Taming the mamba
East London - When my travel editor first toyed with the idea of putting together the ultimate coastal golfing trip, I thought it a fanciful dream. Wild Coast, Fish River Sun, Fancourt and Steenberg, all on one trip? With a hidden gourmet getaway in Sedgefield tucked in between all the golf? No chance.
Next thing, I was headed south, ignoring the endless golfing adventures dotted along the way, to visit Wild Coast Sun. I was to head straight to the first tee box, and that suited me fine. This was a golfing road trip, after all.
Not having played the stunning coastal layout in years, I was keen to test myself and played it off the very tips. Suffice to say, it is a different beast from there, but just as much fun. The 12th, aptly named the Green Mamba, is always a highlight, but I managed to tame it, nudging a drive and then a five-wood onto the green before two-putting for a birdie.
Having heard of many tales of people being bitten by the “Mamba”, I was rather chuffed. But my joy was short-lived as I pushed a four-iron into the gorge that fronts the equally treacherous, par-three 13th hole, which is a bit of a monster from the back tees, into the wind. That corner of the Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed course may as well be renamed Amen Corner, because divine intervention is needed to get through with your score unscathed.
By the time you reach the 18th tee box, over the water, with clubhouse patrons casting an eye to see if there is a splash, you are ready to be pampered by the hotel. Guests have the option of garden-facing or sea-facing en-suite rooms, each comfortably furnished.
Below, those with some luck left over from the golf can try their luck in the casino, a popular enclave for punters or those just after a drink with a view. For those in need of sustenance, and famished like I was, head straight for the curry and roast buffet at Chico’s. You can’t come to this part of the world and not have a curry.
There are a number of other dining choices, including a selection of fast food outlets for a light snack, and a Spur.
The Club House, overlooking the 18th hole, is a festive spot for sundowners and dining with a view.
If you’re mixing business with pleasure, the Wild Coast Sun has 11 conference venues, including a cavernous 670-seater auditorium, all in-keeping with the theme of Africa and the local Pondo people.
For the little ones, no visit to the Wild Coast would be complete without hours of fun at the Wild Waves Water Park, and squeals of delight can be heard from the second hole. The Aloha Village and Magic Company provides options for colder days, or evenings, with its arcade, funfair and tenpin bowling alley.
The Indian Ocean is a stroll away and there are pools for those who prefer their swimming a little more sedate – and where guests can be spotted blissfully passed out on loungers.
The Wild Coast Sun Resort and Casino has something for everyone and, as the launching pad for the ultimate golfing road trip along the coast, it’s just the right blend of challenging and charming. Just bring enough balls…
For more information, call 039 3059111 or visit www.suninternational.com