Bushman Sands Golf Course

Bushman Sands Golf Course

Length of Course: Men 5562 m Ladies 4802 m
Holes: 18
Type of Course: Links style
Par: 71
Visitors: Always welcome
Director of Golf: Matthew Beach
Tuition: Yes
Club Shop: Yes
Practice Facilities: Practice green
Hire Facilities: Clubs, drive carts, caddies
Catering: Bar, restaurant, halfway house
Location: Main Street, Alicedale
Contact: Matthew Beach
Postal Address: P.O.Box 39, Alicedale 6135
Phone: 042 231 8054
Fax: 086 212 3802
e-mail: proshop@riverhotels.co.za or golfpro@riverhotels.co.za
web: www.riverhotels.co.za


Alicedale, where the Bushman Sands Estate is situated, was a forgotten part of the Eastern Cape. This area was a disused railway siding and employment in the area was a high as 90 percent, but no longer!

An innovative initiative between private and public enterprise has created a future for the existing community and introduced exceptional amenities for future residents and visiting tourists. At the core of the development of the area, are three alluring components: the first is the Gary Player-designed 18-hole golf course, set on and around the banks of the Bushman and New Years rivers. The second is the 4000-hectare malaria-free Bushman Sands Game Reserve and the third is the Bushman Sands Hotel.

The golf course, officially opened by Gary Player in October 2005, has links-style characteristics, with pot bunkers and undulating, rolling fairways leading to quality and testing green complexes. While the rivers provide the scenic ambience of this course, some of the layout’s unique features will have an impact on the first time visitor. The feature hole is Gary Player’s signature 14th par 3, which requires a tee shot to clear the New Years river drift and land on a large but narrow green.

The success of this initiative can be seen in the real estate demand around this scenic and unspoiled area. The hotel offers four-star terraced rooms with the original Railway College dated 1900 as the cornerstone to an atmosphere of days gone by.

Complementing this truly rural and friendly environment is the re-introduction of abundant wildlife into the bordering Bushman Sands Game Reserve, to add to the re-introduction of sustainable employment in the Alicedale community.


The bunkering on this course has to be mentioned, for here, Gary Player has introduced the new geotextile bunkering, which has both maintenance and environmental advantages. These innovative bunkers are both intimidating and aesthetically pleasing and are not quite as fearsome as they look.
16th Hole – Par 5 – Men 539 m Ladies 487 m
This par 5 is the stroke 1 and this tells you of the challenge ahead. The tee is fronted by a small ravine, but this is merely for visual impact on a hole that has a downhill fairway, sloping quite sharply from left to right and has a river hazard on the right all the way. Two accurate shots over rolling terrain, no matter what length, will lead to a major decision and a requirement for accuracy and correct club selection. This is because the green sits high above the river that fronts it and bush, riverbanks and the river are all magnets to any less than a perfect shot.


From Port Elizabeth direction, take the N2 towards Grahamstown. At the interchange to Grahamstown, take the N10 towards Cradock. Once past the town of Patterson, be on the lookout for the Alicedale turn-off to the right. The 16 km recently tarred road leads directly into the heart of Alicedale.