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Million-dollar golf hole

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Golf isn't Natalie Gruzlewski's sport of choice, but like most of us, with a million dollars riding on one shot, thought it was worth a go. But first, here's a little about where it is.

Legend Golf & Safari Resort

This is Africa's most talked-about leisure venue for golfers and safari enthusiasts. It's in Limpopo province in the heart of the African bush. The game of golf and the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino) are side-by-side, born out of and inspired by the African renaissance.

Eighteen of the world's leading golfers each designed a hole. Robert Allenby, Bernard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen are some of the greats who put their signature to a hole. It has amazingly wide fairways and immaculate USGA-standard greens.

The enigmatic Hanglip Mountain overlooks the course which meanders across lush fairways and those who have played it say it is something very special, very special indeed.

Even with all that and the prospect of spotting the Big Five, it's the Extreme 19 that steals the spotlight. It sits 430m above the fairway on a Hanglip Mountain cliff face overlooking the Entabeni Safari Conservancy.

We had a sneak preview of the Extreme 19 par-three hole is played to a green in the shape of Africa 400m below. Accessible only by helicopter, the hole has been dubbed the "fairway to heaven" and it's easy to see why. With so much surrounding beauty it's difficult to concentrate on the challenge at hand.

Those who think they have a chance have four shots at the hole and if they manage to sink the ball they pocket US$1 million! It will be up and running from early next year.

Golf pro Wilhelm Groenewald has the enviable job of escorting hopefuls to the 19th and he says if you can hit a ball 170m you're in with a good chance. Natalie gave it her best shot, and luckily for us she isn't retiring to a villa in the south of France.

Day visits are welcome but there are luxury suites in four elegant styles and the clubhouse serves all meals with a range of fine dining options.

Game reserve

The Big Five roam freely on the 22,000-hectare safari conservancy. There are hundreds of species of other animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants. All are in their natural surroundings, and with a limit to the number of vehicles allowed entry at any one time, there is no overcrowding or queuing.

Furtive leopards are a regular sight — the Waterberg Mountains are home to the highest concentration in the world. Rhinos and hippopotamus share open grasslands and you will see a multitude of antelope, warthog, wildebeest, impala, kudu and a variety of nocturnal creatures.


Limpopo, a 2.5-hour drive from Johannesburg.


Legend Golf & Safari Resort 18 holes costs around $65. Green fees, cart, water and halfway-house lunch are included. A shot at Extreme 19th million-dollar hole will cost you $971.

Emirates has flights to Johannesburg from:

  • Perth $1880
  • Melbourne and Adelaide $1953
  • Sydney $1953
  • Brisbane $1957

For further information

Ph: 1300 303 777

Legend Golf & Safari Resort

Visas: A passport is needed but no visa is required.

Electricity: 220/230V at 50Hz. Most plugs have three round pins.

Time zone: GMT +2.

Currency: Rand.

International dialling code: +27.

User comments
I visited this golf course last year. It was part of our Safari from one of the Entabeni lodges we spend New Years at. While we didn't play a round of golf I'd recommend staying at the lodges up towards the cliffs more. It was nowhere near the A$4k mentioned in the show. Its a brilliant reserve though - go for it!

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