When construction of the Sun City Resort began in 1978, the decision was taken to build a golf course that would rival the best in the world. South Africa’s most successful professional Gary Player, was an obvious choice to route the course in what is the crater of an extinct volcano. The result, which conformed to the stringent USPGA specifications, surpassed all expectations. Today, in spite of stiff competition, the Gary Player Country Club is deservedly ranked as the number one South African golf course, and the Sun City Resort has become an international landmark in the hospitality and leisure industry.
Player drew on his vast experience of playing championship courses around the world to produce a test of both power and finesse. The likes of Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods have since discovered that the course carefully examines every aspect of one’s game. Both the inward and outward loops are perfectly balanced, with every club in the bag being tested along the way.
From the championship tees the course measures a mammoth 8000 yards – but either the intermediate or the forward tees can be used without the integrity of the design being impaired. Another strength of this layout is that it favours no particular shape of shot.
The fairways, clad in manicured kikuyu grass make for the perfect surface from which to hit approach shots to the bent grass greens. Imaginative bunkering protects the sand-based putting surface, all large and undulating. The magnificent views of the resort’s four hotels and lake, as well as the surrounding mountains that form part of Pilanesberg National Park, is enough to stir the blood.
The Gary Player Country Club has a fully equipped health club and spa of an international standard offering a full range of beauty treatments and therapies.
Sun City is many holidays in one place. Game viewing safaris, hot air ballooning, riding the giant swells in the Valley of Waves and water sports are all part of the experience. Sun City is also home to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which has become known as Africa’s major. Accommodation is offered in four hotels, The Cascades, The Sun City Hotel, The Cabanas and crowned by the magnificent Palace of the Lost City, a Leading Hotel of the World.