Exceptional golf experience!
Some of the greatest players ever have said:
“This is the best links course I have seen outside Scotland” – Jack Nicklaus
“This is definitely among the worlds best courses” – Gary Player
“This natural-looking links course is still my favorite” – Ernie Els
I have no different opinion; “The Links” is an exceptional links course and by no doubt one of the best in the world. I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it.
Tyronne Farrell - Head professional at The Links:
The Links at Fancourt:
“The Links” is a creation from flat land, not a natural laid out links course. But what a creation! The rolling fairways, endless humps, hollows, multiple pot bunkers and surrounding sand dunes are as natural as it gets – tremendous.
“The Links” is a true Championship course and it’s a tough links course. It’s very intimidating from a visual perspective off tee – narrow almost non-existing fairways to land your ball on. The reality is that fairways are wider then they looks and offers a challenge most golfers will see as being achievable, rather than impossible.
Add numerous pot bunkers and wind to the above – yes, you got yourself a very interesting challenge.
The layout of the course and design of the holes are very interesting. The layout of the holes is constantly changing direction, so the wind will impact differently on almost every hole. The design of the holes gives you options on how you want to play them, aggressive or conservative – “risk & reward”.
The game off tee is crucial and you need to be precise and put the ball in position. Yes, the rest of your game needs to be at it’s best to master the course, but off tee is key.
The holes are clearly separate from each other and you get a feeling of being on your own on the golf course. The conditions of the course are superb and I don’t think it can get better then this. This is without loosing the natural rugged links element – fantastic.
My favorite holes are:
Hole 3 – 398 meters par 4 – “Calamity”
A long tough par 4, with a large fairway bunker to the left and a smaller one on the right – be precise. The Plattner Burn is protecting the front of the green, so make sure you have enough club. OK drive to the right of the fairway bunker, 4-iron to the right edge of green, two putts for a par.
Hole 6 - 297 meters par 4 – “Five Penny Piece”
There are five fairway bunkers to be negotiated off tee. A tiny green is best reached from the right side of fairway. You need an accurate pitch because there’s a bunker to the left and a steep slope to the right. A fairway wood straight down the middle and just avoiding one bunker, pitch short of green, chip to one meter from hole and one putt for a par.
Hole 12 – 419 meters par 4 – “Sheer Murrrder”
Although the fairway is quite generous, the approach shot is the key on this hole. Length is required from the tee shot and extreme accuracy with the second. A ball to the left of the green will end up in the wetland. Conservative play is to the right of the green, from where a pitch and a putt may give you a par. Pushed the drive to the semi rough on the left hand side and just in front of a sand dune, 9-iron to just get out of the rough and on to the fairway, 8-iron just short of green and avoiding left greenside bunker, chip and one putt for a bogey 5. Could have done better, but OK.
Hole 15 – 362 meters par 4 – “Roon The Bend”
Great dogleg left par 4 played from an elevated tee and surrounded by wetland. If you are bold, cut the left side wetland for a shorter approach shot, but right is safer. The green is protected by the wetland on three sides. Fantastic hole. I was bold with a great drive cutting the wetland, terrible approach shot 40 meters short of green, even more terrible socket pitch to the right edge of the wetland, chip and one putt saved a bogey 5. This is a good example on how to mess up a prefect drive.
I can’t think of a better place to finish my links adventure then on “The Links” at Fancourt. Having the golf course almost on your own is a rare experience – just me and my excellent caddie Sipho.
My body was tired, but the excitement made up for it. I was OK off tee, but slightly short with almost all approach shots. The short and recovery game was OK, so the overall score ended up good. I was consistent with 40 on the front and 40 on the back for a total of 80 shots (gross).
This is a course that needs to be played a few times to learn it and have a chance to score well. It’s after all a tough Championship links course and you need to pull out your very best game to master it – your best may not even be good enough. “The Links” is though a tremendous links course that will beat you up, but it’s a “beating” that you’ll enjoy very much.
I did also have the opportunity to play the Outeniqua course. An extremely nice and enjoyable parkland style golf course. Not an easy an easy one, but you get more breeding room than on The Links. Did shot a 79 (gross) and I’m very pleased with the result. Yes, one mulligan was used after putting the drive in some ones backyard.
The entire facility at Fancourt is fantastic with world-class accommodation, dining, Golf Academy, practice facilities and the three golf courses; The Links, Montagu and Outeniqua.
Fancourt is THE place to go to in South Africa and you’ll get an exceptional experience. I’ll certainly go back already in 2012.
Many Thanks to everyone at Fancourt that made my experience tremendous and long remembered.
The Links course at Fancourt
Outeniqua course at Fancourt