Blair Atholl Opens to Rave Reviews

The golf course at Gary Player's former South African residence, Blair Atholl, opened for play on April 21 to rave reviews from founding members, media and guests.

The Blair Atholl estate north of Johannesburg has been the Player family residence for the past 25 years. In fact, the Player family has retained the homestead around which the low-density residential golf estate is being developed.

The course designed by Gary Player contains 11 holes with water features. Involved in play is Crocodile River, which runs through the entire estate, and natural dams, which creates considerable challenge. The course length is in excess of 8,500 yards from the tips, making it the longest course in Southern Africa.

The course plays as a single loop, with the halfway house by the Crocodile River after the 8th hole. Being a single loop, the unique course does not have any holes (apart from the 1st and 18th) running side by side.

At the opening, Player was typically upbeat about the future of the course. "I am very proud of what we have achieved here - I think this course is going to be the very best in the whole of Africa in years to come. My congratulations to Robby Wray of Wraypex [the developer of the estate] on what he and his team have achieved here. This place is very close to my heart and I am very thrilled with every aspect of the development."