South Africa Golf Trip: 2nd till 24th February 2013

3 03 2013

Hi all

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The A team

Another successful trip is behind me and one that was really a lot of fun. We played on some amazing golf courses and stayed in beautiful places, met wonderful people and made interesting new friends. We ate too much good food and drank far too much good wine and are not at all sorry!

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Simply stunning.

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Indian Ocean beware

Week 1

I had 2 guests joining me from  Switzerland by the names of Hansjoerg Diller and Sandra Lacher both of whom I teach at Obere Alp Golf Course in Germany. Hansjoerg is in banking and Sandra,  recently back from America, is studying massage therapy. HJ only started playing the beautiful game 6 months ago and Sandra played whilst living in the US for nearly 18 years. My brother also joined us for the first two weeks.

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Pinnacle Point

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Milnerton Golf Course toward the Mother City

We started our trip in Oubaai Golf Estate which is an Ernie Els designed course in the heart of the Garden Route in South Africa. Staying in a house on the estate, where I was chief cook and bottle washer, all survived my cooking and a special thanks goes to Sandra and Brian for chipping in. Needless to say we ate far too much steak (large T bone steaks!) and had our fair share of good SA wines and one or two Captain Morgans. It must have been tough for Sandra as she is a vegetarian but she was brave and never wavered. The surrounding area is absolutely beautiful and we did many trips to interesting places such as Duttons Cove for sundowners, Tenikwa, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna to name a few.

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James the driver!

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More Pinnacle Point…

Most mornings started with a swim at Herolds Bay and was a great way to start the day. We were very privileged to play on numerous course in the area amongst them Oubaai, Pinnacle Point, Kingswood, Simola and the one that blew me completely away was playing on The Links at Fancourt. It is nearly impossible to get onto The Links as they only allow on average 20 players per day through but with a bit of luck and contacts, (thanks John Bland, Lloyd and Tyrone) I was able to set it up. My brother was with me and it was really special for me to share this moment in golf with him. Special note has to be made too of the other courses and the very special and extremely friendly manner in which all the staff at all of these course made us feel very welcome. For those of us less fortunate and not able to play The Links I can highly recommend that you play Kingswood. Personally I was a little let down by Simola as I found it quite expensive and at times dangerous due to blind shots and people simply hitting and not taking much care as to what was happening around them. So our first week flew by and before we knew it we were on our way to Hermanus and Arabella Golf Estate.

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Yummy

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The Links at Fancourt

Week 2

As we were a fair way away from the ocean we never started each day with a swim in the sea but coffee and tea was served early morning for those that wanted it. Arabella is a beautiful golf estate and we stayed in a lovely home owned by a good friend of mine. From this base we travelled to various wine estates, great restaurants and once again played on some lovely golf courses. We played Arabella, Hermanus Golf Club and Milnerton Golf Club. I must say that Hermanus GC really blew me away as well and according to Sandra is very similar in look and feel to Torrey Pines in the USA. High praise indeed.

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Steak anyone?

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View of Simola from the Clubhouse

Early morning wine tasting at Gabrielskloof I am sure had a direct impact on golf swings later on that day! Joining us was friends Hans and Maude as well as Walter Kruger, an old school friend of mine. Thanks guys you made the trip that bit more memorable and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Lunches and suppers in Hermanus at Bientangs Cave and the Fisherman’s Cottage added some special moments to our trip and some additional ballast to help with the golf swing!!!! Once again the week flew by and we were off to Paarl for our last week in South Africa.

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and more Pinnacle Point

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Supper in Hermanus

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Hic…pre round routine, its called aiming water!

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Hic…post round routine is just as important as pre round warm up!

Week 3

En route to Palmiet Valley Estate (our residence for our last week) we stopped at Vergelegen Wines for a great lunch and a taste of their wine. Trust me when I say the website of Palmiet Valley doesn’t do it justice and the location and staff simply blow you away with their friendliness and are willing to attend to all requests no matter how big or small. Based about 40 minutes outside of Cape Town it is simply a wonderful destination and you are just off the highway so a drive into Cape Town is simple.

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AMAMAZING…….Amazink Live, you just have to go.

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Looking good Walter

One particular highlight for me and my guests was a show that we went to watch in a township by the name of  Khayamandi just outside of Stellenbosch. The show is called Amazink Live and it was so good we had to go twice. I cannot stress enough what an uplifting and memorable time we had there.  A massive thank you to all the people involved there, you make the world a better place!

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Clubhouse: The Links at Fancourt

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Off fishing with HJ

We played golf at Boschenmeer/Paarl and at Pearl Valley. Both courses are surrounded by the mountains and the settings are beautiful. Pearl Valley is probably better maintained but don’t miss out by not playing the other. Once again we found some amazing places to visit for wine tasting and eating, amongst these are Laborie Wines, Noop’s in Paarl, Babylonstoren and Mont Rochelle in Franschoek Valley. Incredible locations, incredible food and incredible golf not too mention the incredible golf courses!

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Where’s the ball?

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Laborie Wines, great great wine and awesome food.

Cape Town itself is of course beautiful and we did a sunset cruise from the V&A, drove up the West Coast and walked Bloubergstrand.

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Simply nice people.

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House in Arabella.

So if this doesn’t get you planning to join me next year then I really don’t know what to say!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all that contributed to an amazing trip and hope we see each other in South Africa soon again.

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Madiba.

See you now now………………………………………

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HJ at Pearl Valley

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Breakfast at Palmiet Valley Estate.

Keep on swinging.

Cheers

Geoff

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