Yellow 6632 metres, CR73.9/136
White 6339 metres, CR72.6/132
Blue 5966 metres, CR70.6/128
Red 5432 metres, CR67.8/116
Green 5034 metres, CR65.4/116
Women’s blue, CR76.8/145
Women’s red, CR73.3/138
Women’s green, CR71.1/127
Peter Matkovich 1996
012 665 0279
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.
62, Desvonde Botes, 2013 Sunshine Tour;
Duane Keun, 2016 IGT Tour;
Louis Albertse, 2018 IGT Tour;
Matthew Spacey & Malcolm Mitchell 2019 IGT Tour
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.
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.
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.
There are golf suites and B&B options inside the estate.
2022 Keagan Crosbie & Zane Kleynhans
2021 Francois van der Walt & Zane Kleynhans
2020 Matthew Rossouw & Gina da Silva
2019 Reinhardt Blaauw & Gina da Silva
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.
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