Posted on behalf of The Yeti
Legend Golf and Safari
The resort is about a 2 and a half hours drive North of Joburg, and we were extremely pleased to be upgraded to a fantastic house that we would be happy to live in (Lucky it’s still low season!) For non golfers – extremely relaxing and quiet, the staff friendly and helpful, and the food good. The game drives are also very well organised and great for building up your photo albums.
Now for the rest of us, the main Golf Course (The Signature) is interesting – good, but slightly lacking in character as each of the 18 holes has been ‘designed’ by a different tour professional, and this feels a bit disjointed. It also needs a little more work spent on it, but apparently they are going to be doing this shortly, as the new clubhouse is going to be unveiled this November, with a grand opening competition.
I murdered it off the ‘yellow’ tees, but from the ‘whites’ with a bit of wind it was long and far more testing.
If you play it in the afternoon, you will be sharing it with Wildebeest, Impala and Zebras (the greens are wired off) – free drops from animal dung. There is also a great short par 3 course (The Tribute) consisting of ten replicas of famous and difficult par threes from around the world. Augusta 12 and 16, Sawgrass the Island green, Troon the Postage stamp, St Andrews the long ‘un – you get the picture.
In my opinion far more difficult than the Signature course, and we were lucky enough to be housed next to the Seventh green, so an easy walk.
My best score after 4 rounds was 18 stableford points for 10 holes, and my best score on Augusta 12 a five (168 yards into the wind to a strip of a green over water and with bunkers front and back is pretty damn difficult). Pam did manage to par it though by laying up, chipping on and making a long putt.
I think that the Postage Stamp would be easy if they removed the bunkers! I did manage to par the Sawgrass Island Green twice though.
It’s the perfect course to sharpen up your short game – you just need to take a few balls with you!
Extreme 19th – “Back foot golf”
Standing 430m up over a sheer drop with 400m to the back of the green (280m to the start of the small fairway) you need to hit a 250 to 300 yard shot to have any chance of getting somewhere close to the green, which when the wind is being kind would be very possible, but when the wind is blowing in your face and sideways, every potentially decent drive is being blown about 100 yards sideways.
The Professional kindly gave Pam the option of playing from the Ladies tee (right on the edge of the drop)
She very sensibly declined and hit 5 good solid drives with an interesting follow ‘through’ that steps backwards two paces (we might patent this technique as Back Foot Golf and can give video lessons for anyone interested) – no real chance of getting close (despite us being told that when they hosted Miss World at Legend Golf and Safari, Miss Columbia struck her drive to a couple of feet from the pin – I’m not convinced that the spotter at the bottom didn’t fancy Miss Columbia and helped out a little!).
I was happy with my first four drives all aimed at the LH side of the green and drifting on the wind to the right.
My last drive from the top was aimed about 100 yards left and flew as straight as an arrow 100 yards left! I was even happier that my new driver remained in my sweaty hands and didn’t disappear into the Game Reserve below.
They then fly you down over the teebox – pilot saying this is what your golfball feels like as he drops the chopper down and your stomach hits the roof of your mouth. You don’t have an option to go rockclimbing or hunting for your lost balls, as the surrounding area is electrically fenced off, being part of the game reserve.
The last of your 6 balls is hit from the fairway just off the green, and thankfully I ‘birdied’ this for a 12!
We recommend it to anyone who wants to have a chance to get that ultimate hole in one – rumour has it that there is a million (Pound/Dollar/Rand?) prize for the first person, but as there is no contract to sign (other than saying that everything is at your own risk!) I think that you would be wise to seek fame not fortune!
After 5 days at Legend we travelled down to the Fancourt Hotel in George on the South Coast.
Hotel is as one would expect, great facilities and service and they have three top championship courses.
The Links (rated no 1 in SA and 34 in the World) is a man made links (built on the old airport) and is like playing Sandwich, but with a few lakes and water holes thrown in to make it even harder! You have to have caddies (to tell you where to go and aim!) Fairways and greens immaculate.
Tough – very tough, I played well for my 26 points!
The other two courses also extremely good, and we would definitely recommend Fancourt to everybody.
Any takers for a future golf tour?