Situated in the heart of the Cape wine lands, Pearl Valley bears the trademark of 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus as one of his signature golf courses. The Golden Bear was quick to lend his thoughts to the construction of a course that is surrounded by mountains in the “Valley of Life”. As a result, a visit to Pearl Valley is nothing short of breathtaking from the excellent service upon arrival to the fully equipped pro shop before filtering out onto some of the country’s best practise facilities.
The course though demands your focus with well-placed bunkers, meandering fairways and water hazards often in play.
Standout holes on the front nine are the fourth, seventh and eighth but that’s not to say this Nicklaus’ design offers any mundane options. Former US Open champion and Ryder Cup star Justin Rose regards the par 5 fourth as one of his top holes around the world with water traversing the fairway before doubling back to guard the green. Only the brave will take this one on in two.
The seventh is magnificent golf hole with water down the right and bunkers and rough to the left. As you tee up your drive, stop to take a look at the mountain range on the horizon before swinging well. Bunkers surround the green and a par here is an almighty achievement. The eighth plays towards the previous hole’s tee box with water again down the right. This time, you must carry the water on your approach to a wide but small landing area.
The par 3 13th is one of the course’s feature holes with water down the right and a bunker protecting the left. Few groups pass this hole without a ball or two finding the hazard.
The closing stretch is one of the best in the country and often produces big scoring swings. The 17th is a long par 3 and the 18th once again has water in play.
Pearl Valley prides itself on excellence from arrival to departure with the golf course’s condition often the setting the standard.
Play conservatively and wisely as the bunkers will quickly add stokes to score and always aim for the middle of the green with danger lurking nearby.
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