There are a mere four Royal Golf Clubs in South Africa and Port Alfred – the lively small town known as the heart of the Sunshine Coast – is proud, very proud, to host one of them. This enchanting links course bordering on the warm Indian Ocean boasts not only 18 very fine holes of testing golf but also several very unusual “residents”. A round of golf can also turn into a game-viewing experience to remember as herds of Springbok, Gemsbok, Impala and the usually elusive Bushbuck and tiny Blue Duiker roam nonchalantly about the course.
Port Alfred gained its “royal” status all of 95 years ago when King George V bestowed it on the then unassuming village course. Its royal patronage lasted for a fair number of years as the Prince of Wales – later to become King Edward VIII, who later abdicated – visited and enjoyed many days and several rounds there.
Now all these years later Royal Port Alfred Golf Club is attracting golfers from all over the world who are keen to enjoy the warmth of the Sunshine Coast region and the embrace of the hospitality that the club is well known for.
The course experience is memorable as golfers take on a plethora of interesting holes – some overlooking the ocean with the chance of seeing whales and dolphins at play; while others test the golfer’s skill as the ups and downs are a far cry from the manicured layouts many are used to. The names cause amusement – how about Whale’s Back, Hippo Hollow, The Connaught, Hugh Kelly and more? And on a windy day even the most patient of golfing enthusiasts will have their mettle tested.
Port Alfred is about one third of the way along the beautiful Sunshine Coast, which extends from East London down to Port Elizabeth. Land at either airport and you will enjoy a smooth drive along the stunning coastline to the small town locals call ‘Paradise’.
Or if you have the means you can charter a private flight and land a mere 10 minutes out of town at 43 Air School, a world-renowned facility training pilots for major international airlines.
Yes, the Heart of the Sunshine Coast has many surprises in store – and Royal Port Alfred Golf Club is surely the sparkling gem that keeps avid golfers returning time and time again.
For more check out their website; https://wwww.rpagc.co.za
Article by Editor John Cockayne, from Destination Golf Southern Africa & Indian Ocean 2019/2020;