It’s no secret. I’m a part-time golfer. Very part-time. But when I get to play, I love it. Especially when it’s on one of Cape Town’s beautiful courses, with a four-ball made up of close mates.
I’ve got pretty high sporting standards for myself, but when you don’t do something often, don’t practise, and you happen to swing your clubs right handed when you’re actually very left handed, ‘low’ scores are as rare as unbearded hipsters in Woodstock.
With that in mind, and a superabundance of spare balls in my golf bag, I confidently took to the pristine fairways and crisp greens of an iconic Southern Suburb course this past Friday: Steenberg Golf Club. With battle-hardened club members looking on, the tee-off on the first is always a jittery knee affair. Nothing focusses you more than the desire to not smash your first drive into the lounge of a R15-million residential house on the estate.
But with that out the way – my tee-off resembling a very long putt more than an actual drive – I was on my merry way to a sun-filled, and double- and triple-bogey-filled afternoon. Admittedly, I snuck the odd par – okay, it was one – but a round of golf for me is never about my nett score (I can’t count that high). It’s about the friendly banter, being outside, the walk, the burger and chips at the halfway house, and the once in a lifetime duffed 7-iron that miraculously results in an eagle (that’s one better than a birdie). That happened a year ago … but I have high hopes my luck will turn again, before I’m 80.
Steenberg is a course of sublime beauty: the manicured fairways and greens, challenging rough and barbaric bunkers, all tucked in between indigenous flora, vineyards and captivating (in more ways than one) water features. Throw in the surrounding mountains, and this course is just a show-off.
But if this isn’t your cup of tea, I can’t imagine a city in South Africa with a better selection of alluring golf courses.
My final score? Let’s just say if I were a batsman playing cricket, I would’ve raised my bat in a centennial salute.
Follow Mark Samuel on Twitter @MarkSamuel_ZA
Where In Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs – take Exit 21 off the M3, turn right into Tokai Road, left into Steenberg Road.
When Book your round in advance
Cost Visitor R1 065, R695 (member of another golf club in South Africa)
Contact Steenberg Golf Club, +27 21 715 0227, www.steenberggolfclub.co.za
Photography Mark Samuel