Simply Wonderful South Africa.

20 07 2014

Hi all

First of all I need to thank the group of people that travelled with me on my latest trip to South Africa. You simply made it a wonderful trip, one that I will remember forever and I think you all will too. There were many highlights and many memories that I will endeavour to share with you all.


The trip began on the 18th of January 2014 at Oliver Tambo International Airport where I collected my first 2 guests Elizabeth Dütschler and Walter Anderes. Walter had arrived in Johannesburg 3 days or so before and the arrangement we had was that he would drive back to the airport, drop off his car and meet Elizabeth and I. Walter, in non typical Swiss style, got the time wrong, his watch was still on Swiss time which is an hour behind South African (only during Swiss winter….!!). I in typical Geoff style I started stressing about where he was and whether he was ok or not. Having tried to call him on his phone I eventually called the hotel that he had checked out of to be told that he was on is way to the Kruger National Park by the person I spoke to…….!! On his way where??????  Turns out the information I got was fortunately wrong and he did eventually show up at the airport. An hour later than expected but at least he arrived. Elizabeth came through customs about 10 minutes later and we jumped into the VW bus I had hired and were on our way to Sun City.


Arriving at Sun City we went to check into the main Sun City Hotel. The lady that checked us in gave me a strange look when I gave her my reservation confirmation, told me to please wait and disappeared to the back office. I was now starting to wonder what on earth could be wrong as the rooms had been confirmed and paid for in advance. 10 or so minutes later the lady came back and told me that she had “good and bad news”! Ok I said hit me with the bad news, I’m a big boy I said. Well Mr Saayman she said you are not staying in this hotel you have been upgraded to the Palace of the Lost City instead……To say we were surprised is a bit of an understatement as the difference is immense between the Sun City and The Palace of the Lost City. For only one night or for the entire week I asked? No Mr Saayman for the entire week! Wow, I could not believe our luck. An upgrade to one of the Leading Hotels of the World, bring it on…….


Our first game of golf was on the following day and we played the Lost City Golf Course. A nice easy course on which to begin our trip. Beware of the 13th hole however, an errant ball will find the crocodile pit on the 13th and best to play an additional ball. I have seen people fetch their ball from the water hazard but I consider this completely dumb…..


The following day was an early start again and we played the Gary Player Country Club home to the Nedbank Challenge and one of my favourite golf courses. It challenges all golfers and all levels of play with some very difficult and some less difficult holes but no easy ones. Its a walk only course and the walk is pleasant if undertaken as early as possible in the day. I strongly suggest you try and get done by no later than 14h00. The signature hole is the par 5 9th hole, reachable in 2 but they need to be 2 very good shots for the average player…..



During this week we also visited the Pilansberg Game Reserve and saw some wonderful wildlife. All too soon the week there was over and we were on our way to Pecanwood Golf Estate. I always rent houses on golf estates as far as is possible and try and avoid hotels. From my experience a trip where we all live together, cook together, drink together and laugh together is much more fun than a typical group trip where everyone disappears to their respective rooms after supper. As I enjoy cooking it is always nice to have people volunteering to help and it builds a nice “family” atmosphere. The house we rented was spacious with a swimming pool, jacuzzi and hole 10 directly in front of the house.


I left early the following morning to collect the rest of the tour group and all were there on time and ready for action. Of the entire group there was not one who had visited South Africa before and I think they were happy to see that we had roads, electricity and that mobile phones worked too…..

So now there was 7 plus me.  We played Pecanwood on our first afternoon and once again it was a gentle adjustment for my guests into golf in South Africa. Pecanwood has many beautiful holes of which the 13th is the signature hole. A very special thing happened on the round one that I think will never be forgotten. Elmar Huber hooked a ball off the fairway and into someones house. Now when I say into someones house I really mean into the house. Apparently as they walked up to go and find the ball a gentlemen came walking out of his kitchen with Elmars’ ball in his hand. In typical South African style he asked politely if they were perhaps looking for it and when confirmed he simply passed the ball over and wished them a good round. To say that they were all a bit dumbstruck is a bit of an understatement!

A good old South African braai that evening with some excellent red wine capped a perfect start to our trip.



The next day we were up bright and early and headed out to play Bushwillow Golf Course which is one of 2 Championship Courses near to Johannesburg at Randpark Golf Course. Randpark is the most successful of all clubs in South Africa and has a long waiting list for membership. The social aspect to the club is amazing with many a long evening spent on the terrace with a cold beer or two and great company. We were also lucky enough to be joined by Ross Wellington a European and Sunshine tour player who I was lucky to meet shorty before my trip at a poker evening (enough said!!!!!) Thanks Ross for your time it was greatly appreciated by all and sundry and we look forward to seeing you on our next trip. A special thanks goes to my brother Brian as well for all the effort he put into helping me with my guests.



We had dinner at a friend of mines Italian Restaurant nearby and he went out of his way to do a special Italian meal for all of us. On the ride back to Pecanwood there were a few that fell asleep, a sure sign that all had enjoyed the day.

Off to play Copperleaf the next day and as I am such a nice guy I let the troops sleep late.  I have never played this course before and can only say that I am truly sorry that I didn’t. Once again its a golf course of the highest standard and hosts the Tshwane Golf Open (European Tour Event) annually. What an experience. From the moment of arrival until our departure we were looked after and the course conditioning is amazing.





Supper was a wonderful braai again under the African Stars. What a great night.

All in it was a wonderful trip and the next one takes place in January 2015.


Hope to see you there.

Keep on swinging.








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: