Situated at Herold’s Bay along South Africa’s Garden Route, this traditional links course is ranked 28 in the top 100 golf courses in South Africa by Golf Digest (2012), and 12th in their Top 25 Best Conditioned Courses in SA. Course designer, Ernie Els rates it as his favourite course to play.
Veld grass lines the lush fairways and greens, which are in excellent condition and roll smooth and true as the coastal winds play a predominant role in the course’s defences.
The traditional Links layout has nine holes out and nine holes back with a unique two-tee operation. The fairways are generous and will reward well executed shots but are also well bunkered to penalise any stray drives.
Measuring 6,516 meters from the Pro tees which is long for a coastal course, but the course’s design and placement of tee boxes allows all levels of handicap golfer the chance to achieve a respectable score if they are patient and practice good course management.
Oubaai’s signature hole is the par-three 17th, which offers visitors the most spectacular views of the rugged coastal cliffs and the deep blue Indian Ocean below. The hole is short at just 144 meters from the back tee and the downhill elevation of the hole can offer a false sense of security to golfers. In reality it is one of the most challenging holes on the course as the green is guarded by four bunkers and the ever changing coastal winds come into play.
At the par-three 6th hole, gentlemen need a 120 meter drive to cross the gorge and reach the fairway, while the ladies, who have a different approach and don’t have to deal with the gorge, will need to reach lengths of 85 – 120 meters. The scenic green is framed by the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance and the Gwaing River flows below you.
The 7th hole, a demanding par-five, is the longest on the course and has a gorge on its right side.
Defiantly risk-and-reward by design, the 10th looks easy but is treacherous and separates the men from the boys.
The 12th hole is the only one where a water hazard really comes into play at Oubaai. While the longer player will have the opportunity to go for the green after a good drive, they will still have the water to negotiate.
Overlooking the 16th, 17th and 18th greens, the clubhouse’s open-air terraces offer panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, and Gwaing River Valley.
The boutique style Pro Shop is lined in mahogany, granite and glass and offers the best in golfing attire and equipment. Club-fitting is offered to help you make the right choices when purchasing your clubs. Demo club sets are available as well as top of the range Titleist and Cobra rental sets.
In addition to the golfing attire and equipment, the Oubaai Pro Shop also offers exquisite gifts like Riedel crystal glassware, hand-made Khoi-San leather wine and glass carriers, the Ernie Els and Engelbrecht /Els wine range and various golfing related books.
Course Type: Links
Designer: Ernie Else
Course Rating: 18-Hole, Par 74
Course Length: 6,516m
Fairways and Tees: Kikuyu