Designed by Robert Trent Jones II’s company in 1983, the Wild Coast golf course in South Africa is a highly regarded, but dated, resort course built on elevated tribal land overlooking the shoreline of the Eastern Cape.
The views here are spectacular in places, but in truth Wild Coast delivers an unremarkable golfing experience, with some odd design, random putting contours and shallow bunkering spoiling what might have been an exciting place for golf.
On the front nine the ridge top doglegging 9th is the only really memorable hole, the bunkering cut dramatically into its left slope especially effective. On the back nine the round starts to pick up speed, the hugely plunging and snaking par five 12th is a signature hole that looks amazing in pictures, but let down by an ordinary plateau green, while the 13th is a glamour par three very typical of Jones Junior around this period. Like at The National and Joondalup in Australia, the tee shot here is all-or-nothing across a deep bushveld gully toward a massive putting target. The hole does look wonderful but the quality of the finishing work doesn’t quite match those famous Australian par threes.
Wild Coast is a popular South African golf resort, and a nice place to play if you can appreciate the completed course more for what it is than what it might have been.