Tag Archives: Sun City

I still call it the “Million Dollar” …

Image Colin Bamford
Image Colin Bamford

From the 5th to the 8th of December the golfers of this country will dawdle in front of TV sets in stores. Or they’ll be even more engrossed in their smartphone apps as they follow the progress of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

This annual event has grown over the years and this year’s Challenge has even more prize money than before! $6.5m in total. One of the attractions this tournament delivers to the spectator is the way the pairings are followed from hole to hole and the devoted couch-watcher can see the progress of all the players on all the holes, thanks to the smaller field than you’d find in a typical PGA or Sunshine Tour event. With only 30 players, it’s much easier to keep track of the 15 teams – and the rounds finish pretty close to each other, too.

By the way – I still call it the “Million Dollar” because that’s how it was originally launched! It was so well marketed, that name has just stuck with me!

If you’ve been fortunate enough to secure accommodation at one of the units offered by Africa Places at Sun City you’ll be right on the doorstep of this iconic golf tournament. The golf widows will be able to take advantage of the facilities offered by the resort that will keep the children and the rest of the family occupied while their wannabe golf champions watch the golfing cream battle each other for the purse.

For many though, being in close proximity to such golfing greatness is a dream. We’ll just have to watch the drama unfold courtesy of Supersport and long-suffering TV shops in busy shopping malls. But at least decent accommodation doesn’t have to be restricted to the week when the golf takes place and Barbie, Elaine and Gill will make whatever arrangements are needed to find the perfect place for the family to unwind.

And it also doesn’t matter what time of the year you decide to take your break either. Traditionally, the average family is restricted to school holidays – but for retired folk, or those with empty nests, there are amazing units on call that suit every type of holiday need.

There are even places with golf courses, bowling greens, walks, night life activities, waterslides, beaches, tennis courts and more. What type of holiday do you need? What type of place do you yearn to visit and relax in? It doesn’t always have to be at the Gary Player Golf Course.

It could be anywhere in this “world in one country” … it’s waiting for you!

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Use Google Maps to plan your trip … gee, it’s easy!

When I mentioned that I’d never been to Sun City, I was looked at as though I’d grown another head. “Never been to Sun City …. Never??” Well, lots of people haven’t, but would like to go. Accommodation is one thing that you don’t need to be concerned about – Africa Places will sort THAT out for you, all it takes is a phone call.

But when I started planning on how to get there I was surprised at how far away from Johannesburg it is. If you listen to those fortunate people who have been there, you’d think Sun City was just round the corner. This is a typical comment from those who have made the journey, “… we spent the day at Valley of the Waves and then had a braai at home afterwards.

Google Maps screenshot
Google Maps screenshot

Looking at the map on Google Maps, and planning my route from Sandton I saw that the trip is over 160km and depending on how low you fly, will take up to two and a half hours each way, without stops! Why, then go for the day? At least overnight there and eliminate half the travelling time. And you do know how I like to stop on the way to anywhere – making my journey part of my holiday.

And guess what? Never having been to Sun City, I’ve also never been to Hartbeespoort Dam either! Shock and horror! So I want to explore a little. I hear the Dam is very pretty – so why not take a picnic, as one does, and break the journey at the Dam and enjoy the view, browse through a few shops (they MUST have shops) and see a little of what people have been raving about?

So I started exploring my proposed route on Goole Maps and went to Google Street-View. I found some lovely little places where we can make a short detour and unpack the picnic, sit and enjoy the views for half an hour. There is a place right next to the water, about 2 km off the “planned route” – ideal! Or we could opt for the complex right next to the road, called Chameleon Village. Over the road from that, is what looks like a whole lot of craft shops that one can amble around.

I love Google Maps! I have been able to follow my route on my computer. I can see the terrain I will be going through and I have been able to spot places that I want to explore and investigate. It’s a fantastic tool to use to plan a trip with.

Who said men don’t consult maps? It makes me look pretty smart too when I can tell my fellow travellers with some authority, “well we turn left up ahead and about a km down the road we’re going to stop and have a wander round a lovely craft village. How does that sound?

And then, there it is! Almost like I’ve been there before!