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Emfuleni

Vanderbijlpark - Gauteng

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Club pro: Ryan de Jongh
Greenkeeper: Fanyan Motaung
Club captains: Bosman de Koker & Dalene Lategan
Chairman: Pieter Legassick
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 62.8 out of 100
Conditioning13.3 / 20
Playability12.4 / 20
Aesthetics10.0 / 15
Design Variety9.8 / 15
Shot Values8.2 / 15
Memorability9.1 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6518 metres, CR72.9/134
White 6204 metres, CR71.5/129
Blue  5642 metres, CR68.4/122
Red 5349 metres, CR66.8/116
Women’s blue, CR74.5/139
Women’s red, CR72.8/134

Visitor Green Fee

Affiliated
R215 Mon-Tues-Thurs
R225 Wed-Friday
R280 Weekend
Non-affiliated
R245 & R280 & R330
Golf cart R400

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 1948

Contact

016 932 3370
proshop@emfulenigolfestate.com
www.emfulenigolfestate.com

Previous ranking

98 (2023)

Emfuleni is a scenic and enjoyable parkland course near the Vaal River south of Johannesburg which has happily been restored to its former quality after years of neglect by an uncaring owner which forced it to close, even though it was part of a golf estate development.

In 2017 the estate home owners association appointed Timeless Golf to resurface the greens with bent grass, repair the bunkers and generally get the tree-lined course back into a presentable shape.

Iscor built the course for its employees when the industrial Vaal Triangle area was developed after the Second World War, with Bob Grimsdell as the designer. Emfuleni was soon being compared favourably to Maccauvlei 17 kilometres away on the other bank of the Vaal River, and hosted major amateur events in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But while Maccauvlei has beautiful river views, the Vaal is hidden from view at Emfuleni.

In the early years of the new millennium the property was redeveloped as a residential estate, and Golf Data were tasked with building six new holes, three on each nine, and upgrading the other 12.

Sean Quinn was the designer, and he has retained the look and character of the old Emfuleni on an estate where the houses are not intrusive. Modern greens make a difference. The sixth is an excellent par 5, with water fronting a narrow green, and that’s followed by an attractive short par 3 over a pond. There’s a stream on the back nine which comes into play on the dogleg par-5 tenth, the shortish par-4 11th, and par-3 12th.

The Sunshine Tour held the Emfuleni Classic in 2000, won by Des Terblanche.

Read: KATBERG, ORKNEY & EMFULENI JOIN TOP 100

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62 by Christo Roos (twice) in 2023; Vernon van der Walt in 2021

CLUB CHAMPIONS

2023 Marnus Blignaut
2022 Jacques Marais
2021 Jeandre Pretorius & Olivia Tait
2020 Jaco van Aswegen & Diana Kadwell
2019 Vernon van der Walt

CONSECUTIVE ACES

Former Emfuleni club pro Marthinus van Staden and club member Graham Hardy were partners in a betterball competition on September 24, 1997. Van Staden holed out with a 9-iron on the 146-metre seventh, called The Duckpond, and Hardy’s shot with a wedge followed him in for another ace.

Practice Facility

Range in front of the clubhouse, between the tenth and 18th fairways.

Feature Holes

Emfuleni has several attractive par 3s and par 5s, and strong par 4s. Water is in play on all the short holes. Three have hazards guarding the green, while the 12th has a stream right of the green. There are back-to-back par 5s on 9 and 10, and the round finishes with the 524-metre 18th. The third is a 471-metre par 4 from the back tees.

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Course Reviews
Staff are continuously working on the landscape around the course. Cart paths upgraded on every hole. Tee boxes looking good. Friendly and welcoming atmosphere at clubhouse. Locker rooms revamped, and The Iron is a top restaurant/halfway house in clubhouse.
Alheit du Toit
28 November 2023
Emfuleni is back in the Top 100 and a relatively short drive from Johannesburg. The course follows a varied routing in a residential estate. The par 3s are a key feature, with both 7 and 17 fun to play. Scoring opportunities are presented on the par 5s which are short by Highveld standards. In contrast, the par-4 third (stroke 1) is a brute at 471m off the back tees. Other strong holes are encountered on the stretch from 13 to 15, all low stroke tree-lined par 4s. Playing off the back tees (gold) is a good test and yet not overwhelming for the club golfer. The service, atmosphere and offering at the Iron Restaurant in the clubhouse is very good. Emfuleni represents value for money, with good greens and welcoming staff. It is worth taking the time to play this Bob Grimsdell design.
Jon James
08 February 2023
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Most heartening to see how Emfuleni continues to flourish since its rehabilitation after years of neglect. It is an excellent layout with a wide variety of interesting holes, and in particularly good condition. Being south of Johannesburg in the Vaal Triangle, you could describe it as a forgotten gem. This is scenic parkland golf within a quiet residential estate, the housing only noticeably intruding when you reach the tee of No 16, a short dogleg left par 4. The back nine is beautifully wooded, and there's a stream that impacts Nos 10, 11 and 12, a superbly designed trio of holes. There's much to like here, in the quality of the greens complexes, the strength of the dangerous par 3s, and the risk-reward element of four differently shaped par 5s. The sixth is a daunting par 5 through an avenue of trees, with water short of the green. There's a striking balance and flow to the course from 1 to 18 which is most appealing.
Stuart McLean
19 December 2022
Enjoy the course which I find an easy layout to play. With smart course management you can score well.
Aldo Grobbelaar
31 March 2022
Emfuleni has recovered from rock bottom to one of the most attractive courses in the southern part of Gauteng. This old course today lies within a golf estate yet for many years was owned by an outside individual who treated its conditioning with contempt. The home owners rescued it five years ago and those who don't know Emfuleni will be surprised at what a gem this is. It contains an abundance of excellent holes and superb design variety between the two nines. Quality greens. The front nine is more open off the tee, while the scenic back nine's holes are framed tightly by tall trees. I liked the par 5s which are all over 500 metres, particularly Nos 9 and 10, a signature hole as it undulates and doglegs left to a hidden green. A stream crosses the fairway and passes the left side of the green. Water hazards feature on all four of the attractive par 3s.
Stuart McLean
18 March 2022
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