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Birdies In The Bottelary Hills! Hazendal Opens New 18-Hole ‘Mashie’ Course!
17 May 2021
Stellenbosch wine estate Hazendal has unveiled the latest addition to this fast-growing winelands destination; an international-standard 18-hole par-3 golf course.
Commonly known as a ‘mashie’ course, this new addition to Hazendal’s diverse array of culinary, cultural, outdoor and family edutainment attractions was the brainchild of Dr Mark Voloshin, owner of Hazendal and an enthusiastic golfer himself.
“While golf has become a personal passion of mine, golf tourism is becoming an important draw card for visitors to South Africa, and particularly here in the Cape,” explains Dr. Voloshin. “The new mashie course will introduce Hazendal to a whole new segment of the international and local tourism market, and further position the estate as a leading lifestyle destination in the Cape winelands.”
‘Mashie’ short courses are growing in popularity and credibility worldwide, as time-poor golfers juggling career and family responsibilities look to the shorter format as a convenient and cost-effective way to regularly practise their course play close to home.
“Younger golfers are often put off learning to play because they see golf as both expensive and enormously time-consuming. Mashie golf takes care of both of these concerns: it’s affordable to play, and you can finish a round in little more than an hour if needed,” says Lana Orgovanyi, Manager of Golf Operations for Hazendal. “A round of mashie is also ideal for corporate guests who want to extend a business lunch onto the course, for additional out-of-office networking.”
To turn Dr Voloshin’s vision into reality, Hazendal turned to internationally recognised course designers Golf Data, the company behind the acclaimed championship courses at Pearl Valley, St. Francis Links and Leopard Creek.
“When we first looked at the site it was overgrown with alien vegetation and had little natural topography. As course designers we certainly didn’t have an exciting canvas to work with,” explains Robbie Marshall, Chairman and founder of Golf Data.
Instead, to create the perfect setting the construction team moved more than 200 000 cubic metres of soil – enough to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools – to bring the contours and shaping of the course to life.
After clearing all invasive vegetation from the site, more than 300 locally indigenous trees – including River Bushwillow, Cape Ash and Wild Olive – were planted across the course, to create separation between the holes and bring both scale and character to the site.
“It was a major reshaping of the entire landscape, but in the end we’re extremely happy with the final result,” says Marshall. “In a limited space we have managed to include not only 18 entertaining par-3 golf holes, but also a full driving range, practice area and training academy.”
The 18 holes range in length from 60 metres to 145 metres, ensuring a challenging and diverse round for golfers.
Golfing legend Bobby Locke famously built his career on the belief that “you drive for show, but putt for dough," so he’d be pleased to hear that as much care has been taken on the greens as with shaping the fairways and rough.
Around each green complex undulations and runoffs bring additional challenges for lower handicaps looking to better their score, while also pushing beginners to improve their game. Seeded with Bent Grass, all greens have been constructed to an international standard and to the exacting specifications laid down by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
“We’ve chosen the very best grass available for these greens; the same as we’d use at any 18-hole full-size championship course,” says Marshall.
The use of international-standard Bent Grass on the greens is matched by an eco-minded planting of Cynodon and Fescue on the fairways and tee-boxes; these drought-resistant species minimising irrigation requirements.
While the course may be short, the designers have taken an array of natural elements into account, from topography and tee-box elevation to the local terroir of this historic wine estate.
“We’ve particularly tried to incorporate how the prevailing wind direction comes into play,” explains Marshall. “From one hole to the next the wind will heavily impact the course, and each hole will play completely differently. The scorecard may show it as only a 100-metre hole, but with the wind against you’ll come up short unless you adjust your game to fit the hole.”
A scenic highlight of the course is the man-made lakes constructed to create a natural drainage area. This striking water-hazard comes into play on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes, adding yet another challenging element to the course.
Despite being the shortest on the course, the 15th is a likely candidate for the course’s signature hole. A keen eye for distance is crucial here, as players must carry a ball-hungry water hazard to reach the green, itself guarded behind by a natural wetland. Accuracy and control will be key to doing well on this testing hole in what is certainly one of the estate’s most beautiful corners.
Alongside the 18-hole mashie course, players can also make use of a state-of-the-art training academy that includes a full-size driving range, putting green and short-game practice area.
“The golf, coaching and practice facilities will be amongst the best South Africa has to offer,” adds Orgovanyi, who says that coaching and development will be key pillars of the Hazendal golf experience.
The short-game practice area includes a variety of bunkers and greens, while a 300-metre driving range offers dozens of grass, open and undercover bays, some fitted with ball-tracking technology. Facilities also include two dedicated coaching studios, equipped with coaching and club fitting technology including pressure mats, Flightscope swing-tracking technology, HD cameras and coaching software.
“My goal was to create a holistic coaching facility that caters for everyone from elite players to those just starting out in the game,” adds Dr Voloshin. “My hope is that the golfing Academy at Hazendal can nurture and develop players who will go on to excel on the international stage. I am especially excited about Hazendal partnering with the relevant provincial organisations who drive the development of golf amongst underprivileged communities in the Western Cape.”
Alongside individually tailored adult training programmes Hazendal will be launching a Junior Academy, offering lessons for children as young as four years of age. This grassroots development will be a steppingstone into the Youth Academy; aimed at players aged eight and older, where both group classes and individual coaching will be offered. The Academy will also look to support and nurture underprivileged children who show a talent for the game, by offering assistance with professional coaching, equipment and playing opportunities. Corporate entertainment programmes and an Elite Academy also form part of the golf experience.
The golf course and training academy adds an exciting new dimension to Hazendal estate, which offers a growing array of dining, cultural and entertainment destinations catering for a multi-generational audience.
“The ongoing development of Hazendal is all focused on creating a holistic lifestyle destination, and we’re thrilled to unveil this new element of the estate. It’s a dream that has been years in the planning and construction,” enthuses Shlomi Azar, Managing Director of Hazendal. “Now, whether you’re a foodie, art-lover, outdoor enthusiast or keen golfer, Hazendal offers something for each and every member of the family.”
Family entertainment has long been at the heart of Hazendal, and while parents enjoy a few hours honing their game, younger visitors can be entertained – and safely cared for – at Wonderdal, the estate’s innovative edutainment centre.
When the whole family has worked up an appetite, Hazendal offers an array of dining options. Alongside Russian-South African fine dining at Avant-Garde Restaurant, guests can enjoy more relaxed fare at Babushka Deli, where al fresco tables overlook the farm’s original werf. If the weather’s fine, call ahead for a generous Babushka picnic basket to enjoy on the farm’s spacious lawns, or book a table at the Pivnushka Beer Garden; what may just become Hazendal’s unofficial ‘19th Hole’!
Whether it’s the whole family tackling the fairways, or each discovering their own favourite corner of the estate, Hazendal offers a world of journeys and experiences in one unforgettable destination.
For booking or enquiries contact email@example.com or +27 (0) 21 206 8537
Stellenbosch, Western Cape Bakery / Patisserie, Breakfast, Cocktails, Country, Deli, Light Meals, Picnics, Pizza, Russian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine bar
Hazendal is a one-of-a kind winelands destination offering culinary experiences, cultural discoveries, premium accommodation, event spaces, golf facilities and a kid’s edutainment centre. ...