Sandton - Gauteng
General manager: Steve Nicholson
Club manager: Charmaine Klug-Price
Golf director: Dean le Vieux
Greenkeeper: Thomas Matloha
Club captain: Denarkin Naidoo
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 74.2 out of 100
Conditioning15.4 / 20
Playability15.2 / 20
Aesthetics12.7 / 15
Design Variety10.4 / 15
Shot Values10.0 / 15
Memorability10.5 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
Yellow 6831 metres, CR 74.8/147
White 6326 metres, CR 72.1/141
Blue 5803 metres, CR 68.1/126
Red 5297 metres, CR 66.5/123
Women’s blue, CR 74.2/142
Women’s red, CR 72.2/138
Visitor green fee
R770 Monday only
Visitor must be accompanied by a member on other days
Member guest fee R592 weekdays, R700 weekends
Martin Hawtree 1993,
Sean Quinn (Golf Data) 2008
011 202 1620/1
32 (2022) & 36 (2021)
The modern Rocklands layout is situated in a visibly contrasting setting to its older CCJ sibling, the parkland Woodmead, being a rare bushveld-style course in the heart of Gauteng, with rock formations and rough edges. On its undulating terrain it has indigenous trees and natural grasslands, and the holes offer spectacular views of nearby Sandton skyscrapers and the more distant Magaliesberg mountain range.
Named after the farm bought by CCJ, it began as a 9-holer in the mid-1970s and CCJ was a 27-hole facility for 15 years. Before it could be extended to 36 holes, the club first had to establish their own water supply to irrigate two courses, as the property had no water of its own. In 1991, chairman Fred Kleyn and his committee formed a strategic plan aimed at securing the future of the club. Land was sold to finance two reservoirs, multiple storage dams and a new clubhouse, opened in December 2000.
Initially the Rocklands was very much the secondary course at CCJ, before being transformed in 2008 by Golf Data designer Sean Quinn. His major upgrade – the nines were also switched – raised it to the same level of quality as the Woodmead. The Rocklands is slightly longer off the championship tees, has magnificent new bunkering, and the course hosted the 2013 men’s SA Amateur Championship.
The water hazards on the Rocklands are now more in play than before, particularly on the closing stretch of holes starting at the downhill par-4 14th. The last five holes are outstanding, with water in play at all but the 18th. The contoured greens were seeded with blended Penn A1/A4 bent grass, and the surfaces are as quick and challenging as those on the Woodmead.
Additional Course Facts
62 by Christiaan Burke in the first (11 birdies) and third (10 birdies) rounds of 2022 Northern Amateur. He won on 21-under 195.
63 by Jaco Prinsloo in 2012 IGT Tour event
The par 3s are all outstanding and varied, and often require long irons or even woods from the back tees. The fourth green is superbly guarded by bunkers, the sixth is 215 metres uphill, while water hazards guard the front of the greens at 15 and 17, which have slopes and ledges to test a player’s putting ability. The third is a glorious long dogleg right par 5 which sweeps downhill as the fairway turns. The 11th at 477 metres from the back is the longest par 4 on the club property, and among the most demanding in Gauteng.
The club’s Auckland Park grounds include the Dormy House boutique hotel with 18 en-suite rooms. Available to members and guests and visiting reciprocal members.
Spacious range with grass and mat bays a short walk from clubhouse, close to first tee, with an excellent short-game area. Each CCJ course has its own practice putting green. Experienced resident teaching professional John Dickson is recognised by the PGA of SA as one of the top 5 teachers in South Africa, and has been PGA Coach of the Year in 2007, 2012 and 2022.
Did You Know
1/ CCJ has an outstanding 9-hole Mashie Course, opened in 2017 and built by Golf Data. Holes vary between 70 and 130 metres and it’s a fun and quick experience carrying no more than a few short irons and a putter. Great place to introduce youngsters to golf.
2/ The club hosted its first men’s SA Amateur Championship in 2013 on the Rocklands. Thriston Lawrence from Nelspruit became the youngest champion at 16 years 88 days (beaten by Christo Lamprecht in 2017). The Northern Amateur was played for the first time at CCJ in 2019, on the Woodmead, the strokeplay won by Jayden Schaper and matchplay by Christiaan Burke.
3/ The course was built for R2.7 million. Rocklands designer Martin Hawtree is the son of Woodmead designer Fred Hawtree. He’s famous for creating the Trump International Links in Scotland.
4/ CCJ was founded in 1906, and golf was played at Auckland Park for 50 years on what is now the Rand Afrikaans University campus. The Auckland Park venue is still used for functions and social events.
5/ Junior member Amilkar Bhana was the 2019 SA Under-15 champion and 2021 SA U-17 runner-up.
2022 Adam Breen & Samantha Whateley
2021 Adam Breen & Samantha Whateley
2020 Adam Breen & Samantha Whateley
2019 Marcus Capuzzimati & Daniella Bekker
Course and Facilities Rating
Rocklands might be unfairly outshone by sibling Woodmead yet presents great parkland golf. Some challenging lines off the tee benefit from local knowledge, particularly as fairways can play hard and fast. Locals often advise playing short of the green knowing the ball will run up (par-3 fourth).
11 January 2023
The extensive bunker renovation project on the Rocklands is almost complete, with just those on two holes (11 and 14) still to be done on the day I played. The bunkers, with their white sand, are a major feature of this championship layout, positioned perfectly on most holes to catch the unwary. With firm fairways following on from winter there's every chance of a tee shot running further than expected and the ball ending in a sandy lie. This happened to us on the par-4 fifth where the fairway cambers steeply towards the large fairway bunker on the right. For a 354-metre hole (white tees) it plays short, as the bunker is less than 100 from the green. This is a fun hole sandwiched between two of Gauteng's more challenging par 3s. The fourth (181 from white) has a long green wrapped by large areas of sand, while the sixth (194) is uphill to an elevated and sloping green, fronted by a bunker left. The other par 3s come later in the round, at 15 and 17, and may be shorter yet have testing greens complexes. They are as fine a quartet as you will find, and I like the fact they are given relatively low strokes, 10-4-13-9 in that order. Too many clubs demote their par 3s to higher strokes. Strokes 16, 17 and 18 have all been allocated to par 5s.
12 October 2022
CCJ is a superb facility with two excellent courses. The Rocklands has undergone a significant transformation in recent years and presents a strong challenge off the tee. The greens complexes are superb, with interesting slopes testing approaches and putting lines. The par 5s are reachable in two during the winter months as tee shots enjoy favourable run leaving a second shot of about 200-230m into the greens. These are generally receptive and run true. Nos 5 and 6 are two particularly interesting holes. The fifth is a short dogleg right par 4 which demands an accurate second over a stream to a well-guarded green. The par-3 sixth is an uphill brute playing around 195m. The back nine asks for some demanding tee shots, particularly on the par-4 16th to avoid both water and bunkers. CCJ is fortunate to have one of the best clubhouses and halfway houses. Service is impeccable, and options unrivalled.
04 July 2022
A pleasure to play Rocklands in such lovely condition. I had expected dry highveld winter conditions but the course was lush, green and even damp in parts. Greens were top notch and quick. I am hard put to think of a course with a more challenging set of par 3s. None of them are easy pars let alone obvious 2 club opportunities.
10 June 2022
Rocklands is my course of choice at CCJ. Very different from the Woodmead and more interesting, although they are on a par in terms of the challenge. Enjoy the bushveld look, which makes it unusual for Gauteng. Yet it has the immaculate presentation of a pristine parkland layout. There's a good balance between the four different tee options, spaced out at roughly 500 metres each. Yellow is best left for long hitters, white is a strong challenge, while blue will have you playing more short irons. Wonderful variety of par 4s, uphill and downhill, some tough ones among them, coupled with superb greens, and the par 3s are fabulous. If there's a weakness it lies in the par 5s. None offers sight of the hole further than the tee shot. The lengthy third is superb, a fairway framed by tall trees, then a sharp dogleg right downhill to the green, but 12 and 13 are humdrum, particularly 13 where the second shot is blind. The sunken green comes into view late. After that comes an excellent finishing stretch of 4s and 3s.
Dieter ten Haag
12 April 2022
Greens were slow, they probably need to be rolled. Always difficult to hit a putt firmly when the surface looks so good but runs slow. Fairways in good nick, tee boxes immaculate and bunkers very well maintained. The clubhouse and its halfway house are in a league of their own! Rocklands is a very fair course where you can look at going low and maybe even post a PB, if the challenging par 3s don't get in the way.
30 January 2022
While considered the second of the two courses at CCJ, many members choose to book Rocklands before Woodmead as it has some of the best vistas over Johannesburg, a great set of par 3s (collectively tougher than the Woodmead), and has more than kept up in conditioning. The bunkering is what brings the course down in some scenarios, with steep faces leading to shallow entry points, balls often running down to the front. Rocklands is a course that can give you a good score one day and punish you the next. A change in wind direction makes it play very differently.
15 January 2021
Rocklands is in amazing condition. Always seen as the second course to Woodmead at Country Club. Having played both courses in the past two weeks, Rocklands is in better condition. Greens rolling fast and true, fairways and second cut immaculate. Bunkers in great condition.
12 January 2021
An enjoyable members course, fair and challenging, the par 3s particularly so. Aesthetics are excellent with views of Rivonia and the Sandton skyline pleasing to the eye. Quiet, tranquil surroundings add to the experience.
30 December 2020
One of the most improved courses in Gauteng, and CCJ have succeeded brilliantly in raising the Rocklands to the same level of quality as the older Woodmead layout. You expect that perfection at one of the country's premier clubs.
27 February 2020
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