Hole 1 – Milkwood. Par 5
The relatively straightforward first hole on the course gives you a chance to settle into your game before moving on.
The fairway slopes from right to left, so aim the tee shot as close to the cartpath along the course as you dare. The second shot must be played short of the neck, which will leave you a pitch to this long green. Only the very brave should go for green in two.Â Take note of the big Milkwood tree on the left hand side of the fairway about 100m short of the green. The Milkwood is a protected species.
Hole 2 – Midden. Par 4
The fairway isn’t really as narrow as it appears, and it is possible to two-putt even on the undulating green.
The safe shot is to take the tee shot down the right centre of this dogleg left. The fairway is generous and slopes from left to right and from the right hand side of the fairwayÂ you will have a mid-iron over the waste bunker to a big green. Alternatively if you cut the corner with a big drive a short iron will get you on. The hole plays one club longer than you think.
Interesting Strandloper artifacts were found on the golf course, in the sand dune behind the tee.
Hole 3 – Wrong Way. Par 4
Enjoy the views of endless white sand beaches from the third as you move along on Atlantic Beach Golf Course.
This is a tight fairway and if the wind is helping, a long iron or 3 wood is a good choice off the tee. The fairway slopes from left to right so aim your tee shot down the fence line on the left, leaving a mid to short iron to a small green.
Take a club less than you think and play for the front left of the green and let the ball run on. This was the first hole on the course, constructed in September 1997.
Hole 4 – Lions Head. Par 5
One of the courses’ most challenging holes. Don’t, however, be put off by the fact that you can’t see where your tee shot should land – aim just slightly to the right of the Cable Station on the top right corner of Table Mountain and you should be all right. You will, of course, be forgiven if you find your concentration slipping a bit on the green, as your attention is likely to be drawn to the magnificent views of Table Bay and Robben Island in the distance.
This is a blind tee shot so you must trust your swing. If it is a clear day aim for Lions Head to the right of the cable station on top of the mountain. If not, the courses’ fairway mound indicates the left of the fairway so any shot right of the mound will be OK. Play your second to the left of the fairway bunker, leaving a short iron in. If you are level with the bunker, the third shot is steeply uphill so take one more club than you think.
Due to the high density and diversification of flora on the golf course, this hole is virtually as we found it in its natural state. Note the Milkwoods on the right hand side of the first landing area.
Hole 5 – Cableway. Par 3
Take advantage of the respite and stunning views offered by the fifth hole here on Atlantic Beach Golf Course.
Do not let the view distract you there is work to be done. Depending on the pin position you can draw it in from the right or fade it in from the left. You can use the slope behind the green to feed the ball back to the hole.
Hole 6 – Saddle. Par 4
At the sixth you’re faced with another long tee shot over the dunes. Heed the words of the experts and aim straight down the middle towards the lookout towers (dating back to the Battle of Blouberg) on Blouberg Hill.
A long straight drive is a necessity on this slight dogleg right. A good drive will leave you with a mid to long iron over the waste area. If you are in any doubt about carrying the waste with your second, lay up, or play out to the right and chip on for 3, and you will make a lot more pars.
Hole 7 – Short. Par 3
The short seventh plays downhill to yet another undulating green.
Pin position and wind factors make golf club selection all important on this short Par 3. Beware, the green falls off behind the mound on the left to a lake hazard that will punish any shot too far left.
Hole 8 – Double Trouble. Par 4
The eighth offers you a choice: 1) Take the safe option down the left side of the split fairway, or 2) If you’re feeling particularly confident, take the shorter line to the right to the big, narrow green.
If the tee is up and the wind is helping you can take on the bunker. Under any other conditions play to the left or right of the bunker and take your chances. The low fairway to the left of the course is relatively wide however the next shot is blind and must contend with the bunkers to the left of the green. The fairway to the right of the bunker is higher and the entrance to the green is visible and open. If the hole is playing down wind take one less club, pitch it short of the green and allow it to run up.
Hole 9 – Up and Over. Par 4
The relatively short par 4 ninth leads you back to the clubhouse for a well-deserved break.
Off the tee this is your best birdie opportunity. A long iron or a 3 wood over the middle bunker will put you in a good position if the right hand pin placement requires a pitch over a bunker to the narrow portion of the green.
Hole 10 – Quarry. Par 4
From the tenth tee, aim directly for Lion’s Head, then play your second shot from the rise down to a green nestled in a natural amphitheatre.
This hole is an absolute brute. The hole is just about straight so aim for the centre of the ridge and avoid the quarry on the left at all costs. If your drive does not make the top of the ridge, and you cannot see the green don’t worry, it is still a long way and there is no trouble between you and the green. If your drive made the top of the ridge you will see a relatively straight forward approach to a small amphitheatre green. As usual pay attention to the wind speed and direction. The area to the left of the fairway was an old sand mine.
Hole 11 – To the Beach. Par 4
The rolling fairway of the eleventh takes you back towards the sea, but be careful not to aim for the ships near Robben Island as they may very well be moving. If your tee shot was on target, you’ll have an easy chip over the island of Fynbos to the green.
The elevated tee makes this an inviting tee shot but be careful it is easy to lose this one to the right. Unless you feel comfortable with the second shot over the waste area rather lay up short. The approach is to a steeply elevated green so one more club may be necessary. During construction many snakes were captured on this hole and relocated to the Koeberg Nature Reserve.
Hole 12 – Island. Par 3
The short twelfth takes you to a huge sloping green fringed by bunkers. Don’t let them intimidate you.
The green is exceptionally long so pay careful attention to the pin placement. Although from the tee it appears as if there is no fairway, there is a generous bail out area on the left of the green which will leave an uphill chip.
Hole 13 – Dwarf Thicket. Par 5
Reaching the southern boundary of the estate on the thirteenth, you’re likely to find yourself watching the birdies as often as hitting them.
Accuracy is more important than length so try and keep it in the fairway. The wind is deceptive and is more across than into you in summer so make a generous allowance. The green is relatively small but open in the front, so a low running pitch normally produces a good result.
This is your best chance of seeing one of many small antelope that live on the estate.
Hole 14 – Around the Corner. Par 4
The fourteenth starts off with yet another tee shot over a fynbos-covered dune; aim towards the natural slopes on the left side of the fairway and your ball should end up in an ideal position.
A long iron or 3 wood will be adequate off this tee. In summer the wind should be off the right so aim down the right centre. The green has no bunkers but slopes steeply from back to front so try and keep your approach below the hole.
Hole 15 – Long. Par 5
Heading back for home now, follow the undulating fairway of the fifteenth towards a green that has been described as having “more curves than Raquel Welch.”
If you have played conservatively to this point it’s now time to open your shoulders and attack. This fairway is wide open and with a tail wind and a good drive you could get up, or close for 2. The second shot is blind so take a good look from the tee to note the green and pin position. There is no trouble between you and the green so you can go for it with your second.
The slopes on the green are extremely severe and if you hit to the wrong part of the green you are in for a nasty surprise.
Hole 16 – Rodeo Joe. Par 4
From the vantage point of the sixteenth tee – the highest spot on the course – you’re forgiven if you take a few minutes to compose yourself and enjoy the view.
This tee shot calls for the driver or 3 wood depending on the wind. If its following then use the 3 wood and avoid the fairway bunkers on the right. They are deep and you will do well to escape with a bogey. The green is semi-blind but generous and the approach is free of hazards.
A big Cape Cobra had its home in that bush to the right of the green when we were building the golf course and he still visits from time to time.
Hole 17 – Devils Whirlpool. Par 3
The short seventeenth gives you yet another magnificent view of Table Bay and Robben Island.
The shortest of the par 3s but strong crosswinds can lead to dropped shots when the pin is on the left hand side of the green. The right hand side of the green is shaped like a punchbowl which collects the ball so if there is no wind and the pin is on the right it is definitely birdie time. Club selection is all important.
Hole 18 – Home. Par 4
The eighteenth leads you back to the welcoming clubhouse for refreshments. And the best part of all is that, when you live at Atlantic Beach Golf Estate, tomorrow you can do it all over again!
A nice wide fairway again so you can use the driver off the tee. The quarry is to the left of the fairway but doesn’t present the same problems as it does for #10. In fact if you miss this fairway left is not a bad line for your approach. Ideally you want to play your second to this green from the plateau in the middle of the fairway past the bunker. There is a deep grass swale to the right of the green and getting up and down from there will not be easy.