Tuesday, 20 November 2001
The 1st hole is a wickedly deceptive par-four of 357 metres, running parallel to the ocean with out-of-bounds on the right and thick bush on the left. The green is elevated, with the ground falling away on all sides, and this makes a pitch and one-putt difficult to achieve. Standing on the tee, however, the golfer sees little of these hidden dangers and, particularly on a calm day, can easily be lured into a false sense of security.

A high, elevated tee is the predominant feature of the 166-metre par-three 2nd, where club selection can vary from a wedge to a one-iron, depending on the force and the direction of the wind. The 463-metre par-five 3rd has been included by The World Atlas of Golf in its 'Best 18 holes'. The pulpit tee is poised high above the lush fairway which snakes its way through humps and hollows towards a raised green. The coastal bush is alarmingly close to the fairway on this hole and the ambitious golfer must be deadly accurate. In order to get close to the green in two and set up a birdie chance, the approach must either carry or narrowly bypass a gaping bunker set in the face of a deep bank on the right-hand side of the fairway. When the northeaster blows, the first five holes constitute one of the most formidable opening stretches imaginable on any course. The 4th is a short but tight par-three of 157 metres and the 5th a long par-four of 420 metres.

From the 6th the golfer moves away from the sea and into the heart of this beautiful sanctuary of trees, shrubs, bushes and dunes where the noise of the city is forgotten, and the rich birdlife offers a welcome distraction from the frustrations of the game. The 6th is a short par-four, and the 7th a narrow, demanding hole of 350 metres. The 8th is a hilly par-five with a tight approach and the 9th a 388-metre dogleg-right. Length off the tee is a prerequisite at the 503-metre par-five 10th and at the 417-metre par-four 11th.

The short 12th is one of South Africa's most famous holes. The green is set on a plateau, with a steep 10- meter bank falling sharply away from the green. The 12th has been known as the 'Prince of Wales' hole since 1924, when the royal dignitary apparently sliced his tee shot down the bank and took another 16 blows to hole out.

The 13th is a short par-four, the 14th (470 metres, par-five) offers a birdie chance and the out-of-bounds fence at the 152-metre 15th is but a few meters away from the right side of the heavily bunkered green. The 16th is a fairly straightforward par-four of 394 metres, while the 17th is a classic par-four where, ideally, the drive must land on the right of the fairway from where the green can be seen. Shots hit up the center of the fairway or to the left invariably finish at the bottom of a deep basin, leaving a long and difficult 'blind' 2nd.

Although only 252 metres, the 18th is a great finishing hole, fraught with danger but inspiring an irresistible urge to try for a birdie. Weather permitting, a good, straight drive is often enough to reach the green, but a cut tee shot will roll down a steep, sloping bank. A ball hooked to the left will often end up on the bowling green and out-of-bounds.

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