Yellow 6 166 metres, CR73.3/135
White 5844 metres, CR71.5/133
Blue 5472 metres, CR 69.3/133
Red 5164 metres, CR 67.6/128
Women’s blue, CR75.3/135
Women’s red, CR73.2/131
Peter Matkovich 1996
021 713 2233
Cape Town’s first golf estate is one of the country’s premier residences, with properties at trendy Steenberg fetching high prices. Numbering just 225 explains why. It’s more than just a residential address though. There’s a luxury boutique hotel, restaurants and a wine estate. The golf club is a similarly smart upmarket venue commanding one of the high-end visitor green fees in the Cape Peninsula; plus a considerable entrance fee for new members.
A feature of the parkland course is its mountainous surrounding and neighbouring vineyards. Although an archetypal Peter Matkovich estate design, it doesn’t feel as hemmed in as some. Housing seldom flanks both sides of a fairway, and there’s ample width off the tee to offer different angles of approach to the greens. The course Aesthetics are excellent, with streams and wetland areas enhancing the experience. Steenberg set out to establish the best conditioned course in the Cape, with fast-paced greens, and it achieved that pristine look for many years. Conditioning issues due to Cape Town’s water crisis, however, saw Steenberg fall outside the top 50 for the first time. All the bent grass greens and surrounds were replanted, and Golf Data changed the design of three greens to improve the course’s playability.
The modern greens with their undulating bent grass surfaces provide the biggest scoring challenges. Most of Matkovich’s original waste bunker areas have disappeared, although one remains left of the fairway on the par-5 12th, stretching for hundreds of metres.
68 by the late Andrew Carris in 2007
Steenberg has excellent and varied design balance, with several doglegs to contend with. As with many Matkovich designs the 18th is a risk-and-reward par 5 with water right of the green and bunkers left. The par-4 third is an attractive hole bordering a vineyard, where a good drive leaves a downhill approach to a rumpled green falling away steeply on the left. The par-3 seventh has a unique peninsula green within a water hazard, and the par-3 14th – where you view Elephant’s Eye on the mountain – has a 65-metre long green.
Steenberg Hotel & Spa, which includes the award-winning Catharina’s Restaurant.
Steenberg has an excellent long range with artificial mats at the clubhouse side, and grass tees at its opposite end. However, practice balls do tend to stray on to the edge of the first hole. There are two short-game areas. The club is home to the EOGA Golf Academy, founded at Steenberg by teaching pro Etienne Olivier.
1/ Steenberg’s history dates back to 1682 when a farm was first established by early Cape settlers.
2/ Former Springbok rugby player Lance Sherrell is the current men’s club champion.
3/ Previous Steenberg CEO Peet de Wet received the Club Manager of the Year Award in 2018.
4/ Golf club membership is open to non-residents, but is limited to 350 with a waiting list.
5/ A new modern art gallery by the Norval Foundation frames the entrance to the estate. It was endowed by Steenberg member Louis Norval, the 1979 SA Amateur champion at Humewood.
Lance Sherrell & Bobbi Brown
Playing Steenberg was an absolute joy. Greens were excellent. Quicker than most but true and fair. They've made some wonderful design changes in the greens. This is a high-end course in terms of the visitor green fee, and the service standards and hospitality of the staff is outstanding, friendly and attentive.
The long turn-around of Steenberg's conditioning is nearing completion in the greens and surrounds. But bunkers remain below par, with little consistency in sand depth or texture. Most have pebbles, and some liners are visible. Steenberg, like many courses, is over-watered and would support better play and more interesting shot-making if it was firmer. But the modern mentality is that golfers want a lush green course to admire.
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