Join us on this exclusive Jack Nicklaus Designed Golf Courses Tour powered by Fairways to Africa!
South Africa has an incredible amount to offer any traveller, especially if you are a golfer, and so we are excited to bring you an eleven-day five-star Jack Nicklaus Designed Golf Courses Tour to showcase some of the best golf South Africa has to offer!
The Jack Nicklaus Designed Golf Courses Tour provides an ideal multipurpose holiday, where the non-golfer programme options are extremely flexible, personalised and cost-effective, taking in some of South Africa’s most popular wildlife and tourist attractions; while providing golfers of all skill levels, with a unique opportunity to play on a selection of South Africa’s best Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses.
Southern Africa is home to some of the continent’s finest golf courses, which is not really surprising, considering that some of the World’s finest professional players, and golf course architects have been designing and building golf courses in the region for many years.
Outside of a playing career, which puts him at number 1 on the all-time records, Jack Nicklaus is also generally acknowledged to be one of golf’s top 3 course designers, in what is naturally a very subjective and competitive field.
The Jack Nicklaus Designed Golf Courses Tour will allow the golfer to play some of the Golden Bear’s best courses in South Africa, while the itinerary will take in some of the region’s key sights and features, and provide you with the opportunity to turn the trip into a family vacation.
The first leg will feature games at two award-winning courses, both which are within golf estates.
Serengeti Estates, which is situated west of Pretoria, has been the host venue to the South African Open on numerous occasions, and is the current home of the Tour Championship on the Sunshine Tour.
Lying at the heart of a magnificent estate, the Serengeti course boasts a distinctive rugged, grassland motif, reminiscent of the grasslands of the great Serengeti in East Africa – factors which combine to form a golfing gem.
While Nicklaus has designed a truly ‘modern’ championship layout, he has been mindful of the average player, so the many tee options offer a course, which is both challenging, yet still playable for every level of golfer.
Characterised by its surroundings of beautiful mature trees, Houghton Golf Club is in one of Johannesburg’s most historic suburbs, which has undergone something of a revival in recent years.
This revival included Jack Nicklaus’ extensive modification of the original Houghton course layout, which was originally designed in 1926, turning it into one of Gauteng’s current must-play courses. Houghton is renowned for its conditioning, proof of which can be found in its having hosted the SA Open Championship on numerous occasions.
The non-golf section of the programme provides an exciting menu of parallel activities suitable for the whole family.
This can include visiting the restaurants and shopping areas in Sandton City and Sandton Square – one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest malls; and the opportunity to visit and explore the region’s more natural attractions. Gauteng’s central location is perfect for ½ and full day access to a number of must-see places, including visits to areas of cultural significance and historic interest, the Voortrekker Monument, the Cradle of Humankind (a World Heritage site) and the ‘city’ of SOWETO which offers guided tours and lunches.
For a feel of the nightlife, we recommend Saint Restaurant, an Italian-inspired bar and restaurant in Sandton.
Our hotel of choice is the Sandton Sun & Towers Hotel – a unique destination complex offering an unparalleled guest experience in the heart of Sandton. Accommodation at Sandton Sun & Towers Hotel combines luxury comfort with business convenience. Options range from 5-star Superior Rooms with large flat screens and skyline views, to a spacious two-level Presidential Suite complete with a private Jacuzzi, bar, and outdoor dining.
Day 1 Arrival in South Africa at OR Tambo International Airport | Transfer to Sandton and check into Sandton Sun & Towers
Day 2 Breakfast at Sandton Sun & Towers | PM – 18 holes at Serengeti Golf Estate | Non-golfers’ programme | Evening at leisure
Day 3 Breakfast at Sandton Sun & Towers | PM – 18 holes at Houghton Golf Club | Non-golfers’ programme | Evening at leisure
The second leg of the tour will move down to St Francis Bay, which provides a gateway to both the Garden Route, and one of the region’s best kept secrets – the Sunshine Coast.
Just along the coast from St Francis Bay, is St Francis Links, which will play the host duties for the group in the penultimate leg of the tour.
Also, a Jack Nicklaus Signature layout, St Francis Links is South Africa’s number 5 ranked course, and is a wonderful test of golf.
The layout has been sculpted from its coastal site into a perfect links golf landscape, and the finished product prompted Jack Nicklaus to comment that this may well be “the best course I have ever seen”.
After your round, and just a stone’s throw away from the clubhouse, a divine combination of elegant African style and laid-back comfort awaits you at St Francis Golf Lodge, perfectly situated at the first hole of the St Francis Bay Links.
St Francis Golf Lodge is comprised of two five bedroomed houses, which are adjacent to each other, and provides a setting where golf enthusiasts can escape to indulge in their favourite pastime and relax in the beautiful surroundings.
For non-golfers, visit the Baviaanskloof nature reserve, or head to Jeffrey’s Bay, one of the World’s surfing capitals, to catch some sun or take a beach horse ride.
The Garden Route, which has one of South Africa’s most iconic coastlines, has something to satisfy everyone – adventure, sailing, whale-watching, forest walks, luxury spas and restaurants, and is where Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa – Africa’s second Jack Nicklaus Signature layout – will play host.
Simola’s golf course is a beautiful and marvellously conditioned layout, in what is one of the region’s most scenic towns – Knysna.
Offering uninterrupted views, which include the estuary, the famous Knysna Heads, the Indian Ocean beyond, or the Knysna River valley and the Outeniqua Mountains, Simola Hotel has been designed to make the most of the truly spectacular site.
Guests are accommodated in stylish and comfortable suites, which are set in private blocks separate from the communal areas, such as the restaurant, spa and gym, thereby ensuring privacy, and providing a haven of peace and tranquility.
If the non-golfers can manage to prise themselves away from the attractions of the estate (including the Spa, Club Lounge, River Club and nearby nature hikes), they can spend the day sunning at Buffalo Bay, take a walk to the famous Knysna Heads, or have sundowners on a yacht trip at the Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Knysna lagoon. Nearby, Plettenberg Bay offers beautiful beaches, or a day out to the Elephant Park or Wolf Sanctuary.
Day 4 Breakfast at Sandton Sun & Towers | AM – Flight from Jhb to Port Elizabeth – Transfer to St Francis Bay and check into St Francis Golf Lodges | Evening at leisure
Day 5 Breakfast at St Francis Golf Lodges | AM – 18 holes at St Francis Links | Non-golfer programme | PM – Transfer to Knysna and check into Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa | Evening at leisure
Day 6 Breakfast at Simola Hotel | AM – 18 holes at Simola Country Club | Non golfer programme | Evening at leisure
Day 7 Breakfast at Simola Hotel | PM – Fly from George airport to Cape Town International and check into Southern Sun The Cullinan | Evening at leisure
To the north of the city of Cape Town in the Cape Winelands, you will find Val de Vie Estate, which is home to another Jack Nicklaus signature golfing masterpiece – Pearl Valley.
Pearl Valley will be the host course, and is a very fitting finale on the final leg of this golfing journey.
Ranked at number 3 on the most recent listings of South Africa’s best courses, the club has also been selected as the best conditioned course in the Cape for 9 consecutive years.
Our accommodation of choice could not be better situated, as the Southern Sun The Cullinan is a premier hospitality destination, offering grand hotel accommodation in the heart of Cape Town. It is just moments from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Long Street, and only a short drive away from Camps Bay and Sea Point, and other fabulous attractions.
Guests have access to a host of services and amenities, including the large outdoor heated pool with its spacious deck, a fully equipped fitness centre, conference facilities, great dining at The Peach Tree Restaurant, light meals and delicious cocktails at Stella Café & Bar and much more.
The Cape possesses a long menu of things to do, from a visit to Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, to a trip, weather permitting, up the city’s world-famous Table Mountain, which offers unbeatable vistas of the whole Cape Peninsula, or you can sit back and soak up the city from the top of the open-air sightseeing Red Bus.
A self-drive or guided peninsula tour will take you from Cape Town to the surfing hamlet of Muizenberg, and then you can hug the coastal road all the way to Cape Point Nature Reserve. Highlights along the way include penguins at Boulders Beach, a meander through the quaint Kalk Bay village (best mussels to be eaten at Olympia Café), see the military base in Simonstown, and top it off with a sunset on the most visually spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Head to Camps Bay beach to soak up some of the African sun, followed by cocktails and cuisine at one of the many establishments overlooking the ocean. The famous V&A Waterfront is a treasure trove of sights, shopping and excellent eateries.
It would be fair to say that no trip to this region would be complete without a visit to one of the Cape’s iconic wine farms. We recommend the Franschhoek Wine Tram, with which you can have guided tours and tastings.
Alternatively, you could visit the stunning Hemel-en-Aarde region in Hermanus, which is dedicated to developing the best wine the Cape has to offer.
If history and culture are your thing, then a visit to Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope and the Bo Kaap, or District Six museums should satisfy this thirst.
For the nature lovers, you can go whale spotting in Hermanus, dive with great white sharks, or alternatively just while away a sunshine-filled day on one of the peninsula’s fabulous beaches.
Day 8 Breakfast at Southern Sun The Cullinan | AM – wine tour and lunch | PM – Evening at leisure
Day 9 Breakfast at Southern Sun The Cullinan | AM – 18 holes at Pearl Valley | Non golfer programme | PM – Evening at leisure
Day 10 Breakfast at Southern Sun The Cullinan | Day and evening at leisure | Optional choice to play another round | Recommendation: Table Mountain for a hike and/or cable car ride and lunch and evening drinks at The Grande in Granger Bay
Day 11 Breakfast at Southern Sun The Cullinan | Depart for CT International Airport