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George Golf Club

George - Garden Route

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General Manager: Sandra Lennox
Greenkeeper: Pietie Botha
Club captain: Marlo Pienaar
Chairman: Daryl Austin
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 76.5 out of 100
Conditioning13.9 / 20
Playability15.4 / 20
Aesthetics12.8 / 15
Design Variety12.2 / 15
Shot Values10.5 / 15
Memorability11.7 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6166 metres, CR73.0/130
White 5865 metres, CR71.2/127
Blue 5566 metres, CR69.8/123
Red 5157 metres, CR67.5/118
Women’s white, CR77.8/134
Women’s blue, CR75.6/128
Women’s red, CR73.1/126

Visitor green fee

Peak season (Dec-Jan) R690
High season (Oct-April) R650
Low season (May-Sept) R550
Golf carts R340

Course designer

Charles Molteno Murray 1931

Contact

044 873 6116
www.georgegolfclub.co.za

Previous ranking

18 (2023), 15 (2022) & 14 (2021)

George has long been regarded as one of the most delightful parkland courses in South Africa. It was in the Top 10 of the very first Golf Digest rankings in 1998, and has held its own since despite the plethora of great layouts built over the last 20 years.

Its reputation comes from being a wonderful walk along attractive leafy fairways; having an interesting variety of holes on gently undulating terrain; the enjoyment of its challenges for a diverse range of handicaps; and conditioning of a consistently high quality. Plus the majestic backdrop of the Outeniqua mountain range. It is one of the busiest and most popular courses in the Garden Route region which includes seven of the top 25 courses in South Africa. 

George have done well with numerous upgrades to the property in 2021, further consolidating the club’s status as one of the best golf experiences in the Garden Route. There’s a new fence bordering the eighth and ninth holes on the main road. Passing motorists get a better glimpse of the course and the main dam. New cart paths and extensions have been built on several holes. There are new toilets on the course, one on each nine. And 120 solar panels have been installed as a cost saving on the electricity bill.

George was for many years the only golf course in the city, and now there are five. Visitors to the nearby Fancourt resort quickly discover that George GC is one of this country’s gems, and refer to it as “The Old Course.” 

A feature of George is the vast dam around which the first, 17th and 18th holes are played. It’s more a scenic feature rather than a serious hazard. Other than for a wild hook off 18, the water only comes into play left of the fairway on No 1, a superb risk-and-reward par-4 opener. The single-storey clubhouse has a wonderful outlook over the exceptional 18th hole.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

63 by member Jovan Rebula at age 15 in October 2012. He had 28 on the back nine with eagles at 11 and 14.

Feature Holes

George has an unusual setup of holes on each nine. The front nine has 7 par 4s, one par 5 and one par 3, while the back nine has three of each. Three of the par 3s come in the last six holes. The finishing stretch from 16 to 18 features three of the best holes on the course, a dogleg par 5, long par 3, and a magnificent long par 4 playing towards the mountains. The last two holes, plus the first, a risk-and-reward short par 4, skirt around a large dam built in the 1990s.

Accommodation

The Marriott King George hotel fronts on to the par-5 11th hole.

Practice Facility

George is restricted to a short-game area next to the ninth green, and at halfway house.

Club Champions

2023 Juan Barnard & Isabelle Ferreira
2022 Ivan Williams & Sandra Winter
2021 Nicholas Mitchell & Chloe Malgas
2020 Meyer Potgieter & Sandra Winter
2019 Ivan Williams & Sandra Winter
*Mitchell has been club champion 8 times.

Did You Know

1/ The club was founded in 1906, and the current course created in the 1930s by Charles Molteno Murray, who without any machinery had to design around the natural flow of the land.

2/ GM Sandra Lennox in 2017 made history by becoming the first female to be named Club Manager of the Year by CMASA. She began as a bookkeeper at George GC in 2001, and became manager in 2010.

3/ George has held numerous men’s and women’s amateur tournaments, including several national championships, the most recent being the 2016 men’s SA Amateur.

4/ Three generations of the Mitchell family have been famous club members. Hunter Mitchell was club captain and president, his son John won 11 club championships (1967-84), and grandson Nic seven club titles (2009-2017). The late John Mitchell won the Cape Province Open five consecutive years from 1974-78.

5/ The annual subscription for full membership is R5 956 (plus R7 650 for a 50-round package), one of the best deals for a top ranked club anywhere! It is a very social club, a hub of the George community.

6/ George adjoins another Top 100 course, Kingswood.

Course and Facilities Rating
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Course Reviews
George is generally neat and in good condition, but lately it is not up to the standards one comes to expect. Greens showing signs of wear and tear after a busy season, and fairways impacted by the heat. Attention to detail missing.
Jon James
05 March 2024
Pleasure to play this challenging course. The big trees, wildlife, and prime presentation make it an enjoyable experience. My preference in the Garden Route.
Jaco de Lange
07 January 2024
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The overall experience at George is one of the best in the Garden Route, and what a popular course it is too. Book well in advance to secure a tee time. Course is recovering after one of the wettest winters meant regular cutting of the fairways and rough was not possible. The greens were surprisingly firm considering how soft the rest of the course was. Unusual for a local course to have such firm greens, and you had to allow for a firm bounce which presented different challenges to the way we are used to playing approach shots. George is blessed with uniquely special golf holes, and the variety of lengths and design is exceptional. Every hole stands out individually.
Thomas Souness
07 November 2023
It has been an unusually wet winter in the Garden Route so it has been a trying experience to even play golf at several of the courses, let alone try and rate them. Normally the winter months are delightful for golf, but 2023 is an exception. George, closed for play last week, has had 750mm of rain in the first six months of 2023, and the average annual rainfall is 715mm. Knysna is another extremely wet course, due to the failure of the local municipality to obtain approval to clear drainage ditches on the perimeters. They are choked with vegetation and both the course and neighbouring roads are regularly under water following heavy rain. One of the most playable courses is Goose Valley in Plettenberg Bay. Being built in the sand dunes close to the sea it drains quickly.
Stuart McLean
03 July 2023
The course is in a mess after so much rain. Staff have been unable to cut fairways, plus the greens were recently hollow-tined.
Henry Trevena
03 June 2023
Played George in the 36-hole Southern Cape Open this week. Was probably in the worst condition I have seen George. But this could be due to the inclement weather experienced n the region.
Greg Woodbridge
31 May 2023
I had been excited to get the opportunity to play George GC again after not being there for 20 years. It was also the first round of our Garden Route tour, and something to look forward to. However, I felt the course was very neglected, and we were all disappointed that the greens had not been cut for play that day. It was wet after rain the previous day but the sun was shining and the Toros should have been brought out to mow.
Theunis Spangenberg
24 May 2023
George is unique for a top course anywhere in the world in only having one par 4 among its closing six holes. When you walk off the green of No 12 the next par 4 you will play is the demanding 18th, one which surely ranks among the best in the country. One of the joys of playing older tracks is the prospect of encountering unconventional design thinking compared to modern creations where there is more uniform balance. The undulating back nine terrain at George, and shortage of natural green sites, lends itself to long and short holes, and that's what you get once you pass No 10. There are three par 3s, three par 5s, a short par 4 and a long par 4. All the par 3s on this side demand carries over rugged ground either uphill or downhill, and they are special holes because of that. No 15 and No 17 would be on many golfers' lists of the best par 3s in SA.
Stuart McLean
14 March 2023
George has long been one of SA's best member clubs, a great day out in beautiful surroundings. Following a slide in the quality of the greens it is heartening to see improvements in the general course conditioning, with better putting surfaces. The mature trees on this tree-lined parkland beauty play a significant role in punishing errant drives. The par 5s provide scoring opportunities but need to be approached from the correct side of the fairway to avoid being stymied by trees, No 16 a good example. The par 3s (three in the last six holes) are a feature, the 17th a stern test especially when played to a back pin. The finishing par 4 is an excellent 18th beautifully framed by water left and a tree line right. Teeing off towards the Outeniqua mountains makes for a memorable shot. George would benefit from a focus on finer details. Some tee boxes need TLC as do general areas of play, while bunkers show a lack of consistency.
Jon James
27 February 2023
George continues to improve as a club both on and off the course. The change to the bunkers has been a big improvement and the clearing of some bush has made a huge difference, especially on No 18 where the dam is now visible and adds to the aesthetics of the hole. Friendly staff, great halfway house and a revamped pro shop all add to clubhouse improvements.
DARYL
08 February 2023
What a beautiful setting. Nature at its best. Excellent club facilities and the staff make you feel welcome.
Duane Hedger
27 January 2023
A real treat to play here as the course is always in great nick. A gem in the heart of George, which rivals Fancourt. Great variety of holes in a superb layout.
Sandor Kovacs
24 December 2022
Always a pleasure to play at George except for one aspect; the course marshals are aggressive and irritating, not welcoming. Our golf group were hassled to speed up and keep up when we weren't behind. I thought it was a one-off last year but same again this year. The fairway bunkers are not well placed. Many aren't visible off the tee, so the framing of holes and fairways is lacking. Other than that though George is a great course. Fairways, greens and tees are very good.
Jamie Thom
06 December 2022
A fantastic experience from start to finish. Friendly staff and management to a well maintained and manicured course. A true test and a course you can play every day.
Dion Blumrick
05 December 2022
This golf club never sits on its laurels. There is a constant effort to improve every aspect of the golfer's experience. Regular hollow-tining of greens to ensure quality greens, adding new facilities such as toilets on the course, clearing vegetation, building new cart tracks and re-structuring the bunkers. Staff friendly and helpful. Both the bar and halfway house offer good choice, value and prompt service.
Robert Berry
17 October 2022
One of the best member courses in the country, always in immaculate condition. Friendly staff and good pace of play.
Mauritz du Plessis
12 October 2022
This is a good course but I don't understand why it is ranked so high in the Top 100 as nothing stands out. The locker room is outdated. The halfway house is still very slow, making us fall behind the pace of play. Greens are not all consistent in terms of speed.
Willry van Breda
11 August 2022
George's stunning setting, attractive climate and a challenging and well-maintained course makes it hard to beat among Garden Route destinations. The club is driven by a constant wish to improve everything, from course maintenance to clubhouse facilities, to make the experience the best possible for members and visitors.
Robert K Berry
03 June 2022
Great challenge every time I play here. Course is in good condition, and management aware of the need to refresh, renew and revitalise. And the views! None better of our mountain! A great members club.
Michelle Witts-Hewinson
28 May 2022
Great layout, views, and overall experience. Proud to be a member.
Loffie Malherbe
27 May 2022
Beautiful to see the tame bushbuck around the course. Not as well conditioned as the estate courses in the Garden Route.
Pieter Odendaal
28 March 2022
Lovely layout. Fairways and bunkers superb. Greens disappointing.
Warren Henry
27 February 2022
George is a course great for walking as it's an attractive mix of ups and downs, combined with stunning views of the Outeniqua Mountains. Most of all though a golf club with super friendly staff. The greens have taken a beating with the high amount of December traffic, but it steals nothing from the experience that is George GC.
George Raubenheimer
03 January 2022
This time of the year after winter rainfall the course is muddy, soft underfoot, producing a lot of mud balls. The course is still well maintained though, and there is good attention to detail around the greens.
Henry Trevena
13 June 2021
George is one of the best of our "local clubs," constantly holding its own against the newer estate courses and championship layouts. It remains a solid test for any level of golfer, requiring accuracy off the tee and a good short game. There are no weak holes, which means that every tee box presents a unique challenge. I've played the course in better condition, but that doesn't mean it wasn't in great shape this time. The Garden Route has had so much rain that everything is lush and sodden underfoot.
Chris Wood
08 May 2021
George has to be one of the most interesting courses in South Africa in terms of Design Variety, one of the criteria in rating the Top 100. A great course is never repetitive in its presentation of the holes, and the more variety a design provides the more it tests the complete game of a golfer. George has that in abundance, plus a curious back nine made up of three par 5s, three par 4s and three par 3s. It also has the rare feature of both nines ending with a really strong par 4. They are not particularly long for the modern game, yet the greens are fierce defenders of par. The ninth green is one of the scariest I've encountered. This is also a golf club which adheres strongly to the true traditions of the game.
Stuart McLean
30 October 2020
George Golf Club is one of the finest member clubs in South Africa. Their course was also in excellent condition, with incredible attention to detail. Tee boxes and presentation among the finest in the country at this time of year. Attentiveness and service from the management team is also worth a mention. Not to be missed on a Garden Route tour.
Jon James
12 October 2020
Always a pleasure to play this wonderful parkland classic. Probably the nicest course to play in the Garden Route. In great condition despite recent rain and high traffic.
Ponky FIRER
03 October 2020

An old traditional course. Position is a key word when playing George. The course is in great condition year round and an absolute must play when in the Southern Cape. One's tee shot position should be carefully selected in order to play the best second into each green. A true test and the ability to play all shots is a huge advantage. George calls for the ability to hit the ball left to right, right to left, high or low. Greens generally fast so a steady putting stroke is key.

Tony Bailey
05 June 2020

Enough in it to challenge a single-figure handicap, but offers hope for the higher-handicap to keep coming back. Immaculate condition. Friendly locals.

Simon Minnaar
01 April 2020

I have been a club member since 1996 and have seen it improve every year to what it is today. A classic parkland layout that offers a challenge for the low-handicap and a memorable round for the social golfer. Every hole offers its individual beauty and challenge. We regard George as the best members club in South Africa where we treat our visitors as members.

DARYL AUSTIN
16 March 2020
George is always in good condition, and pace of play during peak season is good. A highly recommended golfing experience.
Eve Starke
29 February 2020
This golf club works hard at ensuring they remain one of the best experiences in the country. They maintain high standards despite a lot of traffic. Magnificent greens, both in terms of conditioning and design. Presentation of the course is always outstanding, and it's good to see some of the unruly bush being opened up to improve the vistas. It's a friendly club with a great vibe in the 19th hole.
Stuart McLean
10 February 2020
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