Mountain Links - The Definitions
This, the first proclaimed “mountain links” golf course, by definition resembles some of the modern characteristics of “links” courses as described by Ron Whitten, Golf Digest’s Architecture writer. These include golf courses built on sandy soil (whether seaside or not) and that are buffeted by winds. Visit Drakenzicht and play on one of the most unique golf courses in Mpumalanga, and the world for that matter. Avid golfers often book to play Highland Gate golf course, which is about 1 hours drive from our lodge, and when looking for accommodation near Highland Gate, secure accommodation at Drakenzicht in order to play another game on our course which is the setting of spectacular Lowveld mountain views.
Whitten says a links course must play firm and fast, with sometimes crusty fairways and greens that feature many knolls and knobs to create odd bounces and angles. And, of course, a links course, in Whitten’s definition, needs to be relatively treeless with a native rough that is tall and thick.
A “mountain links” golf course can be defined as follows:
- The natural landscapes is left undisturbed to a large degree.
- Rough is mainly tall grassland with few trees on the course.
- Fairways are rarely watered and hence plays hard.
- Windy conditions exist all year round.
- Frequent misty mornings on the escarpment.
- Bunkers are deeper than usual to protect sand from blowing out.
- These bunkers resemble pot bunkers but might be less deep due to underlying rock surfaces.
- Grass bunkers are common to replace normal bunkers where rocky terrain does not allow “pot bunkers”
- It is situated in a rocky mountainous area. Fairway layouts are patchy.
- Large altitude differences between top to bottom parts of the course.
- Many holes differ significantly in height from tee to green or visa versa.
- Natural landscapes of the mountainous areas were used to design water hazards.