Golf Course Review… Waterberg

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Fact File

Par – 2
Rating – 73
Length – 7183m
Best Time to Play – All year

History

The developers of Legend Golf & Safari Resort came up with the unique concept of inviting 18 of the world’s top golfers to design a hole for their championship course. So, you have the likes of Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Padraig Harrington all with their names to specific holes. With 18 designers from a host of different geographic areas, the course reflects the differences in thinking and the designers’ backgrounds. The course opened for play in March 2009. Besides the championship course, the resort also has a 10-hole par-3 Tribute Course, with replicas of some of the most famous par-3 holes in the world, including Augusta’s 12th, Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp and the 17th at TPC Sawgrass.

The Course

It’s a bushveld course and a big one at that. That’s due to the course having to fit in with the scale of the setting, with the beautiful Hanglip Mountain towering above the course, and the start of the Waterberg mountains serving as a back-drop. The course is long, but has wide open fairways with massive mounding that mimics the hills around the course. Bunkers make up a very important element of the course, with 87 large sand traps providing golfers of all levels with a fair but testing golf experience. “The bunkers are what links the strategies of 18 of the best golfers in the world together to create one harmonious golfing experience,” says Director of Golf, Dave Riddle. The opening five holes are a real test, and Riddle’s advice is to “play for your handicap, and not attempt any heroic shots, as many a round has come unstuck on this opening stretch.” The course lends itself to the hosting of big golf events and has already hosted three professional tournaments. The greens are big, but not too undulating. All in all, it is a challenging championship course that can play various lengths to test golfers of all levels, with various set-up options. “This is without a doubt one of the fairest championship golf courses I have ever played,” says Riddle. “It really allows golfers of all levels to enjoy what is definitely one of the world’s best golfing settings.”  

Signature Hole

Legend Golf & Safari Resort don’t have a signature hole on their championship course, but they do have, arguably, one of the most unique golf holes in the world, on their property. It’s called Extreme 19 and it’s a par-3 with its tee on the top of the Hanglip Mountain, which can only be accessed by helicopter. “Very simply, we wanted to create the world’s best golf experience,” says Riddle. The hole measures approximately 400 metres, both horizontally and vertically, and it plays down to a beautifully-manicured green below, which has been sculpted in the shape of the African continent. “A golfer once told me that you can only enjoy a golf shot while the ball is moving. Well, with Extreme 19, it can take up to 45 seconds before your golf ball comes to rest! Now, that’s a rush a golfer cannot resist,” says Riddle. There have only been a handful of birdies on the hole, with former West Indies cricketer Franklyn Stephenson recording the first, back in 2009.

Rates (18 holes)

Visitors – R650 (includes cart and halfway)
Caddie – R120
Club Hire – R400

Where is it?

The other side of Mookgophong, which used to be called Naboomspruit, and approximately three hours’ drive from Johannesburg. From Johannesburg, you head up the N1 north to Polokwane, go through three toll gates, and then turn off to Mookgophong. Once through Mookgophong, about 30 kilometres later, there’s a turn-off to Doorndraai/Sterkrivier. Thereafter, follow signs to Entabeni.

Contact

Address: Haakdoring Rd, Sterkrivier, Limpopo, +27 14 743 6371, legendgolfsafari.com 

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