Best Golf Courses Near Cape Town

Could there be a more beautiful place to tee off than South Africa? Apart from its majestic mountains and scenic sea waters, Cape Town also boasts beautiful golf-worthy sunshine for much of the year and golf courses to the delight of amateur and professional players.

Cape Town’s greens are no secret only to the locals. In fact, the country has produced many world-class golfers like Gary Player, Bobby Locke, and Ernie Els among others. Champion golfers are known to head to the Cape’s fair fairways for a round or two.

In Cape Town, you will find lush fairways sprawled nestled on the slopes on mountains, amid winelands or close to beaches where the crashing waves of the ocean lends a soothing soundtrack on your swing.

Here are 10 of the best golf courses in Cape Town. All are open to visitors when they are not hosting major global tournaments.

Arabella Country Club

Arabella is one of the best golf courses in Cape Town. It is found at quite a distance from Cape Town but then, it is well worth the drive of one and a half hours. One of the reasons that draws people to Arabella Country Club is the stunning setting of the Kogelberg Mountains and Bot River Lagoon. The other drawcard? The challenging downhill 8th hole on the Peter Matkovich-designed course!

Due to its remarkable natural beauty, pristine greens and the world-class golfing experience that it offers, Arabella Country Club is an 18-hole masterpiece in Kleinmond and is among the best golf courses in South Africa. It regularly attracts both celebrities and professional players.

Embraced by the Kogelberg mountains and flanking the Bot River Lagoon, the course boasts a good mix of challenging holes. The 18th hole is considered a really fine finishing hole. Moreover, any golfer that makes gross par on holes 3, 4 and 5 gets to enjoy a complimentary round in the future.

The venue also claims a driving range, chipping and putting greens and offers up golf carts and clubs for hire. Anyone keen on playing here should note that green fees are rather expensive, especially for non-members, and that while it might be generally quite calm in the mornings but the wind does tend to pick up in the late afternoon.

Steenberg Golf Estate

Kick start your morning with a round of golf and end the afternoon with a wine tasting! Does it sound tempting? This is precisely what Steenberg Golf Estate has to offer. The Steenberg Golf Estate is set on one of Cape Town's oldest and most loved wineries. It is a quick drive from down-town from the Constantia Valley with its vineyards.

This flawless course designed by Peter Matkovich is found at a short drive away from Cape Town’s city centre. With its scenic surroundings and rich wildlife, Steenberg Golf Estate provides a complete natural escape. Nestled in the midst of five-star restaurants, a spa and working winery on Steenberg Golf Estate, the 18-hole artwork has been meticulously drafted to accommodate for the strong summer South Easter and to cater to the whole range of golfers, from novices to professionals as there are a wide variety of differently positioned tee boxes at each hole.

While every green presents different challenges, the course’s distinct 7th and 14th holes offer players a chance to chip and putt in an amazing setting. The short and tricky hole 7 claims an island green completely surrounded by a bunker and water. As for the breathtaking mountain-enclosed hole 14, it is the longest single green in the Southern Hemisphere (63 metres).

Golfers also get to benefit from a world-class locker room, an elegant bar, a two-tier driving range and a dining area. Though pricey, visitors will find that the whole experience is worth every penny.

De Zalze Country Club

Head out to the Stellenbosch Winelands to reach De Zalze Country Club. Once you've played the 18-whole, par-72 course, head down to the wine estate's well-known Terroir restaurant for a feast and a glass of one of the estate’s signature Kleine Zalze reserves. No wonder De Zalze Country Club is always highly ranked as one of South Africa’s top courses.

The course De Zalze Country Club was designed by the eminent Peter Matkovich. This prestigious 18-hole, par-72 course, which was designed by eminent golfing architect Peter Matkovich, has been ranked as one of the top four in the Western Cape by Golf Digest magazine and has played host to esteemed international competitions.

The lush parkland fairways are lined with olive groves, lavender bushes, magestic trees and regiments of vineyards. Players can look forward to a rather demanding mix of both long and short par-3, -4 and -5 holes. A natural winding river and a series of water features present challenges along most of the course. However, De Zalze’s signature hole 13 is the most trying one: the tee box is situated in the middle of a dam (reachable by a board-walk), making the shot a rather tricky one.

For those who want to warm up before a round, there is a driving range and putting greens which are only open to golfers playing a full game. For those wanting to relax after a round, they have the option of wine tasting just next door at Kleine Zalze winery or enjoy some really sumptuous food at the reputed Terroir restaurant. Another add-on is that visitors who are on a golfing vacation can opt to stay at the four-star Kleine Zalze Lodge which offers special play rates to overnighters.

Royal Cape Golf Club

Dating back to 1885, Royal Cape Golf Club is one of the country's first golf club. Located in the suburb of Wynberg, it is also among the most celebrated golf clubs, having hosted tournaments played by the likes of Ernie Els, Gary Player, and Mark McNulty.

The Wynberg-based Royal Cape Golf Club is indeed a haven for putters and it strives to create a playing environment that is enjoyable and memorable for golfing enthusiasts of all skill levels. The challenging par-72 course offers up fabulous mountain views and boasts narrow, tree-lined fairways, well-manicured greens and a series of pretty ponds and sandy bunkers to really test driving ability.

What’s more, a non-stop wind keeps things rather interesting for players. A gifted PGA professional is on hand to offer golfers guided lessons and advice on how to better that back swing and budding ball whizzes can also improve their skills at the on-site driving range (for members and those playing a full game on the day), practice net and putting, chipping and pitching greens. Plus, visitors who arrive without the required equipment can hire out golf clubs from the venue or purchase odds and ends from Royal Cape’s shop, which has everything in stock: from balls and gloves to shoes and apparel

Atlantic Beach Golf Estate

The Atlantic Beach Golf Estate is found in the town of Melbosstrand. With the majestic Table Mountain as the backdrop, the sound of crashing waves and the manicured lawns dotted with indigenous fynbos plants, Atlantic Beach Golf Estate is a postcard-perfect golf course.

The championship golf course of the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate stretches out over wavy dunes 700 m from the bright Atlantic Ocean in the coastal village of Melkbosstrand, barely 30 minutes from Cape Town. The breeze that comes off the adjacent sea makes the game more interesting and requires golfers to adjust their tactics accordingly. So, players are always in for a rather exciting round at this 18-hole seaside sportsman’s bliss.

Furthermore, the spectacular natural scenery also makes Atlantic Beach Golf Club a delightful place to putt: the greens flaunt picture-perfect views of Table Mountain. Also, the club is committed to conservation and thus, the fairways are lined and dotted with fragrant indigenous fynbos.

In addition to great greens, the venue is also home to a pro shop, a driving range with practise bunkers, a golf academy where linksmen and -women can enjoy private and group lessons, and a leisure centre complete with a swimming pool and spa.

Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate

Bordered by mighty mountains and lush vineyards, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate is considered a great spot by golfers to display their skills. Indeed, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate’s par-72, 18-hole course is a fine choice for anyone eager to tee off amidst the beauty and tranquillity of the scenic Stellenbosch Winelands.

This golfer’s paradise has hosted many national and provincial tournaments, including the SA Ladies Open and the Sunshine Tour and kids' competitions too. These explain its important championship status. So, players can expect their golfing abilities to be subject to a true test here.

Those in need of a little practice can take a few swings at the estate’s 200-m driving range, knock a few balls at the chipping and putting greens or seek the help of Devonvale’s PGA pro.

Moreover, tired from a good game, players can stop for a rest at the course’s halfway house and enjoy a delicious French meal at Chez Shiraz restaurant or they can even stay over at the estate's four-star lodge. Visitors lodge here can enjoy reduced golfing prices.

The River Club

The River Club is home to one of the few 9-hole, par-27 mashie courses in Cape Town. It is the perfect place for both seasoned and beginner golfers to sharpen their short game skills on well-maintained fairways at very affordable rates.

The venue is also famous as a world-class practising facility because it houses a top-class double-storey driving range. It is sheltered and well lit and hence, ideal for poor weather, evening play, putting greens, a chipping zone and a bunker practice area.

Visitors can request the services of the Southern African Golf Institute, a reputed training academy based at The River Club and make the most of expert knowledge of a number of PGA-qualified coaches. There is also a special kids area where visitors can drop off their little ones while they hit some balls.

And if guests have worked up an appetite while swinging and chipping, they can sit down for a great meal at the club’s restaurant,Slug & Lettuce.

King David Golf Club

King David Golf Club opened its doors in 1956 as part of a country club and has always been appreciated for its non-discriminatory policy. This championship parkland golf course has been upgraded over the years and is today rated as having one of the finest layouts in the country.

The rolling, 6142-m stretch of fairways and greens has a good variety of par 3, 4 and 5 holes that all boast their own unique set-up and enable golfers to have a rewarding golfing experience. In particular, it is the 12th hole that keen linksmen should look out for.

Another plus point for the golf club is its location. It takes 20 minutes of driving to reach King David Golf Club from the city centre and 5 minutes from the Cape Town International Airport. The club is also the base to a practise area, halfway house, restaurant and well-stocked pro shop, which are all accessible to non-members too.

Plus, visitors can even get their clubs customised at the store or opt to have their swing video analysed by a PGA professional. Green fees are fairly priced at King David, and the course does also run specials from time to time.

Erinvale Golf Club

The Erinvale Golf Club is based in Somerset West and has a top-ranking course which was designed by the acclaimed professional golfer Gary Player. It, in fact, is considered one of the top 10 in the Western Cape. Located at the foot of the stately Helderberg Mountain, Erinvale Golf Club boasts breath-taking views of the winelands and ocean.

The Erinvale Golf Club has hosted both the World Cup of Golf and the SAA Open. The estate has a legacy that stands as a testament to its world-class standards and its ability to offer players a memorable and scenic golfing experience.

With the presence of the towering mountains, the course is shielded from the wind, and linksmen can look forward to driving on two rather distinct nines: the front nine is flat while the back nine, which creeps up the slopes of the Helderberg is comparatively more hilly. Erinvale’s clubhouse and pro shop are open to anyone playing the course.

Metropolitan Golf Club

The Metropolitan Golf Club is spread right next to the V&A Waterfront and the looming Cape Town Stadium. Well-maintained, this coastal 9-hole course plays like it is 18 holes, with 9 fairways, 14 greens and 18 tee boxes making sure that players are kept challenged and interested even on their second round.

Though there are only a few water features such as the final hole which is shot right over a pond, the lush parkland course is great for amateurs as well as professionals. Those who are just starting golf will also find this golf course apt. Carts, pull trolleys and clubs are available for hire, and players can also take the help of Metropolitan’s caddies.

Golfers can also rest at a halfway house or the clubhouse and bar. While the course is open to the public on most days, it is closed to visitors on Saturdays and Thursday afternoons for member-only competitions.