Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa
Altitude roughly 1,000 feet above sea level
Used since 2005 edition but not in 2017 during course renovations
7,287 yards – Par 72 – Bermuda Greens (Bentgrass before the 2018-19 edition)
Fairways and Rough: Bermuda (Kikuyu before the 2018-19 edition)
Architect: Gary Player Design
Important Interview Quotes
DYLAN FRITTELLI: The ball-striking was really good today, I knew that with the kind of golf course we have, especially with the changes made, with the Bermuda grass. I play a lot of golf on Bermuda back home in America, and a few PGA Tour events, as well as a few mainland Europe events, but I felt at home. I felt comfortable and hopefully I can just keep that rolling for the rest of the week -2018
OLIVER BEKKER: I think the changes on this golf course are good for my game, I traditionally have not played that great over here but today, I felt like it suits my game a little bit better so I’m looking forward to this week’s got in store. -2018
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: It is great. I think the different type of grass probably makes the biggest difference. Greens are much firmer, but I think some of the changes are incredible. I love it. -2018
BRANDON STONE: The new grass is one of my favourite grasses around the world. The greens are a little bit tricky. The grass has not quite grown in completely. They are all over the place, but the condition of the golf course is 10 out of 10. It should be a fun week. -2018
BRANDON STONE: My game feels good. I always enjoy coming here to Leopard Creek. It suits a ball-striker’s game so I’m looking forward to it.
I don’t think I could be more relaxed for a tournament than I am this week. Obviously I love playing here, the game feels good and I’ve got my family and my team here this week, which is quite nice. -2016
GEORGE COETZEE: You’ve got to hit good tee shots in these winds and if you do that you’ve got a pretty good chance of making birdies. -2016
BRANDON STONE: I woke up this morning and the back was feeling a little bit sore, and then on the range it didn’t really feel too great either.
During the course of the day it progressively got worse and then I had to hit one out of the deep jungle on the right of number eight and really tweaked it.
I was swinging with a little bit of pain on the back and still hit some spectacular shots. I missed a few opportunities here and there but I also made some great putts again, so it could have been lower, it could have been higher, you don’t really know but I’m very happy with the 66.-2016, Round 2
SCOTT JAMIESON: I haven’t played any tournaments for five weeks so you’re always a little unsure of what you’re going to get. The Scottish winters don’t offer much golf so I’m delighted with that – it was a good start. -2016
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: This definitely feels like home. This is a tournament that has been really good to me over the years and it’s a tournament I look forward to coming to every year. There are a couple places I go to where I feel very much relaxed and I think the whole setting is something very different to what we have anywhere else in the world or any other tournament we play. I think every little aspect of that plays a part in just how I feel.
On top of that I’ve had such great success and it makes me feel even more in touch with Leopard Creek and the Dunhill. Every year I come back after winning or doing well it adds quite a lot of pressure because everyone talks about it.
This golf course doesn’t let up. The course requires you to play really clever, take the shots on when it’s necessary and there are a lot of holes that you don’t take on. You’ve got to respect it, and there are enough holes to make birdies, but good quality iron shots around this course with good distance control will take you a long way. -2016
DARREN CLARKE: The golf course is spectacular. The condition of it – the only other one you can compare it to is Augusta really. It’s pristine, the greens are wonderful, the whole layout of it is tough and then you put the 40 degrees heat on top of that. -2016
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: There was nothing off about my game on the front nine. I was hitting good shots, but they were finishing the wrong distances, and on this golf course, with all the slopes, you can sometimes end up a long way away. -2016
DAVID DRYSDALE: It’s a fantastic golf course – one of my favourites. It’s one of the first events I pencil in for my season every year. I love coming down here. The course is amazing. It’s such a good golf course, I think every aspect of your game is tested.
The greens can be slopey – quite quick in places – so your putting is definitely tested, you’ve got to drive the ball straight and you’ve got to hit your irons to the correct places to give yourself chances. And also it throws up half a dozen really demanding shots over water. There’s no let-up and it’s so hot here as well. -2016
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I wish we could play some Majors here. It’s definitely my favourite place, I love coming here and the golf course. -2015
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: As good as the long game was the first few days, it was as bad today and it made me feel very uncomfortable. On the positive side of it, I’ve shot a lot worse scores playing like this and that means there is an improvement in my game. -2015
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Every year I’ve come back here, as soon as I arrive I get that real comfort feeling, a peaceful feeling and it is to do with the surroundings, the nature. It’s a place I normally go to to relax so I’m playing in a very relaxed environment.
On top of that the golf course also suits my eye really well. The last ten years I’ve aimed at the same trees on every hole at the end of the fairway. -2015
BRANDEN GRACE: This is a golf course that suits me and if I keep hitting everything in play the way I have been the first two days then it should be a good weekend. The pins have been kind so far; I’m sure there’s going to be a couple of tricky and sticky pins out there on the weekend, but I’ll just stick to the game plan and see what the next two rounds offer us. -2014
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: There’s something about the place that every time I come back, even if I’m playing badly, it seems to treat me really well.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I’ll go to the Kruger Park tomorrow with my wife and little ones. You wake up early in the mornings for a drive or two, play golf in the afternoons and sit around a fire at night. It’s not going to get much better than that. I always come here have a great time, just being out in the wildlife. But I am focused on the golf. I want to have a good finish and hopefully this week Leopard Creek can be kind to me for a change. This is definitely my favourite golf course in South Africa. I always love coming here and it’s always in great condition. It will be a good challenge. It’s a golf course where you can shoot a low number, but it’s going to bite you. It’s got tough stretches in the middle and you need to be on your game. – 2014