Strand Golf Club
Cape Town, Western Cape
This is one of the Cape’s newest additions to the golfing circuit. The course opened in 1994 and the championship layout has proved to be an exciting challenge for any golfer.
In the intervening years, the course has matured greatly and a feature has been the attention given to the manicuring and maintenance of the surrounds. This is immediately noticeable from the upstairs terrace of the modern clubhouse as you look over the finishing hole and note the manicured surrounds of the sparkling water features.
The prominent features of the course are the abundant water hazards and bunkers, undulating greens and tree-lined fairways.
Right from the opening, the bent grass greens provided excellent putting surfaces and this remains a fact several years later. There are several tee boxes on each hole, which makes for a five hundred metre difference between championship tees and club tees over the 18 holes. In 1994, two and a half thousand trees were planted on this course and they are now becoming very much part of the round.
This is especially so as the course is situated close to the popular holiday coastal town of the Strand. This area is famed for its long stretch of unspoilt beach.
2nd Hole – Par 5 – 431 metres
This hole features a slight dogleg right and then left with the fairway meandering through an avenue of trees. There is a large tree on the right that encroaches on the fairway and your tee shot, aimed at a narrow target, should be just to the left of this tree. A river runs along the left side of the fairway and long hitters will go over the afore-mentioned tree with a drive and probably a 4 iron through the gap. For the less ambitious, is a lay up to the narrow gap with a short iron to the green.
3rd Hole – Par 3 – 128 metres
Here, you are hitting a short iron to a green protected by a cloverleaf-shaped bunker on the left and the trees and river fronting the tee should not pose a problem. Problems, however, will arise if your shot is too far left into the trees of if it is too long or to the right where your ball will roll away on the undulating slopes guarding the green. If you are playing from the back tees, the hole becomes 185 metres and a completely different prospect.
4th Hole – Par 4 – 222 metres
This hole is short but don’t be misled into thinking that you can relax because it really is a tight driving hole. You will be hitting an iron for placement and you will have to hit it straight. Low bush and brush guard either side of the narrow fairway before the fairway takes a slight turn to the left. The second shot is to a narrow green that is protected by a back bunker and a bunker front right. You can drive the green!
Both Gordon’s Bay and the Strand are popular holiday resorts as they boast long, white beaches and warm waters in which to swim. The beaches in these areas slope gently into the sea making it possible to wade out for distances up to 100m, especially when the tide is low.
Gordon’s Bay started life as a fishing village and today, the small harbour is still filled with fishing boats as well as yachts and speedboats. Canoeing in the Bay on calm days is a popular pastime and sea cruises from the harbour are available. It is well worth making some time to take a drive up the coast from Gordon’s Bay towards magnificent spots such as Dappat se Gat and Koelbaai where you will enjoy spectacular views.