Pearl Valley Golf Course

Pearl-Valley-Golf-Course-Review-South-Africa

Pearl Valley is a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course which opened in 2003 and is nestled in the Drakenstein mountains between Paarl and Franschoek, making the drive from Cape Town about 35 minutes.

This magnificent golf course is boasted with some world class real estate with Val de Vie playing host to The Pearl while being described as the best country estate in Africa.

Pearl Valley Golf Course

Overall Review

9 Total Score
Pearl Valley Golf Course

Pearl Valley is well-equipped with excellent facilities as well as some of the best conditioning of the a course hard to find anywhere else in South Africa. The course is complimented with large amounts of water hazards.

Layout
8.5
Conditioning
9.5
Playability
9
Facilities
9
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Highlights

  • World class facilities
  • Pristine year-round conditioning
  • 5 Star service on and off the course
  • Playing at Pearl Valley is a very luxurious experience

Cost

  • Within peak season you can expect to pay about $130 – $170. Peak season is from 1st January until the 22nd April.
  • The winter season green fees are $70 without a cart or $90 with a cart. The winter season green fees are valid in the period between the 13th May until the 28th September.
  • The course is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • SAGA affiliated members qualify for a discount.
  • Carts are included in the price unless otherwise specified.

Pace Of Play

  • The pace of play is based on 4.5 hours per 4-ball.
  • Carts are included which enhances the pace of the play.

Course Par and Overall Yardage

Par Ladies Seniors Club Championship
72 4,935m 5,586m 5,878m 6,7491m

Quick Facts

Course Details Pearl Valley Golf Club
Address R301, Wemmershoek Road (Exit 59, N1 north towards Paarl)
Tel No. +27 21 867 8000
Website pearlvalley.co.za
Course Architect Jack Nicklaus
Golf Director Damian Wrigley

Pearl Valley Detailed Review

With the highest tier of design being offered at Pearl Valley, it all comes into perspective how Jack Nicklaus came to design a beautiful course like this.

The course was designed to host major tournaments as well as provide the ultimate golfing experience. It has been timelessly ranked in the top 10 golf courses of South Africa.

Due to Pearl Valleys outstanding course and facilities, it has been nominated overall best golf course in South Africa at the World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony in 2019.

Playing at Pearl Valley is an exceptional experience on its own, but making use of the accommodation and other facilities just puts the icing on the cake.

Pearl Valley has hosted the South African Open from 2007-2009 and has also played host to numerous sunshine tour events. The fourth hole has been chosen by Justin Rose as one of his favourites.

Layout

Pearl-Valley-Conditioning

The layout is excellent in challenging even the most skilled golfer. With narrow fairways staring back at you and big burly water features making you sweat off the tee, missing the fairway can be quite unforgiving.

The Pearl really does love to challenge you off the tee, but with the hole setup from the fairway you can reap the rewards from a solid drive with approach shots being more forgiving and the holes opening up for you to give the flag a go. 

Be sure to avoid the bunkers, as missing a green could mean that all chances at birdie are out the window since deep bunkers and sloping greens make chipping around the green extremely difficult.

However, if you can manage to reach the greens you’ll have a blast.

Conditioning

Pearl-Valley-Layout

In 2018 Pearl Valley snatched up the reward for the best conditioned golf course in the Western Cape. This is particularly special as its competition in this region is known to the best courses in South Africa including Fancourt which played host to the 2003 Presidents Cup.

This speaks volumes for the conditioning of the course.

The fairways are lush green-all-season which set up the prestigious bent grass greens which roll like a dream. The consistency in the lush, long and fine-tuned rough is what sets this course apart from the others in South Africa.

With every edge on the course trimmed to perfection, be it the fringes or the bunkers, attention given to the detail is evident and gives a perfectionist feel to the ominous mountains and skies overlooking the course.

Playability

Pearl-Valley-Playability

All the par 3’s and the par 5’s face different directions. This is great to give the golfer variety in feel and challenge when the South-Easterly or North-Westerly winds blow. Usually the par 4’s require a straight drive with bunkers breaking up the fairway which makes placing the ball in the correct spot important.

The par 5’s don’t usually require a drive in the middle of the fairway since there are not any real danger of trees, however you’ll have to be a long hitter and a good finisher to dominate these par 5’s.

If you miss the greens in the narrow-margined par 3’s you are unlikely to have a chance of making an easy par, therefore you’ll have to hit the green or risk chipping out the bunker or even spilling your ball in the drink.

Facilities

Pearl-Valley-Facilities

Pearl Valley offers the golfer world-class 5 star facilities. These include a complimentary driving range session for 60 minutes before you tee off. To visitors and members, the best is on offer in terms of 5-star accommodation, relaxation and sport.

Pearl Valle is also equipped with The Pearl Valley Hotel as well as The Camelot Spa. Visitors can make use of Transit services, a Golf shop, a halfway house, practise facilities and locker rooms.

For relaxation there is a gym, pool, tennis courts, pentaque courts, and cycling along with running tracks.

Favourite Hole

The 4th hole is best described as a 3-shot par 5. It has a little creek that worms through the centre of the fairway making it almost inevitable for the second shot to be a layup shot. The hole is surrounded by mansions as you attempt to make par on this long hole.

Nevertheless, when a second shot is placed in the fairway, you can expect to easily make par if you manage to avoid the water feature curling around the front edge of the green.

Least Favourite Hole

Pearl Valley does not have any bad holes but number 10 is quite easy. With a long bunk running parallel to the fairway, it is quite simple to get a birdie if you can avoid the bunkers on the left and right. Some would say that a hole that does not challenge you is overall a useless hole.

Toughest Hole

The 13th hole is a signature hole that usually plays upwind and is quite challenging. With water to the right cutting into the fairway and in front of the green you cannot afford to go short or right.

Neither can you go left and long due to a large mound which could lead to a dicey chip, as well as little green to work with and water behind the pin. With that being said you will have to play aggressive and hope it pays off.

The drop zone could also lead to an up and down since it is placed quite generously.

*Images are from the www.pearvalley.co.za

Paul hit his first golf shot at the age of 5, and from that point on was immediately hooked. He went on to become one of the leading amateurs in South Africa, securing a full golf scholarship with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Turning professional in 2004, Paul played extensively on the Sunshine Tour and co-sanctioned European Tour events. Paul is our lead editor at Golf Assessor.

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