Nelspruit Golf Course
popular place to play when visiting this outstanding tourist area and
the busiest golf course in the region. The course has a variety of
indigenous Lowveld trees and over 256 different species of birds.
Straddling the sixth and 18th fairways at Nelspruit Golf Club is the biggest fig
tree you are likely to ever see. If your ball lands anywhere near it, there is
little chance of going for either green in two. Just imagine trying to play
over, around or through a five-storey building spanning some 40 metres at its
widest point and you'll have an idea what you are up against.
For all its grandeur though, the fig is not the only tree golfers at Nelspruit
have to worry about. Many other indigenous trees line the fairways, with more
than 50 species having been recorded.
Nelspruit is a Bob Grimsdell design dating back to 1939, but the course has a
curious history. It was a 9-holer for nearly 30 years before Grimsdell returned
to complete a second nine in 1967-68. The course was left largely untouched
until the 1998 upgrade.
With a par of 71 and measuring 6 063 metres it is not long or
overly difficult to play, but it has an unusual start to the front nine in that
the first is a par 4, the second a par 5, the third a par 3, the fourth a par 5
and the fifth a par 3, before closing off with four straight par 4s. The
seven-minute gap between tee times had to be extended to eight minutes to
overcome backlogs during peak times because of this.
The dogleg-right first hole is as tough an opening hole as you
will find. With houses to the left and right an accurate tee shot is needed to
find the fairway. You then face a daunting medium- to long-iron shot into a
green surrounded by trees and bunkers to the right. Once you've negotiated the
first though, no other hole on the front nine really stands out, with the
closing four holes seeming to blend into one another.
The back nine is much the better, with more variety to the holes. The entire
nine, save for the two par 3s on 13 and 17, is either played uphill or downhill.
The club is
currently looking at changing one of the par 4s into a par 5, possibly the
uphill 377-metre 12th which is rated stroke two.
The Nelspruit Golf Club is host to the annual Jock of the Bushveld
Festival of golf when hundreds of amateurs from far and wide descend on
There are no fairway bunkers at Nelspruit but this is
compensated by strategic positioning of trees. The club features a
Pro-shop, festive bar and clubhouse.
The hole that stands out is the 498-metre 14th,
the only par 5 on the
back nine. From an elevated tee, a generous tree-lined fairway runs away
gradually to a green surrounded by bunkers. There is the option of going for the
green in two, but for high handicappers the safe bet is to lay up.
It is conveniently situated for daily visits to Kruger National Park.
Add to Holiday Basket