fairways & beyond

When developers set about drawing up plans for Atlantic Beach Estate & Links Club, during South Africa’s great golfing estate boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Melkbosstrand was a quaint coastal village up the Western Cape’s West Coast.

The course, which opened in 2000, was one of the country’s few genuine links layouts as it weaved up and down the natural coastal dunes, flanked by endemic Strandveld vegetation (fynbos), with the residential estate designed to integrate and feature this environment. Offering some of the finest postcard views of Table Mountain and Robben Island, Atlantic Beach presents a spectacular challenge for those golfers who are perhaps more accustomed to their forgiving parklands tracks than the nuance of links golf.

Although the fairways are wide enough to accommodate a small aeroplane, the Strandveld vegetation and clever angles incorporated by course designer Mark Muller created many tee shots requiring thought as to how to play the hole.

Atlantic Beach is not just about a golf course, the entire estate plays an important role in the environmental corridor along the west coast and for this reason the Strandveld areas are protected.

from the expert...

Cara Gorlei shares her insight on the Atlantic Beach Links course.

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Enjoy the magnificence of Atlantic Beach from above.

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They are home to a wide diversity of flora as well as wildlife that roam freely through the course and estate, including springbok, mongoose, tortoises, grysbok, cape cobra, and a variety of birdlife including the sunbird. A wildlife co-existence plan and dedicated planting list has meant that residents and members have successfully achieved the perfect balance of protecting, respecting and living in this unique environment. For this reason, players are not allowed to search for, or retrieve, their lost balls in the protected areas.

It’s safe to say that much has changed since the early days. For starters, Melkbosstrand, while retaining its coastal feel, has transformed into one of Cape Town’s most desirable outer suburbs. The Estate & Links Club has matured into one of the country’s most successful golf and lifestyle estates and, given the modern South African trend of semigration and the work-from-home habits of many, it has certainly become one of the most sought-after postal codes in the Western Cape. It offers an escape for those seeking a unique and diverse lifestyle just a relatively short drive from Cape Town.

The golf course has grown into itself, and subtle changes over the years have seen the layout enhanced for golfers of all skills. Greens have become less firm, and the old pot bunkers have been replaced and reshaped, while retaining the links feel.


Everything you need to know about what’s on offer at Atlantic Beach Estate & Links Club.

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explore the course

As with all true links courses, Atlantic Beach is exposed to the ocean’s (Atlantic) coastal breezes and, with each nine looping away from the clubhouse, it is unusual to play two consecutive holes with the same wind. The contours of the fairways can create challenging lies and the bunkers remain strategically placed to catch errant shots, yet there is something truly satisfying about putting together a good round on this true links test.

Importantly, Atlantic Beach – with its excellent natural drainage and a sustainable water management system – seems to remain in prime condition all year round under the watchful eye of Southern Turf Management, a feat matched by the high level of service the Links Club presents its members, residents and the visiting golfer.

A recent flurry of awards collected by the Estate & Links Club indicates that it has stayed true to the principles of ensuring a round at Atlantic Beach is not simply an enjoyable 18 holes of golf but a truly memorable experience, from start to finish.


At the heart of Atlantic Beach are its people, its team.

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Atlantic Beach Links/Gary Bogner