How to play the course… a perspective/opinion of the designer/builder…
The Course layout.
No 1/10.. 380 yd par 4.
Starting off on the first, a climb up to an elevated tee with a view over the course.(looks a lot longer and the kikuyu fairways don’t run that well from that height)
Take your driver with, this 380 yd is deceiving, a wide fairway sloping left to right, with problems if you go too far right.
the second shot should be a short iron in to the green, don’t over shoot there is a lot of dam next to and behind the green, with a bunker right.
No 2 .. 390 yd. par 4. No 11 .. 425 yd. par 5.
The second hole is a par 4 first round and a par five second round.
Why the short par 5 second round? This hole has water. First time round most can carry the first dam, second time round not that many. Carry the dam .. don’t go too far there is a stream ahead. Be accurate with your tee shot, between the two big poplars is ideal, making the shot in to the green a little easier. But the green is surrounded by 3 dams, left behind and right, so it’s not an easy shot. This is stroke 1 and 2.
An ideal view for your second shot, this is the line…
No 3 .. 500 yd. par 5 .. No 12 .. 420 yd. par 4
If you can hit a long drive to clear the stream and be accurate this is not a difficult hole. if you have to lay up short of the stream it plays long.
Second time round a little easier to clear the stream.
Ones second shot is into an elevated, level green, so fire in high or face the consequences of the trees behind the green.
No 4 .. 205 yd. par 3. No 13 .. 230 yd. par 3.
If you can’t hit this very receptive green leak left rather than right… too many trees to the right.
No 5 .. 290 yd. par 4. No 14 .. 300 yd. par 4
Yep .. you can drive this green, it is up hill all the way, but this is a difficult green sloping from back to front, and I mean sloping, so play below the hole as stopping a ball from the back if you miss the cup its off the green. ‘Bunker protected to the right and a lot of trees if you leak left make the hole more difficult than it looks. (Who put that tree in the way?)
No 6 .. 320 yd. par 4. No 15 .. 290 yd. par 4.
Sounds short? There’s a catch, it’s a sharp dog leg left.
You need a 220 yd drive to reach the corner, too long and you’re either deep in trouble or behind trees. You can go for the green if you carry the corner with a slight draw, but there is then a bunker on line as well as one right. Don’t carry the corner? you’ve got a heap of problems. The green slopes slightly front to back, no longer sounds such an easy hole specially with “out of bounds” behind the green.
Ideally this should be the view for your second shot to the green.
No 7 .. 250 yd. par 4. No 16 290 yd. par 4.
This hole is uphill but many can drive the green. The green is a small two tier, bunker protected left, right and front, that looks a little like “smiley face” from the air. When the trees planted on both sides of the fairway are bigger, the slight curve to the right will make the hole a little more difficult. Risk and reward is the name of the game on this hole.
No 8 .. 350 yd. par 4. No 17 .. 450 yd. par 4.
This hole is down hill to the trout dam well hidden from view. A 300 yd. drive from the 8th tee box is required to clear the dam. A lay up leaving 120 to 160 yd. second is recommended. The green is big and receptively built. Playing short will leave a uphill short chip, long, and there’s trouble.
An ideal second shot should have a view like this….
No 9/18 .. 90 yd. par 3
This is no easy hole. A small green (with many slopes) from a high elevated tee, makes for a trick shot requirement, or the short game capabilities of a Derrick James.
There are a few movable hazards on the course..
This is a course that can be walked and most of the time we recommend it. The scenery and peacefulness makes for a relaxing game of golf. With the chance of meeting up with our impala or Sable, walking is better, but there are golf carts available for the not so fitness fanatics. The ups and downs make for wonderful exercise.
Come and play the course, all are welcome. The Owner, Mr. George Tait gave this instrinstruction, “Those that play, must enjoy themselves, relax and have fun.”
If there is something that gives me so much joy, it’s to have wild antelope walking around on the Golf Course.
One of my favourite would have to be the Sable…
The head-and-body length is typically between 190 and 255 cm (75 and 100 in). Males reach about 117–140 cm (46–55 in) at the shoulder, while females are slightly shorter. Males typically weigh 235 kg (518 lb) and females 220 kg (490 lb).
The sable antelope has a compact and robust build, characterized by a thick neck and tough skin. It has a well-developed and often upright mane on its neck, as well as a short mane on the throat. Its general colouration is rich chestnut to black. Females and juveniles are chestnut to dark brown, while males begin darkening and turn black after three years.
As it can be seen these are all not quite 3 years old yet.
Both sexes have ringed horns which arch backward. In females, these can reach 61–102 cm (24–40 in), while in males they are 81–165 cm (32–65 in) long.
these are still growing…
Yet they remain so regal and tough looking even at this age…
They do make a few impressions on the greens, but I can live with that…
This one seems to be checking the view from the tee box…
I do hope they live long and happily on the course..
I have taken to riding around with my camera near at hand, and how happy I am that I did this the other day.
I saw this Grey Heron as I past the one dam its attitude told me it was either stalking something or had seen food…
I got this photo just before the strike and then struggled to actually see what it had caught.. a struggle was on the cards.. something of length that could not just be swallow.. I continued to take photos until I could make out what it was… a small grass snake..
This snake was not giving up without a fight…
and even managed to encircle the beak of the bird..
Down the hatch you go… eyes closed…
But with a lot of head shaking and swallowing the snake finally disappeared down its throat… I nearly gagged thinking about that length going down my throat, and then it struck me… the snake was not dead when it went down.. why would it not bite the bird from the inside ? and would it be painful if it did ?
The bird was now disturbed by my proximity and flew off to one of the other dams, closely followed by me…
An odd stance and attitude.. was this bird regretting the meal?.. well it never regurgitated anything, had a drink and settled down to what looked like a further search for food..
This has taught me one lesson… “keep the camera handy!”…
We recently had a drone flying and taking photos for our course signage… and this is one of the overhead photos I received…
and the back of the score card gives a more clearer idea of the layout…
And here is a photo showing an old farm house that the owner is converting into the golf clubhouse as well as conference venue, wedding venue etc…
This conversion will mean the 3rd hole will become the 1st and so on… I love this idea as one will start off with a par 5 and finish the 18th with a par 5..
Here’s a photo of the old house, so old one could almost call it historic…
We are to develope a driving range near the clubhouse, with a jungle gym to keep the kids entertained, this is going to be a special place in the future. Braai facilities and a boma (an area to have a larger fire for people to congregate around for warmth and companionship, an old African custom) will make this a special place for golf days, or conferences.
I look forward to the completion of the facilities as we have many sponsored golf days in early next summer. Also a fun Golf day for Fathers day on the 18th of June.
I have shared about the golf course, and realise I’ve neglected to share anything on the Hotel. This is a five star experience, with secluded lodges that guarantee a quiet restful stay.
The lodges or rooms are set in a black wattle forest with beautiful gardens surrounding each. A river runs below all the rooms, a lovely sound of trickling water can be heard, not loud enough to keep you in the toilet, but enough to ensure a peaceful sleep.
A walkway follows the river … with small dams that attract birds and otters …
The gardens …
The tree ferns, cycads and so many more indigenous plants … with beautiful flowers ,,,
The restaurant, with a top chef that produces plates of food that are to die for..
A well stoked bar and a wine rack that keeps one looking up…
and then to think that outside is a golf course, (9 hole par 35) that will test your golf length and accuracy… and while you’re playing, the others can enjoy the spa or massage or sit and enjoy the quiet of the lounge.
Want to know more about the hotel ?? http://www.akabekohotel.com/
Hope to see some of you there and playing the golf course that is open to the public…
As the course continues to improve and the rains (when they come) aids the fairways growth, the golf course becomes more and more of a dream come true.
As the photo from the first tee shows the first fairway.
The course wants to welcome all the permanent new arrivals, oh how happy these animals make me…
The sable are young yet already they show the deep chested pride they’re well known for..
I am to stay on at the course and will now be in a position to blog more, to share my golf course with you all. I’m sure that you know it is not really my course and belongs in its entirety to the owner of the Akabeko Boutique Hotel, but my design and build, tweaked to his satisfaction, still feels as though its mine…
This has been and will always be the most desired “bucket list” happening in my life.