Our resident pro Nigel Burch brings us up to date with course work in South Africa

Welcome to September! Leaves are falling, temperatures are down, but there is still light enough for a quick nine holes after work.

Of course it is quite the opposite in South Africa as Springtime is emerging in the Southern Hemisphere.

I have been checking out the Jack Nicklaus designed courses in South Africa where there are half a dozen Signature courses all of the exceptional high standard we have come to expect.

I played his first development, Pecanwood in the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg and thought it was excellent.  Other creations have emulated this standard of excellence including Simola, near Knysna in the Southern Cape, Pearl Valley in the winelands of Cape Town and St Francis Bay Links in the Eastern Cape…

I started thinking about the Nicklaus courses because Durban Country Club, one of the World’s Top100 courses, has been badly affected by flooding from the Umgeni River that runs alongside. Golf Data, led by Robbie Marshall, has been brought in to reconstruct the greens, bunkers and other damaged areas. He is responsible for all the Nicklaus developed courses in South Africa, so we may see Nicklaus’ influence extend to one of the finest courses in the world and my favourite golf course on the planet.

Another great Sunday evening on the PGA Tour with Rory grinding down Scheffler on the closing holes. After starting Triple bogey-bogey on Thursday he found himself 10 behind after just 2 holes as Scheffler started on -10 and McIlroy -4. His horrendous tee shot of the first headed out of bounds, he performed the same feat in The Open at Portrush a couple of years ago. I can see what he is trying to do by opening up a little and trying to hit a fade or cut down the left side, But he ‘double-crosses‘ himself  and the damage is done.  I am sure he doesn’t need telling this but why play a high tariff shot on the first tee of a massive event?

So, into the Fall we go, sweaters and trousers sitting in the wardrobe ready to be aired for a new season. Those bright yellow balls are great this time of year, much easier to see amongst the leaves, and no doubt a few white ones will be kicked accidentally while on your three-minute search for that elusive pearl.