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Dainfern

Fourways - Gauteng

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Golf director: Dean Kupferman
General manager: Riaan van Rooyen
Club captain: Grant McCann
Chairman: Rob Becker
Greenkeeper: Robert Sheasby (Golf Data)
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 67.8 out of 100
Conditioning14.1 / 20
Playability13.5 / 20
Aesthetics10.8 / 15
Design Variety10.2 / 15
Shot Values10.3 / 15
Memorability8.9 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Black 6682 metres, CR74.9/139
White 6289 metres, CR72.7/136
Blue 5796 metres, CR69.7/136
Red 5330 metres, CR67.2/126
Women’s white, CR79.2/153
Women’s blue, CR76.0/148
Women’s red, CR72.9/139

Visitor green fee

R340 weekday off-peak (Tues, Wed AM, Thurs, Friday AM)
R425 weekday peak (Wed PM, Friday PM)
Sunday PM R420, Sunday AM R750
Levy of R30 applicable each day

Course designer

Gary Player 1991

Contact

011 875 0422/21
www.dainfern.co.za

Previous Ranking

75 (2021) & 64 (2020)

Dainfern, the second oldest golf estate in South Africa, is vast enough to be considered a suburb of Sandton, with more than 1200 homes centred around a Gary Player golf course. The secure lifestyle estate has nature trails, parks, sports facilities, a school, while the broad Jukskei River flows through the property.

Dainfern’s length from the back tees shows its age, because it is relatively short by modern Gauteng standards. The Sunshine Tour professionals produced extremely low scoring in the 2021 Players Championship held at the estate, with three players shooting 25-under-par for the four rounds, which is 12 shots lower than when Ernie Els won the SA Masters in 1992. It is principally used as a member’s course, and its undulating topography and rocky outcrops makes it an enjoyable one as it meanders through the estate.

The river comes into play on the closing holes of each nine, which have been reversed in recent years from the original design.

The clubhouse, with a beautiful raised outlook over the course and river, is a hub of the estate, having an attractive outside deck and a large family restaurant.

Dainfern is one of 10 Gary Player designs in the SA Top 100 (three are in Gauteng), and the club have designed an attractive tribute to him within a turning circle for golf carts in front of the clubhouse.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

61 by Thabang Simon, 2003 Seekers Pro-Am.
He had an ace at 15 (now 6) and eagle 3 at 17 (now 8).
61 by Jaco van Zyl in 2012 club competition.

Feature Holes

There are two excellent risk-and-reward par 5s which make good use of the Jukskei River as a hazard. The 472-metre eighth crosses the river twice, first with the tee shot to an angled fairway parallel to the river, while the green is on the other side of the river bank. The 500-metre 18th is played from an elevated tee to a fairway curving right along the river bank, giving long hitters a decided advantage by taking a shorter route. The par 3s are good, notably the 11th with the river on its left.

Practice Facility

There is a 240-metre range on the other side of the river from the clubhouse, with a short-game facility in front of clubhouse.

Club Champions

2021 Josh Cunliffe & Joyce Hughes
2020 Marcus Taylor
2019 Ryan van der Klis & Joyce Hughes

Did You Know

1/ Dainfern was the first golf estate in Gauteng: there are now 15 with 18 holes. It was built on the site of the Fourways course. When it launched in 1991, stand sales were slow before growing in the mid-1990s. There are more than 1200 homes, making it one of the country’s largest golf estates.

2/ Gary Player and his designer Phil Jacobs took a very average Fourways layout and built a championship course that made more use of the Jukskei River that flows through the estate. Less than a year after opening, Ernie Els won the SA Masters in February 1992 with a 13-under total of 275. Between January 16 and February 15, 22-year-old Els completed a remarkable hat-trick of winning the SA Open at Houghton, Lexington PGA at the Wanderers, and Masters at Dainfern.

3/ Ed Holding was the first club professional, before a house was built on the estate, and left Dainfern at the end of October 2019 after 28 years of service to the golf club. An outstanding teaching professional, he was the PGA Club Pro of the Year in 2005.

4/ Dainfern hosted the Sunshine Tour Players Championship in 2022 (won by Jaco Ahlers on 18-under 266) and 2021 (Jaco Prinsloo on 263). Thriston Lawrence had a 62 in 2021 and Luke Jerling a 62 in 2022. Prinsloo won the Sunshine Tour Teams Championship at Dainfern in 2019/2020 with JC Ritchie. There was a betterball 58 by Jean Hugo and Hennie du Plessis (10 birdies 2 eagles) in 2019.

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
Dainfern is in exceptional condition before next week's Sunshine Tour Players Championship. The routing is excellent and significant work to widen the landing areas off the tee has made a number of holes more playable. The Jukskei River features prominently, a hazard off the tee or in tight approaches to the greens. The course is not long off the club tees by Gauteng standards (6289 metres) and provides a high quality offering. The par-4 seventh (stroke 1) alongside the river is an exceptional hole requiring a precise drive and approach shot. The par-5 eighth has a challenging greens complex fronted by the river, and a front pin is a challenge. The variety of the par 3s is another enjoyable element of this Gary Player design. Dainfern's significant improvement, with excellent greens, consistent bunkers and the attention to detail from the maintenance team, surely suggests it must challenge for a higher ranking. Service at the 19th is top notch, as is the range of stock at the pro shop.
Jon James
14 April 2022

Dainfern for me is a course with a mix of creatively designed holes and some disappointingly dull ones. The original 18th, now the ninth, was a weak par 4 to finish, and even more so today now the ball goes so much further compared to 30 years ago this February when Ernie Els won the SA Masters here. It was a good decision to switch the nines around and finish with a stronger risk-and-reward par 5 which has a challenging tee shot for club golfers over the river. The par 3s at Dainfern, which all play from elevated tees, are certainly not dull, though, and I like each of them. From the back tees they vary in length from 185 to 199 metres. Possibly the toughest is No 11 adjoining the river, playing to a large green well protected by deep bunkers. A back pin position is brutal. Dainfern was the first estate course in Gauteng and it remains one of the more attractive estates in terms of its leafiness and the houses sensibly set well back from the fairways.

Thomas Souness
08 January 2022
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Dainfern has improved immensely since I last played there in 2019. The overall conditioning, general maintenance and attention to detail is much better and it shows. The control of golf cart movement is comprehensive and no doubt has contributed to this. The standard of the greens was near perfect and contributed to the golf experience. Clubhouse facilities are good and the happy vibe around the clubhouse and course noticeable. The golf management are enthusiastic and energetic and looking for ways to improve.
Terry Knight
23 December 2021
The Jukskei River is a feature of Gary Player's design at Dainfern, and he's used it impressively to create attractive holes on each nine. The river is broad and fast-flowing as it curves its way through the heart of the course. It provides longer hitters with thrilling tee shots on two par 5s, Nos 8 and 18. A bold tiger line of attack over the river can leave good golfers with mid- or short-irons to the green for their seconds. There were 60 eagles on these two holes in the 2021 Sunshine Tour event at Dainfern. While the pros may find the par 5s easy, each of them presents strong challenges for the club golfer. The 12th has two large rock formations to avoid in the middle of the fairway. Dainfern for me is an excellent members course, loaded with excellent and unusual design variety thanks to the hilly terrain. For a golf estate it's surprisingly bushy and naturally wild in places. The conditioning was vastly improved on my previous visit.
Stuart McLean
04 December 2021
Had the good fortune to play Dainfern having had no idea it was a Gary Player design. However, there is now a "circle" in front of the clubhouse recognising Gary's design work and that of some of his favourite courses. Having just been at Fancourt, and its conditioning being fresh in my mind, I was impressed by the condition Dainfern was in. The manicuring around tee boxes and greens was excellent considering the rain that has fallen. Well done to the team in putting a fair and challenging course together.
Muneer Ebrahim
03 December 2021
Dainfern is a great course for all types of golfers. It is looking good at the moment, with lush fairways and greens in amazing condition. A must play course for those not leaving Gauteng over the festive holidays.
Dean Kupferman
15 November 2021
The beauty of the Dainfern course is evident once you arrive. Manicured gardens and fairways that make you excited to beat par. Greens are world-class and with the Jukskei River flowing in the background the tranquillity might make you stay and have dinner in the clubhouse with a view second to none.
Timothy Steynberg
12 February 2021

I played Dainfern towards the end of winter, so it wasn't as lush as it normally can be, but the course was in good shape and a great challenge. The fairways are always firm which is great, while the greens may not be the fastest, but roll true. A good day with the putter generally means a good score here. I prefer the front nine with its mix of holes, specifically the closing stretch which brings the river and rocks into play.

Chris Wood
18 January 2021
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