SA’s Big 5 most historic golf courses

Durban Country Club 2nd par. Image by Durban Country Club.

Durban Country Club 2nd hole. Image by Durban Country Club.

South Africa has a rich golf history, much of which has played itself out on the fairways of a few this country’s most historic golf courses. Here are five courses that need to be on your bucket list of SA’s most historic golf courses.

  1. Gary Player Country Club

Since 1981, this Sun City course has hosted some of the biggest names in world golf through the Nedbank Golf Challenge. It found itself at the epicentre of the United Nations blacklist for international sports stars competing in apartheid South Africa. In 1981, Jack Nicklaus ignored a personal letter from tennis legend Arthur Ashe asking him not to compete in the inaugural Nedbank Golf Challenge, believing his presence would help to break down apartheid.

Sun International Sun City.

Aerial Shot of Gary Player Golf Course at Sun City. Image: Sun International.

  1. Sishen/Kathu Golf Club

Located on the outskirts of Kathu, the mining town in the Northern Cape, this was the last course designed by the legendary Robert Grimsdell. He built many of South Africa’s top golf courses but sadly passed away before the completion of this one.

Kathu, Norhern Cape

KATHU Golf Club – Northern Cape. Photo by Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/ Gallo Images.

  1. Durban Country Club

It has been through challenging times of late, but this remains one of the most historic courses in Africa. It has hosted more South African Opens than any other course in this country. And it’s where Gary Player won the first of his record 13 SA Open titles.


Aerial shot of Durban Country Club. Image supplied by Durban Country Club.

  1. Maccauvlei Golf Club

Located on the banks of the Vaal River, the course has a small cemetery on it for victims of the Anglo-Boer War. A young Afrikaner named Paul Kruger used to hunt on these lands before becoming president of the Transvaal. And a young Englishman by the name of Winston Churchill escaped from a British troop train that was ambushed by the Boers in this area. The club was once so famous that its club ties were sold in London.

  1. Royal Cape Golf Club

Established at a meeting in 1885, when it was known as the Cape Golf Club, it is regarded as this country’s first golf club. It was granted the Royal prefix in 1910.

Royal Cape Golf Club

On the greens at the Royal Cape Golf Club. Photo by Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images).

Chip Shot: Parkview Golf Club

This one deserves a mention. Bobby Locke played his last round of golf here 24 hours before he was hospitalised on March 9, 1987 and later passed away.

Parkview Golf Course

Parkview Golf Course in Johannesburg. Image by Ryan James/Darling Lama Productions.

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