FANCOURT MONTAGU
HAS A NEW
HALFWAY HOUSE

FANCOURT ALSO CONSTRUCTING
A 9-HOLE COURSE ADJOINING THE LINKS

Published by : Stuart McLean - 20 November 2023

Fancourt have built a new halfway house for the Montagu course, and on the walls inside hang memorabilia belonging to the late John Bland, who passed away earlier this year at age 77. It’s a tribute to one of South Africa’s finest golfers, who lived at Fancourt and for the past 25 years was an outstanding ambassador for the Garden Route resort.

The halfway house building is directly behind the tee of the par-5 tenth hole, and is long overdue. The previous halfway house was either in the Fancourt clubhouse or leisure centre, a longish walk from the tenth tee, and golfers at halfway could never be sure if and when the tenth tee was free. This should improve pace of play.

blank
A frontal view of the Montagu’s new halfway house on the tenth tee.

It’s bigger than the halfway house on the adjoining Outeniqua course, with tables outside. The back tee for 10 is on the side of the building, and the others in front. There’s a framed photo inside of Bland receiving a trophy from Ernie Els. This was the December 2001 Ernie Els Invitational at Fancourt. Bland’s two scorecards are framed along with the photo and are worth a good look because they contain 14 threes and 4 twos. He opened the 36-hole tournament with a 10-under 62 on Outeniqua, playing the back nine in 29, and followed that with a 9-under 63 on Montagu, with a front nine of 31. He had one eagle and 17 birdies, not a single bogey, a superlative display of golf.

Bland was one of the greatest putters in the game, and retained that skill throughout his life. He won 21 titles on the Sunshine Tour (1970-91) and two on the European Tour, represented SA in the World Cup, then made a sensational debut on the US Senior Tour (Champions Tour), winning five times in the space of 12 months from October 1995 to October 1996. His final victory came in the 2010 Wales Senior Open.

Two playoff defeats though to Gary Player in significant tournaments were to cast an edge of regret on his career. The first was in the 1981 SA Open at Royal Johannesburg, after 21 playoff holes, and the other the 1997 Senior British Open at Royal Portrush. Bland was thus denied both a SA Open title (he never won it) and a major championship. He was a runner-up three times in the Senior Open.

blank
Memorabilia from the late John Bland hangs in the halfway house.

NEW 9 HOLES AT FANCOURT

Construction is underway on a full-sized 9-holer at Fancourt on the site of the Bramble Hill 18-holer which closed in about 2010. It was ranked in the 80s in the Golf Digest Top 100 from 2005 to 2009. Bramble Hill was a public facility close to The Links at Fancourt with its own clubhouse. After closing it first became a practice facility, and then four holes were retained from Bramble Hill as part of the Fancourt Academy.

One of these holes runs between The Links at Fancourt clubhouse and the practice facility for The Links.

blank
The back tee on No 10 at Montagu is to the side of the halfway house.

The 9-holer has been designed by South African Sean Quinn, and earthworks are being done by experienced George-based contractor Philip Basson. Quinn works for Jack Nicklaus Design, before that Golf Data. His original design work in this country includes Katberg in the Eastern Cape, Clarens in the Free State, and The Club at Steyn City in Gauteng.

Basson, recovered from major surgery earlier in 2023, first earned his reputation in the industry by rebuilding all 18 greens at George around the turn of the century. He’s worked with designers such as Danie Obermeyer (Kingswood, Boschenmeer and Robertson), Phil Jacobs (in China) and Peter Matkovich, at Pinnacle Point. “The 9-holer at Fancourt will have something of a links theme to the design, with long grass and mounding, and extra tees will be built so that it can be played as a Par 3 layout,” said Basson.

Work on the Fancourt 9-holer is due to be completed by the end of summer, and it may open towards the end of 2024. Five new holes, on undulating land alongside The Links at Fancourt clubhouse, will be built and the existing four Bramble Hill holes will be redesigned.

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
The Top 100 rankings have returned to… Read more
There are five new entries in the… Read more
Golf Digest South Africa has returned and… Read more
Mount Edgecombe CC in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal has… Read more
Ten years ago Gowrie Farm in the… Read more
If you follow SuperSport’s 213 channel, then… Read more
Stellenbosch Golf Club has been rated on… Read more
The seaside course at Milnerton Golf Club… Read more
1 Bosch Hoek Golf & Lodge Near… Read more
Joe Knox is not a golf pro… Read more
Louis Oosthuizen’s display at Leopard Creek is… Read more
Homeowners at the Oubaai golf estate in… Read more
The weekend of the SA Open at… Read more
Fancourt have built a new halfway house… Read more
This year is the 25th anniversary of… Read more
An attractive 9-hole course on the remote… Read more
Peter Matkovich has kept himself active as… Read more
Marco Simone was the first purpose-built golf… Read more
More than half of South Africa’s courses… Read more
On a quiet Central Drakensberg road between… Read more
Listed below are all 414 courses affiliated… Read more
Gary Player Country Club will forever be… Read more
The new millennium has seen a remarkable… Read more
Pretoria Country Club has been rated on… Read more
The US Open at Los Angeles Country… Read more
South African Open host Blair Atholl, ranked… Read more
Of all the great tournament venues that… Read more
Augusta National has Amen Corner to describe… Read more
The closure of Beachwood CC in Durban… Read more
Former Sunshine Tour commissioner Arnold Mentz has… Read more
Durban Country Club will be closing their… Read more
Casey Jarvis has become the second youngest… Read more
In South Africa, the Halfway House stop… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club was devastated by flooding… Read more
The Garden Route is a popular destination… Read more
Pearl Valley has been judged as having… Read more
Zwartkop Country Club, the 18-hole course owned… Read more
Does any other sport offer as many… Read more
Silver Lakes has asked to be removed… Read more
Mount Edgecombe Country Club is hosting two… Read more
KZN estate Cotswold Downs, at No 52… Read more
There was a change of the guard… Read more
Houghton and Hermanus are two clubs at… Read more
Woodhill continues its phenomenal rise up the… Read more
Having a river flowing through your course… Read more
Atlantic Beach is one of those courses… Read more
Katberg, Orkney and Emfuleni are this year’s… Read more
An exciting project in Mpumalanga is the… Read more
We’re seeing five key changes to the… Read more
The Eastern Cape has been included as… Read more
The Alfred Dunhill Championship is one of… Read more
Royal Johannesburg’s newly renovated West Course was… Read more
Durban Country Club’s iconic short par-4 18th… Read more
Composite courses could become fashionable locally in… Read more
Blair Atholl is an exciting new addition… Read more
Veteran East London Golf Club member Denis Jones… Read more
How would you react if you learned… Read more
Blair Atholl has the longest stretch of… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club suffered the most devastation… Read more
Durban Country Club will next year be… Read more
Bryanston Country Club head teaching professional Leigh-Jane… Read more
Work has started on the refurbishment of… Read more
Golf Digest magazine in the United States… Read more
The Sunshine Tour visited 17 of SA’s… Read more
TOP 20 GREENS 1 Fancourt Links, 2… Read more
No 1-ranked Fancourt Links claimed more honours… Read more
Links courses were the big winners in… Read more
Gauteng is endowed with wonderful golf courses,… Read more
Today’s announcement of 20 courses ranked between… Read more
Anyone who has played at Plettenberg Bay… Read more
Woodhill is one of 17 courses in… Read more
Four courses – Reading, Eagle Canyon, Centurion… Read more
Two new entrants to the Top 100… Read more
Such has been the huge amount of… Read more
The new year ushered in great excitement… Read more
blank blank
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE
blank
blank
blank
blank