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Eagle Canyon

Honeydew - Gauteng

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Club director: Dave Christie
Greenkeeper: Collen Sebogodi (Matko Group)
Club captains: Gary Watt & Chantelle Usmar
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 67 out of 100
Conditioning14.2 / 20
Playability13.5 / 20
Aesthetics10.3 / 15
Design Variety9.4 / 15
Shot Values11.0 / 15
Memorability8.6 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6859 metres, CR73.9/139
White 6298 metres, CR72.0/133
Blue 5591 metres, CR68.5/121
Red 5468 metres, CR67.2/115
Women’s blue, CR73.8/144
Women’s red, CR72.4/139

Visitor green fee

R440 weekdays,
R600 weekend

Course designer

Douw van der Merwe 2005

Contact

011 801 6611
www.eaglecanyongolfestate.co.za

Previous ranking

73 (2023), 78 (2022) & 83 (2021)

The outside deck of the Eagle Canyon clubhouse offers a stunning panoramic view of what awaits golfers on this challenging and unusual “canyon” layout. There is a wow factor to the experience, especially for golfers who enjoy high risk and exciting shots very different from those you find on more conventional layouts.

Water hazards come significantly into play on 10 holes, so golfers have to manage their games in terms of when to lay up and when to be bold. The bunkering is also brilliantly positioned. There are some testing tee shots on the back nine. Generally, golfers will post a good score if they finish a round using the same ball they started with.

The clubhouse stands high on a ridge above the course, and the large Honeydew estate has been a notable success from a residential and lifestyle aspect, outperforming other gated estates in Johannesburg according to a Financial Mail survey.

In recent years the Eagle Canyon course has enjoyed acclaim for its superb conditioning, equal to anything in Gauteng. The DDV Design layout has been substantially improved and refined since opening in 2005. More recently the reeds that choked the dams have been cleared out, enhancing the overall Aesthetics. The holes flow through what used to be a granite and sand quarry, and there are interesting elevation changes on a risk-and-reward layout. The back nine holes enter the canyon area.

The Eagle Canyon clubhouse has undergone extensive renovations, and specialises in conference packages and functions.

Read: EAGLE CANYON INITIATE THE EAGLE’S CLAW

Additional Course Facts

Feature Holes

The 12th is an intimidating 418-metre par 4 from the elevated club tees where water borders the left side of the fairway, and also guards the right side of a tightly protected green. A par here feels like a birdie. The average score at the Sunshine Tour Q School was 4.72. The dogleg par-4 13th has water on both sides of the fairway, while the short par-4 16th is a scary proposition both off the tee and then over water to a small green.

Practice Facility

Excellent spacious range below the clubhouse to complement a strong social golf development programme encouraging home-owners to take up the game. Home to an Academy run by former Sunshine Tour professional Hendrik Buhrmann, who has taught some of the country’s best young talent. Buhrmann’s teaching philosophy is to work on the physical, technical and mental side of the game simultaneously.

Accommodation

Blueberry Hill is a boutique business hotel adjoining Eagle Canyon near the main entrance. It offers 65 rooms, conferencing and luxury apartments, with sweeping 360-degree views of the Magaliesburg and Johannesburg skyline.

Did You Know

1/ From the clubhouse standing on a high point of the property you can see part of every hole on the course.

2/ The 2018 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School first stage was won by Tristen Strydom on a 20-under total of 268, and he set a course record of 64 with a front nine of 30.

3/ Water comes into play on 14 of the 18 holes.

4/ The clubhouse includes a gym, hair salon and spa. Other facilities include tennis courts, catch-and-release fishing dams. There are 40 hectares of parkland and a spectacular eco wetland area.

5/ Chinese developer Jun Liu was behind this successful development, which took its name from the canyon feel, and the proximity of the estate to the Roodekrans Black Eagle project.

Club Champions

2024 Jean du Toit & Amy Stanton (76-71)
2023 Rudi Armstrong & Casey Twidale
2022 Travis Ladner & Kera Healey
2021 Ryan Dreyer & Kera Healey
2020 Michael Pienaar & Kera Healey
2019 Dijon Tintinger & Kera Healey

Kera Healey, now playing college golf at the University of Tennessee, won 6 years in a row from 2017

Course Record

64 by Tristen Strydom at 2018 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School.

Course and Facilities Rating
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Course Reviews
One of the best attributes of golf carts is that without them we would never see anyone design and build an adventurous course like Eagle Canyon, and a few others around the country. It would be a trek to walk it, although good training if you're planning a hike in the Himalayas. The cart paths on the back nine are vertiginous in places. Just short of the 12th tee is the Saddleback Pass, and the terrain in places resembles a set for a Western. What the elevation changes do is provide a highly enjoyable round of golf on a design with constant variety and switches of direction. Many holes grab your attention. There's adequate room off the tee too, although a few holes do get tight in the driving area. Viva la difference is my take.
Stuart McLean
22 February 2024
This quirky layout presents a strong test off the tee due to narrow landing areas on many holes, and blind shots on the par-4 sixth and seventh. The flag bearer signalling red/green flags is welcome on these holes. A strength of Eagle Canyon is the risk and reward nature of the shorter par 4s, as trouble lurks around the greens. Elevation changes are a strong defence with downhill and uphill shots. The "Eagle's Claw" (holes 10-13) is a test of your accuracy and nerve. Playing these four holes in even par will earn you a medallion. The par 3s are enjoyable and testing, with water guarding the greens at 4, 11 and 17. Taking on the back pins at 11 and 17 is a risk. Very good service and offering at Eagle Canyon. Well worth a weekday visit when the course is quieter.
Jon James
23 October 2023
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Enjoyed the many different challenges of this unusual course. Fairways are firm at this time of year so tee shots can run into unexpected places. Greens are mostly large so you have to deal with some lengthy putts. Frequent elevation changes make for interesting variety and a few blind shots. The uphill par-4 dogleg right sixth was an awkward looking hole, but on the positive side it was followed by a thrilling downhill par 4. Throughout the round there's a trade-off between good and indifferent holes, but they all put an emphasis on accurate and solid ball striking. Eagle Canyon is a course that favours local knowledge. You learn where not to hit it.
Lamprecht de Villiers
31 July 2023
My home club Eagle Canyon welcomes guests and collects them from the car park on arrival. The practice putting green is in magnificent condition. On the course the tee boxes could be better. Wetland areas are being cleared to provide better sight of the greens on approach shots. New F&B team has improved the catering. I recommend the steak roll.
Dijon Tintinger
07 July 2023
The par 3s on the front nine are not among my favourites on what is mostly an enjoyable layout. No 4, with four tees varying from 179 to 107 metres, offers the exciting challenge of playing over water to a raised green fronted by a steep bank. But tee shots have a tendency to spin back towards the water as the green slopes that way. The ball then lodges in wiry grass on a precipitous slope. Unplayable, so you must walk back to the drop zone. The safe shot therefore is to always go high and long. Tough for low-ball golfers. The par-3 eighth, built next to a residential road, is the blandest hole on a course which doesn't really do bland. No attempt at creativity here with its vast green.
Thomas Souness
06 June 2023
No denying that Eagle Canyon is a club moving forward. Always some new initiative on the course or in the clubhouse to improve the overall experience. The outsourced halfway house is a more comfortable and inviting space with a varied menu; the well-stocked pro shop has had a makeover, and the upstairs 19th hole is classier. And there's the bright idea of the Eagle's Claw to encourage golfers to focus on holes 10-13. Play them in level par and you receive a medallion. I failed. They are an interesting mix of unconventional golf holes, plus two tricky greens on 11 and 13. Improved presentation and definition of the course has been helped by a landscaping project featuring indigenous plants and longer grass around tees and in out-of-play areas. I played the Canyon off the forward blue tees and found it great fun as some holes play unexpectedly different.
Stuart McLean
27 May 2023
The course is in beautiful condition and the greens fast. Bunkers big and challenging. There are some blind doglegs that make Eagle Canyon unique. The halfway house staff are friendly and helpful. Then afterwards a brilliant view of the course from the Coppa Bar on the top floor of the clubhouse.
Lourius Strydom
06 November 2022
Enjoyed this experience which came as a surprise. Wasn't expecting all the elevation changes or the many water hazards, particularly on the back nine. Great views from the high points overlooking the property. The course was superbly presented for this time of year, with attractive landscaping, and the fairways excellent, tightly mown and firm. This is how I would like to see fairways all the time. In a wet highveld summer they become soft and have virtually no bounce on tee shots. Several strong par 4s, the par 5s are weakish (especially the uphill climb to the green at 18), and three outstanding par 3s which I loved playing, at 4, 11 and 17. Each had water in play and hitting a crisp tee shot on to the greens was a thrill. The par-3 eighth I thought a disappointing hole.
Dieter ten Haag
17 October 2022
Eagle Canyon is a great golf experience if you're playing well and want to test your swing under pressure. It's not everyone's cup of tea because there are difficult shots to be played, water hazards to be carried, and elevation changes to contend with. If you like those challenges then you will enjoy the surprising diversity of holes before you. Like Ebotse Links, which was also built in a former quarry, it's a unique offering for Gauteng. There's no feeling of repetitiveness in the design. Every hole has its own character and separate challenge. If there is a weakness then it lies in the sameness of the greens complexes. They are a bit unimaginative and basically the easy part. When I first played here I didn't quite know what to make of the layout, but it grows on you. In essence it's fun to play because it is so different, and good golfers will embrace that.
Stuart McLean
17 March 2022
Excellent, challenging course with great pin placements. In awesome condition.
Juandre De Beer
01 September 2021
Recently joined Eagle Canyon, and what a club it is. In winter the greens are still beautiful.
Andries
08 June 2021
It's the exceptional variety of hole designs that for me makes Eagle Canyon an interesting and exciting course to play. So many surprises along the way. Also the extreme elevation changes in this former quarry. Some of the climbs from green to tee are so steep that our golf cart was struggling at times to find power. We reached the 18th tee, the highest point of the course, in late afternoon, and what a beautiful view there is from this vantage point, over the back nine holes, all the water hazards, and the rolling hills looking south. My only criticism of Eagle Canyon would be that, with a few exceptions, the greens complexes are mostly undistinctive.
Stuart McLean
23 April 2021
Fairway bunkers on the first are always a challenge. The 11th and 16th are tricky holes, but the par-3 fourth is the most difficult on the course.
Stephanus Petrus
26 February 2021
Challenging for beginners. I lost 21 balls, yet I had lots of fun and will be back. Well done to the Eagle Canyon team for creating a great experience for the golf day.
Franz
26 February 2021
Always enjoy playing Eagle Canyon, in magnificent condition and a challenging course. On the top deck of the clubhouse you will not find a better view, while food and service is top notch.
Justin Phillips
19 February 2021
Attractive layout with great bunkers and good grooming. Facilities and service top notch.
Nic Strydom
19 February 2021
The most under-rated and harshly rated course in the country.
Gareth Akers
10 November 2020

Eagle Canyon has come a long way the last few years. Greens are impeccable and well manicured. You have to be creative with your shots as there are blind shots all over the course. Great value for money and well worth playing.

Sandor Kovacs
18 April 2020
A course suited to carts with many elevation changes and where most will choose to lay up on several holes where the risk outweighs the reward. With penalty areas often in play, it can be satisfying to finish a round with the same ball you started with. That said, familiarity breeds appreciation for a well-conditioned course that will challenge your club selection .
Roy Jones
06 April 2020
Eagle Canyon is an unusual layout for Gauteng, where parkland courses dominate. There are very few trees in play and the main risk comes from plentiful water hazards. Elevation changes within the canyon create exciting holes. The course has had its detractors yet has improved immeasurably and is eminently playable today, with terrific conditioning. I liked the variety of testing holes on the back nine. The greens are big, yet generally easy to putt on.
Stuart McLean
18 March 2020
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