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Topnews, Tourism

21. November 2013

Garden Route named top golf spot

The Garden Route in South Africa's Western Cape province has been named the 2014 Golf Destination of the Year for Africa and the Gulf States by the global trade association of the golf tourism industry, IAGTO.

Nils Flaatten, the CEO of Western Cape tourism and investment promotion agency Wesgro, collected the award at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Spain last week.

"The Garden Route is known for its idyllic beaches, fantastic weather, whale-watching and, of course, its world-class golfing establishments," Flaatten said at the awards ceremony.

"It is fantastic that, through the IAGTO Awards, even more of the world's 50 million- strong golfing community will now be informed about what is on offer in this beautiful part of South Africa, which offers so much in terms of tourism including unique land, mountain and sea experiences."

The Garden Route includes the Oubaai Golf Course, Ernie Els's first signature course in South Africa. When in South Africa, Els resides in George.

"The Garden Route is a very special place to me and definitely a golfing destination worthy of being the Golf Destination of the year," Els said in a statement.

George is also home to the Fancourt Country Club, with three courses designed by Gary Player.

"With 14 different golf clubs, there is not only a wealth of top-notch golf courses including Fancourt, Simola and Pezula, but the Garden Route is also a destination which holds appeal for the whole family," Flaatten said.

"Towns from George, Sedgefield, Mossel Bay, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and The Crags all offer unique experiences on land and water for the whole family, from whale watching to elephant sanctuaries, steam cruising and tree-top canopy touring to just relaxing in a world-class spa or taking in a meal with pristine views of nature's garden of Eden.

"Low-cost airline Mango has introduced a leisure schedule between Johannesburg and George, making this destination even more accessible to visitors," Flaatten added.

The IAGTO Awards were established in 2000 to reward exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel. IAGTO's more than 500 golf tour operators from 61 different countries cast their votes for the awards.

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