South Africa –The Links at Fancourt has been voted one of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by the US edition of Golf Digest – the world’s biggest selling international golf publication.
It is one of only two South African courses to feature in the inaugural listing for the 2013/2014 course rankings – positioned at number 34 in the world, ahead of Leopard’s Creek in Mpumalanga Province in 84th place. The 100 best were selected from 464 golf courses in 18 countries across the globe.
Topping the list by a clear margin is Pine Valley Golf Course, New Jersey’s heathland homage to Sunningdale in England; followed closely by the Cypress Point Country Club in Pebble Beach, California, widely regarded as one of the USA’s very best.
At just 12 years old, it is a feather in the cap of The Links to be placed ahead of iconic golf courses like Sunningdale and Royal Birkdale in England, and Valderrama in Spain, among others.
A ballot of the world’s best layouts was compiled and sent to the U.S. Course Ranking panellists of Golf Digest, representatives of their 27 international editions and their respective Course Ranking panels, as well as carefully selected and trusted golf experts.
In total, 846 knowledgeable and well-travelled golfers rated courses they were familiar with on a 10-point scale, and only those courses achieving a minimum of 20 ballots, qualified for evaluation and selection.
A delighted Kerrin Titmas, CEO of Fancourt said: “We are extremely proud of the work that we do at The Links and therefore it is an honour for it to be recognized amongst the greatest in the world. I could not be more proud of our team as they have worked hard to raise the standards and create a piece of golfing and environmental heritage.”
“They continually strive to achieve world class standards in both course condition and service delivery. I want to emphasize the contribution of the rest of our team too, as I believe the overall Fancourt experience as South Africa’s premier golfing and leisure destination on the Garden Route, positively impacts on the experience of any visitor to The Links,” said Kerrin.
Legendary golfer and course designer Gary Player is behind the expert craftmanship of The Links, which was inspired by Scotland’s famous links courses. Here, he and his team have designed some of their finest holes to create an authentic links test on what was once a featureless terrain, and former site of an airfield.
Unique to South Africa, The Links offers undulating windswept terrain and dune-style landscape, with the tees and fairways a combination of four cool season grasses. Player and his team planned every hole to ensure that the overall balance in terms of length, position of hazards and shot values provide the ultimate test to the low handicap player, culminating in an unforgettable golf experience.
Over the past few years Fancourt has conducted an intensive campaign to improve the quality of the Links golf course even further, with Gary Player himself as a driving force behind these developments.
The Links, Outeniqua and Montagu at Fancourt consistently feature among the country’s 20 finest courses in the South African edition of Golf Digest. They are kept in pristine condition, and took the top three spots as Best Conditioned Courses on the Garden Route in 2012, ahead of some of the country’s best golf courses.
In the same year, The Links made it onto the list of the world’s top 30 golf courses outside the USA, as determined by the US edition of Golf Digest. The Links regularly plays hosts to some of the world’s greatest golf legends, among them Honorary Members Gary Player, John Bland, Justin Rose, Retief Goosen, Branden Grace and Ernie Els.
It is also known for hosting high profile international and national events, including the Volvo Golf Champions 2012, as well as the Berenberg Bank Master Seniors European Tour event in 2010, the Woman’s World Cup and South African Open in 2005, and the Presidents Cup in 2003.
Located among 613 hectares of lush countryside in the heart of what is widely regarded as the country’s golfing mecca, Fancourt is an internationally sought-after golfing playground, with superb leisure facilities that include two luxury hotels, three restaurants, the Fancourt Spa, a Sports & Leisure Centre, and, of course, three of the country’s finest golf courses.