The Knysna Protia Hotel with Lagoon facing rooms was our place of residence for the third week of the golf tour. While Fancourt is one of the very best golf resorts worldwide and Cape Town iconic, the atmosphere in Knysna, the centre of the Garden Route, is stunning and vibrant. The hotel sits on the edge of the lagoon and one can walk out on to the waterfront or into the town to many fine restaurants following a days golf on a really good mix of golf courses.
We had a truly international field this week. Apart from most areas of England; Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Kenya and Uganda were represented!
A relatively gentle start at Knysna GC, similar to Westlake, a flat members course meandering through trees and a far better test than one expects. Sue, Jean, Eirik and Pradip produced 80 pts to win the day. In contrast our second days play took us several hundred feet above the lagoon to the stunning views of the Nicklaus signature course of Simola. (See pic above). Mark, Bob, Mike and Tony tied with Sue, Vanessa, Alan and Kenneth on 80 pts.
Tuesday is our traditional Plettenburg day – my and many others favourite day. A super traditional golf course, steadily renovated over the years, Plettenburg has a great variety of holes in a beautiful natural setting and is always in top class condition.The round here is always followed by dinner at the Lookout. A rustic restaurant situated towards the western end of Plettenburg Bay, fabulous views only surpassed by the Calamari, Fish & Chips and Pinotage wine!! Mark, Arnold, Mary and Barbara were the victors on this special day.
Over the years we have come to realise a full tour day is to much following three hectic days golf, not to mention the wining and dining! Trevor keeps his ear to the ground, finds us a gentle half day tour to include a lunch and this year, following a welcome lay in, came up trumps with a visit to the beautiful Knotzie Beach followed by a South African Tapas lunch at a lovely Winery.
We returned to the fairways of Simola for our main competition of the week. With the ladies and highest handicap men in one hat and the rest in the other, a free draw had Lisbeth and Bob returning a very creditable 39 but being pipped by Mary and Geoff with an excellent 41. Dinner at the Cruise Cafe is always popular and prior to that, a sundowner cruise down the Lagoon to the treacherous “Heads” where many a ship has floundered over the centuries was enjoyed by a number of the group.
Our final day at Pezula, arguably the most scenic course of the whole tour, albeit not my favourite, was a friendly team event where requests for own teams were allowed. A tie on 79 pts between Mark, Tony, Lisbeth and Sue against the international team of Eirik, Pradip, Hasmukh and Vadan was separated by a back nine of 44 to 40 by the former mentioned team. Following a presentation of prizes, we returned to pack before meeting at JJ’s restaurant (yet another favourite), overlooking the lagoon for our final evening in beautiful Knysna.
BACK TO FANCOURT Feb 25 – 01 March.
As rooms were like gold dust in Fancourt at the start of the tour we returned for 4 extra days. A little coaching and three further rounds on the perfectly manicured courses of Fancourt completed the 2017 holiday. If there is anywhere in the world better than South Africa for ambience and golf I would think there must be two Heavens! Arrangements for next years Tour are almost complete. A week in Cape Town and a further week in Arabella and Hermanus are sandwiched between 2 weeks in Fancourt. It’s some time in the future I appreciate, but I strongly suggest you book sooner rather than later. It appears SA’s tourist industry is booming and while we pre book everything, once sold extra places are not going to be available.
Hope to see you soon.