The golf course at Gary Player’s former South African residence, Blair Atholl, was officially opened on Saturday April, 21st to rave reviews from founding members, media and guests.
The Blair Atholl estate north of Johannesburg has been the Player family residence for the past 25 years and, in fact, the Player family has retained the homestead around which the ultra low-density residential golf estate has been developed.
The magnificent larger-than-life golf course has been designed by Gary Player in such a way that the routing has allowed for 11 water-featured holes. Whether alongside the Crocodile River, which runs through the entire estate or natural dams, these holes have unique aesthetic appearances and Player has created wonderful features enhancing the playability, shot value and variety. The design, both challenging and rewarding, will allow for the testing of scratch players, yet still ensuring enjoyment for handicapped golfers. The course length is in excess of 7,700 meters (8,500 yards) from the back tees, making it the longest course in Southern Africa at present. The design has the course playing as a single loop, with the halfway house set over the Crocodile River after the 8th hole. Being a single loop, the course does not have any holes (apart from the 1st and 18th holes) running side by side, lending a truly unique experience for the golfer.
At the official opening Gary Player was typically upbeat about the future of the course: "I am very proud of what we have achieved here – I think this course is going to be the very best in the whole of Africa in years to come. My congratulations to Robby Wray of Wraypex [the developer of the estate] on what he and his team have achieved here. This place is very close to my heart and I am very thrilled with every aspect of the development."
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