Steenberg Estate has been one of my favourite places to go to with friends for a bite to eat and some great wine, and for years I’d driven through the gates, turned left past the rows of vines, parked, and ended my journey at Bistro 1682, and apparently so have most of the people I’ve chatted to.

There’s nothing wrong with Bistro 1682, in fact if you haven’t been there you definitely should! You should also try their beef gnocchi with a glass of their Nebbiolo, they are wonderful, but I digress. I think most people don’t like change, and if they find something that works, then they like to stick with it – why risk your time when you’ve already got a winner?

If you play golf then you probably know that Steenberg has a pretty fantastic golf course, and if you didn’t know then take my word on it that it’s up there as far as courses go. It’s sprawling, and beautiful to be on, and you tend to forget where you are when you’re there. There was a tiny fly in the ointment however, namely, that I have never actually played golf before, except for Put Put, which I am fairly rubbish at.

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I was definitely outside of my depth, and uncomfortable, which is often exactly how I like it, and I ended up having a fantastic time. I once heard someone say that people thrive and are happier when they pit themselves something difficult, which is why golf can be so addictive; what’s harder: dropping a ball into a cup by hand, or trying to hit a small ball with a thin stick from very far away with the wind blowing in your face?

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Rob trying not to go “Happy Gilmore” on the ball.

If the obstacle is the way then it’s obvious why Golf has thrived.

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Trevor in his natural environment.

We started with breakfast at Catharina’s at 06h45, and let the coffee slowly seep into the tissues and still sleeping parts of our brains. I’d only been there once or twice, but I’ve always found Catharina’s to be soothing, and always left feeling ambitious. All around the restaurant there are reminders of the farm’s founder, Catharina Ustings Ras, who has over time been transformed into a bit of a mythical rogue heroine from the 17th century. She reminds me of my grandmother, who was also incredibly industrious, and at her funeral everyone said she was always kindhearted… as long as you were on her side. If you weren’t on her side, then your side had better be very far away from her, and out of axe-swinging reach.

Steenberg panoramaThe greens have just recently been finished in their entirety. For a few months sections of the green had been under renovation, and by some twist of fate I was one of the first to play on the newly opened greens.steenberg 5Tiger Woods once said “Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps.”

If only I had known that that was the dress code I was aiming for, instead of 50 Shades of Beige.

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Mark going in for the kill.

Luckily enough, we were teamed up Mark (red cap) and Trevor (blue shirt), who were very gracious with my incompetence and I can say that almost every shot I took was the best shot of my life because of them. It was great to see how the game should be played. Basically, I spent the day trying not to slow everyone down, and not drive the golf cart into a bunker. At one point one of my shots made a bird fly away (unharmed obviously), and I figure it was a sign of improvement – I had progressed from interfering with the grass (especially on hole 11) to interfering with the wildlife.steenberg 3

After a few hours on the course I was feeling tired and sun-burnt, and all the information about golf was tricking out of my ears, which is why I was made a very happy man when we all met at the Bistro for a glass or two of wine, and a fantastic lunch.

It was a good day that started off uncomfortably with no ego, because I couldn’t play and because I wanted to learn, and ended much more comfortably, and still no ego, because now that I know how to play, I know that I play very badly. What a great day.

{Note: I was invited to spend the day at Steenberg as a guest, and all thoughts are my own.}