R512, Hartebeespoort Dam.
This up market residential golf estate situated on the banks of the Hartebeespoort Dam some 40 minutes drive west of Sandton (Johannesburg), boasts the only Jack Nicklaus `signature` golf course in Africa. It is a young layout (opened in 1998), but the technology expertise and attention to detail that has gone into its construction means that its conditioning is unsurpassed in South Africa.
A tree planting programme means that the course will look different 15 year`s from now, for the moment it is high, wide, handsome and open. The layout bears the Nicklaus hallmarks of generously wide, collecting fairways (planted with kikuyu) and larger multi-featured greens complexes. It is difficult for a golfer to lose a ball at Pecanwood other than in a water hazard, of which there are several – but the course is abundantly and severely bunkered.
The putting surfaces are slick and demanding. Playing the big layout is an education in skilled course design, for one soon realizes that very precise positional play and lines of attack are required if pars and birdies are to be had.
In this regard the impressive bunkers can be a help, the sand traps having a `sighting` as well as a penal function. On several holes one as aware of the housing component, but the playing corridors are generous and the dwellings are visually interesting, strict architectural guidelines rendering them unusually uniform.
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