From Durban in the east, we flew back to the Western Cape and the vibrant city of Cape Town. No matter how many times you visit and how many days you spend there, the back drop of Table Mountain is continually stunning. The Waterfront area is always busy and vibrant. Street entertainment, quality markets and a huge shopping mall for those inclined, not to mention a plethora of restaurants, surround a working harbour from where many sea tours can be booked. Diving with Sharks or more mundane cruises, a tour to famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years and the tour guides were his political prisoner fellow inmates, are but a few of the attractions available.
I have been travelling to Cape Town for 14 years but this was the first time I had ventured up the Western coast. A truly tranquil area of sand, scrub and a huge lagoon, it reminded me very much of the coastal area of Namibia we visited a few years ago. Wildlife here included Giraffe, Ostrich, Impala and the impressive Kudu that can jump 8 feet high from a standing start! A total contrast to the regular coastal tours taking in Cape Point, False Bay and the more mountainous area south and east of Cape Town.
Back to the fairways on Monday and another first, playing the links course of Milnerton. Apart from twenty eight degrees, blue skies and looking across the bay to the iconic back drop of table mountain, it could have been one of the many lovely links of the British Isles and Ireland! We followed this with a game at Royal Cape GC a more traditional parkland layout. Both clubs where formed in the early 1900’s and are quite traditional and British in there operation which is of course a throw back to the colonial days.
Thursday we visited one of the newer much acclaimed Wine and Golf estates of Steenburg. Again this was a new course for me and while undoubtedly an excellent layout, it was spoilt by the terrible condition of the greens and surrounding areas. Something has gone seriously wrong here and I find it very disappointing when places of this stature take your money, charge higher prices for everything, and don’t inform you of the problems. If you are in the area or have it booked, please check the situation before playing, because it will not be put right quickly.
In contrast, our final day of the 2016 tour took us to Clovelly GC, a constant favourite with our groups and as usual, a friendly welcome at a course presented in impeccable condition. Always an excellent shopping opportunity before the return home and this year proved no different!
We were a smaller party for this final week and so ran the friendly competitions on a league points basis. Ken, who managed to be in the winning team each day and capped it with the best individual score ran out the winner. I think he found 4 weeks of daily golf in the almost perfect conditions of South Africa quite conducive for his golf!
By David Short
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