Johannesburg

A Golfer's Guide to Joburg

more than a year ago
created 16 Apr 2014
The 10th at Glendower
Johannesburg is a golfers' paradise with more golf courses in one city than probably anywhere else in the world. Just within a 10km radius of Sandton there are 15 courses. Factor in year-round sunshine and highly competitive pricing and it's no wonder this town has a major share of golfing fanatics. Just outside the city in the wider Gauteng region you will find plenty of golfing estates with challenging courses and stunning scenery, while the famous Sun City is just two hours drive away.

NEED TO KNOW

What is the dress code?
Smart-casual golf attire is required. You are however welcome to play in shorts, but make sure you have a collar shirt on, tucked in of course.
How do I get a caddy?
A caddy is virtually always available. You’ll have to pay R15 to the caddy foundation, for his lunch and a tip, as well as the caddy fee. Usually your tip should be 50% higher than the amount the caddy master will tell you is the minimum.
Can I rent clubs?
Golf clubs can usually be rented from the pro shop in the clubhouse.
Can I work on my game with a trainer?
There are plenty of good club pros around. Richard Kaplan, head pro at Houghton Golf Course is probably the best having played successfully on the Asian and Sunshine tour for many years.
What will it cost me?
You’ll struggle to find cheaper golf for what you are getting with 18 holes starting from as little as R180. Courses generally have 3 tiers of prices: members, affiliated visitors and non-affiliated visitors. Affiliation means being in possession of a South African official handicap. If you are planning on more than a couple of games during your visit, it may be worth getting an official handicap (see www.golfclub.co.za for details).
Is it easy to book a tee time?
If you have left it late try www.lastminutegolf.co.za for a booking. Generally courses are quieter during the week. It is worth calling clubs on a Thursday to enquire about weekend tee times as this is usually when they release extra times for non-members.
Do I need to join a four-ball?
If you are playing solo then the course you choose to play on will usually assign you to join a four-ball. One of the best ways to enjoy a social round of golf with new people is to register at 4ballgolf.com. The 4ballgolf website is designed to match you up with other golfers who play at the same pace and ability.

10 GREAT COURSES TO VISIT

1. COPPERLEAF
Best for: Playing an Ernie Els course. This prestigious course in an upmarket estate near Centurion was designed by Joburg's most successful golfer, Ernie Els.

2. EBOTSE
Best for: Links golf. A classic links style course in Benoni (south-east of Johannesburg) with thick rough, pot bunkers, uneven fairways and often quite a bit of wind. Watch out for the herd of springbok on the back 9.

3. GLENDOWER
Best for: A true test for even world-class golfers. A long and highly challenging course, this east Johannesburg course is a gorgeous toughie.

4. HOUGHTON
Best for: Excellent inner-city golfing. Well known for old golf watchers, this is the only inner-city Jack Nicklaus Signature course in the world.

5. HUDDLE PARK
Best for: Golf novices. One of the city's only public golf clubs, Huddle Park has a mashie (short par three course), that is ideal for beginners.

6. PARKVIEW
Best for: A soothing escape in the middle of the city. This club has the best 19th-hole drinking vantage point with a patio view that will make you feel as if you’re in the greenest place. Just course, trees and sky.

7. ROYAL JOHANNESBURG AND KENSINGTON
Best for: Pretending to be a pro. Many point to the impressive East Course, which is the home of the Joburg Open, as the best course in Johannesburg,.

8. SILVERLAKES
Best for: Water, water and more water. A very entertaining course just east of Pretoria with an abundance of watery hazards and some tricky island holes.

9. SUN CITY
Best for: a weekend away. Around two hours drive from Joburg, the two Sun City courses; Lost City and Gary Player, are a must if you want to play the same courses that virtually every significant pro has played at some stage. The Gary Player is arguably the better of the two.

10. WANDERERS
Best for: laidback atmosphere. This historic club next to the famous cricket ground is certainly one of the most welcoming to visitors.
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