Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 2
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 2
Elevation changes on the par-3 second hole of the Montagu golf course at Fancourt make picking a club difficult. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 4
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 4
A birdie opportunity presents itself on the par-5 fourth hole of the Montagu Course at Fancourt in South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 6
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 6
The approach to the sixth hole is one of the most intimidating shots on the Montagu golf course at Fancourt. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 7
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 7
The seventh hole on the Montagu golf course at Fancourt swings left with water in play the whole way. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 8
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 8
The little touches, like the stone wall bordering a pond on the par-3 eighth hole, are what make the Montagu golf course at Fancourt so picturesque. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 9
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 9
Don't attempt a hero shot on the par-5 ninth hole of the Montagu Course at Fancourt in Western Cape, South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 10
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 10
The par-5 10th hole on the Montagu golf course at Fancourt falls downhill before a pond pinches the approach. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 17
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 17
Flowers and landscaping surround the scenic par-3 17th hole on the Montagu Course at Fancourt in South Africa. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 18
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Montagu golf course at Fancourt - hole 18
Flowering lily pads decorate the pond fronting the par-5 18th green of the Montagu golf course at Fancourt. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

The Montagu golf course at Fancourt in South Africa paints a pretty picture

GEORGE, South Africa -- The The Montagu golf course will always live in the shadow of its sister course at Fancourt, the world-ranked Links at Fancourt.

Montagu is still plenty good. A 2005 redesign by David McLay Kidd helped the original Gary Player design blossom into one of South Africa's premier places to play. Golf Digest South Africa ranked the Links first and Montagu sixth among the country's top courses in 2014.

Kidd built two new holes -- the par-4 first and the par-5 ninth -- and added other cosmetic changes to many of the greens on the 6,714-meter layout. Overwhelming positive impressions are left by the water hazards, sweeping elevation changes and beautiful landscaping around the tees and greens. Many of the fairway bunkers on the front nine jut into wide fairways, tempting players at taking them on.

Ponds and streams intrude upon six straight holes in the middle of the round, starting at the sixth, a tough par 4 that's the no. 1 handicap, and finishing at the 10th, a downhill par 5 with some risk-reward involved.

Three daunting par 4s at holes 13-15 on the far side of the property derail many rounds. The relief comes at the 16th, a drivable par 4. The final approaches on the par-3 17th hole and par-5 18th hole must carry ponds. After the round, head for the terrace with a drink in hand to watch other golfers attempt to tackle this tough finish.

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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