San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 11
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 11
The Indian Ocean is in view from the elevated 12th fairway, looking toward the 11th green below, at San Lameer Country Club in South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 2
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 2
San Lameer Country Club's elevated second tee overlooks a pretty par 4 and offers a glimpse of the Indian Ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 3
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 3
Antelope graze along the third fairway at San Lameer Country Club in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 4
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 4
It's better to face a tough downhill chip behind the fourth green at San Lameer Country Club than to have dunked one in the pond. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 6
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 6
A pond guards the sixth green at San Lameer Country Club in South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 9
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 9
The elevation change on the par-3 ninth hole at San Lameer Country Club is so severe that players should take two to three clubs less off the tee. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 13
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 13
Finding fairway (and avoiding water) on the layup is tough on the par-5 13th hole at San Lameer Country Club in South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 14
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 14
The par-3 14th hole at San Lameer Country Club looks like a scene out of Jurassic Park. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 16
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 16
The par-3 16th hole at San Lameer Country Club plays downhill over a gorge. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 18
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San Lameer C.C. golf course - no. 18
The finishing hole at San Lameer Country Club is a daunting challenge with loads of water. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

San Lameer C.C.: Fun resort golf overlooking the Indian Ocean on South Africa's Hibiscus Coast

KWAZULU NATAL, South Africa -- Gary Player declined the chance to design San Lameer Country Club in the 1990s, believing there wasn't enough land for a quality course.

South African architect Peter Matkovich proved otherwise once a bit more land was acquired, creating a target test of golf in the jungle-covered hills overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The 6,104-meter, par-72 course resides inside a holiday community on the Umhlangamkulu Lagoon several hours south of Durban along the Hibiscus Coast. A few quirky and claustrophobic spots won't derail the fun of the round. Starting with an arduous uphill climb on the par-5 first hole isn't ideal. The elevated tee of the second hole -- featuring a great view of the ocean -- provides the chance to regain some confidence with a soaring drive.

San Lameer Country Club's back nine starts off constricted. Both the 10th and 11th holes are short, tricky par 4s hemmed in by water. The water-logged, par-4 finishing hole caused trouble at the 2014 South African Women's Open, a Ladies European Tour event.

"It's a thinking course," San Lameer C.C. Director of Golf Meyer Du Toit said. "You've got to think of the wind, the uphill, the downhill."

A renovation modernized the clubhouse, and the refreshed Lagoon Bar and Grill in the 40-room resort hotel have further classed up the experience of staying and playing at San Lameer. The spa, par-3 course, and oceanfront beach all bustle with business on holidays.

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.
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San Lameer C.C.: Fun resort golf overlooking the Indian Ocean on South Africa's Hibiscus Coast
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