Here are some useful observations when playing golf courses in the Cape Town, Winelands, and Garden Route areas of the Western Cape. These are in no particular order and are simply an attempt to identify the differences between UK and Western Cape golfing. This information will, hopefully, help you to plan your holiday.

 

  • Some older traditional courses but majority 'American-style' built within secure residential developments;
  • Members competitions on most Wednesdays;
  • Weekend visitor playing available at most clubs;
  • Booking tee-times by email very easy;
  • Most clubs require credit card guarantee to secure tee-time;
  • A few clubs take green fee at time of booking; 
  • Local taxis for accommodation-club transfers may be cheaper than car hire;
  • All courses are gated through security so make sure you have: (i) booking confirmation, (ii) your tee-time to hand;
  • All clubs are welcoming, immaculately clean, and safe places for foreign visitors; 
  • Most UK visitors will be "non-affiliated" (not a member of an RSA club which attracts a green fee discount);
  • Green fees comparable, or better, to UK in value-for-money terms; 
  • Some local hotels/ B&B's may have discounted green fees;
  • More relaxed code of dress;
  • Clubs, buggies, and trolleys for hire everywhere; 
  • Ball flight / travel feels same as 'ambient' UK even though temperatures much higher;
  • Don't be fooled by short rough it's tough as old boots;
  • Chip and running the ball onto fringe is difficult - ball seems to hop-up and stop;
  • Long rounds - up to 5 hours;
  • Half way house is a compulsory stop after 9h for 10/15 mins for food and drink;
  • Clubs inexpensive for food and drink (25% less than UK);
  • New ball prices in Pro-Shop comparable to UK;
  • Road-side sellers of second-hand balls everywhere;
  • Practice facilities are generally excellent;
  • Large undulating greens on many courses;
  • Waste areas on a number of tracks, too;
  • Long carries off tee are a feature on all but the traditional courses;
  • Fynbos - South African scrub and heather to 1.5m high is commonplace; 
  • Baboons, springbok, snakes, etc., do co-habit golf courses but are no problem; 
  • Some courses have caddies - excellent value;
  • Buggies compulsory on a number of resort courses;
  • Changing facilities, incl. showers, soaps, & clean towels, are superb everywhere;
  • In airports and clubs - there is always someone to help carry your golf clubs.
  • Always have: (i) sun block, (ii) plenty of water, (iii) insect repellent in your bag at all times.