The West Course is often described as the easier-to-play sibling of the East Course at Royal, yet it’s a good challenge in its own right, and a comfortable fit for both low and high handicaps. Probably more forgiving off the tee than the East, and nowhere near as long. The West has a better set of par 3s in my opinion, each of them special holes. On the front nine you have the contrast between playing the short fifth — 88 metres to a front pin on the day I played — and the daunting eighth, one of the best par 3s in South Africa, which was over 200 metres to a testing back pin where the green has considerable slope to negotiate. The 13th is another long par 3 from a high tee to a large green guarded by a deep bunker on the right, while the 16th plays across water to a wide shelf of a green offering a variety of pin positions. Creative design thinking went into this quartet of wonderful holes.