1996, Erinvale Golf Course hosted the World Cup of Golf. The players from thirty-two participating nations were left with two
lasting memories. First, the quite
majestic play of eventual winners Ernie Els and Wayne Westner playing for the
host country South Africa and second, the visual splendour of the surrounds to
the Gary Player designer golf course.
Els is still a regular visitor and he will vouch that from the championship
tees, Erinvale is a real test for any golfer. It is a course of two moods.
first nine holes are built on flat terrain with challenging holes made more
difficult by strategic water hazards and an array of different style bunkers.
These range from traditional large, well shaped bunkers, to some with
railway sleepers holding up steep, sandy slopes. Sod bunkers (as seen at the 17th at St. Andrews in Scotland)
have been introduced by the Gary Player Design Company and these are as
challenging as they are aesthetically pleasing.
second nine holes are on undulating high ground. Here the scenic splendour might distract the player from the
continuing challenge. Again, water
and bunkers are the main feature with the added test of sloping lies. The greens at Erinvale are huge and well shaped allowing for several
different pin placements. A feature
of the layout is that different coloured flags tell you the position of the pin.
with all good courses, Erinvale provides a blend of short and long holes. The par 5 third hold is relatively short and should yield several birdies
as well as the occasional eagle. A
five here will feel like a lost shot to the field. The short par 4 fifth hole requires avoiding a fairway tree, prior to
negotiating a short iron to a long, narrow green protected by bunkers left and
sixth hole is the stroke one and having avoided out of bounds left and the long
bunker right, the second shot requires pin point accuracy to avoid the sod
bunkers looming on the left. Any
push will result in landing in the attractive dam to the right.
top nine begins with a dogleg left par 4 and here the degree of difficulty is
governed by the pin position. At
the front this is relatively easy. However,
back left and the player is required to create a well judged long to mid iron
is on the thirteenth tee par 5 hole that Erinvale’s magnificent location is
best captured. As you look back
away from the fairway, Gordon’s Bay, the Strand fronting the sea can be
clearly seen. The hole is a gentle
dogleg left descending sharply before once again rising to a seemingly small
green with a sleeper bunker right. No
matter how the hole is played the lasting memory will be of the spectacular
Helderberg mountain that backs the hole.
seventeenth hole will always prove crucial in competitions. It is a long par 4 with an out of bounds close to the right of the
fairway all the way to the green. The fairway slopes from right to left and leads to a row of
pines if the shot is too far left. A
narrow entrance between bunkers leads to an undulating green that requires
eighteenth is a par 4, 356 meter hole. The
modern clubhouse behind the green is the right line off the tee. Five fairway bunkers need avoiding prior to the shot to Erinvale’s
longest and largest green.
© 2001 Dunvegan Golf House. All rights reserved. Revised: 17 Nov 2002 . Policies