Fancourt – Its All in the Name
Imagine luxury in a picturesque setting, sprinkle exceptional service and glaze that with some international awards and you can begin to appreciate the Fancourt experience. Offering a contemporary and calm environment, Fancourt is perfectly blended with the charisma of its extensive heritage and familial beginnings with all the latest conveniences. From expansive family-friendly and wellness facilities to gourmet cuisine and award-winning golf courses, Fancourtguests are spoilt for choice. From the young in age to the young at heart all can be certain that they will be well taken care of.
A worthy gem of the Garden Route, Fancourt is an ideal base from which to explore this incredible area. Sublime swimming beaches are easily accessible and horse riding, picnics, mountain biking, and hikes are just some of the activities which can be arranged. Sightseeing excursions to nearby coastal towns of Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay and Knysna, as well as historic Oudtshoorn will provide an all-rounded experience of the superb region.
Besides exploring the Garden Route, the resort provides the best place to treat yourself and loves ones to some quality down time with remarkable moments provided by the pristine countryside nestled by the Outeniqua Mountains. The Fancourt Hotel has ample space comprising of 115 luxurious rooms and suites perfect for discerning visitors. The ideal stay for both local and international guests, especially those with golfing interests. Visitors can expect an entertaining warm and relaxed retreat.
Part of the Global Golf Tourism Organisation (IAGT), Fancourt has quite the feathers in its cap. A firm favourite with incredible ratings; 90% on TripAdvisor – ranked the best hotel in George, 91% on Booking.com – with an exceptional rating. It is no surprise that last year the resort was named Best Golf Resorts in Africa and the Middle East’ as part of the 2021 Golf Digest Editors’ Choice Awards and also the coveted South Africa’s Best Golf Hotel 2021’ in the World Golf Awards.
This phenomenal establishment is well known in golfing circles and yet boasts many leisure activities including their spa with an indoor heated Roman Bath and world class wellness treatments. The Leisure Centre provides a variety of facilities and activities all aimed at keeping guests of all ages and interests delighted. The popular Kidz Club, teen lounge, gymnasium, cinema, indoor heated and outdoor swimming pool can be found in the centre. Those who enjoy the outdoors can enjoy tennis, bird watching, fishing, running and walking trails. And for the foodies, four top restaurants each offer a special dining experience to appeal to all palates. With all the incredible offerings the only thing you can’t do is mope around!
Fancourt golfing: Championship golf courses – Montague, Outeniqua and Bramble Hill and The Links
For golfing enthusiasts, Fancourt hardly requires introduction. With three golf courses designed by Gary Player as well as a Golf Academy, Fancourt golfing has a proud legacy of sporting excellence. Consistently topping the Golf Digest’s top 20 courses in the country, and more recently Fancourt has been lauded as one of the ‘Best Golf Resorts in Africa and the Middle East’ as part of its 2021 Editors’ Choice Awards.
All three of Fancourt’s golf courses received rankings in the top 20 of the Local Design Awards this year. As the title holder of ‘South Africa’s Best Golf Hotel 2021’ in the World Golf Awards and ‘South Africa’s Best Golf Course 2021’ for the Montagu golf course, excellence is a clear standard when it comes to these courses.
Akin to teeing off in paradise against the backdrop of the lofty Outeniqua Mountains, golfers can expect an exacting, yet highly enjoyable golfing experience enveloped in the natural beauty of the Fancourt estate. Golfers also have access to comprehensive practice facilities, a Golf Academy, and a fully equipped Pro Shop. Which offers everything golfers might need to maximise their sporting experience, from bookings and check-ins to branded apparel and sporting equipment, completing Fancourt’s five-star golfing experience.
The 18-hole parkland layout course is the original course at Fancourt. A Gary Player design has earned a world class reputation as one of the finest 18-hole parkland layouts. The current title holder of South Africa’s Best Golf Course 2021 in the World Golf Awards. Regarded as a course with no bad holes and plenty of them unbelievable, the finishing holes are memorable, with the penultimate being an all water carry par 3 – a beautiful yet challenging hole.
This tree-lined course covers large tracts of varying terrain across an undulating indigenous landscape. Featuring natural contours, par 3 – 17 has been likened to Augusta National. The course starts out with parkland holes meandering through the estates interspersed with several interesting holes and some water hazards. Maintained to an exquisite standard the course’s water features and trees add interest and variety to provide an enjoyable experience. Praised for its gorgeous design Montagu definitely deserves its many prestigious accolades.
Named after the Outeniqua Mountains, this course can comfortably accommodate a large field of golfers. Ranked 20th by South Africa’s Top 100 Courses experts, Fancourt’s Outeniqua golf course offers a leisurely and entertaining golfing experience. Also, a Gary Player design, it provides a more forgiving terrain than its counterpart, the Montagu, although it offers its fair share of challenges to keep golfers interested. The 18-hole parkland layout is impeccably maintained.
Regarded as a favourite for members, it provides a great challenge of golf although it is more forgiving than Montagu and The Links. A great feature of the course is tough holes followed by easier ones. Described as majestic and beautiful the Outeniqua course known for its test on accuracy and merits its place as one of South Africa’s top golf courses.
Bramble Hill is the shortest of the courses offering 6 holes. Containing some of the same DNA of the other three courses albeit not as pedigreed, it was also designed by the Gary Player Design Company. The course offers 3 Par 3’s, 2 Par 4’s and 1 Par 5, with Par 3 tee boxes on the 2 par 4’s and the par 5, making several options playable.
Featuring pot bunkers as well as a furrowed terrain with undulating fairways, the greens are elevated and full of playfully troublesome hollows and inclines. The stunted par-3 5th provides a good opportunity to gape across the course, with the scenic Outeniqua mountains providing a breath-taking backdrop. Bramble Hill mimics the parkland persona of Montagu and Outeniqua Courses for its last hole. Although not as imposing as the other two the closing 6th hole ensures a testing finish at one of its most distinctive holes.
The Links, the Estates private club, has repeatedly held the number one golf course title in South Africa and offers exclusivity and privacy, and Fancourt’s signature hospitality. It is also highly ranked internationally, being 56th in Golf Digest US edition’s list of the world’s 100 greatest golf courses. Golfing legend Gary Player described it as his most prominent feat as a course designer.
This living piece of environmental and golfing heritage that was once an airfield is the collaborative creation of Gary Player, course designer, Phil Jacobs and Fancourt owner, Dr. Hasso Plattner. The course features an undulating, windswept terrain and dune-style landscape and has hosted some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, including the Presidents Cup (2003), the SA Open (2005) and the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions European Tour.
The Links is considered a masterpiece and was inspired by the famous links courses of the British Isles. It has hosted many global golfing legends including Retief Goosen, Branden Grace, John Bland, Justin Rose and Ernie Els. The Links has also been celebrated for its incredible role in environmental sustainability value that includes habitat and wildlife management, education and outreach, safety, and chemical use reduction as well as water conservation and other environmental factors.
Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation
Ernie Els started his foundation in 1999 as a way of giving back to the game and assisting talented young South African golfers from backgrounds with limited resources. Education, life skills and golf coaching/playing opportunities were the three pillars the foundation was based on.
Dr Hasso Plattner’s Fancourt Foundation merged with the Ernie Els Foundation in 2005 to become the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation. The three pillars were kept, and the Foundation’s focus is on encouraging young golfers to finish school and to study further post-school. To support promising young golfers to remain amateur for longer which prepares them for the professional game. Whilst also developing a new generation of young, educated leaders.
The Foundation is funded by Ernie Els and Dr Plattner and as a B-BBEE Level 1 contributor, has additional support from several loyal corporate partners and the R&A. Past notable members include major-winner Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Toto Thimba, as well as several others who have gone on to win on the Sunshine Tour or have successful careers off the golf course in diverse industries and professions.
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