Yellow, 6962 metres, CR76.3/146
White, 6558 metres, CR74.1/142
Blue, 6042 metres, CR71.3/135
Red, 5475 metres, CR68.2/129
Women’s blue, CR77.9/152
Women’s red, CR74.2/145
R600 affiliated &
Charles Alison 1937, Golf Data 2008
011 453 1013
Glendower is one of South Africa’s premier championship courses, and its hosting of eight SA Opens is the most by any Gauteng club in the modern era. It recently had five consecutive Opens from 2013 to 2018, highlighted by the appearance of Rory McIlroy in 2017 which attracted some of the biggest galleries seen in Johannesburg. McIlroy thrilled the fans with two 67s and two 68s, before losing in a playoff to Graeme Storm.
At nearly 7 000 metres in length, Glendower has long held a reputation as one of the fiercest parkland challenges with a testing array of strong par 4s (a quartet of them measure between 436 and 465 metres) and intimidating par 3s. The par 5s are friendlier, and the 2018 SA Open yielded no fewer than 76 eagles. The course was upgraded in 2008 by Golf Data, and its sloping greens complexes only add to the difficulty factor. It has the feel and character of a classic US Open type layout, but without penal rough.
There’s a natural beauty to Glendower with its many large trees and a river running through the property which provides a number of wonderful hazards. It makes an early appearance on the left of the par-5 second, fills up a hazard left of the short third, skirts the front of the seventh green, filters into a pond guarding the 10th, and asks to be carried on the tee shot at 12. It ends up in another sizeable pond left of the par-5 13th green.
History was made at Glendower in the 1997 SA Open; the first time it had been part of the European Tour, and the first black champion in Vijay Singh. There was a memorable final round duel between him and Nick Price, trying to win the title for the first time at the age of 40. Singh edged Price by one.
63 by Dawie van der Walt, 2011 BMG Classic;
Graeme Storm, Edoardo Molinari, 2017 SA Open;
Adrien Saddier, 2018 SA Open.
Women: 63 Ashleigh Buhai, 2020 Jabra Ladies Open
Glendower has three outstanding par 3s which add up to 620 metres of challenging shots from the championship tees. Water hazards guard the daunting third (231) and sixth (185), while the 204-metre 17th leaves little margin for error, the narrow green bunkered right, and falling away steeply on the left.
None on site, but the club handles golf and accommodation bookings with group and individual packages. Contact email@example.com
8 SA Opens (1989 Fred Wadsworth; 1992 Clinton Whitelaw; 1997 Vijay Singh; 2013 Morten Madsen, 2015 Andy Sullivan, 2016 Brandon Stone, 2017 Graeme Storm, 2018 Chris Paisley). SA Amateur 1987; SA Men’s Strokeplay 2012; SA Women’s Strokeplay 2015.
Five-star range behind clubhouse, long and spacious, run by club pro Rudy Whitfield, Fanie Viljoen and Tyrone Twilley.
1/ The first round of 61 in South Africa was scored at Glendower in 1975 by Allan Henning on his way to winning a Sunshine Tour event. The course was lengthened and strengthened during the 1980s under club president Francois Tolken prior to hosting its first SA Amateur and SA Open.
2/ Glendower is a rare SA course for having a design connection to legendary British course architects Harry Colt and Alister Mackenzie. The designer in the late 1930s was Charles Hugh Alison, a partner of those personalities, who worked with them on 300 courses worldwide.
3/ Branden Grace had 5 eagles in the 2018 SA Open, three of them at par 5s in a first round 65, when he finished second to Englishman Chris Paisley.
4/ Bobby Locke posted a world record total of 265 for 72 holes at Glendower in 1939 Transvaal Open. He won by 26! The lowest SA Open total at Glendower was 267 by Chris Paisley in 2018.
5/ The club logo depicts a Blue Crane. Each hole is named after a species of bird, and all 18 are found on the property.
5/ Men’s club champion Yurav Premlall is 16 and ranked among SA’s top 5 amateurs. He first won the club championship aged 13 in 2017.
Yurav Premlall & Kyra van Kan
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