Leopard Creek: A Walk on the Wild Side

Leopard Creek Country Club is located on the southern border of Kruger National Park in South Africa. The Course was designed by Gary Player and opened in 1996. The clubhouse is shown here with the 18th green in the front and behind is a view of the Kruger national Park. With Kruger National Park as a back drop the nature and beauty of both the park and the golf course come into focus.

One of the visually appealing aspects of the golf course is a statue of a leopard on each hole. Each statue represents a portion of a day in the life of a leopard. The signature hole on the golf course is the Par 5 13th hole with the green with Kruger in the background.

The course itself has numerous wild life contained. When I was on the course I saw monkeys, a mongoose family, antelope, and impalas. In the evenings the grounds crew will rope off the greens to keep the impalas of the greens. The ponds or lakes often have wildlife contained. It is not uncommon to see hippopotamuses stick their heads out of the water as you are teeing off. Hippos are the second biggest killer of humans behind the mosquito. Crocodiles are commonly found too.

There are hundreds of different wildlife species on the golf course including the likes of birds and other more dangerous species found in the bush like leopards, and snakes. Needless to say if you hit your ball into tall grass do not go looking for it. Actually the superintendent at Leopard Creek Derek Muggeridge tells the story of riding down the 9th fairway with his foot hanging out when he noticed a 2.5 meter black mamba had latched on to his leg but he was able to shake it off. If that had been me I would have died of a heart attack before the snake had a chance to bite me.

The course itself is comprised of kikuyugrass fairways and roughs with the greens being creeping bentgrass. Given the design and beauty of the course and with the African bush as a backdrop, it is truly a unique and one of a kind golf course.

Note: I was able to visit Leopard Creek while attending the 7th 2014 Superintendents' Conference May 19-22, 2014 at Pestana Kruger Lodge, Malelane, South Africa. The host for the conference was Sue de Zwart and Talking Turf

Turf n Tacos!

Find me on YouTube or twitter @brigtn

The Ohio State University Plant Science Online Certificates

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9