Golf | 01 Sep 2016 | By Michael Vlismas
The name of the game.
Many of the world’s great golf courses have named each of their 18 holes. We decided to do the same, honouring each hole on the Gary Player Country Club Golf Course with a title all its own…
Hole 1: A Million Thrills
That’s what Sun City promises and that’s what this golf course will deliver over the next 18 holes. There’s nothing dull about this baby.
Hole 2: Sky Rider
The first par-five on this golf course has that ‘Big Sky’ feeling as the fairway sweeps down and away to the right before a dog-leg left that rises steadily to the green and the big African sky. The name of one of Sun City’s famous slot machines seems appropriate.
Hole 3: Straight and Narrow
As in, ‘Keep it on the...’ A tough little tee shot – trees on the left, bunker on the right – best negotiated with a three-wood.
Hole 4: Player's Revenge
Short but challenging – much like the great man who designed this course, Gary Player. It can play long for a par-three, and the water guarding the green has sucker pin written all over it.
Hole 5: Roll of the Dice
Fairly straightforward off the tee – until you get to the green, which has several tiers and is well-bunkered. What started as a straight roll of the dice can, with one bounce, leave you with a number you don’t want.
Hole 6: Nowhere Els
Nowhere else but right on this hole, says Ernie Els. The multiple Nedbank Golf Challenge winner says you want to finish right of the fairway with your tee shot. Listen to him.
Hole 7: Hearts
A short hole where you want to hit the heart of the green. Trying to take on any pin tucked back left is only going to break yours.
Hole 8: Pit Boss
The meanest hole on the course. Stroke 1 and just flat-out angry all the way from tee to green.
Hole 9: Gamble
Risk and reward at its finest. An island green, the chance of a long iron in, packed galleries. This hole has all the makings of drama. But for the fearless, the gamble of a big second shot can pay off handsomely with a timely eagle that has changed the outcome of many a Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Hole 10: Spin of the Wheel
A par-five with plenty of opportunity for birdie or eagle. This can really change a round at a crucial time. Like a spin of the roulette wheel, your luck can change here.
Hole 11: The Daly
Take a tiger line over those bushes on the left – and if you pull it off, you’re in the money with an easy wedge in for your second. Grip it and rip it like John Daly himself.
Hole 12: Blackjack Trap
This little par-three looks easy, right? But take your eye off the ball and you can go bust here, especially with that big bunker to the left of the green.
Hole 13: Monty's Mare
A long, uphill par-four. If you’re playing well, you can handle it. But if it’s blazing hot, you’re over par, and you’re a famous golfer from Scotland who is carrying a little extra yardage around the waist, this hole is a physical nightmare at this point in the round.
Hole 14: Heavenly Angel
At 550m it can be a monster of a par-five. But during the 2005 Nedbank Golf Challenge, Angel Cabrera overpowered it with a drive and eight-iron for birdie on his way to a second round of 64. Easy game.
Hole 15: Army
Aim for the left bunker off the tee and then the right of the green with your approach. Left-right. You get it?
Hole 16: El Niño
In 2001 Sergio García chipped in on this par-three to win a playoff against Ernie Els. Vamos!
Hole 17: Woosie's Delight
The hole has changed drastically since 1987. But that year, when Ian Woosnam holed a seven-iron for eagle to beat Nick Faldo, he became the first player in the history of the game to win US$1 million in a single tournament.
Hole 18: Tiger, Tiger
In 1998 Tiger Woods, then world number one, made his only appearance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He chipped in from the back of the green on 18 to force a playoff with Nick Price. Sure, Nick went on to win. But that chip-in. That famous fist pump. C’mon, we loved it.
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