Against a backdrop of mountains, forests, estuaries, rivers and the Indian Ocean, Knysna’s golf courses are scenic and full of birds and other wildlife. There will be times when you will be distracted by loeries, guinea fowl and monkeys when you are trying to focus on birdies, eagles and albatrosses!
There are over a dozen excellent golf courses in the Garden Route with three signature courses in Knysna in close proximity to each other, and two mashie courses in the Greater Knysna area. So, it is no wonder that golfers from around the globe are attracted to this top holiday destination in South Africa.
Knysna Golf Club
The Knysna Golf Course adjacent to the Knysna Lagoon is a flat, pretty course of tree-lined fairways, with tidal pools and inlets and a challenging links/parkland layout with some of the finest greens in the southern Cape. Founded in 1909, it is the oldest golf course in Knysna and one of the oldest in South Africa, but has a modern, recently rebuilt clubhouse which boasts a halfway house, bar and expansive deck. The well-stocked golf shop also hires out golf clubs and pull trolleys.
The course is a par 72, with four par fives, four par threes and 10 par fours. Water hazards are in play on 12 holes. The signature 8th hole is par three.
The course is ranked 100th in the Top 100 Golf Courses in South Africa.
Pezula Championship Course
Pezula Championship Course is considered to be one of the most beautiful but challenging courses in the Garden Route. Designed by Ronald Fream and David Dale of GolfPlan USA, it covers 254 hectares on the East Head of Knysna and has spectacular views of the Knysna Lagoon and Indian Ocean. Its fairways and greens wind though pristine fynbos landscapes.
The course caters for all levels of players with five different tee options on every hole. Carts are mandatory because the terrain is steep and undulating and there are long walks between shots.
The Pezula Clubhouse has an expansive terrace overlooking the golf course, a Halfway House and bar, a well-stocked Pro Shop, change rooms with showers, and a short game practice facility and putting green.
Par for the course is 72. The signature 14th hole is the most exciting to play and also the most scenic. The average round takes 4,5 hours.
Pezula is ranked 17th in the Top 100 Golf Courses in South Africa. In 2010, the course was ranked 7th in the world in The World’s Best Golf Resorts.
Simola Golf Course
Simola Golf Course is a Jack Nicklaus signature design (one of only three in Africa) perched high above the town of Knysna with views across the Knysna River and beyond to The Heads. This visually spectacular course is characterised by wide fairways, huge bunkers and sloping greens.
With its undulating terrain golf carts are essential and included in the green fee.
There are five par fives and five par threes. Par for the course is 72. The 17th is known as the course’s signature hole; described by Compleat Golfer as “a beautiful par three that embraces Simola’s finest qualities.”
The clubhouse is part of the main hotel area and has access to the spa, gym and restaurant. There are spacious changing rooms, and a chipping and putting green. The Pro Shop stocks the latest golf equipment, apparel and accessories and the bar on the upper floor has a panoramic view of the course below.
Simola is ranked 20th in the Top 100 Golf Courses in South Africa.
Blackwaters River Lodge Mashie Golf Course
Mashie courses have only 9 holes and par threes and are great for beginners and experienced golfers who want to practise their short game. The course at Blackwaters is challenging but scenic, designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of the location in the Goukamma valley, just 10 minutes from Knysna and Sedgefield. The longest hole is 152m and the shortest 52m. Equipment is available to hire and you can pre-order a picnic to enjoy on the banks of the river after your game.
Sedge Links Golf Course, Sedgefield
The Sedge Links Golf Course at Pine Lake Marina in Sedgefield is the perfect place to concentrate on your drives, short game and putting skills. Located next to the Swartvlei Lake, it has 18 tee boxes, each with a junior, intermediate and advanced tee off section to suit players of all levels.The cosy clubhouse has a bar and lounge, pizzeria, coffee bar and an outside covered deck with seating.