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Leopard Creek Country Club.

This is the number one rated course in South Africa, and a visit shows why it has that status.

The course is described by their own website as: “Leopard Creek has grown out of the vision of a banker and skills and expertise of one of the world’s great golfers.” Referring of course to our own Gary Player who designed the course.

The location is describe thus, also from their website; “Situated near Malelane in the heart of Mpumalanga, on the southern border of the Kruger National Park. The 360 hectare development is bordered to the north and the west by the picturesque Crocodile River and the Kruger National Park. Typical bushveld koppies overlook the course from the east, providing an ideal backdrop for a magnificent course.” Now to border on the Kruger and have the natural game walking free within the grounds, makes this one very special place.

The Course is a magnificent layout; “Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles. Extensive use has been made of water features and sightings of crocodile, hippo, antelope, buffalo and wild boar are commonplace, either on the course itself or in or next to the river running alongside several holes.”

The 505 meter par-five 13th is one of Leopard Creek’s most memorable holes. Here the green is right on the edge of the Crocodile river but 32 meters above the level of the water, offering magnificent views up the river and into the Kruger Park.

Gary Player is especially proud of the par-five 18th with its island green and the par-four 9th with its peninsula green jutting out of the same body of water.

A few photos of the eighteenth green and surrounds….

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This is a special treat if you can get to visit this course.. their website can be found at http://www.leopardcreek.co.za/ 

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Royal Durban Golf Course.

Now this is an interesting Course, set in the middle of the Greyville Racecourse. Can you imagine playing Golf on a Saturday and having the horses racing past next to you, or the crowds screaming for their favourite horse?

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A view of the Main Grandstand of the Greyville Racecourse looking across the practice green.

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A view of the back straight of the racecourse.. imagine the vehicle charging down that dirt road next to the horses…

From the Courses own website I impart a little history of the Club.

Royal Durban Golf Club was first established in 1892 as the Durban Golf Club, after Mr John Watt (a local bank manager) approached the town council about creating a golf club in Durban and was granted permission to lay out a links design course on the grounds within Greyville Racecourse.

One of the proudest moments in the history of the club was on April 8, 1932 when (following a visit from Edward VIII, the then Prince of Wales, in 1925) Durban Golf Club was granted permission to use the prefix “Royal” by King George V, making it one of only four golf clubs in southern Africa to obtain this honour.

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Royal Durban is not only unique in its setting and character, but is one of South Africa’s most demanding championship courses. The length of 6115 metres could be considered a short course by modern day standards, however in Durban’s humid sub tropical atmosphere it plays more like 6500 metres with little run on its lush fairways. (This according to their Website)

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With its absence of trees, and a deceptively easy flat layout, one could be forgiven for thinking that this course presents very few challenges. However, the eighteen hole course, with its narrow fairways, thick, notorious rough and profile greenside bunkers well placed to catch any wayward shot, Royal Durban has only allowed a few players to break 280 strokes over 72 holes. (Again copied from their Website)

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Royal Durban is one of the very few golf courses to be sited in the middle of a horse racing track and has hosted some renowned golfing tournaments in the last 100 years, including (most notably) the South African Championships in 1911 and the Commonwealth Tournament in 1975 which saw Nick Faldo playing at the tender age of eighteen. (Copied from their Website)

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I say it is one of the “gems” of the South African Golf Clubs, presently in the “Gold Digest” Magazine’s top 100 rated courses, ably looked after by a top Green Keeper or “Garden boy” as he likes to be called. The course is a Gem and should you find yourself in Durban contact them and play 18 holes, you won’t be sorry..

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A GREAT COURSE TO PLAY….. The Bulldog..

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