In 1992 Maccon purchased an agricultural farm on the banks of Hartbeespoort Dam with a view to creating one of South Africa’s first golf estates. The name was inspired by the grove of pecan nut trees on the property.
At the outset, the golf course was to be locally designed and planned, but following discussions with Jack Nicklaus Design, as well as investigation into the investment value and return of using a well respected golf professional to design the golf course, a deal was concluded, which saw Jack Nicklaus’ expertise become an important aspect of the project.
The necessary approvals were obtained and the project kicked off in 1996 with the building of three show houses, which could be accessed by a dirt road running through the estate.
Soon after the launch of Pecanwood Estate, Country Heights Holdings Berhard, a property development company listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange, concluded a partnership agreement with Maccon that saw both parties as joint venture partners in the project.
Golf Data, the representatives for Jack Nicklaus in South Africa, were contracted to build the challenging golf course that has been identified as one of South Africa’s top golf courses in numerous surveys.
From the design and development of a highly sophisticated irrigation and drainage system and the selection of suitable grass for top quality greens and tees, to the design of bunkers that ensure a challenging course, nothing was left to chance. Many have described the development of the golf course as a scientific experience, when compared to the construction techniques used before.
A total of 1 000 000 cubic metres of soil was used to transform the property from a relatively flat piece of land into one of topographical interest.
Jack Nicklaus remained very involved in all stages of the project, so much so that he appointed Greg Letsche, one of his senior architects, on a full time basis in South Africa to monitor all stages of construction.
The course initially opened as a 9-hole course with a temporary clubhouse, which was utilised for a period of two years until the award winning clubhouse was completed in April 1999.
Since its launch, Pecanwood Golf and Country Club has established itself as a benchmark for golf courses in South Africa. Moreover, the development also served as a catalyst for tremendous growth in the area.