Innovative architectural and landscaping techniques ensure that the Leopard Creek golf course and living areas are naturally protected from animals, while lakes and small streams have been diverted through the development to create scenic vistas and interesting golf strategies.
Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles. Extensive use has been made of water features and sightings of crocodile, hippo, antelope, buffalo and elephant are commonplace, on the course or in the Kruger Park bordering the course.
The 505 meter Par-five 13th is one of Leopard Creek’s most memorable holes. Here the green is right on the edge of the Crocodile river but 32 meters above the level of the water, offering magnificent views up the river and into the Kruger Park.
Gary Player is especially proud of the Par-five 18th with its island green and the Par-four 9th with its peninsula green jutting out of the same body of water.
Hole 1 - Par 4Stroke 13 - Length 383m
A hole that plays slightly uphill from tee to green, making a dogleg to the left with three protecting bunkers on either side of the dogleg. The bunkers also provide a frame of reference for the tee shot. The landing area is generously wide for golfers starting on the 1st tee.
A narrow stream guards the right and the front of a very long two-tiered green with mounding at the back. A deep bunker on the left provides good definition.Hot Tip:
The opening hole requires a well-placed tee shot to a fairway protected by bunkers both left and right. An accurate drive sets up a slight uphill, short iron approach to a two tiered green, guarded in front by meandering creek and two green side traps.
Hole 2 - Par 5Stroke 11 - Length 530m
The second hole is one of the easier Par 5′s on the course, which gently slopes down towards the green, but beware the golfer who tends to fade the ball – three bunkers the landing areas to the right of the fairway. Through reachable in two (for the longer hitters), supreme accuracy is required on the second shot.
The green is long and interestingly shaped and is bunkered on both sides in the front. The back Part of the green is very narrow with no supporting mound. Only pinpoint accuracy to this Part of the green will result in a birdie. Hot Tip:
This reachable Par 5 favours a draw to the left of a bunker lined fairway at the 200m mark. This leaves two options laying up or going for the green in two. 3 strategically positioned pot bunkers defend an elongated green.
Hole 3 - Par 4Stroke 3 - Length 410m
An intimidating tee shot, with a series of bunkers on the left and trees to the right. The longer the tee shot, the narrower the landing area becomes. The approach shot should be ideally from right to left, since the green is slightly angled across the line of play.
A small stream cuts through the fairway 50m short of the green and continues down along the left side of the green. A single deep bunker protects the left edge of the green. Take heed, this hole commands respect. Hot Tip:
Carefully positioned fairway bunkers punish the errant tee shot on this slightly uphill fairway. The hole favours a fade leaving a long iron approach to a diagonal green.
Hole 4 - Par 4Stroke 5 - Length 390m
The tee shot is slightly uphill and makes a sharp left from the landing area. A large desert like bunker on the inside of the dogleg is positioned to encourage golfers to carry it, resulting in a shorter approach into the green.
The large sloping green has a dangerous bunker guarding the right hand side. The hole rewards the adventurous golfer, who takes a chance, but the hole is not finished until the ball is in the cup, take this advice – leave yourself an uphill put. Hot Tip:
Smart play suggests a tee shot favouring the right side of the fairway. This hole doglegs left and the approach is slightly uphill to a side on green protected by a severe bunker on the right and grass hollows at the back.
Hole 5 - Par 3Stroke 15 - Length 150m
A horseshoe tee offers many angles into a green protected by water on the left and two deep bunkers on the right. To save Par, the green must be hit in regulation. A wayward tee shot will result in a bogey or worse! Hot Tip:
A horseshoe tee box presents a number of challenging angles on this Par 3. Club selection is imperative to a green fronted by a large lake on the left and shielded by bunkers on the right.
Hole 6 - Par 4Stroke 17 - Length 292m
A short Par 4, which is drivable to the long hitter. The safer approach would be to “lay up” in front of the bunker to set up a short pitch shot into the green. Bunkers on the left and in the front of the green compel the golfer to judge the second shot to perfection. Hot Tip:
A narrow landing area riddled with bunkers suggests a circumspect tee shot, short of the fairway traps. This leaves one with a short iron second to a two tiered green fronted by three pot bunkers.
Hole 7 - Par 3Stroke 9 - Length 197m
A lake on the right and a bunker on the left, protect and frame this hole. With a variety of tee positions and a large green, allows a long iron or fairway wood to be used, but beware the “bogey man” that lurks on this Part of the course. Hot Tip:
A challenging Par 3 with an elongated green contoured by a treacherous lake on the right side. Multiple tees present an challenging approach that requires a trusty club to get to a green wedged between water hazard and sand traps.
Hole 8 - Par 4Stroke 1 - Length 439m
A long, daunting Par 4, which off the back is long enough to be classified as a Par 5. The fairway has extensive bunkers right and left and slopes towards the latter.
The long green angles up to the left. With a vicious slope on the front left of the green, any slightly pulled shot is doomed to end up in the greenside bunker.Hot Tip:
The premium on this demanding Par 4 is on - Length and accuracy. A well-struck drive leaves a long iron shot to an undulating green buttressed by a hazardous green side trap.
Hole 9 - Par 4Stroke 7 - Length 435m
The tee shot is downhill and inviting, however, there is a stream down the left hand side of the fairway and two bunkers on the right adjacent to the landing area.
The green is surrounded by water on two sides with a pot bunker short left and large bunker long right. The green is wide with a narrow neck towards the back, providing a championship pin position. A dramatic and challenging hole.Hot Tip:
The hole begins from atop an elevated tee and winds its way down to a generous landing area splintered by two fairway bunkers. Avoid the water hazard on the left and the bunkers on the right – a long iron approach to a green embraced by water and bunkered by sand.
Hole 10 - Par 4Stroke 4 - Length 395m
A hole that plays with a slight dogleg to the left and is well bunkered on either side of the fairway. The bunkers also provide a frame of reference for the tee shot.
The green slopes toward the fairway and is two tiered. Bunkers protect left and right side of the green.Hot Tip:
A slight uphill tee shot needs to negotiate the treacherous threesome of bunkers banking the right fairway and two on the left. A solid tee shot results in a short to mid iron approach to a bunkered two tiered green.
Hole 11 - Par 4Stroke 16 - Length 343m
This Par 4 has a variety of tee options. From the back tees it becomes a daunting tee shot, yet off the front, a drivable Par 4.
A bunker in the centre of the fairway compels the golfer to hit long and straight. Generally the second shot requires a short iron into an elevated green. Any shot that is left short will end up in the front side bunkers both left and right, or in some cases, 30m back down the fairway.
An amphitheatre of euphorbia trees backs the green.Hot Tip:
Lined by an amphitheater of euphoria trees, the tee shot plays down into a valley speckled with random pot bunkers. A short iron approach needs to navigate an abrupt uphill with the green crowning the crest.
Hole 12 - Par 3Stroke 18 - Length 176m
From the back tee position the golfer has a panoramic view of the course and the Kruger Park. Playing to a green that is significantly lower than the tee and guarded by bunkers front left, right and centre back, challenges the golfer’s judgment and club selection.Hot Tip:
A panoramic elevated tee provides a spectacular view of the golf course and Kruger Park. Careful club selection is required to get the ball home to an undulating ‘redan-style’ green..
Hole 13 - Par 5Stroke 8 - Length 505m
This hole plays along the contours of the river. Distance and accuracy are essential, as the golfer has to carry a stream to reach the landing area, protected by a bunker on the right. The fairway slopes right to left and any pulled shot is doomed to end up in the creek on the left.
The green hangs out over the edge of the river and is protected by large strategically placed bunkers. From the green, golfers will be amazed by the spectacular views of the adjacent Kruger Park and its abundant wildlife.Hot Tip:
A demanding tee shot from an elevated tee needs to navigate a creek that splits the fairway and runs the - Length of the left side of the hole.
A lone bunker threatens the landing area. Decide to lay up or attack the green with a solid fairway wood.
Hole 14 - Par 4Stroke 14 - Length 378m
The tee shot is slightly uphill with the landing area protected on both sides of the fairway.
The second shot requires a mid to short iron where the ball has to carry a stream that runs directly in front of the green. One bunker protects the green – centre back.Hot Tip:
A short Par 4 with four bunkers preying on a limited landing area. A rock cliff wall borders the left of the fairway towards a green flirting with the creek fronting its entrance.
Hole 15 - Par 5Stroke 10 - Length 547m
From the elevated tees one sees a generous landing area punctuated with two deep bunkers on the inside. The fairways bends and bunkers frame the lay-up area alongside the lake.
A generous green is tucked up against the water to the right and a large bunker narrows the entrance from the left.Hot Tip:
A downhill driving hole demanding an accurate tee shot to a level fairway with Out-of-Bounds and bunkers left.
Hole 16 - Par 3Stroke 6 - Length 190m
From the back tee, the tee shot is all carry to a green, Partially set in a large lake. The different tee positions will provide for a variety of tee shots to the green.
With judicious positioning of the pin on this green, for example, the golfer playing off the pro tee will face a shot where the pin is surrounded by water on three sides. A bale-out area is provided to the left for the more cautious player.Hot Tip:
The green juts out into a large lake and is reached from strategic tee boxes creating a spectrum of challenging options. The distance is all carry with mistimed tee shots finding a watery grave. Accuracy and ball striking ability are paramount.
Hole 17 - Par 4Stroke 2 - Length 410m
This is one of the most demanding holes on the back nine, playing slightly uphill to the green. Three bunkers protect the right hand side of the landing area.
For the average golfer, a long iron or wooden club will be needed for the approach. Deep bunkers are located on the left and right of the two tiered green.Hot Tip:
A slight draw to the left of the fairway is the ideal tee shot on this uphill hole. A well struck mid to long iron approach gets you home to an elevated green fronted by one bunker on the left and two on the right.
Hole 18 - Par 5Stroke 12 - Length 495m
This downhill Par 5 is bunkered on the left and right of the landing area, catching any errant drives. A terrace area some 200 metres out from the green, facilitates opportunities for the long hitters to go for the green in two.
The island green has bunkers left and right with steep sloping banks that will send errant approaches into the surrounding water.
The lake is also home to the occasional crocodile.Hot Tip:
A pulpit tee box drives down to a plateaued fairway braced with left and right side bunkers and a right side stream.
An island green awaits the brave – or a mid-iron second sets up a challenging third shot to the green.
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