Schwartzel impressed with Serengeti ahead of SA Open

EKURHULENI – Charl Schwartzel has already played a few practice rounds at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate course ahead of this month’s South African Open, and has declared the course to be in excellent condition. 

Charl Schwartzel during day 2 of the Joburg Open from the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Photo by Luke Walker / Gallo Images / Sunshine Tour.

Schwartzel will face a field including defending champion Hennie Otto, European Ryder Cup star Martin Kaymer, and multiple European Tour winner Branden Grace in this year’s 102nd South African Open Championship from 15-18 November. 

According to Chris Bentley, the Director of Golf at Serengeti, “Charl told me the course is in impressive condition, and that he’s really looking forward to the Open at Serengeti.” 

The Masai Mara, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, is being primed to provide an even sterner test than it did last year, when it hosted the national Open for the first time. 

“The rough is up, we’ve narrowed some of the fairways and the greens will be firmer. We’ve also redone the drainage throughout the course to ensure that if we have a rain delay the course will be playable as soon as possible, and completed the work done on our bunker edging to give them a more rugged feel,” said Bentley. 

The preparations have included resting each of the nine holes at a time by using the nine holes of the neighbouring Whistling Thorn course for play to ensure the championship layout is at its best for the SA Open. 

“The course is in its best condition ever, and with superintendent Shaun Brits at the helm, all preparation has gone according to plan.” 

The Serengeti course is one of the flagship layouts in the City of Ekurhuleni, which is also revelling in its status as host of the national Open for a second year in succession. 

“We proved through our successful hosting of this tournament last year that Ekurhuleni has the capability as a metro to play host to major international events. This year we look forward to reinforcing our status as an Aerotropolis and gateway to Africa and the world,” said executive mayor Mondli Gungubele. 

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