3 NEW ENTRANTS
AND 2 GAUTENG
HIGH-CLIMBERS

THE COURSES RANKED FROM 100 to 81

Published by : Stuart McLean - 25 January 2021

Three of the new entrants into the Top 100 rankings are revealed on the first day of Rankings Week.

Today saw the announcement of the bottom 20 courses, ranked from No 100 to No 81, and they included one newly opened course, Olivewood in the Eastern Cape, and two courses that had been absent from the rankings for several years, Worcester in the Western Cape and The Lakes at Mount Edgecombe in KwaZulu-Natal.

The biggest climb up the rankings among these lower-placed courses came from two Gauteng courses, Eagle Canyon and Reading, one modern and one old school, and also from Knysna Golf Club in the Garden Route.

Expansive water hazards and dangerous holes are a feature of Eagle Canyon.

Eagle Canyon is a breath of fresh air among the all too common parkland designs in Gauteng. It jumps 12 places to No 83. Set in a quarry, and unfortunately a tough walk, it’s a golf course built for the more adventurous-minded and those who don’t flinch at the loss of a few golf balls. Think of it as Gauteng’s answer to Pinnacle Point, with lots of elevations changes, except here you’re looking up at the clubhouse, instead of down. Exciting holes for those golfers who aren’t intimidated by scary situations.

Reading is a long-established parkland layout at Alberton in Gauteng, which went up 11 places from No 99 to No 88. It’s a strong, championship worthy layout with excellent greens complexes and incredibly good value in terms of the green fee.

Knysna is one of four Garden Route courses in the bottom 20. It only entered the rankings a year ago at No 100 following the closure of Legend (Limpopo) and its good condition, easy walkability and varied design makes it one of the most popular courses in the region, pushing it up to No 91.

Picturesque Knysna is full of charming and challenging holes.

ENTRIES AND EXITS

Most newcomers to the Top 100 begin in the lower ranks, unless created by a high-profile big-budget designer, and Olivewood was a relatively low-key creation at Cintsa, on the east coast near East London. The designer was local golfing veteran Algy Kietzmann, and the course has taken time to establish itself since opening nearly five years ago. The layout traverses some spectacular terrain, which makes for some dramatic holes, as well as some awkward ones. One drawback is it’s a difficult walk, yet it is fun to play, and has superb quality greens, of which we are seeing more in the Eastern Cape. Olivewood has positioned itself as a destination venue, having beautifully appointed villas for travelling golfers on site.

Worcester returns to the Top 100 for the first time since 2005. It’s something of a forgotten course in the Western Cape, being a good hour’s drive from Cape Town on the N1 side of the mountains. It’s an early Peter Matkovich design from the 1980s so in keeping with his adventurous style it has plenty of interesting holes, including a double green on 9 and 18 in front of the clubhouse. It’s set in an attractive arid landscape.

Worcester is set in an arid landscape with a beautiful mountain backdrop.

The Lakes at Mount Edgecombe was a regular in the Top 100 from 2000 to 2011 before drifting out. Vastly improved Conditioning has deservedly brought it back into the limelight because this is a good challenging layout which has hosted Sunshine Tour events. One of its downsides is that it has long been designated as a “cart course” by the golf club. It’s actually a pleasant walk for those who enjoy their exercise. The Lakes begins quite conventionally, then comes up with some exciting risk-and-reward holes and good par 3s once you descend towards the lakes after which it is named.

Exiting the Top 100 this year are four courses. Vaal de Grace, the Nick Price design on an island in the Vaal River, tumbled out from as high as No 63 due to a lengthy closure following the first lockdown and retrenchment of staff. It did re-open in November, but only for members and home owners on the estate, and for that reason its inclusion in the Top 100 was not considered acceptable. Hopefully the course will return to its former glory.

State Mines on the East Rand, Katberg in the Eastern Cape highlands, and Durbanville in Cape Town were the other casualties.

View today’s rankings here:
https://satop100courses.com/the-top-100-by-ranking/

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
Blair Atholl is an exciting new addition… Read more
Composite courses could become fashionable locally in… Read more
Veteran East London Golf Club member Denis Jones… Read more
How would you react if you learned… Read more
Blair Atholl has the longest stretch of… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club suffered the most devastation… Read more
Durban Country Club will next year be… Read more
Bryanston Country Club head teaching professional Leigh-Jane… Read more
Work has started on the refurbishment of… Read more
Golf Digest magazine in the United States… Read more
The Sunshine Tour visited 17 of SA’s… Read more
TOP 20 GREENS 1 Fancourt Links, 2… Read more
No 1-ranked Fancourt Links claimed more honours… Read more
Links courses were the big winners in… Read more
Gauteng is endowed with wonderful golf courses,… Read more
Today’s announcement of 20 courses ranked between… Read more
Anyone who has played at Plettenberg Bay… Read more
Woodhill is one of 17 courses in… Read more
Four courses – Reading, Eagle Canyon, Centurion… Read more
Two new entrants to the Top 100… Read more
Such has been the huge amount of… Read more
The new year ushered in great excitement… Read more
The 2022 Top 100 Course Rankings will… Read more
It was 30 years ago this January-February… Read more
Christiaan Burke, this year’s scoring sensation in… Read more
In recent years golfers have experienced more… Read more
Ian Leach, a doyen of golf club… Read more
They do not count as criteria when… Read more
Following the oddest year in major championship… Read more
From Plettenberg Bay in the east to… Read more
Veteran Western Province golfer Greg Woodbridge gave… Read more
In a high-profile appointment, Meyer du Toit,… Read more
Fancourt in the Garden Route is acknowledged… Read more
After an innovative, lengthy and suspenseful week… Read more
Golfers in the greater Gauteng region are… Read more
South Africa’s collection of bushveld courses are… Read more
Big positional swings are a feature of… Read more
Three of the new entrants into the… Read more
My 61-day Road Trip visiting 70 courses… Read more
Cash prizes for holes-in-one are being offered… Read more
The design of the standard golf cart… Read more
Zimbali Lakes has been an anticipated golf… Read more
Highland Gate was a popular venue for… Read more
It’s not fashionable today but there was… Read more
The Humewood links in Port Elizabeth has… Read more
A countdown has begun to the announcement… Read more
Irene Country Club elected its first female… Read more
The Top 100 Courses website has a… Read more
I’m on a road trip around South Africa aiming to complete visiting… Read more
The PGA of South Africa announced its… Read more
Pinnacle Point have done it again and… Read more
Gary Player Country Club will become the… Read more
St Francis Links has introduced a great… Read more
Big changes are taking place at South… Read more
Colin Nel at the weekend became the… Read more
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD FOR ST FRANCIS LINKS During… Read more
The golfing members at Irene Country Club… Read more
While golf has happily resumed, with most… Read more
One of South Africa’s iconic golf courses,… Read more
GolfRSA today received the green light for… Read more
Golf courses around South Africa serve as… Read more
The golf industry will need to adapt… Read more
GolfRSA is making every effort to ensure… Read more
South African golf courses today are increasingly… Read more
PGA professional John Dickson spends most of… Read more
One of the stated 10 keys to… Read more
The national lockdown over the coronavirus has… Read more
David Melman is the Golf Manager at… Read more
Golf clubs have been issued with lengthy… Read more
There are a handful of golf courses… Read more
When the idea of a Top 100… Read more
Silver Lakes Golf & Wildlife Estate in Pretoria has been named one… Read more
Golf participation in South Africa would appear to be increasing, with Handicap… Read more
Serengeti Estates in Ekurhuleni has created one… Read more
Intimidating and challenging closing holes help create… Read more
Umhlali Country Club in Ballito on the… Read more
Erinvale Country Estate & Golf Club is… Read more
The Links at Fancourt and Leopard Creek… Read more
It’s a magical scoring barrier everywhere in… Read more
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington will make history… Read more
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE