Western Cape Top 24
24

Boschenmeer

Paarl GC, Paarl, Winelands - Western Cape

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Managing director: Willem Pretorius
Golf director: Werner Bernhardt
Greenkeeper: Wynand Viljoen (Servest)
Club captain: Jacques Hamman
Chairman: Ian van Schalkwyk

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 36

Yellow 3108 metres, CR36.2/125
White 3003 metres, CR36.2/125
Blue 2795 metres, CR34.8/122
Red 2491 metres, CR33.1/114
Women’s white, CR39.3/139
Women’s blue, CR38.0/136
Women’s red, CR36.1/127

Visitor green fee

R495 affiliated
R695 non-affiliated

Course designer

Danie Obermeyer & David Frost 2000

Contact

021 863 1140
www.paarlgolfclub.co.za

Boschenmeer is the third nine holes at the 27-hole Paarl Golf Club facility. It is usually played in conjunction with either the Paarl nine or the River nine, which make up the Old Course, ranked No 76 in the SA Top 100 Courses. However, it is now being considered as a standout separate 9-holer by the club for ranking purposes. On its own it stands out as one of the leading 9-holers in South Africa, particularly if it is used for that purpose, incorporating alternate tees. It is in a scenic setting, with mountain backdrops.

The design by Danie Obermeyer (Kingswood, Robertson) with support from tour pro David Frost is distinctly different from the flat Old Course, with a hill in the middle of the layout and many more water hazards. Paarl originally had 18 holes before the Boschenmeer nine was opened in 2000 as part of a residential estate on the property. Interestingly it was chosen by the SA Golf Association as the preferred back nine when the SA men’s Amateur championship was hosted by Paarl GC in March 2004.

It’s a short walk from the clubhouse to the first tee of the Boschenmeer (it is the 19th on the club scorecard), and the opening 372-metre par 4 is one of six holes where water comes into play. It has to be carried for the approach shot to the green. Part of the course used to be known as Wateruintjiesvlei, a wetland. Until the development of the estate this was an unsightly wasteland. Its rehabilitation is an environmental success. The undergrowth also disguised a municipal rubbish dump that had grown to the size of a small hill over which Obermeyer routed the layout. It’s high enough that today, playing the par-5 fourth hole (22nd), you can see Table Mountain in the distance on a clear day.

The closing three holes at Boschenmeer are outstanding, challenging and diverse. Many rate the 420-metre par-4 seventh (25th) as the best hole of the 27 both in terms of beauty and design. From an elevated tee the fairway runs between an avenue of pine trees, with a stream on the right cutting across the fairway some 50 metres short of a raised green.

The eighth (26th) is a 298-metre risk-reward par 4, also from a raised tee, very tempting for the longer hitters. Water guards the left hand side of the hole and the green has some awkward slopes. It’s not an easy target. The nine ends with a 450-metre par 5 curving sharply left around the main lake. A big drive skirting the water can leave a mid-iron approach to the green.

Additional Course Facts

Practice Facility

The Ben Fouchee Golf Academy range is 1500 metres from clubhouse alongside the sixth hole on the Boschenmeer Nine. It is open to members and public. Fouchee, a former SA Amateur champion (1987), is one of the PGA of SA’s top 25 teachers. There is an excellent short game facility next to clubhouse.

Accommodation

Luxury self-catering options inside the estate at Boschenmeer House.

Club Champions

2021: Ethan Smith & Vanessa Smith
2020: Tyran Snyders & Bianca Lohbauer
2019: Daniel Cronje & Lumien Orton

Did You Know

1/ The club boasts a family-friendly environment. The clubhouse includes the Skin Revival wellness and beauty spa upstairs, a hair salon, the Golfing Goat restaurant, plus a 350-seater Winelands function hall (now a regular music theatre), and 150-seater conference facility.

2/ The Paarl Golf Club was founded in 1908, making it one of the oldest in the Western Cape. The club’s first course was a 9-holer on the Berg River at Sanddrift. In 1926 Bob Grimsdell, club pro at Mowbray, laid out a new 9-hole grass links, possibly his earliest design work. A move was made in 1955 to another site and 18 holes.

3/ The club’s Winelands Classic, forerunner of festival golf weeks, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019.

4/ Paarl golfer Dawie van der Walt, aged 21, won the 2004 SA Strokeplay championship played on the Boschenmeer nine, with Hennie Rootman winning the SA Amateur.

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Course Reviews
There are only two 27-hole facilities in South Africa, here at Paarl GC and at Hermanus, another Western Cape club. Serengeti in Gauteng used to have 27, but the third nine was rebuilt into an 18-hole Par 3. Hermanus has three similar nines in terms of their design, look and feel. However, the Boschenmeer nine at Paarl was designed to be deliberately different to the two nines which make up the Old Course, rather than a seamless continuation. It therefore doesn't really fit in when paired with either of the other two nines. It was constructed before work began on redesigning the other 18 holes. Water is a big factor and represents the only real trouble. The holes are interesting and the straight hitter will enjoy this layout. It's a course of three distinct parts to it. The middle section from 4 to 6 is unlike anything on the property. You begin the dogleg par-5 fourth on a hilltop where the terrain has something of a links feel. It's a good hole though, and the only weak one is the par-4 sixth, a blind tee shot going in the opposite direction on the same hill.
Stuart McLean
09 February 2022
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