Golf at Carnavon Golf Club, Northen Cape
By Louwrens Badenhorst
This is not your typical golf course review. In order to understand this article, you need to know some background and culture of the area.
Carnarvon Golf Course is based in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa in a small town called Carnarvon. Carnarvon was established in 1853 on a route between Cape Town and Botswana that was followed by early explorers and traders.
Carnavon is set among flat-topped hills and is one of the regions busiest farming areas. The economy of the district is based on merino sheep farming. It is a small, close knit community.
The golf course, a mere 3 km outside town, is an 18 hole course, par 70 with oil type greens and oil/soil tee boxes. The course only opens on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, with a green fee of R30. The fairways are maintained by scraping the soil every couple of months. So the question now is, how do you play golf in these conditions.
How to play Carnavon Golf Club
You are required to carry a little mat with you which you can only use if your drive ends up within the soil fairway. The mat is then placed next to your ball and the ball is placed on the mat, creating and nice surface to hit your next shot. Unfortunately, that is not the case when you are off the fairway. Then you play it as it lies. The best advice playing this course, especially for these type of conditions, to take an extra club, preferably and old club which you don’t mind scratching, to play from the rough. Among the members of Carnavon Golf Club, this club is called ‘a klip stok’ (stone stick).
Standing on the tee box, the drive looks intimidating with the Karoo bushes all around you. There is plenty of fun to be had among your four ball when attempting to launch an adrenaline fueled drive down the ‘fairway’. Once on the oil green, exceptional care is taken not to walk on somebodies line. The green is only swiped evenly again if the whole four ball has putted out, leaving it in perfect putting condition for the next four ball.
What to do after golf at Carnavon Golf Course
After a great day out with friends, in these challenging conditions, everybody shares a couple of cold beers, discussing the round and what they could have done better. Then the main course is served. The day will just not be completed with ‘Lekker Skaapkop’ dinner around a Karoo fire.
Heading back to town after a great day out, eating like kings, the final stop for the evening would be ‘The Blikkies Bar’. Walking into the small cosy bar, you immediately know where the name comes from. The bar is quickly filled with jokes and laughter till the early hours of the morning.
This is an experience that every golfer should have once in his life. Good times with good mates, in the wonderful surroundings of Carnavon and the Northern Cape.