stay focused throughout.
Jean-Luc Regaud
06 August 2023
The welcome at San Lameer is world class. Fantastic service and excellent food. Challenging course in windy conditions.
Kevin Stone
25 July 2023
Every hole brings a unique experience at San Lameer. Greens and fairways in excellent condition. Good value visitor green fee at an ideal winter escape to a special location.
Frikkie Koen
22 June 2023
Loved the layout. Great hospitality at the pro shop and restaurant. Well maintained course.
David Kubannek
28 April 2023
Played for Western Province in the GolfRSA Senior IPT at San Lameer last week and found the whole overall experience at San Lameer to be top class, including accommodation, facilities and golf. The Matkovich course offers so many options with regards to set-up and must be one of the best matchplay layouts in RSA. Congratulations to the San Lameer team on a fantastic week that went off without any glitches. And the catering was amazing.
Cameron Johnston
27 April 2023
San Lameer's excellent layout occupies a picturesque setting on the KZN South Coast. Ocean views from the high second tee and the eighth green leave any golfer with a sense of tranquillity, regardless of how the round is going. Greens and fairways in great condition, the greens firm and rolling true. They vary in shape and size with some multi-tiered, providing an exciting challenge. Although a "short course," many well-placed water hazards require accuracy from the tee and with approach shots. San Lameer is home to impala, nyala and duikers, and the multitude of wildlife provide a relaxed holiday feeling when driving around. A well-stocked pro shop in the clubhouse.
Reuben Fleiser
10 April 2023
KZN endured unusually high rainfall in 2022, and flooding on two occasions forced San Lameer to re-assess their drainage. Work has been done to improve this and divert storm water into the water hazards that are a feature of the 30-year-old Matkovich layout. Water was cascading down a steep bank on to the 13th green. The construction of a curb on the cart path stopped that. During my visit there was 120mm, yet the next morning the course was damp but playable. San Lameer has an interesting assortment of holes and presents numerous challenges from 1 to 18 for different levels of golfers; there is no such thing as a boring hole, this layout keeps you on your toes. Sunshine Tour players hunting birdies can struggle as much as the rest of us when tight pin positions close to water are presented on greens of varied shapes and sizes. The tiny green at No 12 is five paces wide at its entrance while Nos 3 and 8 have steep slopes climbing to back tiers. The back nine is less than 3000 metres from the championship tees, yet what an array of good holes must be overcome to safely reach the clubhouse without too many mishaps. Greens and conditioning superb.
Stuart McLean
19 March 2023
San Lameer has introduced bent grass overseeding for the first time to its paspalum greens, instead of poa trivialis, and it has made a massive difference to the quality of the putting surfaces. The greens should now be smooth for putting throughout the year. There is enough paspalum in them to survive the heat and humidity in January and February. San Lameer completed drainage projects in 2022 to prevent future damage and speed up recovery of the course after major rains such as we had earlier in 2022. And another eight tee boxes, mainly red and blue, were laser-levelled and increased in size, while troublesome trees were removed on five of the first 10 holes (on 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10) to help with fairway growth and playability on those holes.
Pierre van Vuuren
19 December 2022
San Lameer has one of the most beautiful Stroke 1 holes in South Africa. This is the 413-metre seventh, a challenging dogleg right par 4. Standing on the tee, the surrounding beauty and the daunting task as how to navigate the hole was something to behold. I had not played here in a long time and frankly wasn’t sure about returning but I am glad I did. The course has matured and offers well-defined challenges. The iconic downhill par-3 ninth alongside the clubhouse with a green jutting into the water is scary as hell yet playable. After playing Nos 10 and 11 we were confused as to where to hit our tee shots on the 12th. The fairway and green are hidden away on a ridge and not immediately apparent to those unfamiliar with the layout.
Sabelo Ndabazandile
13 December 2022
San Lameer hosted the men's Premier Interprovincial for the first time in September, and it proved an outstanding venue for a matchplay tournament, given there are so many risk-and-reward holes for bold golfers on a layout where trouble lurks for any wayward shots, either water or dense undergrowth. San Lameer is almost constantly undulating, and its frequent elevation changes -- the second tee surprises you with its wonderful views of the property and ocean -- make for a number of memorable holes. There are 11 holes where elevated tee boxes give golfers a good perspective of what lies ahead. And only one, the 12th, where you play a blind uphill tee shot to a fairway on a ridge.
Stuart McLean
15 November 2021
San Lameer is a relatively modern course yet it was built very much in the mould of the KZN South Coast golfing tradition, not overly long and fun for holidaymakers. It boasts the best paspalum greens in the region, and they are particularly good putting surfaces in the winter months, if you could call 25C in May a winter's day. Trouble lurks on numerous holes but San Lameer offers a fair balance between challenging and playable. It's up to the individual golfer to find out how much they want to test themselves. The clubhouse facilities are excellent in every respect. Make the most of a quality experience.
Stuart McLean
08 May 2021
San Lameer currently has far and away the best quality greens on the KZN South Coast. Their paspalum greens were redone a few years back and since then have been overseeded every winter with poa trivialis to provide not only a truer putting surface but quicker than anywhere else in the area. Putting and chipping on them is like day and night compared to the other courses. What I also like about San Lameer is that the golf club has its own separate entrance away from the main gate to the estate, so access is convenient from the road. Clubhouse facilities are outstanding, and you get a superb view over the course from the outside deck of the 19th hole.
Stuart McLean
13 November 2020
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