I am a PGA qualified golf professional living in Cape Town South Africa. I am a freelance writer too and some of my articles can be found at www.pgasa.com. I also wrote weekly articles for the Sunday Tribune while still living in Durban Kwazulunatal
Published November 22nd 2011
The Garden Route is so named because of its natural beauty and rightly so. It is roughly 500 kilometres long and takes in the coastal towns of Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George, and Mossel Bay, amongst others. This beautiful stretch of land is also a 'golf mecca' and many tourists from Europe use this as their home-from-home during the summer months, in order to escape the cold European winters.
One of the busiest golf courses of this area can be found in the fast developing town of Mossel Bay. Sadly, with development comes a loss of natural beauty, but thankfully there are still plenty of sights and activities for the 'greener' tourist to enjoy in Mossel Bay, the St Blaize hike being one of them. This well maintained trail takes the hiker from Mossel Bay towards Dana Bay and covers 10.5 kilometres, one-way. Along the path, the fynbos covered cliffs drop down dramatically to the pounding sea below. Just above a certain stretch of this trail, lies the Mossel Bay Golf Club.
The Mossel Bay Golf Club is over 100 years old, having recently celebrated their centenary. It lies perched on a headland with sweeping bays on either side affording the golfer some memorable sea views; the club boasts that 'you can see the sea from every tee' and this is indeed true. Of course, being near the sea means that the course is vulnerable to wind, which can change the nature of certain holes, depending on the direction in which the wind is blowing.
The third hole is a prime example of this as, when played into the teeth of a howling southerly wind, it becomes a monster of a hole. It is advisable to play here in the mornings, as the sea breezes pick up every afternoon and the course is certainly a little easier in these calmer morning conditions. In benign conditions, it isn't the longest of golf courses but the greens are pretty tricky, which makes up for this; local knowledge really helps here.
There is a local herd of springbuck that call the Mossel Bay Golf Club home and are free to roam throughout the estate. The coastal bush and fynbos attract a healthy birdlife and one often hears the melodic call of the colourful bokmakierie. A sure sign of a successful golf club is repeat business and this golf course has managed to achieve that with visitors returning year after year to experience all that the course has to offer.