Steenberg CEO Gary Lees surprised us all, as he got married this month. Added to this seemingly spontaneous decision was his announcement that he was moving to Johannesburg to take up the position as COO of the remarkable new Steyn City development.
A former professional squash player, member of her Majesty’s Service Army Air Corps, co-owner of Germany’s first public golf course, Lees came to South Africa and following success at the Johannesburg Country Club as Club Resource Manager and as General Manager of the Vodacom World of Golf and Golf Villages, he moved to Cape Town in 2009 to take up his position at Steenberg.
Lees leaves a legacy, as Steenberg, regarded as South Africa’s most successful Estate, was recently voted by Conde Naste as South Africa’s number 1 Golfing Resort and number 2 in the world.
He told me, “I am obviously sorry to leave Steenberg, which I am pleased has gained its deserved reputation as South Africa’s premier estate. During this period my now wife and I have led a long distance relationship, as she has a very successful position in Johannesburg. The opportunity to move to Steyn City just came at right time and allowed us to finally be together as man and wife. So it wasn’t a spontaneous decision, we needed to be in the same town!”
Mr and Mrs Lees –wedding day at Lanzerac
Steenberg will no doubt miss Lees, but its beautifully manicured Peter Markovich golf course layout, with superb bunkering and its mountainous surrounds, will remain the most sought after venue for visitors who will marvel at the quality of lifestyle on offer for its residents so near to Cape Town. Apart from the golf course, the estate is built on the oldest wine farm in the Cape Peninsula, which remains operational and garners world recognition for its superb wines. Awards abide also for the luxurious hotel on site and the Catherina’s and 1682 restaurants offer a wonderful mix of formal and casual choices, both blessed with delicious fare and exceptional service.
Lees will without doubt miss the scenic splendour of the Constantia Valley and the accompanying seasonal splendour of the estate’s vineyards, but he will not doubt be occupied at Steyn City, where a Jack Nicklaus course will be at the heart of a 2000 acre development, which will comprise residential, commercial, retail and leisure components, all set within 1 000 acres of woodland.