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Centurion

Centurion - Gauteng

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General Manager: Edwin Nel
Golf operations & club pro: Jannes Sik
Greenkeeper: Mark van der Linde (Servest)
Club captain: Stefan Nel
President: Boet van Staden
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 66.9 out of 100
Conditioning15.0 / 20
Playability14.5 / 20
Aesthetics8.3 / 15
Design Variety10.0 / 15
Shot Values10.2 / 15
Memorability8.9 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6632 metres, CR74.1/140
White 6327 metres, CR72.5/135
Blue 5953 metres, CR70.7/133
Red 5418 metres, CR68.0/127
Women’s blue, CR77.2/147
Women’s red, CR73.9/139

Visitor green fee

Affiliated R390 weekdays;
R510 weekends
Non-affiliated R600 & R720
Monday R305

Course designer

Peter Matkovich 1996

Contact

012 665 0279
www.centuriongolfestate.co.za

Previous Ranking

77 (2021) & 83 (2020)

Centurion was one of the early golf estates in Gauteng, and its central position between Sandton and Pretoria, with easy access to the N1 highway, has made it a popular residential option. The parkland course, where water comes into play on 10 holes, has matured and improved in recent years, offering risks and challenges yet also being eminently playable for higher handicaps.

A feature of the course, overlooked by the clubhouse, is a large dam around which the closing holes on each nine are played. It creates an exciting finish for golfers.

The eighth is a short par 3 with an island green in the middle of the dam, and that’s followed by a short par 4 which offers alternative fairways for golfers either taking a longer but safer route left of the green, or carrying their tee shots directly over the water to a narrow strip of fairway short of the green. There have been four holes-in-one here from golfers going for the green with their tee shots.

The back nine also concludes with a par 3 and par 4, but the 418-metre 18th is a far more challenging proposition than the ninth, one of designer Peter Matkovich’s best par 4s. Water must be carried off the tee, and it then guards the entire left hand side of the fairway all the way to the green.

Centurion experimented for three years from 2018 to 2021 when they switched their finishing holes around with the agreement of Matkovich, making the ninth the new 18th. But they have since reverted to the original routing.

Several Sunshine Tour professionals have made Centurion their home, one reason being that the course is a strong test from the back tees, with well-guarded and relatively small greens complexes that reward precise shot-making. The gently sloping greens reflect classic design values by Matkovich and are an integral part of Centurion’s character.

The Hennops River runs through the course, making it prone to flooding in the wet season, and it comes into play where it curves around the green of the par-4 sixth, on the right of the par-5 seventh off the tee, and short of the par-5 15th green. And a feature hole is the par-4 16th, where the approach shot needs to carry the river to a raised green perched above the river bank.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62, Desvonde Botes, 2013 Sunshine Tour;
Duane Keun, 2016 IGT Tour;
Louis Albertse, 2018 IGT Tour;
Matthew Spacey & Malcolm Mitchell 2019 IGT Tour

Feature Holes

Centurion is famous for the two golf holes which sit inside the large dam in front of the clubhouse. The par-3 eighth has an island green, ringed by a bunker to avoid firm shots running into the water, while the short par-4 ninth offers two different fairway routes to a green sitting on a peninsula with water on two sides. From the tee, bold hitters can aim directly at the green over the water. Straight shots have a fairway on which to land. A safer tee shot is to go left to a wider fairway and then play a short approach over water to the green.

Practice Facility

Attractive range close to clubhouse with grass bays and mats, open to visitors. Club members eligible for range membership. Kyle Phelan is the teaching pro.

Did You Know

1/ Centurion is a large residential estate with 875 homes, yet the course mainly steers away from the housing and has a distinct parkland look to it in the holes which border the Hennops River edging around the property, and those overlooked by the clubhouse.

2/ It’s a 10-minute drive from Centurion to SuperSport Park cricket stadium. Centurion has a metro station on the Gautrain rapid transit system.

3/ There is a 4-hole mashie course, plus tennis and squash courts.

4/ Centurion members receive reduced green fee rates at Silver Lakes, Woodhill, Ebotse, Arabella and Zebula.

5/ Head professional Jannes Sik has a club fitting studio adjoining the pro shop.

Accommodation

There are golf suites and B&B options inside the estate.

Club Champions

2021 Francois van der Walt & Zane Kleynhans
2020 Matthew Rossouw & Gina da Silva
2019 Reinhardt Blaauw & Gina da Silva

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Greens
Bunkers
Tees
Fairways
Presentation
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Service
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
One of my favourite long par 3s in Gauteng is the 11th at Centurion. This has evolved into a particularly attractive looking hole as well as a dangerous one. Centurion has a problem with golfers not repairing pitch marks on the greens, but the 11th green is mostly unscarred as few golfers hit it in regulation. It is a hole where the safest option does seem to be a lay-up even though there's no water hazard. I like the thatch-roofed lapa on the tee box, the wonderful greenside bunker under the bushveld trees left of the green, and the desert scape down the right of the hole with its variety of plants. With so many distractions how can you concentrate on the tee shot? Talking of tees, Centurion's are better than most. They are closely mown, firm, level and well presented. Quality tee boxes are not appreciated enough. Centurion reminds us of what can be achieved.
Stuart McLean
30 March 2022
Centurion was closed for three weeks after the damaging February floods which engulfed half the golf course. The height of the water had to be seen to be believed and most of the lower part of the course resembled a lake for three days. It's a tribute to greenkeeper Mark van der Linde and his maintenance team that it's playable again and looking exceptionally good despite the scars the water left. Much reseeding of fairways has taken place as part of the mop-up. The seventh has been shortened to a par 4 for that reason. The par-4 16th which crosses the Hennops River also gets hammered by any flooding, as does the fairway of the par-5 opening hole. Curiously, Centurion's bent grass greens (which have endured for 25 years) continue to impress. Not only are they free of poa but they have a healthy texture and roll superbly. One of the course's main assets.
Stuart McLean
30 March 2022
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Centurion have switched back to the original Matkovich routing of their course, after a 3-year experiment in which the two finishing holes on each nine were transposed. The par-3 eighth and short par-4 ninth built in the middle of the large dam fronting the clubhouse became Nos 17 and 18 during this time. Now the club have reverted to the old 18th, a dangerous risk-reward 418m par 4 where the tee shot carries a corner of the dam, with water then flanking the entire left side of the hole from tee to green. Centurion has several strong par 4s, principally the 465m second which must be one of the few Stroke 1 holes in South Africa which hasn't a single bunker, or even a water hazard near the green (another one is the 8th hole at Humewood). Sheer length makes this a formidable hole for the club golfer. The fairway rises slightly from the tee before executing a soft right turn around trees towards a 3-tier green.
Stuart McLean
11 December 2021

Quite uncanny that my latest visit to Centurion follows further flooding on the course at the end of November. Centurion has been unfortunate with flooding in recent years, as rain falls in the catchment area of the Hennops River in Kempton Park, and this narrow river then overflows its banks as it surges through the golf courses at Irene and Centurion. The par-5 seventh is usually the worst affected hole at Centurion, the river dumping tons of silt and rubbish on the fairway, but some other greens were briefly underwater. Irene upstream had SA Open qualifying on November 30, and the course had to be shortened to a par 67 to enable any play. Yurav Premlall shot 64 and went on to win the Freddie Tait Cup in the SA Open at Sun City as the leading amateur.

Stuart McLean
11 December 2021
Centurion has experienced a difficult summer with the flooding of the Hennops River on to the course in December. The water was so high it was flowing into houses adjoining the ninth. The flooding dumped tons of river sand and hundreds of tyres on to holes bordering the river. Remarkable clean-up from staff. The course still bears a few scars (No 16 suffered the most damage) but nearly all the holes are in great condition again. The growth of trees has seen Centurion blossom into an attractive "parkland bushveld" layout.
Stuart McLean
24 March 2020
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