Course Review and Comments
Swellendam is a small country town in South Africa, about 2.5 hours away from Cape Town. As such, one cannot expect Augusta National or any more than nine holes. But I will say that for a course in the 'South African small-town course' category, it's up there with the best.
Its scenery is probably the key selling point. Swellendam is a lovely, green town watched over by hulking mountains. The golf club is high on the mountainside, so it's got some great views over the town as well as the nearby valleys and rivers. Just don't expect anything like a straight putt!
The conditioning is pretty reasonable, although I'd imagine placing should always be allowed on the fairways. The greens run true and fast - be very careful on downhill putts because the ball will roll, and roll, and roll.
The best hole is probably the seventh. It's not a particularly long par four, but a dog-leg, two fairway bunkers and a sluit running diagonally in front of the green make it a hole for the thinking golfer. You'll only be playing a short iron in, but it's an intimidating approach to a well-guarded green. The green's a tricky one too - I managed a four putt and a three putt on it!
The signature hole, though, could be the par-three eighth, which appears from the tee to be perched on the edge of a cliff. It's only a short iron, but you need to be accurate because the green drops away sharply on all sides.
A little confusingly, this nine-hole course consists of two loops of six and three. Given that there are alternate tees for the front and back nines, this means there are tee markers everywhere you look in front of the clubhouse! But it's kinda fun...
I visited Swellendam as part of my quest to play in the Masters one day, and have written a full review on www.mygreenjacket.com. You can also view a few pictures of the course here.
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