Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa: Experience wild animals and golf …

LIMPOPO, South Africa — The Signature Course at the Legend Golf Safari Resort, located less than three hours from Johannesburg, is the epitome of “golf in the bush” in South Africa. The course shares the backcountry with all sorts of exotic creatures — zebras, antelope and birds to name a few. Next door is the resort’s “Big Five” sanctuary, home to lions, leopards, hippos, rhinos, elephants and more.

The story behind the layout is an interesting one: IMG invited more than 60 different professional golfers to design a hole. The 18 eventual participants included two prominent South Africans, Trevor Immelman and Retief Goosen, and plenty of other famous names: Jim Furyk, Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia, K.J. Choi, Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Robert Allenby, Mike Weir, Bernhard Langer, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Camilo Villegas. With so many golfers involved, the course lacks a true signature moment. The finishing holes on each nine are stout. At the same time, there’s no bad hole, either.

In keeping with the “bush” theme, the course’s fairways and bunkers aren’t always in pristine condition, although its greens roll nice. The 10-hole Tribute Course showcases replicas of famous par-3 holes from around the world.

Any golfer who doesn’t play Legend Golf Safari Resort’s “Extreme 19th hole” is missing out on one of golf’s most amazing experiences. It’s a wild helicopter ride to a rocky cliff high on Hanglip Mountain. Afraid of heights? It’s a spooky feeling standing on a tiny tee box near a ledge, hitting drives with dizzying hang time to a green shaped like Africa some 400 yards away. You get six chances to put a ball in play. Only a handful of golfers who’ve tried have made par. The first hole-in-one wins $1 million. Your odds might be better playing the lottery, but this is more thrilling.