This article focuses on our take on the Top 10 Golf Courses in Cape Town, Winelands, Hermanus & the Garden Route. We use info from the Top 100 Golf Courses in South Africa. (But now, to make it interesting, there are two competing Ranking Lists!)
The Cape’s golf courses have dropped down the country’s rankings in recent years. Partly partly because of the water shortages back in 2017-2018 ( which are now a thing of the past). But also because of loss of tourism revenue to many courses. And the emergence of so many country lifestyle estates around Johannesburg. These have given the Cape a good run for its money.
But there are still some stunning golf courses in the Cape. The courses highlighted below are some of the most scenically beautiful courses in the country. And they are very easy to incorporate into a South African holiday itinerary.
Our rankings differ from the Top 100 Rankings in that they cover the whole of South Africa. So some of the country’s best golf courses, though immaculate, are not readily available to the keen overseas golfer. Either because of their location. Or their exclusive club membership which does not easily permit visitors.
Our top 10 Golf Courses in Cape Town, the Winelands and the Garden Route include some of the top golf courses which are easily accessible to the golfing visitor. We have put the Top 100 Golf Course Rankings at the bottom of each description for your reference. (When the two sources differ significantly, we have given both.)
1) The Links at Fancourt Golf Estate, Garden Route
The Links course at Fancourt, is a truly unique and challenging course, especially if the wind blows, with rolling fairways alongside punishing roughs. Fancourt is considered to be the most impressively designed course in South Africa. Unique to South Africa, the course presents undulating windswept terrain and dune-style landscape. As a result, the Links presents a stern test in all weather conditions. Perhaps the most eye-catching hole is the par-three 2nd hole, with a bunker in the heart of the massive green!
George, Garden Route • Links • 6 930m • Golf Carts • Golf in Garden Route – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 2
2) Pearl Valley Country Club, Winelands
Pearl Valley has risen dramatically in the rankings in the last 2 years, up from Number 17 to Numer 2. This is one of Jack Nicklaus’s most visually pleasing golf courses. The 500 acre Pearl Valley Golf Estate is surrounded by the Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains. And bordered by vineyards with the Berg River acting as a water hazard through the course. Pearl Valley is one of the most spectacular golf courses in South Africa. It’s the combination of the intense colours of the greens and fairways. Together with the brilliant white river sand lining the bunkers.
Paarl, Cape Winelands • Parkland 6 719m • Carts available • Golf in Cape Winelands – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 3 (or No 14 alternative source)
3) Montagu at Fancourt Golf Estate, Garden Route
The Montagu at Fancourt is consistently within the top 10 courses in South Africa. The Fancourt Montagu is one of the best-conditioned golf courses in South Africa. It is cleverly designed, picturesque, and presents a challenge to golfers of all levels. With its setting of mountains, water, and wildlife.
As with the other Fancourt courses, only hotel guests and club members can play. So there is ample time to savour the Fancourt golfing experience. The warm-up area, featuring a full-length range, chipping and bunker practice area, is available to all golfers before play.
George, Garden Route • Parkland • 6 714m • Golf Carts • Golf in Garden Route – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 5 (or No 12 alternative source)
4) Arabella Country Club, near Hermanus
The Arabella Country Club & Arabella Hotel overlooks the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, a mass of over 1,200 species of wild flowers and fynbos. The sweeping grandeur of the mountains and lagoon backdrop, complements this 18-hole championship course. Peter Matkovich, the exemplary golf architect was the designer.
Arabella Country Club provides both a wonderful golf challenge and an eye-catching landscape. It borders the largest natural lagoon in South Africa, Bot River Lagoon. The 9th, 17th, and 18th holes all run parallel to the water. Whilst the wetland is home to thousands of waterbirds so keep your eyes peeled for the flamingos.
Near Hermanus • Parkland 6 381m • Golf Carts • Golf in Cape – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 7
5) Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, Garden Route
Well-known South African golf course architect Peter Matkovich designed this 18 hole championship golf course which opened in 2006. Pinnacle Point was soon selected as one of the Top Ten New Golf Courses of the World by Travel & Leisure.
This Clifftop course surrounded by fynbos vegetation offers a challenging layout, dramatic views and breath-taking terrain. The 72 par layout has 7 majestic holes that line the Indian Ocean rock cliffs. Four of which are played over ocean and cliff. All holes have been designed to fit the contours of the land.
It’s also won the Complete Golfer 5 star Experience Award and offers 180 degree ocean views.
Garden Route • Parkland 6 465m • Caddies • Golf in Garden Route – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 15 (or No 23 alternative source)
6) Simola Golf Course, Knysna Garden Route
Simola is a relatively new course that is fast rising up the rankings, also in Knysna on the Garden Route. This Jack Nicklaus course opened in 2005 and sits majestically on a wooded landscape overlooking the Knysna River and lagoon.
Simola is untroubled by the wind that plagues so may coastal courses. And it boasts an unusual configuration of five par-5s and five par-3s,. So that Simola offers challenging and rewarding golf for pros and high-handicap players alike.
Knysna, Garden Route • Parklands 6 401m • Golf Carts • Golf in Garden Route – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 16
7) Pezula Golf Estate, Knysna Garden Route
Pezula Golf Course lies in a stunning setting on the clifftops of the Knysna heads. It offers views to the Indian Ocean to one side, the Knysna Lagoon to another, and the indigenous rainforest to a third. The whole course is covered with beautiful fynbos, which strongly resembles Scottish heather. You can stay at the Pezula Hotel or at a boutique hotel that has golf membership such as Kanonkop House…
Pezula course will prove challenging to the expert. Yet it has five tees to every hole which makes it accessible to the social and junior players. The course offers breathtaking views over the forest, the Knysna Lagoon, and the Indian Ocean. It even has holes, such as the 14th, built right on the breach of the cliffs. The succession of the forest, cliff, and sea locations changing elevations and clever bunkering offers a true test of skill.
Knysna, Garden Route • Parkland 6 355m • Carts available • Golf in Garden Route – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 20
Download our Guide on Top 25 Golf Courses in South AfricaFind the best-designed & most interesting golf courses to play… Start dusting off your golf clubs
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8) Outeniqua at Fancourt Golf Estate, Garden Route
The Outeniqua course at Fancourt, set in rolling parkland, has the stunning backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains. This course is similar in design to The Montagu, being shaped by the legendary Gary Player. It offers world-class conditioning and a setting that takes in mountains, water, and wildlife. A gentle opening par 4 with a fairly wide landing area. Then a large water hazard on the 14th hole with a good finishing 18th hole, the Outeniqua creates a wonderful challenge for all golfing enthusiasts. As with all Fancourt courses, there are a variety of tees from which to choose to play. This ensures that you never feel overwhelmed by the course.
George, Garden Route • Parkland 6 312m • Golf Carts • Golf in Garden Route – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 23
9) Erinvale Country Club, Winelands
Erinvale’s setting is stunning with the Hottentot Holland mountains as a backdrop. However, this beautifully manicured championship course boasts some of the country’s most challenging and spectacular holes. The course has two distinctly different nine holes to challenge the enthusiastic golfer. Again water and bunkers feature heavily with the additional challenge of the gradients! It has a driving range, putting green and chipping green for practice. Erinvale’s demanding front nine meanders through park-like terrain. Whilst the back nine provide a contrasting challenge, winding its way through the foothills of the mountains with panoramic views of False Bay. On the 15th hole you crest the hill and enjoy a spectacular view of Gordons Bay before you. You can stay at Erinvale Hotel.
Cape Winelands • Parkland 6 506m • Carts available • Golf in Cape Winelands – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 25
10) De Zalze Country Club, Winelands
De Zalze was designed by well-known South African golf architect, Peter Matkovich. He made the most of this stunning setting and created a course that places a premium on accuracy. The course is set among vineyards and orange groves of the Cape Winelands, alongside the Blaauwklippen River.
The course has a memorable layout with many challenges, especially the second nine. The oak tree-lined Blaauwklippen River which winds its way through the golf estate comes into play at various intervals. The short par-four 12th is played from an island tee over a large stretch of water to a green. This can be driven if you’re brave enough to carry the water. The par five with two fairways is another interesting hole set amongst the citrus trees.
Cape Winelands • Parkland 6 385m • Carts available • Golf in Cape Winelands – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 34
And one for good measure …. Steenberg Golf Estate, Cape Town
11) Clovelly Golf Course, Cape Town
Clovelly Golf Course is scenically one of the best courses on the Cape Peninsula. It is more varied than many of the parkland courses. The lovely colonial clubhouse enjoys a slightly elevated position above the course. Which in turn takes full advantage of its coastal setting with deep sand dunes encroaching upon the fairways. It is known for its rolling fairways, undulating holes, and magnificent landscaping. Wind also plays a significant factor at Clovelly! A relatively quiet course, Clovelly is a tight par 72 with a testing mix of interesting holes and elevated greens. It is accompanied by beautiful views of Silvermine River and lakes. Sand dunes abound the course, which has natural water features. Plus a wide variety of indigenous fauna and flora, notably the variety of trees lining the fairways.
Cape Town • Coastal 5 890m • Carts available • Top 10 Golf Courses in Cape Town – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 41 (or No 32 with alternative source)
12) Steenberg Golf Estate, Cape Town
Steenberg is the first real golf course within the city limits of Cape Town in the rankings. Surrounded by vineyards, Steenberg’s parkland course lies in the verdant Constantia valley in the crook of the Constantiaberg mountains with extensive mountain and forest views from the course. Designed by Peter Matkovich, Steenberg offers some testing and varied golf with tee boxes amongst the vineyards, much use of water, and natural sandbanks in the heathland. You can stay at Steenberg Hotel with its excellent restaurant, spa & wine cellar…
The course features four distinct areas: wetlands, parkland, the Cape flats, and fynbos. Visually spectacular and technically challenging, these are the sort of holes that make golfing a true pleasure.
Constantia • Parkland 6 296m • Carts • Top 10 Golf Courses in Cape Town – SA Top 100 Courses 2023 No 45 (or No 62 with alternative source)
We hope you have enjoyed this post on the top 10 golf courses in Cape Town. Check out Part 2 on the Top 10 Golf Courses in South Africa in Sun City, the Kruger, and KZN….
Or head to our Golf pages for more sample golf holidays.
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Other Notable Mentions for the Top 10 Golf Courses in Cape Town
Cape Town has a number of golf courses that don’t quite make the cut here. But the following are well worth a mention…
- George Golf Club – Number 18 (We didnt include above only because of the three Fancourt courses already in George and another two within 30 mins drive!)
- Hermanus – Number 39
- Royal Cape – Number 41
- Plettenberg Bay Country Club – Number 49
- Stellenbosch – Number 59
- Atlantic Beach – Number 62
- Oubaai, Garden Route – Number 68
Sample itineraries for golfing holidays in South Africa
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Low-down on the top courses for holiday visitors in South AfricaStart dusting off your golf clubs
About the Authors of “Top 10 Golf Courses in Cape Town” – Cedarberg Africa
Cedarberg Africa is a Africa safari specialist focusing on Southern Africa. We put together tailor-made itineraries which are designed around YOUR interests. Whether it is a stand-alone golfing trip or combining golf with safari. Or adding some golf into a highlights tour of South Africa. We have been in business for nearly 25 years so we know what we’re doing!