Golf Course Review: Fancourt – Oteniqua

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Fact File

Par – 72
Rating – 71
Length – 5986m

History
Fancourt has three Gary Player-designed golf courses – Outeniqua, Montagu and The Links, which Player has often referred to as his greatest design feat. All three courses are consistently ranked in the top 20 in South Africa. Since opening in the early 1990’s with just 27 holes, the Outeniqua and Montagu courses have matured and developed into fine parkland layouts.

The Course
Outeniqua, which is named after the mountain range that overlooks the area, has a different look than the Montagu course, and the people of Fancourt are of the opinion that they complement each other. It’s also regarded as the easier course of the two, being more open in appearance, yet it has its share of challenges and risk-and-reward moments. Water hazards or streams come into play on as many as 11 of the holes, including four of the last five. The start is fairly gentle, with the stroke 15 first hole and the stroke 17 second, which is a reachable par-5. Thereafter it toughens up, and the two holes that stand out on the front nine are the short par-4 fifth and the par-3 seventh. The former is short at 285 metres off the club tee and the temptation is to go for the green, particularly if the wind is behind. There is water all along the right to gobble anything wayward. The seventh has a dramatic drop to a green below protected by bunkers either side of it and bush trouble at the back. Club selection is key. The back nine takes you back towards the hotel and there are some stunning views of the mountains, which provide the backdrop to a few of the holes. The par-3 15th stands out, as it requires you to pick the right short-iron and fire away down the hill to a green protected on three sides by water. The par-5 17th is another of those risk-and-reward holes, and can be reached in two in the right conditions. But anything left is wet and the fairway slopes that way. A feature of all the Fancourt courses is the manicuring and attention to detail, with all tee boxes, fairways and greens in pristine condition, which fits perfectly with the beautifully-sculpted mountains framing many of the holes.  

Signature Hole
The signature hole is the par-3 fourth, which plays 180 metres from the club tees and requires a carry over water. If you negotiate that, you still have to contend with a large and difficult green. It’s wide, as opposed to long, and it consists of two tiers, with a bunker protecting the higher, right side. If the pin is up there, you don’t want to be in that sand trap. Depending on the wind, it’s about a four or five-iron and the key is to find the right tier. If not, you’re in three-putt territory and will need all your short-game wits about you.

Rates
Visitor – $70
Hotel Guest – $50
Caddie -$17
Cart Hire – $25
Club Hire – $35

Location
Fancourt is seven kilometres from George Airport. When leaving the airport, turn left onto the R404. At the stop street drive straight over the R102 and continue on the R404 through the farmlands, in the direction of Oudtshoorn. You will arrive at Fancourt which is situated on your right.

Contact
Address: Montagu Street, Blanco
Tel: +27 44 8040000
Email: reservations@fancourt.co.za 
Web: www.fancourt.co.za