Leopard Creek Country Club: Perhaps South Africa's premier "Top 100" golf playground

MPUMALANGA, South Africa -- Leopard Creek Country Club -- host of the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Championship since 2011 -- is two parts Augusta National, one part zoo.

It requires a stay at one of 15 safari lodges associated with the club to get on Leopard Creek, one of three golf courses in South Africa to make a world "Top 100" list. The club's exclusivity, impeccable conditioning and location adjacent to the Kruger National Park create a memorable day.

Golfers may encounter monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, antelope, cobras, turtles and lizards. Leopards are perched near every tee box. A collection of 18 leopard sculptures depict a day in the life of a leopard from awakening to the kill. The Gary Player design follows a similar arc, starting simple before building for a killer finish. Solid holes on the front nine -- notably the driveable sixth and difficult downhill ninth -- give way to a more dramatic back nine. No. 11, a par 4, climbs uphill through dense jungle over a bunker in the middle of the fairway. The drive on the signature par-5 13th hole must leapfrog a creek. Its green overlooks Crocodile River, where hippos and crocs roam free. The par-5 16th and par-3 17th holes share a large pond. Water surrounds the 18th green, the finish of a downhill par 4 in the shadow of the clubhouse. These obstacles determine the fate of every round at Leopard Creek, from pros to members alike.

Jan 06, 2016

Join the conversation

Post a comment 

Related Links

Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.