PINNACLE POINT: A DECADE OF DISTINCTIONPinnacle Point adds another feather to its golf cap, celebrating its 10th birthday in 2016
Pinnacle Point Golf Course near Mossel Bay is one of the most unique and scenic golf courses in the world, with a number of high-profile awards to its name. This year, as Pinnacle Point celebrates its 10th anniversary, we look back at the obstacles and opportunities that have turned Pinnacle Point into one of the most unique and scenic golf courses in the world.
The last decade has seen Pinnacle Point scooping up awards, overcoming administrative issues, and developing its facilities to become the golfing destination of choice along the Garden Route. We took a walk down memory lane with Golf Director, Nic Grundtvig, to see why Pinnacle Point has come to be known as one of the most unique and scenic golf courses in the world!
The true design ingenuity of the 18-hole course can be attributed to Peter Matkovich, who has been designing world-class golf courses since 1975. “Pinnacle Point is without doubt the most spectacular golf course I have ever had the opportunity to design,” he says.
In 2006, the golf course was selected by Golf Travel & Leisure as one of the top 10 new courses in the world and has since been rated among the top 20 courses in South Africa.
“There are so many good things about Pinnacle Point it is hard to start. I love the routing, the bunkering, the great lines of play off the tee with so many optional ways of playing many of the holes, the good mix of short holes and long holes with a nice mix of doglegs,” says Steve Backstrom of Golfweek Magazine.
“Pinnacle Point is one of the most unique courses in the world, offering a totally different challenge to other everyday golf courses,” adds Nic Grundtvig, Golf Director at Pinnacle Point. Matkovich emphasises that the course was never meant to be ‘easy’. “It’s always going to be ultra-challenging for just about all golfers, depending on the wind and various other variables.”
A feast of facilities…and a facelift
Golfers at Pinnacle Point have access to a number of world-class facilities, including a driving range, putting green and excellent pro shop, not to mention a clubhouse perched on a peninsula with 270-degree sea views. The course is also home to world-class practice facilities, including an indoor swing studio at the Pinnacle Point Golf Academy and Driving Range.
More exciting news this year is the opening of the extension to the clubhouse and a revamp of the existing clubhouse and restaurant. Other developments include a golf cart barn and wellness centre, all of which will be officially opened at the inaugural Invitational event on the 4th and 5th November 2016.
Overcoming obstacles off
The past 10 years have not been without their challenges, admits Grundtvig, referring to the period of mismanagement under the original developers. “A golf course can deteriorate very quickly once normal routine practices are ceased, but it takes a long time to get a golf course back into the right condition,” he explains. But since the Homeowners` Association took the reins in 2011, the residential estate has flourished and the golf course returned to its former glory.
“Once the golf course improved, more and more guests started playing and we were able to plough the profits back into the course to keep improving the experience for golfers,” he says. Recent enhancements include a new state-of-the-art GPS system that assists players in measuring distance and enables Grundtvig and his team to better manage the fleet of 65 golf carts as well as monitor the pace of play. The practice putting green has also just been rebuilt and enlarged and will be ready for play in December 2016. New equipment has recently been purchased to aid the grooming of the course, and three additional staff members have been hired to assist with smaller projects, ensuring that the course is in mint condition at all times.
Pinnacle Point’s future
Pinnacle Point hosts a number of golfing events throughout the year, with the sixth edition of the Cutter & Buck Pro-Am scheduled for 16 – 20 October 2016. “This annual event is the richest Pro-Am event on the PGA calendar and entries are quickly filled. Professionals see it both as a great competition and a great escape from everyday business life,” says Grundtvig.
This year also saw Pinnacle Point host its inaugural Kings & Queens Golf Tournament, in association with the Garden Route Casino, attracting golfers from across the country to revel in a weekend of healthy competition and camaraderie. Such was the success of the event that it is to become an annual event!
Always striving for better, Pinnacle Point is looking at a 10 year master plan presented by Matkovich Design, to improve the playability of the course. “Some of the changes will include softening some of the greens, enhancing some of the fairways, making a couple of fundamental design changes which will enable us to have the greens running at tournament speeds, should the occasion require them to do so,” says Grundtvig. “We look forward to welcoming many more visitors – local and international – to enjoy a round or two on our award-winning golf course, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Southern Cape!”
Already a work of art, there is no doubt that these changes will result in Pinnacle Point securing its spot as a golfing masterpiece.
“One of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever seen!”
– Armand Cimaroli, Golfweek Director of Events
“It really is a special golf course and estate. The vistas from almost all the tees are the best in the world – especially the cliff-side holes where you have to play over the sea! It is a very challenging golf course but the five different sets of tees allow golfers to pick a set of tees to suit his/her game, making it easier for them to enjoy their game at Pinnacle Point irrespective of their golfing ability.”
– Louis Oosthuizen
“Summing up the whole experience is the unique location of the exquisite clubhouse that sits elegantly on the Cliffside overlooking the ocean and the major challenges of the golf course.”
– Larry Gould, Franschhoek Tatler Magazine
“We have had tremendous feedback from lots of our clients that have travelled down the garden route and played your golf courses amongst the others on offer…it’s a pleasure to sell a course where we know our clients are going to come off with HUGE smiles on their faces and are going to be very happy”
– Scott Edkins, Ascot Golf Tours
“Pebble Beach on steroids!”
– Darren Clarke, 2011 Open Champion (who was also involved in the course design with Peter Matkovich).
“There are very few golf courses in the world where you can see the sea from every green and every tee. The views are incredible!”
– Peter Matkovich, course designer