Tee off in Cape Town at the SA Museum of Golf
The SA Musem of Golf at the V&A Waterfront is a must for golf and history buffs.
South Africa is a huge golfing nation and Cape Town is home to some of the best golf courses in the country. Having produced 10 Major winners – two women and eight men – the country has enjoyed considerable success in the sport and the Southern African Museum of Golf and Golf Hall of Fame at the V&A Waterfront has done a fantastic job capturing both the history and our impressive success.
For many, names like Gary Player, Bobby Locke, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Louis Goosen are well known, with their Major-winning exploits the stuff of sporting legend, but the real joy of the venue at the Waterfront is just how much more is on display.
Chances are good, however, that most have not heard of Papa Ngwane or Louis Chitengwa, despite their impressive exploits in golf. Ngwane, for the record, beat Player when the SA legend was the number one player in the world, while Chitengwa beat Tiger Woods in the Gary Player Orange Bowl World Junior Championship in 1992 and was considered to be a future star of the global game before he tragically died of a rare form of meningitis at the age of 26.
Both men, amongst others, are inductees into the Hall of Fame, while their stories cover the walls of this fantastic museum, standing tall alongside the likes of Player, Goosen and Locke.
This is what makes the museum such a draw for me – the exhaustive and thorough coverage of all the region’s history in the game, whether it be current, past or close-to forgotten chapters in the game’s lore. On these walls are the good, the bad and tragic. In a country that has a history as long and rich as ours, there will always be plenty of all three. Thankfully the museum doesn’t shy away from any of it, regardless of which it may be.
It is an archive like no other with one of the biggest collections of golfing memorabilia on the planet.
The museum is also a touch and feel experience, meaning, that unlike most other museums, you can handle a lot of the items on display. So, for example, you can lift an old wooden driver out of its display to get an idea of its weight and heft, which certainly adds to the experience overall.
There is also a retail store on site stocking golfing merchandise and sought-after memorabilia for the golfing aficionados. And there is more to come with a miniature golf course planned, a putting green linked up with a Wii and much more.
So whether you are a golf nut, a casual follower of the game or indifferent – I fall somewhere in the middle – this gem of a venue is well worth the visit.