Sun City has a chequered history.
Originally it was known as a glorified brothel for well to do white men from Johannesburg, but eventually it evolved into a very succesful casino resort destination.
The Gary Player course at Sun City was designed by one of the great golfers of all time- 9 time major winner- South African Gary Player.
The course opened in 1979.
It became famous around the globe as the site of the Million Dollar Challenge, an exclusive invitational event (now the Nedbank Challenge).
We set off with our African caddies on a warm sunny day- perfect for golf!
My immediate impressions were of a course with kikuyu fairways (never my favourite), tight landing areas, at times heavily bunkered fairways, and smallish greens.
The greens are normally devilishly quick for the tournament, but after recent coring work they played slow but true for our group.
On some holes it was a very long way back to the championship tee where players face significant carries to the landing areas.
With bunkering often on both sides of the tree lined fairways, it was easy to appreciate what a stringent test of championship golf it was!
It is known to be the toughest on the continent, becoming known as 'the monster'.
At 7162 metres off the back pegs, that might be considered a fair description...
We found missing fairways was not an option as the prickly acacia trees made recovery doubtful.
The course comes up well on TV with the money holes- 9, 17 & 18 all featuring spectacular water carry approaches...
I also liked the par 3 holes.
They were all strong, attractive holes with water a common theme.
But the aforementioned money holes also grab your attention!
Sun City is a unique place to play golf, and as you play through the valley you cannot fail to appreciate where you are.
The playful baboons on course, the grazing impala, and the unmistakeably harsh landscape on the surrounding hills are a constant reminder.
We even saw a wild elephant in the park next door!
Perhaps, I am being a bit picky, but I felt that the bread and butter holes had a certain sameness to them in look and strategy.
You were asked to hit it straight!
And off rear tees that would be long and straight..
The Gary Player Course at Sun City is a challenging championship course in a unique setting.
It should be a key stopover in any golf trips to South Africa
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- South Africa
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