General Manager of Champagne Sports Resort, Philip West, spoke to BizNews founder Alec Hogg about the world-class golf course at the resort. The course boasts the longest hole in the country, measuring 605 metres. Surrounded by the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, the 6,100 metre course will provide a thrilling challenge with breathtaking views. It is rated as one of the top 30 golf courses in the country. For more info on the BizNews Investment Conference taking place in the Drakensberg next week, click here. – Jarryd Neves
Philip West on the golf course at Champagne Sports Resort:
We are in the top 30, we’re proud to say. We have a very good golf course. It’s the only 18 hole championship course of its type in the whole of the central ‘berg – or the whole of the Drakensberg and Midlands – just 6,100 metres in total. Certainly for the high handicapping golfers, you’re going to go through your entire bag – from driver right through.
Every hole is differently shaped, different lengths. We have the longest hole in the country – which is the first one. It is 605 metres from the pro tee box. If we talk about pro tee boxes for the good golfers – the high handicappers – when you play off the gold markers, it’s a completely different course. It really is a test and it is a big challenge which is known to all those high handicappers out there.
On the experience on offer:
I’m a high handicapper, so I talk from experience. We’re a parkland course, so if you’re having a bad day and your drive is not working or the second shot’s not going that close to green as you want it, you’re going to get yourself out of trouble quite easily.
There’s minimal water on the course, apart from our signature hole – which is number four (par three). That’s always a temptation, but it’s 160 odd metres across from tee box to there. That’s the only major water that you’ve got on there.
A high handicapper or a family golfer are going to have a good a good time round there. That’s what golf’s about. You want to come back and say, I enjoyed that. I would play that course again. I didn’t lose too many balls. I hit it in the rough and I could get the ball out and enjoy it. That’s what golf is about.
On who designed the golf course:
Hugh Baiocchi designed it. The course was designed by him 23 years ago. It will be 24 years old this December 2021. He has come up a few times. We haven’t seen him lately, I believe he’s America or someone like that – on Seniors Tour – if I remember correctly.
On the green fees:
For a course of that ranking, we’re very much in a well-priced range for golf, coming down to play for a day or play for the weekend. The cost of it is R565.
On golf during Covid-19:
We’re doing well in the rounds of golf, especially now in this time of Covid-19. Golf has certainly taken off again and it’s found a whole new niche. That’s just got to be with exercise, fresh air, social distancing and the camaraderie as they go round. That’s why golf is just come back worldwide strongly.