fairways & beyond

Have you played Blair Atholl?

It’s a line seasoned South African golfers will all share with each other at some stage in their lives. That is because in this country you get good local courses where most people have played, and then you get the handful of truly special ones where everyone wants to play.

Completed in 2007, Blair Atholl very much fits into the latter category. This Gary Player design was crafted on a unique piece of land that was originally the family home of none other than Mr Player himself. The Black Knight always felt the site had terrific golfing potential, and his signature design proved this with the truest of championship golf courses.

From the almost ornate beauty of the par-three 3rd signature hole, to the long and demanding par-four 15th and 16th holes, Blair Atholl is a significant test for the seasoned professional, while exhibiting incredible attention to detail throughout to make it a memorable experience for the social golfer.

Speaking of the pros, Blair Atholl will again have the honour of hosting the Investec South African Open at the beginning of December. In many ways the course was made for such a ‘big’ event. Not only is it rated as the third-longest course in the world, measuring 7 527m from the championship tees, but it also has the biggest greens on the African continent! The eye-popping length and scale is further enhanced by significant undulations, sweeping views of the sprawling countryside and the ever-present Crocodile River flowing through key points of the course.


Jan-Hendrik Duvenhage

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explore the course

Tournament-wise, the grand dimensions are leveraged superbly for the spectator experience. Starting with plenty of safe parking for public and VIP hospitality ticket holders, there are also spectator shuttles and drop-off points around the course, allowing you to follow your favourite players on both nines. For the more active spectators, the 'Walk the Blair Mile’ activation encourages individuals to walk the mile-long section that is the famous par-four 14th, 15th and 16th holes. By picking up a special tee at the start of the 14th and then dropping it off at the back of the 16th green, you go into a draw for a fantastic prize from Investec.

Another great aspect of this walk is you get to see how the pros take on such a unique challenge from tee to green. From their drives to approach shots, and navigating the large and undulating greens complexes, you will witness them having to be their best on this stretch of the course.

There are naturally other spectator hot spots. Positioning yourself on the green of the 3rd hole will see players taking dead aim with mid-irons to one of the most picturesque greens in the country. Watching players making the turn at the elevated 9th green, and then on to the tee of the par-five 10th is another top spot. Perhaps the pick of the positions is sitting behind the green of the par-three 17th hole, and then of course around the green of the dramatic risk-and-reward par-five 18th hole.


Everything you need to know about what’s on offer at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate.

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Preparing a course of this magnitude for tournament play, along with keeping it at its best for members, is naturally no small task. But the team at Blair Atholl see this and the long-term development of the course in a broader sense. It’s not just about doing whatever it takes to keep up with the expectations that golfers will naturally have. The course and estate as a whole has an ethos of environmental stewardship of the land, water, river, and fauna and flora. Meaning they prioritise conserving natural resources, while combating pollution and protecting the biodiversity.

These ongoing efforts saw them win the coveted John Collier Top Club Award in June 2023, an accolade awarded for outstanding levels of details and standards in terms of good governance and environmental compliance. Blair Atholl was the first Gauteng golf estate to receive this recognition, and in doing so set an inspiring benchmark for many clubs and lifestyle estates in South Africa to aspire to.

Situated less than 5km from the ever-developing Lanseria Airport, Blair Atholl is a truly must-visit destination for all golfers in Gauteng, and indeed further afield too. With its close proximity to nearby Muldersdrift, and onwards to the Hartbeespoort Dam, it’s also a superb getaway destination throughout the year.


A closer look at the par-three 3rd.

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