The Sunshine Tour returns with a bang this week, with the SunBet Challenge – Wild Coast played at one of the country’s most iconic, and challenging, courses.
The immaculately maintained Wild Coast Sun Country Club, near Port Edward, stretches along the coast in the Eastern Cape and boasts magnificent views. But the course also stays true to its namesake, with architect Robert Trent Jones Jnr utilising the natural topography and geography of the region to its fullest.
Set in natural bush between the Umtamvuna and Mzamba Rivers, the Wild Coast Sun Country Club extends over undulating, rugged terrain and is played over hills, rivers, dams and waterfalls, making it a challenge for professionals and amateurs alike, especially when the wind picks up. The six par-three holes, which include the 110m fourth and the 188m 11th, are particularly tricky.
The sixth hole is a magnificent downhill par tree overlooking the Mtamvuna River, while the 13th plays across a deep gorge to the green.
The par-five 12th ‘Green Mamba’ has been rated one of the best 18 holes in South Africa, with the tee shot played from an elevated tee towards a breathtaking waterfall. The fairway bordering a wetland then cuts through a valley towards the kidney-shaped green.
The Wild Coast Sun Country Club hosts Sunshine Tour events each year and is a popular, and memorable, destination among the players. The reasons for this are immediately apparent as you cross the bridge over the Mtamvuna River towards the entrance.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The first Sunshine Tour event at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club was held in 1984, with Seve Ballesteros finishing third.
- Jean Hugo was the first pro to shoot 60 at the course, at the 2019 Wild Coast Sun Challenge. He went on to win the tournament, his 19th Sunshine Tour title, by four strokes.
- The Wild Coast Sun Country Club was ranked 36th in South Africa’s Top 100 Courses this year, a drop of one place from 2022.