'Out in a Rolls Royce, back in an ambulance.' It's a well-known saying among golfers, describing a good first nine followed by a disappointing inward loop. And it is often apt at Milnerton Golf Club, a challenging links-type course on a narrow stretch of land between a lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, with unparalleled views of Table Mountain. Milnerton has adopted the British practice of 9 holes out, followed by 9 holes back.
With the prevailing southeaster at the golfer's back, the outward loop at Milnerton is played mainly downwind, which makes the course appear easy. But after refreshments at the halfway house, a Herculean task awaits on the back nine as almost every shot is hit into the wind and high numbers invariably start appearing on the scorecard. The par-five 12th measures a mere 424 metres, but against a strong breeze it plays anything but short. Downwind, a big hitter would expect to drive the green at Milnerton's 289-metre par-our 13th, but again, it is normally played into the wind and two healthy blows are required to reach the green.
The par-threes on the back nine, namely the 15th and the 17th, both have tiny little greens. A high premium is therefore put on accuracy and an ability to hit low, wind-cheating shots. Some of Milnerton's holes, particularly those closest to the Atlantic, have strong links qualities, although the flat airways do not have the many humps and hollows so common on the British seaside courses.
Milnerton's superb sloping greens with their smooth texture are a real joy to putt on, while the course's sandy base allows it to drain well and remain playable throughout Cape Town's cool, wet Mediterranean-type winters. The course hosted the South African Masters for several years, but the tournament has since been held at several other venues. The magnificent view across Table Bay, as seen from the third tee at Milnerton, is truly unforgettable, especially when the awe-inspiring 'tablecloth' of cloud sweeps over Cape Town's famous mountain.
|Milnerton Golf Club|
|18 holes, par-72, rating 71, 5 788 metres.
The course was founded in 1913 with a new site in 1952. It was remodelled in 1977 by Brian Orme. It has strong links characteristics.|
|Rates and fees are available on request|
|Take the N2 motorway from Cape Town. Turn left at the Paarden Eiland turn-off and follow the road until you reach the second set of traffic lights at Milnerton. Turn left and drive over the lagoon bridge. The course is on the right-hand side.|
|Handicap certificate, golf union and home club membership cards, and letter of introduction are required.|
|Facilities and Activities|
|Facilities||Professional; practice tee; clubhouse; light snacks; dining room; golf carts available for hire.|