Golf Digest today announced that Pearl Valley, Val de Vie Estate’s Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, has been ranked as the 5th best golf course in the country. The course was also ranked as the Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape.
The biennial ‘Golf Digest Top 100 Courses in South Africa’ is one of the most influential rankings as far as golf in South Africa is concerned, and Val de Vie Estate takes great pride in the 2018/2019 top five placement. Two years ago, Pearl Valley was ranked at number 8 by Golf Digest, and this marked improvement is mostly attributed to Val de Vie Estate amalgamating with Pearl Valley Estate in 2016.
“The potential of our Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at Pearl Valley has been realised over the past two years. Recognition for our hard work from leading sporting publication Golf Digest is a great honour,” commented Ryk Neethling, Marketing Director and Shareholder of Val de Vie Estate.
Damian Wrigley, Director of Golf at Pearl Valley, believes that the combination of operational restructuring and course conditioning resulted in moving up the ranks: “Some of the course changes implemented over the past two years included bunker reshaping and capillary lining on holes 3, 15 and 16, focusing on the consistency of the greens and surrounds as well as over seeding the rough. Operational changes included a full revamp of the Pearl Valley clubhouse, exceptional marketing of the golf course and working closely on a long term sustainable plan with the Jack Nicklaus Design Team in the USA.”
“We congratulate our dedicated golf team, Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis and the estate’s Home Owner’s Association for this achievement. The Drakenstein Municipality has been a great partner amidst the current dry conditions, and we thank them for the role they played. We are fortunate to be working with the dynamic Golf Data team who has been instrumental in the design and maintenance of the course and continued support from Franschhoek Tourism and Paarl Tourism is also greatly appreciated,” said Neethling.
As part of the greater Val de Vie Estate, the golf course is part of an unrivalled lifestyle offering in the heart of the Winelands. The estate has been rated by New World Wealth as the top residential estate in South Africa in 2015, 2016 and 2017. With the reputation as the safest estate in Africa, Val de Vie offers pristine polo fields, vineyards, world class equestrian facilities and lifestyle centres fitted with state of the art gym equipment.
Neethling further added that “in sport, as in business, the real challenge is to stay at the top and to keep reinventing your offering.” Future plans for the course include reducing cutting corridor, coverage of bunkers and irrigation sprinklers. The design will remain on championship level and minor alterations will ensure that higher handicaps also enjoy the course.
Officially opened in November 2003 by Jack Nicklaus and South African great, Gary Player, Pearl Valley was named the Best New Golf Course of the year by Golf Digest magazine in 2005. The championship course has been ranked among the top ten courses in South Africa by Golf Digest every year since 2006 up to and including 2018/2019 and named the Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape for 2010, 2011, 2012/2013, 2014/2015, 2016/2017 and 2018/2019 by Golf Digest magazine.
Jack’s unique touch is evident throughout the course and his masterpiece is characterised by lush green-all-season fairways, exceptional bunkering and the clever use of water features. The total length of the course, off the championship tees, is 6749 metres, whereas the member’s length ranges from 5878 metres from the blue club tees to the senior/ladies championship tees at 5586 metres. The ladies course spans 4935 metres. The layout of the course was designed with the prevailing winds in mind, the winter north-westerly and the summer south-easterly. All par 3’s and par 5’s play in different directions, thus providing the golfer with varying conditions throughout the round.
The Golf Digest March issue of 2018 features the iconic Top 100 Edition and is the 20th anniversary since it was first published in 1998.