Men – 6534m (7145 yards)
Championship – 7748m (8473 yards)
Getting its name from the 18 golfing Legends who had a hand in designing its 18 holes, this course is a spectacular example of what Africa can offer the avid golfing traveler. It has beautiful scenery, wild life and creative golf designs that test not only your patience, but your game too. The course is set up a mere two hours from O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and is an ideal escape for both local visitors and international tourists. The course is neither links nor parklands, but could be described as Afro-centric in its design. It is one of the longest in Africa and the fairways are wide. The semi rough is quite forgiving, but just like a links, if you stray too far off the short grass your ball could be in serious trouble. And with this course being built inside a game reserve, hitting your ball too far into the bush may mean a meeting with one of the local “inhabitants.”
What Legends Golf and Safari Signature Course offers is so much more than just a golfing experience, but even if it is just golf you are looking for, this is the place to come to. Their Extreme 19th hole is world famous and is probably the longest and toughest par three on the planet. You take a helicopter trip up to the top of a mountain and look down at a green shaped like the continent of Africa. At over 400m long with an incredible elevation, you ball travels in the air for over 20 seconds. Playing this hole is a once in a lifetime trip for any golfer and should be added to your bucket list.
In between your round on the Signature Course at Legends Golf and Safari and playing the Extreme 19th, you could even try your hand at the Tribute Course, a 10 hole par 3 that pay tribute to 9 of the most famous par 3s in the world of golf and adds in its own African flavor for the 10th. The Tribute Course is modeled and scaled exactly as the holes are in real life and you will get a chance to play Sawgrass’s famous island 17th, Augusta’s 12 and 16th, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon and so many more gems from other famous courses around the globe.
Legends Golf and Safari may seem a little gimmicky to some, but if truth be told, this is and will always be one of the finer courses in the world.
Trying to pick a single hole per nine, when each of them is designed by a different professional is like trying to pick your favourite child as a parent. But the tough job needed to be done, so for the front nine I chose the par 4 second hole designed by Thomas Bjorn. As with all the holes at Legends Golf and Safari, it is beautiful to look at. Standing on the slightly elevated tee box you are able to see the challenge that lies out before you. The fairway slopes quite steeply from left to right, which means that you need to choose your landing zone off the tee and understand that your approach to the green is going to be off an uneven lie. The back of the green is guarded by water which is in your mind constantly, and both sides of the fairway are protected by bunkers in the landing zones. The 2nd hole is a fun challenge, but a tough one too and if you are able to walk away with a par, it will feel like a real success.
One of the toughest holes on the course, the par 4 14th hole is both a technical and long hole. The spectacular views off the tee box are mirrored by uncertainty off too and like the African bush, the fear of not knowing what is around the corner makes this hole thrilling to play. Bunkers form a large part of this hole and the challenge it offers. Finding a spot on the narrow well guarded fairway could mean the difference between and par and no score at all. Designed by Robert Allenby the 14th hole takes full advantage of the natural beauty and African surrounds. Par would be a good score, but actually so would bogey.