The Hans Merensky Golf Course offers the rare opportunity to enjoy a round of golf and watch big game in their natural habitat at the same time. Get out of the city and into the open at this value-for-money course.

Did you know?

Hans Merensky was a well-know mining archaeologist and humanitarian.

The Hans Merensky Golf Course adjacent to the Kruger National Park in Phalaborwa, promises the ultimate African golfing experience, where golfers share the fairways with giraffe, zebra, impala and monkeys, while viewing bigger game behind the park fence.

During a round of 18, you are likely to encounter hippo and crocodiles at various watering holes, while majestic, yet inquisitive giraffe nonchalantly observe your swing from their unique vantage points.

This course was designed by the renowned Robert Grimsdell. It is largely novice-friendly, with generous fairways. Even if your drive is a little wayward, finding your ball in the rough is fairly easy. One exception is the par-5 16th, where a hooked drive will land in the game park.

The fairway grass is cynodon, while the greens are an indigenous offshoot known as Bayview grass. Due to all the wildlife traffic, the course greens have been hardened, which is something to bear in mind when deciding where to land your chip shots. The greens however offer a comfortable, medium pace and putting is as relaxed.

Hole-in-one hunters can try their luck on the two par-3 holes, which are the 8th and 17th tees. You will however have to overcome water hazards on both of these holes.

You can tee off as early as 7am to experience the awakening of the surrounding wilderness as you play. Friendly caddies with expert local knowledge are on hand.

Phalaborwa, best known as a mining town, is a fair drive from major infrastructure and an ideal place to experience the wilder side of South Africa, which is exactly why golfers and holidaymakers make the effort to travel out there.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Hans Merensky Golf Course
Tel: +27 (0)15 781 3931

How to get here

The course is a six-hour drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. You can hire a car at the airport and head north on the N1. Other closer airports are Polokwane (three hours by car) and Nelspruit (also three hours).

Around the area

The famous Kruger National Park borders the golf course.

What will it cost

A round of 18 holes for non-members costs around R350. Cart hire is around R180 for 18 holes.

Where to stay

You can stay at the four-star Hans Merensky Hotel and Spar.