Looking back over 30 years at Fancourt

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LOOKING BACK OVER 30 YEARS AT FANCOURT 

Garden Route (George) – On 11 April, Fancourt’s owners and the team at Fancourt took time out to celebrate three decades of the Plattner Family’s intimate involvement with this fabled international golf estate, set in the shadows of the majestic Outeniqua Mountains.

On the occasion of their 30th anniversary at Fancourt, Sabine Plattner – wife of proprietor Dr Hasso Plattner and mother to Tina and Steffi – revealed the family’s deep affiliation with the estate and its people; the area, country and continent.

The phenomenon that is Fancourt today was practically set into motion soon after its acquisition by the Plattners in April 1994. “First up was the construction of thatched-roof houses, before moving on to the part known as Noem-Noem.”

“Shortly thereafter, Hasso and Gary Player started developing The Links. It was a joy to watch the two of them walking and planning, talking nonstop, being so charming to each other while focusing on this important project.”

“Building The Links was as much of a pain as it was a pleasure – it’s always a challenge when a golf course is turned into a major construction site. But Gary ensured that it was a joy to tackle these challenges.”

Their milestone anniversary is shared with SA’s democracy, which presented unique issues at the time. “We invested in Fancourt when many people fled the country. Some thought we were crazy, but of course this proved not to be the case. The moment we arrived in George, we felt that this was a place to invest in.”

Among a multitude of highlights, Sabine says one standout occasion was when Fancourt hosted the 46664 Nelson Mandela Concert in March 2005. Madiba arrived at the estate, accompanied by his prison warden, and touched the lives of everyone he met.

Sabine says that the positive impact of Fancourt on the community of George was a pleasant surprise: “All of a sudden, the sleepy little town started blooming. Of course the local business and tourism climate has changed exponentially over the years.”


There has been a massive increase of interest in South Africa as an international tourist destination. “People are learning that SA is more than a safari or adventure-travel option. In the bigger scheme of national tourism, the Western Cape has become a must-do destination, assisted by added flights to the Garden Route.”
“Our team is doing an excellent job of not only marketing Fancourt as a golfers’ paradise, but as a luxury, child-friendly family estate. We welcome visitors and residents from Europe and the US, but also from all corners of the country and continent.”
“With 800 members today, golf is big part of our marketing but so are other sports, wellness and luxury offerings. We’ve recently revamped our spa and are looking into other aspects of the property. Our array of food choices has been designed to follow culinary trends in Cape Town and Johannesburg.”
“We want to play the tourism game with the rest of the Western Cape and country. George used to lag behind, but we are now moving with the rest of South Africa and gearing up to become players in the world market.”

Today we take a moment to celebrate.

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Dermot Synnott
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