Gold 6879 metres, CR75.2/140
White 6372 metres, CR72.8/138
Blue 5457 metres, CR69.5/131
Red 5254 metres, CR67.6/126
Women’s blue, CR75.6/146
Women’s red, CR73.1/141
Golf cart R350
Peter Matkovich 2008
087 285 3557
When Peter Matkovich unveiled his unique Ebotse layout at Rynfield Dam in Benoni in 2008, comparisons were immediately made between it and the golf links of Scotland and Ireland. Matkovich had ingeniously used vast quantities of excess sand from the disused quarry on which the estate was developed to build natural looking dunes between many of the golf holes.
With changes in elevation, deep-faced bunkers, and long wispy grass in the rough, he created an inland links in Gauteng. In 2012 the course was rebranded as Ebotse Links. And standing on the first tee, with dunes lining each side of the fairway, and another towering behind the green, it’s easy to convince yourself that you could be on in the British Isles.
Matkovich is an old-school thinker in terms of design and good at coming up with distinctively unique holes that are pleasing to the eye. There are many of those at Ebotse.
The opening holes at Ebotse are actually even more dramatic to play than those on some of the best true links. Matkovich’s love for links golf, and his eye for detail, has seen him capture many of the quirky attributes that are a fascinating part of ancient designs. The winter months are possibly the best to experience the joys of links golf in its purest form. When the fairways harden the tee shots run much further and bring bunkers into play. The bent grass greens provide slick surfaces, similar to the fescue greens of the UK. However, those at Ebotse are more receptive to a well-struck shot.
Note: The par-4 17th is currently being played as a par 3 while a pipeline project is completed.
61 by Doug McGuigan in 2013;
Jayden Schaper twice in 2018;
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 2019
There are two big dams on the estate, the larger Rynfield Dam for leisure pursuits, and another sizeable dam within the back nine around which holes 11-13 have been built. They are an outstanding trio, a downhill par 3 to a green perched high above the water, a long par 5 with water on the right from tee to green, followed by a risk-and-reward 310-metre par 4, again on the water’s edge. The seventh is an unconventional links-style par 5 where you drive between two small hills, and has a small green protected by tufted mounding.
Ebotse Links has a unique range where golfers hit range balls into the large central dam near the clubhouse. The floating balls then drift back to shore to be collected. It is open to visitors (R100 a day for unlimited balls) and membership is available. It is home to the Grant Veenstra Academy, and club fittings are done.
1/ The developers of this highly successful estate, with 720 homes, rehabilitated a large wetland on the estate next to Rynfield Dam which had been left to struggle when the property was a quarry.
2/ Ebotse is home to two of the country’s most promising juniors, 18-year-old Jayden Schaper and 14-year-old Kiera Floyd. Schaper has twice shot 61 at Ebotse Links, and won the 2019 SA Strokeplay Championship at De Zalze. He is the No 1-ranked men’s amateur in South Africa. Floyd was a semifinalist in the SA Women’s Amateur.
3/ The double-storey clubhouse has a prominent outlook over Rynfield Dam, and the ninth and 18th run in opposite directions along the shoreline.
4/ The SA Mid-Amateur was hosted in May 2019, and not one player finished under par for 54 holes, the winner being Derek Scullard on two-over 218.
Liam van Deventer; no women’s A division players
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