Western Cape Top 24
19

Bellville

Cape Town - Western Cape

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General manager: Werner Theart
Club captains: Morne Patterson & Marijke Brand
President: Hennie van Zyl
Greenkeeper: Gavin White (Golf Data)

Course Summary

White 5814 metres, CR71.6/132
Blue 5401 metres, CR69.2/124
Red 4866 metres, CR66.3/115
Women’s blue, CR75.5/127
Women’s red, CR71.5/120

Visitor green fee

Affiliated R360
Non-affiliated R470
Golf cart R360
Seniors R215 on Monday, Friday

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 9 holes (1958),
Bill Kerr 18 holes (1981),
Mark Muller upgrade 1995

Contact

021 913 3100
www.bellvillegolf.co.za

Bellville was the first golf club to be founded in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, originally known as Welgemoed GC with a 9-hole course designed by Bob Grimsdell and opened for play in 1958. Today the Northern Suburbs are home to four 18-hole clubs. The area north of the N1 motorway leaving Cape Town is one of rolling hills, and Bellville was built in among them with beautiful views of distant mountain ranges.

The course occupies an attractive valley in pleasant suburbia through which the holes meander up and down, quite steeply in places, the elevation and slopes adding to the challenge and unique character of the layout. Roads have divided this hilly course into three separate parts. The clubhouse sits high on a ridge in the middle with four holes, and there’s seven holes in each of the upper and lower sections of the property.

Bellville became an 18-hole course in 1981, the additional holes being designed by Bill Kerr, a former president of the old SA Golf Union who worked with Grimsdell in his final years as a course architect.

Bellville is one of the shorter 18-hole courses in the Western Cape, at 5814 metres from the tips, yet distance is mostly immaterial due to the elevation changes, and scoring can be tricky. The parkland design is all about strategy and where to position your ball on the sloping fairways, which become firm in the summer months. The opening holes immediately catch your attention as the fairways tend to kick golf balls towards rows of trees on the left side.

The design variety is interesting though. The par 4s and 5s are moving either left and right, uphill and downhill, seldom straight. Grimsdell and Kerr together created some unusual and memorable holes to deal with the contours of the land, and to their credit there is only one hole which is severely uphill, the 11th.

In 1995 Mark Muller, then at Golf Data, reshaped the greens to make the course that much more challenging and varied. The subtly undulating greens are a feature of the layout, and are of consistently good quality for putting and chipping.

The 380-metre sixth is one of the best par 4s in Cape Town, played from a high tee to a fairway curving right around a stand of tall trees which mark the out-of-bounds. Stroke 1 (No 11) is only 327 metres, yet the fairway is uphill all the way as it turns right to a raised green. The par-5 15th, usually played into the prevailing wind, has a challenging tee shot skirting the edge of the main dam near the high point of the property.

Possibly the most adventurous hole though is the 490-metre 17th, a boomerang-shaped hole which crests a rise and then plunges left downhill to a green protected by large pines and a front bunker. The round ends with a superb short par 4, also downhill with a stream protecting the left side of the fairway and a water hazard the right front of the green.

Additional Course Facts

Practice Facility

There is a short-game area adjacent to the tenth hole, and a long tee where golfers can hit their own balls with a caddie.

Club Champions

2021 Kevin Hitge & Ems Hepburn
2020 Gerlou Roux & O Kim
2019 Ludwig Schreuder & M Loretz

Course Record

62 by Grant Veenstra, 2003 club championships

Did You Know

1/ Bellville member Henk Smith was appointed acting president of the SA Golf Association in 2021.

2/ Top SA tour professional Thomas Aiken was 18 when he had a special week at Bellville in the 2001 Western Province championships, winning the 72-hole strokeplay title and matchplay trophy. Winners in 2009 WP championships were Johan Bekker and Trevor Mahoney.

3/ Bellville has been home to many outstanding golfers, including former SA internationals Hennie Walters, Charl Coetzee, Jake Roos, Grant Veenstra and Gerlou Roux and SA junior international Samuel Simpson. The club’s teams have excelled in the Western Province leagues.

4/ Francois de Goede joined the club when it was 9 holes, and still plays league golf today at senior level. He won the men’s club championship a record 11 times between 1976 and 1992, and the Bellville Open four times.

5/ Jayden Schaper won 2019 WP Strokeplay with 15-under 273, and Martin Vorster won the WP Amateur.

6/ Bellville featured in the Golf Digest Top 100 rankings from 2001 to 2006. The club promotes 9-hole rounds after 4pm in summer, free to members and R150 for visitors.

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Course Reviews
Part of the enjoyment of hilly courses is playing golf holes very different from the norm, particularly in Cape Town where the majority of courses are flat. At Bellville you require an ability to deal with sloping fairways and make them work for you. The course then becomes easier to play. For such an undulating property as this, Bellville has been cleverly designed with only one seriously uphill hole, No 11. You do play approach shots to about eight raised greens, but these are quite acceptable and benefit the general design variety, which is interesting to say the least. The course is firm at this time of year, which means the ball can run into trouble off the mown areas, yet when softer in winter and spring it is a delight to play.
Stuart McLean
28 February 2022
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