Length of Course: Men 6465 m Ladies 5276 m
Type of Course: Links
Visitors: Welcome, subject to availability
Director of Golf/ Club Manager: Nic Grundtvig
Club Shop: Yes
Practice Facilities: Full driving range, target greens, pitching and putting greens and practice bunkers
Hire Facilities: Clubs, drive carts
Catering: Fairway Restaurant, Bar, halfway house
Location: Mossel Bay
Contact: Jenni Oosthuizen (golf co-ordinator)
Postal Address: P.O.Box 1790, Mossel Bay 6506
Phone: 044 693 3438
Fax: 044 693 2256
My advice for the first time visitor to this quite remarkable golf course is to take a very deep breath, hold it in, and be prepared to have the breath literally taken out of you. If ever there was a location that epitomises the term ‘breathtaking’ it is Pinnacle Point.
Indeed Peter Matkovich, the renowned golf course architect of Pinnacle Point, is quoted as saying, ‘This is the most dramatic site I’ve seen anywhere in the world.’ Matkovich really isn’t exaggerating, and understandable is the passion for Pinnacle Point of Ireland’s legendary golfing troubadour Darren Clarke who no doubt found this golfing paradise special during his many regular visits to this land, which he describes as his ‘heaven’.
The golf course is on an undeniably dramatic landscape, which slopes from high above the neighboring Indian Ocean to rugged and dramatic cliffs bordering the estate. The natural undulations lead through a kaleidoscope of some of South Africa’s best natural fynbos and the contrast of earth colours and sea make for picture-postcard splendour.
This contrast of drama and beauty has allowed Matkovich to create individual masterpieces to accomplish the collective of a links style 18 holes. Quite unique, and surely these days some of the world’s most photographed holes, are the seven holes that perch precariously along the cliff edge and collectively intimidate as well as seduce the golfer with both their challenges and their beauty. The short par 3, 13th hole, for example, with the tee and the green perched on the cliff edge requires the golfer to hit over a deep gorge and the margin for error towards the ocean is minimal (non-existent actually!) and though a bail-out scenario is available to the left, both ego and sheer adrenaline will lead one to want to truly play this masterpiece as it is meant to be tackled. The golfer will find three more holes asking for deep gorges with spectacular ocean views (and sounds) to be undertaken, but these are mere punctuation marks on the whole experience, which is quite spectacular.
The first three holes are uphill and lead one away from the ocean vistas, but it is from then on that the canvas, which Matkovich described, is encapsulated as a whole from a high vantage point leading back downwards towards those aforementioned cliffside marvels. Quite remarkably, the undulations of this terrain have not resulted in a hilly course (apart from the first three opening uphill challenges and the 10th), as the contours have provided excellent natural shelves on which the designer has made the best use of the routing, while the views on offer throughout the 18-hole experience.
Also unique is the location of the exquisite clubhouse that sits elegantly on the cliffside overlooking the ocean and the major challenge of the majority of the course, but especially the entire theatre of the daunting finishing hole.
Much of this experience will be governed by the weather conditions on the day of play, as it is nature’s law that such a coastal location will be visited by strong breezes.
Whatever the weather, calm or breezy, the experience of a rugged, yet manicured golf challenge, along undulating terrain, is shared by resident property owners who have invested in the quality lifestyle and environments in this scenic, secure and unspoiled part of the country, destined to become one of the world’s golfing Meccas.
Pinnacle Point has become the gateway to this golfing paradise and visitors can also take advantage of the hotel and rental properties situated on the high ground above the course, allowing uninterrupted golf and ocean views.
Gould’s Special Note:
I particularly like the fact that of the 450 hectares on this estate only 20% has been developed for housing and enjoyed the Director of Golf’s quote at the opening function when he told the guests, ‘You’ll have to be pretty talented to hit a house on this estate.’
The arrival at Pinnacle Point is also memorable, as the care and protection of this sensitive environment has required that no cars be allowed down to the clubhouse. Thus a welcoming check-in venue has been built at the top of the estate, overlooking a truly wonderful practice range (which could duplicate as a concert venue, it is so large!) and visitors will be transported from there on golf carts.
The course opened on 3 November 2006 (my birthday) and it was a marvellous present to enjoy this scenic masterpiece for the first time. Subsequently, fairway grasses have been changed to better cope with the coastal conditions and expensive alterations made to the 9th hole to accommodate environmental concerns due to an important historical find in the adjoining cliffside caves. Today’s course is at the Pinnacle of its standards and I guarantee the most memorable of rounds no matter how you play!
Gould’s Special Note
A hotel, casino and spa border the estate. Restaurants and recreational facilities are part of the complex. The town of Mossel Bay is just minutes away and I recommend a visit to the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex.
From Cape Town on the N2 to Mossel Bay, onto the R102 and turn right at the traffic lights into Pinnacle Point Road that leads to the entrance of the club.