The First of Many: Bald Peak Colony Club & Friends Tour

Bald Peak Club and Friends Tour - April 2024

It wasn’t all Tees and Putting Greens...

Hello, fellow golfers!

I had the distinct pleasure of hosting an extraordinary golf tour in South Africa from the 9th to the 22nd of April 2024 alongside my wife, Michelle. This tour wasn’t just any tour – it was a perfectly designed by Ascot Golf Tours and Distincte, 13-night experience through the Western Cape, tailored specifically for members of the Bald Peak Colony Club and their friends from across the United States.

The tour began under the guise of a collaboration with Paul Tessier (Bald Peaks long standing Golf Director) and Phyllis Tessier, the glue that keeps Bald Peak Colony Golf Club Pro Shop running. Together, we orchestrated an adventure that combined luxurious accommodations with amazing excursions, leaving us all with memories to last a lifetime.

Our group included 18 American travelers – seasoned golfers from New Hampshire to Jupiter, Florida, even stretching as far as the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Together, we explored the splendor of South Africa, from coastlines to vineyards, all while enjoying the wildlife, culture, and magnificent golf courses.

Highlight of the Tour

One of the best highlights was undoubtedly our helicopter flight from the Steenberg Hotel to play golf at the Pearl Valley Golf Course. Within 50 metres of our rooms at the Steenberg Hotel, the helicopters picked us up. Then, we flew around the Cape of Good Hope before heading out to the Cape Winelands for an enjoyable 18 holes of golf. Afterwards, the pilots flew us over the False Bay coastline at an average of 100 feet above sea level, and we flew into the sun setting over Table Mountain. It was incredible and surely my best highlight of the trip.

Our Best Golfing Experience

Playing The Links at Fancourt – rated the top golf course in the country – not just once but twice, certainly tested our skills, but also provided ample room for improvement, as noted in the better scores on our second day! A shot or “aiming juice,” is customary on the first tee of the Links and everyone participated in this tradition and had the Wee Dram of Whisky. This provided for some histerical comments after hitting their opening drives.

However, it wasn’t all tees and putting greens. Christo Brand, a former Nelson Mandela warden, touched our souls with his tales as he led us on a private tour of Robben Island and provided insightful commentary on a poignant period of history. Abigail Mbala’s traditional braai and storytelling session charmed us just as much as the food tickled our taste buds.

The Safari of a Lifetime

Nature lovers in our group were treated to the fascinating wildlife at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, where close encounters with cheetahs and spotting 4 of the Big Five left us all breathless. Aardwolf, Aardvark, Hyena, and an entertaining family of grey mongoose were also seen along with endless numbers of plains game. Sindile Lodge at Shamwari, with its stunning views and impeccable service, stood out as particularly impressive amidst the various accommodations we enjoyed. This lodge overlooks the Bushmans River and each room has a private plunge pool and privacy. The staff goes above and above and is always willing to help. On the final evening, they performed a show in the boma that included dancing and storytelling. An incredible way to end the trip.

As we enjoyed this tour, sampling wines and dining at some of the top restaurants, each moment exemplified the spirit of exploration and new friendship. The likes of which is what Ascot Golf Tours provides on all of our itineraries, which are designed with care, respect, and a passion for Africa.

Until next time, keep your spirit of adventure alive, and maybe find a little inspiration to join us on next year’s journey. It promises to be another spectacular chapter in the great book of travel!

Warm regards,
Scott Edkins

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