The Nedbank Golf Challenge took place this past weekend. (Note though that the picture above was taken 2 years ago.) My disappointment, apart from not watching my favorite golfer, Henrik Stenson, is that he did not walk away with the trophy and the most cash. My husband’s disappointment is not playing on the Gary Player GC this week, while the course is still in immaculate condition. You see, the condition of the course doesn’t matter to me. I play mediocre golf and I really cannot be thinking that the impeccable condition of the course will make a difference to my game. It isn’t like I have my husband’s handicap. Golf, after 6 years, is still my handicap, but I love it and can’t quite give it up altogether. I can only dream of getting close to being a scratch player, which my husband was. There was a time that he played such good golf I thought I would be a pro-golfer’s wife. Now, I only stalk Emma’s Henrik whenever possible. Back to playing in Sun City, I shall book us a round sometime before Christmas. Perhaps, I will be brave then.
I’m a little scared of the course. Why won’t I? My hero, my idol, the boyfriend of my dreams, the man my husband gets jealous of, plays for big money there. How can I, who can’t break 100, sometimes even 150 (I am laughing out loud), make myself walk the same fairways he walked this weekend as I try to score as little (least strokes?) as possible and not lose any ball in the process? But, I’m getting a little bold so soon I will have played a course where my… oops, Emma’s Henrik has played and won. Until then, there is the less daunting and pretty Lost City Golf Course. And I like the clubhouse there, even when a monkey gives my food a threatening look.
Sun City is in the northwest province of South Africa, about 150 km, a 2-hour drive, from bustling Fourways, north-western part of Johannesburg. Fun Sun City Resort and the Lost City – with the Valley of the Waves, The Palace of the Lost City and other hotels, casino, water activities, shows and a whole lot more of entertainment – is therefore a favorite destination. Come to think of it, for the majority of the resort’s visitors, the two golf courses are not really the main attractions of Sun City Resort, although both courses are designed by the legendary Gary Player.
In case you are not at all into golf, let me give you a bit of background on the legend. Gary Player is the best South African golfer of all time. If he were British [think Sir Nick Faldo], he would have been knighted ages ago. Still, he is the Black Knight! He is one of the only five golfers to win the golf’s Grand Slam, which he accomplished at the age of 29. He won a total of 9 majors on the PGA Tour (excluding Senior PGA Tour). For a lot more of interesting information on Gary Player check out GaryPlayer/Legend.
Back to Sun City and one of its golf courses, the Lost City Golf Course is a beautiful 72-par desert-style (bushveld) course. It is beautiful. It is nature. It’s green. The air is fresh. If you don’t take a golf cart, you basically walk almost 7 km. Of course, non-golfers may say it isn’t the same as walking the 7 km on purpose, briskly, I suppose. Nevertheless, it’s a good-enough exercise. At the same time, it is, for me anyway, a form of relaxation. I don’t think my husband agrees as he is serious about his golf and scolds himself when he messes up. I laugh my disappointing golf off! I wonder if my golf would improve if I stopped monkeying around on the course…
I enjoyed playing the Lost City Golf Course. It was not difficult to play. I even played a few holes fantastically, making good scores. I almost made a par or two. Okay, I didn’t make par on any hole but it is one of the courses that make me want to play again soon and to play more golf. I had fun and didn’t quit before reaching the 18th, which I have done in Phakalane (Gaborone, Botswana) because it was too hot, in Zimbali (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) because it started raining, and in Vaal de Grace (Parys, Free State, South Africa) because of lightning (we had to get off the course if we didn’t want to be the lightning’s target).
My game at the Lost City made me think that I can play some good golf soon, when I would not be at all embarrassed by my game. I just hope that the stubborn bull in me would not make me want to play Lost City again instead of braving world-class Gary Player Golf Course.
A warning: follow the instructions. Do not try to retrieve your ball from the crocodiles’ den. Take a drop and give up your ball to one of the beasts, even if it’s a Titleist ProV1 or your lucky ball. I don’t know about you but these are quite scary-looking creatures and I am sure that for at least one good reason.
And, don’t expect a fancy golf cart. This is not one from Steyn City, which is the best golf cart I’ve used/driven recently. It gets you from one ball position to the next. It’s better than walking in the heat. Sun City gets very hot. That’s one reason why I didn’t stalk Henrik this year. The heat was simply ridiculous. The other reason was hubby didn’t want to go. Jealous, maybe.
I did say I like the clubhouse. Both the food and service at the halfway house / clubhouse are good. The staff is friendly and helpful. I can sit around there for hours after a round of decent golf, gazing at the lovely 9th green. It is definitely worth giving it a try or two or more.
And do stay in Sun City for a few days. There are a lot to do. I’ll tell you next time about the non-golf stuff of Sun City Resort and the Lost City.