The land on which San Lameer has been developed has a rich history, dating back to 1938 when the state granted the land, then regarded as a nature reserve, to Colonel GH Langeler. This extremely influential and successful businessman settled on his estate where he created a private game and nature reserve with the intention to preserve the natural flora and fauna.
In 1975 insurance giant Sanlam, as the Developer, successfully acquired this property from Colonel GH Langeler.
On 7 July 1977 San Lameer was proclaimed a private township. Since the inception of the concept of an exclusive Mediterranean type of holiday resort for the more affluent South African. Sanlam complied and developed the Township in line with the original philosophy and wishes of Col Langeler.
In 1990, Sanlam started negotiations with the Homeowners Association, succeeded in exchanging land and purchasing additional land, among others two banana farms adjacent to the main road, to construct the 18-hole Championship golf course and clubhouse at San Lameer, designed by Peter Matkovich and Dale Hayes.
The founder members representing Sanlam, Messrs Ronnie Masson, Hendrik Bester and Pierre Steyn, had a vision in mind to create the first premier golf estate in South Africa, which was successfully transformed into reality when the golf course and club house were completed and officially opened on 7 November 1992 by Dr D.J. de Villiers, Minister of Public Enterprises. The course and club house certainly enhanced the extraordinary ambience of San Lameer and even today these magnificent sport and recreational facilities are still one of the prominent features making the Estate so appealing.
The 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Peter Matkovich and Dale Hayes, is in the heart of this large nature conservation area. The course is sculpted around the last wetland forest on the South Coast to avoid areas of sensitive vegetation and utilize indigenous plants and shrubs in the natural features. With the shaping of the course many trees were removed of which 85% were successfully replanted. Greens of lush grass, surrounded by water or barracked by rocky outcrops or bold sweeping fairways, have earned San Lameer a rating as one of the top courses in the country. The course also provides golfing enthusiasts with a natural challenge through vast clearings, forests and wetlands, with the waves of the Indian Ocean crashing alongside. One of the most prominent challenges of the golf course, aside from its varying gradients and difficult lies, is to avoid getting distracted by the striking views!
During 2012 the Golf Committee under chairmanship of Club President Jan Prinsloo made a decision to appoint the original course designer, Peter Matkovich, to resurface and improve the greens. The course was re-opened on 8 December 2012. On 19 December 2012 the majority of members of the Country Club and Homeowners Association respectively voted in favour of a resolution to integrate the two companies into one under the banner of the San Lameer Master Homeowners Association resulting in Club membership for all homeowners and the promotion of San Lameer as a single brand. A special befitting “San Lameer Experience” was organised and held from 14 to 16 March 2013 as an official launch of the newly renovated greens. The Golf Club Committee also decided in 2013 to outsource the course maintenance to Matkovich Golf Course Maintenance.
Subsequently it was decided to extensively upgrade, renovate and extend the clubhouse with construction starting in 2013. This would elevate the total San Lameer golfing experience to be par with the world’s best. The Homeowners and Country Club transformed into one entity by following a most appropriate and cost effective process while preserving the rights and privileges of the golf members by means of a Golf Charter.
The clubhouse upgrade was completed by mid-October 2014, just in time for the first SA Women’s Open that took place at the Club, but the official opening only took place on 18 December 2014 after the Annual General Meeting of the Homeowners Association.
The unselfish endeavours of Sanlam secured the hosting of the Sanlam Cancer Finals at the San Lameer Country Club in the years 1993 to 2009, which firmly placed the course on the golfing map. The Club also played host to several other prestigious golf tournaments over the years of its existence, with the South African Masters in 1996 and 1997, the SA Women’s Open in 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as the Sunshine Tour Origins of Golf in 2015, to mention the more important tournaments of note.
San Lameer Country Club is also home to some unique golf tournaments, which became tremendously popular among members and visitors alike. Corne Kruger, as President, was instrumental in shaping these tournaments at the Club.
The first Tee for Two, a mixed tournament, took place in 1994 and was won by Jan and Rina Potgieter from Pretoria Country Club. They took it upon themselves to instruct well-known sculptor Phil Minnaar to design and make a winning trophy by using them as models, which they then donated to the Club for future use as the winning trophy for this specific tournament.
The Team Challenge is a 4-man competition where each team has to have a unique team name and was first introduced at the Club in 2000. The tournament started off as being a 3-round tournament, but eventually became a 4-round tournament with a limited field due to its popularity. The first winners were F. Stroebel, F. Brune, L. van Coller and C. O’Reilly. This competition focuses on fund-raising and many local, worthy organisations have benefitted through donations and funds raised during the years since inception of the tournament.
Corné Kruger and Banus van der Walt, were nominated and elected as Honorary Life Presidents in recognition for their exceptional and invaluable contribution as well as loyal service to the San Lameer Club.
Andries Brink, as President of the Country Club and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Homeowners Association, played a vital and significant role to ensure a seamless transition of the separate companies into one entity, and was also elected as Honorary Life President.
Throughout the history of the San Lameer Country Club camaraderie and club spirits have abounded. Over the years, many members have come forward and given both effort and time to ensure the ongoing growth, sustainability and popularity of the Club.