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TThe Hans Merensky golf course adjacent to the Kruger National Park in Ba-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 2 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. 

Ba-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. 

The golf course is adjacent to the 4-star Hans Merensky Hotel and Indulge Senses Spa, offering a unique blend of game and golf.  

Did You Know?

TTravel  tips  & planning  info 

Who to contact 

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

Hotel email: 

How to get here 

The course is a 6-hour drive from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. You can hire a car at the airport and head north on the N1. Other closer airports are Polokwane (3 hours by car) and Nelspruit (also 3 hours). 

Things to do 

The famous Kruger National Park borders the golf course; Kruger game drives are a must. 

What to pack 

Your golf clubs. 

Where to stay 

You can stay at the 4-star Hans Merensky Hotel and Spa. 

What to eat 

At the hotel, the Leadwood restaurant and Lapa offers a full English breakfast buffet daily and an a la carte menu at dinner time. The Halfway House serves light lunches overlooking the 9th and 18th greens. Pizzas are available at the pool bar. 

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