Golf Course Review… Limpopo

1042

Fact File

Par – 36
Length – 1260m

Background

In a slight departure from the 18-hole championship courses usually featured in these pages, this month Business Traveller Africa profiles a rather unique 12-hole facility, situated at the Protea Hotel Ranch resort, 25 kilometres south of Polokwane, in the northern South African province of Limpopo. They call it the ‘Executive Golf Course and Academy’ and the concept is the first of its kind in the province. Resident professional Sean Pappas was previously with the renowned Han Merensky golf course in Phalaborwa.

At the Ranch he presides over a quality 12-hole layout that is well looked after and offers plenty of options to the travelling business person or group. Pappas offers individual or group tuition and coaching, and the golf course and adjoining accommodation provides an alternative for team building. There are 32 5-star self-catering chalets either side of the main clubhouse and each boasts two en-suite double bedrooms and a central living area. All units have wide, covered patios overlooking the golf course. Further to that, the clubhouse has a bar and offers a selection of light meals, served in the spacious lounge or on the terrace. The golf facility is part of the Protea Hotel Ranch resort complex, which is a 4-star hotel with a multitude of facilities and conferencing options.

The Course 

A piece of savannah bushveld has been transformed into an undulating landscape of emerald tees and greens, and the 12-hole (all par-3) ‘express’ course is ideally suited to those who want a quick round of golf before breakfast or after a day of meetings. The 12-hole course can easily be completed in two and a half hours and this meets a growing demand amongst many modern travellers.

The 12 holes range in distance from 75-125 metres and the tee boxes and fairways are all laid with kikuyu grass, while the greens are well manicured with high-quality bent grass. In terms of conditioning, it’s not your average, standard, pitch-and-putt course – it’s in the sort of condition you’d expect from a championship course. The layout is set in the bushveld and forms part of the Protea Hotel Ranch resort nature conservancy. It is suited to all levels of golfers – beginners won’t be intimidated, as it’s short, whilst low-handicap golfers can use it to sharpen their short game, as well as learn to control the distance they hit their short irons. Either way, it’s a decent test, suited to individuals, as well as corporates looking for team building options.

Signature Hole

The 10th hole plays 106 metres straight up the hill to a small and undulating green, which is surrounded by five well-placed bunkers. Distance control with your tee shot is very important. Any shot coming up short or long and you could find yourself making a four or even more on the hole.

Rates (12 holes)

Adults – R80
Juniors – R40
Adults – R125 for 2 or more rounds
Juniors – R60 for 2 or more rounds

Location

The hotel is situated just off the N1 highway, which links Johannesburg with Polokwane. It is approximately 25 kilometres south of Polokwane and about 275 kilometres north of Johannesburg. The drive from Johannesburg will take you approximately three hours.

Contact

Tel: +27 15 290 5000, theranch.co.za

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