From the moment you drive through the gates at Blair Atholl, a sense of calm envelops you. But it is more than that. There is a refined elegance, an air of exclusivity and a feeling of freedom all wrapped up in the order of well-tended grounds that blend seamlessly with the surrounding countryside. It is as if nature is amplified here.
The Player family’s farm for over three decades, Blair Atholl is the realisation of a dream that golfing legend Gary Player held for many years. Set against the backdrop of the Magalies Mountains and abutting the Renosterspruit Conservancy, the lushly treed Estate is close enough to Johannesburg to be convenient yet feels a world away.
Living at Blair Atholl
Blair Atholl’s low-density approach pays off. Despite being within a secure perimeter, there is a pervading sense of space and a crispness to the air. It hardly seems conceivable that there are world-class shopping centres, private schools and business facilities mere minutes away. The occasional plane overhead reminds you that Lanseria Airport is just 3km down the road. Of course, this makes it convenient for business commuters and frequent travellers.
The nature parks teem with small game. The sound of birdsong harmonises with the burbling Crocodile River, which runs through the middle of the Estate.
Myriad trails cut through indigenous bush, grasslands and meadows. Runners, walkers, riders, as well as mountain bikers, enjoy hours of relaxation and restoration.
This is not cookie-cutter living. The homeowners here are free to express their creativity in the design of their homes and gardens. A Spanish-style villa sits beside a modern glass-and-steel home; a sprawling bungalow peeks through the trees at an ivy-covered stone mansion straight from the pages of a fairytale. In fact, the only thing that all these homes have in common is that they are beautiful.
As diverse as the architecture, the people who live at Blair Atholl come from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. The community ranges from young families to retirees, and the Estate effortlessly provides facilities to enrich their lives.
Golf at Blair Atholl
Forming the heart of the Estate is the Gary Player signature golf course. At 7 500-metres, the Blair Atholl Golf Course is the third-longest course in the world. It offers players a selection of tees and course lengths. Designed in Gary Player’s head over more than 20 years, the course reflects his deep love for the terrain. It takes in all the different features and moods of the Estate.
No less than 11 holes have water hazards, making the looped course a challenging but rewarding one. The award-winning Halfway House perches on the banks of the Crocodile River. This tranquil spot can be reached via wooden walkways and offers hearty fare. It offers a brief respite for golfers needing to recharge before they head out to play the back 9 holes.
Limited guest tee-off times are available upon request from the well-stocked pro shop run by Master PGA professional Paul Marks.
Dining at Blair Atholl
The stone-clad Clubhouse is also where you will find the Blair Atholl Club & Terrace. This premium smart-casual restaurant serves contemporary cuisine and spectacular views over the golf course.
Owned by the same family that owns Pigalle, the restaurant is open to the public. It is the ideal venue for a scrumptious country breakfast, a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner. Banqueting facilities are available for special celebrations and corporate events.
Urban Savanna Spa
While the sublime food on offer feeds the body, the URBAN Savanna Spa nourishes the soul. This warm and enticing sanctuary sits alongside the Clubhouse and offers a professional spa experience with treatments including a sunbed, Koebana spray tans, a Vichy shower, OPI nail treatments, Algologie facial and body treatments, Airnergy Oxygen Therapy, a range of massages and a steam room and jacuzzi.
Gary Player Fitness Centre
Pampering is good for the body as well as the soul. Of course, fitness is too. In fact, the golfing legend attributes much of his success on the golf course to his passion for fitness. That is why Blair Atholl boasts a Gary Player Fitness Centre. Facilities include an extensive range of state-of-the-art training equipment, karate, yoga and Pilates, and a squash court and a swimming pool. Personal trainers assist residents in their quest for optimal wellness.
The Blair Atholl Equestrian Centre
Another integral part of life at Blair Atholl, and another of Gary Player’s passions, is horse riding. Gary Player readily agrees with Winston Churchill’s assertion that “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”.
The Blair Atholl Equestrian Centre affords residents the rare privilege of strolling to the stables at sunrise, saddling up and setting off for an early morning ride through rolling meadows and along pristine trails before facing the world and their daily responsibilities.
Homeowners have the luxury of stabling their horses on their doorstep, where they receive the finest care from an experienced team that lives on site. The Equestrian Centre encompasses modern stables, a jumping arena with spectator seating, a dressage arena, a lunge ring, paddocks and a solarium.
While Blair Atholl Equestrian Centre has a very active show presence with above-average achievements, it caters to all ages and proficiency levels. Outrides can be enjoyed throughout the Estate, making for a lovely family outing.
Ultimately, family and community are what Blair Atholl is all about. The Village Green, a less formal family restaurant with “the best pizza ever”, jungle gyms for the kids and big screens for dads, is where lifelong friendships are forged, and life at Blair Atholl is celebrated.
And there is much to celebrate. Come home to Blair Atholl.
The following facilities are open to the public, subject to availability. Please make a booking:
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