Three consecutive golf days can often be enough for many travelers, despite how interesting, unique and challenging the courses may be. Our journey to the Winelands, about 60 minutes from Cape Town, was a wonderful break and opportunity for the group to enjoy another element of the South African experience.
Dinner on our first evening at Lanzerac House was in the Governor’s Hall and the images do not do it justice. One long, magnificent table with the most comfortable dining table seats I can recall sitting in…coupled with excellent service and food…made for a lovely evening and set the tone for our next 36 hours in this wine region.
The following day we visited Boschendal Wine Farm for a wine tasting – it was a gorgeous morning, pleasantly warm while enjoying the shade of a massive oak tree. Three of our group even learned how to open a wine bottle with nothing more than a saber! We also enjoyed an entirely impromptu song from two of the local servers.
is often about expectations. The challenge is to establish realistic ones and
not build up a destination in advance to such a level it has little hope of
reaching these dizzy heights. A recent trip to Northern Spain was accompanied
by few expectations beyond a natural curiosity as the trip was the suggestion
of a well-traveled friend.
The climate is temperate. The vistas are spectacular. There are beautiful beaches and dense jungles. Ruins of ancient civilizations pique the curious not far from the bustle of the world’s largest cities.
Scattered across South America are an array of activities, from entertainment late in the evening, to diverse, eclectic, world-renowned cuisine. Historical artifacts, abundant wildlife, mountain peaks and crystal coasts enchant, awaiting around every corner or turn in the road.
You may tango, of course and why would you not, if presented the opportunity?
PerryGolf, industry leader in global golf travel, continues to expand its South American portfolio, offering a trio of Cruises and Escorted Tours in 2020 to satisfy every desire in this popular, growing destination. January or November, ship or land, couples or singles, explore the Southern Hemisphere, savoring soothing temperatures and gentle breezes, enjoying a fixed itinerary that includes golf, culture, sightseeing, history and ample time to relax.
Golfers indulge on courses new and old, testing their swings and enjoying the camaraderie. These courses come in many forms, designed by an eclectic mixture of architects. On one hand is Gil Hanse’s Olympic Golf Course near Rio, designed specifically for the game’s return to the 2016 Olympics. Then, there’s Granadilla Golf Club, a tidy layout designed by English businessmen in the 19th century in the idyllic getaway of Valparaiso on the Chilean shore. Robert Von Hagge’s Buenos Aires Golf Club, on the other hand, took the professional golf spotlight in 2000 when the dynamic duo of Tiger Woods and David Duval secured the World Cup for the United States. Regardless, the venue, the golf courses in South America pose a certain challenge along immaculate landscapes against backdrops rugged and stunning.
PerryGolf guests interested in touring South America by sea, can enjoy Argentina for nine nights and four rounds of golf in late November, early December 2020.
Book by Oct. 31, 2019 and double upgrade your stateroom on the 690-guest Azamara Quest, a nimble, mid-sized luxury vessel offering all the amenities one could want at sea or in port – fine dining, live entertainment and a country club style atmosphere. The Azamara experience is built on four key pillars: destination immersion, extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wine, and wellness and vitality.
Rio de Janeiro is a sizzling destination spanning from Copacabana (Beach) to Corcovado (Mountain), whose permanent resident is the iconic Christ The Redeemer, a 125-foot statue built as a symbol of Brazilian Christianity nestled inside the Tijuca National Forest.
First suggested in 1850, the concept for the massive statue was finalized in 1920. Construction began in 1922 and was completed in 1931, paid for entirely by Brazil’s Catholic Church. Crafted from reinforced concrete and sandstone, the statue is 98-feet high and the arms are 92-feet wide, perched atop a 26-foot platform.
Buenos Aires, described by travel aficionados as the ‘Paris of South America’, is the largest city and capital of Argentina, sporting nearly 3 million residents. Known for its beefy steaks, luscious malbec wines and vibrant nightlife, Buenos Aires combines old school European style with modern Latin energy. San Telmo’s Plaza Dorrego is the regular Sunday night site for a “milonga” for those wanting to watch the tango in the street.
Machu Picchu is a unforgettable destination made even more appealing by the enjoyable ride to get there on the Hiram Bingham Train, where you’ll travel forward on the rails but feel as if you’ve walked into a snapshot from a previous era. The train is elegant and rich in charm, with its wood-paneled interiors and brass fixtures, delivering a experience from the days of luxury travel aboard parlour cars, providing a smooth ride to the enchanting ruins.
Among those competing this week in the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am are superstar professionals Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose, along with a fortunate collection of amateurs such as the eclectic, enigmatic, endearing actor, Bill Murray, who was seen hitting shots one-handed early in the week. The tournament, similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am held on the U.S. PGA Tour each February, is the consummate combination of competition and camaraderie.
The fortunate golfers are playing three iconic courses, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and of course the host, The Old Course at St. Andrews, final round site for those who survive the 54-hole cut.
Guests of PerryGolf are quite familiar with the triumvirate, any of which can highlight an Escorted or Customized Tour to Scotland. For more than 30 years, PerryGolf has been a international leader in global golf travel. PerryGolf now offers Tours to South Africa, South America, New Zealand, Norway and beyond, however, the company, founded by two Scottish brothers, traces its roots to building custom itineraries for golfers who want to play the game in the land where it was born.
Kingsbarns, the baby of the bunch by far opened in 2000 and Kyle Phillips’ design was adored from the outset, drawing praise from fellow architect Tom Doak. The North Sea dominates the background on each shot, the wind ripples the flag as tee shots scoot down wide, firm and fast fairways, trying to dodge devilish pot bunkers. Kingsbarns delivers the a full and frisky links experience, albeit in a modern dress.
Carnoustie, considered the most difficult course in The Open rota, crowned Francesco Molinari during The 147th Open in 2018, as he tamed the beast, holding off Tiger Woods, among others. Padraig Harrington also outlasted Sergio Garcia in a playoff at Carnoustie, which has served as The Open host on eight occasions and counts Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Tom Watson among its champions.
The Old Course will serve as The Open host for the 30th time in 2021 for the 150th edition of the championship. (PerryGolf is proud to be an Authorised Ticket Provider for The Open)
Zach Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen claimed the last two Claret Jugs at St Andrews. Dr. Alister MacKenzie, architect of Royal Melbourne and Augusta National, admired the reward of a precise tee shot on No. 16, the alternative routes to make a par on No. 14 and the intricacies of the famous Road Hole, No. 17. MacKenzie wrote, in the ‘Ideal Holes’ chapter of “The Spirit of St. Andrews” that the Old Course was the only golf course on real links land that has not been defaced by the hand of man.
In describing ideal holes it is extremely difficult to get away from the Old Course at St. Andrews. I was much enamored of the strategy of the course … but today I am still more amazed at its subtlety.”
Dr. Alister MacKenzie, ‘The Spirit of St. Andrews’
MacKenzie’s masterpiece is arguably Cypress Point, perched on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula in California on sandy soil among the cypress and the pines. When a friend mentioned it in the same breath as the indomitable Old Course, MacKenzie scoffed at him.
“St Andrews cannot be compared with Cypress Point,” MacKenzie told his friend. “St. Andrews is first class, there is no second, and Cypress Point comes a very bad third.”
The Old Course meanders through the heart of the charming town and is closed on all but four Sundays each year, adding to its allure, mystique and accessibility. On the links’ day of rest, residents and visitors are often seen sharing a picnic basket adjacent to a fairway or taking a stroll across the Swilcan Bridge, which, through the years, has been the centerpiece for keepsake snapshots and iconic photographs of legendary champions bidding golf’s oldest championship farewell.
Click a photo of your own on a PerryGolf tour, walking those same fairways with your friends and family alongside.
A world-class city, terrific dining and wine, breathtaking scenery, an elegant ship and excellent golf with a genial group of companions, who may become lifetime friends. Yes, a winter cruise to South Africa with PerryGolf, a international leader in golf travel, sounds inviting indeed.
This exceptional golf voyage includes pre-cruise and post-cruise options. Combined, they extend the trip by eight nights and four rounds. The pre-cruise portion includes three nights at the exquisite Jock Safari Lodge, golf at Leopard Creek, ranked No. 2 in South Africa, morning game drives, happy hour in the bush and ample time to relax and recharge in the middle of the day when the animals are resting.
Leopard Creek played host to a Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf match between Ernie Els and Nick Price in 1996. The course was renovated in 2017 and the greens were converted to Champion Bermuda grass. The par-5 No. 13 borders the Crocodile River and is unforgettable.
Gordon Dalgleish, PerryGolf Founding Director, visited South Africa in 2014 and offered these observations. Cape Town has developed into a vibrant, diverse and cosmopolitan destination over the last 20 years, reckoning with its past to emerge an inclusive city that attracts more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
With an array of activities to experience and sights to see in a temperate climate, it’s easy to understand the global appeal of Africa’s southernmost city. During our cruise on the excellent 690-guest Azamara Quest in January, the average high temperature will be 83 degrees fahrenheit and the average low will be 63. Expect sunshine 90 percent of the time.
In need of a strenuous workout? Hike the Platteklip Gorge to the peak of Table Mountain, then enjoy a relaxing ride down in a cable car, overlooking the city. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and in 2011 was designated as one of the seven new Wonders of the World.
Roughly an hour outside of Cape Town, the cities of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl featured rolling vineyards, grand estates, and three of the country’s top restaurants.
South Africa has a storied tradition in golf history, starting with none other than Gary Player, the eight-time major champion, who in the 1965 U.S. Open became the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam at age 29. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods later broke his record. In addition to his role as an ambassador for golf and healthy living, Player is also an accomplished golf course architect. He was the initial designer of The Montagu at Fancourt, which is available to those selecting the post-cruise option.
His countryman Ernie Els has been a world class player for three decades, winning three major titles as one of the best players of his generation.
Durban Country Club has been a frequent host of the South African Open and also entertained the European Tour’s best in the Volvo Open in 2013 and 2014. Zimbali CC meanders through the forest and the ocean as architect Tom Weiskopf met strategic challenges without disrupting the land’s delicate ecological harmony.
Of course, we’ll also enjoy three easy days at sea aboard our vessel, Azamara Quest. The Azamara experience is built on four key pillars: destination immersion, extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wine, and wellness and vitality.
Does November 2020 better suit your schedule? If so, consider our Escorted Tour