Sishen – Stuart McLean

Published by : Stuart McLean - 24 December 2021

My arrival on a Saturday evening in Kathu coincided with a thunderstorm. The rain pounded down through the night. When I teed up the next morning there was no evidence of the storm on the golf course. No puddles anywhere. The bunkers were perfect. The greens magnificent. The course drains exceptionally well due to its sandy base. It’s an arid area, yet Kathu usually receives a surprisingly substantial annual rainfall, perhaps due to the vast kameeldoring forest which is the stunning feature of the Sishen layout. So you have a green course in the summer. The densely strong thorn trees, named after the kameelperd (giraffe), said to be the only animal that can feed on the leaves, are impressive, a nuisance for any golfer who strays off the fairway or takes the wrong line off the tee. The way they block shots is like coming up against the Springbok rugby team’s defensive line. Even the dead trees play their part as being a protected species it is illegal to remove them. When Sishen hosted the Sunshine Tour in August 2021 the winning score was only three under for 54 holes. The average score the final round was 75.6. A tough proposition.

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