Carletonville - North West Province
General manager: Sonnette Joubert
Greenkeeper: Fredrich Barnard
Assistant manager & Event co-ordinator: Ananda Balt
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 65 out of 100
Conditioning12.6 / 20
Playability12.8 / 20
Aesthetics12.0 / 15
Design Variety10.0 / 15
Shot Values8.3 / 15
Memorability9.3 / 15
Three tees / Par 72
White 6399 metres, CR72.5/133
Blue 5789 metres, CR69.3/121
Red 5144 metres, CR65.8/114
Women’s blue, CR75.7/142
Women’s red, CR71.6/132
Visitor green fee
R330 weekdays affiliated, R380 non-affiliated
R380 & R430 weekends
Friday R550 for two plus cart and halfway
Bob Grimsdell 1949
018 011 2910 or
064 814 2117
94 (2022) & 84 (2021)
Goldfields West is a charming and old-fashioned bushveld course west of Johannesburg, in North West Province, which has changed little over the years. It’s a tranquil getaway, a beautiful oasis of a nature reserve in the heart of gold mining country. In days gone by golfers used to light fires around the clubhouse and braai after a round.
It was thanks to the largesse of the mining company Gold Fields of South Africa in earlier years that several attractive courses were built in the area, and handsomely subsidised for many years. Goldfields, although now in private hands, is one of the few remaining, following the closure of neighbouring Blyvooruitzicht and Stilfontein. Goldfields West itself was liquidated in 2017 and bought by long-time club member Hans Vierra who has restored the quality of the course and the clubhouse.
The entrance road passes the West Driefontein gold mine, and soon the scenery changes as golfers enter a beautiful wooded valley, overlooked by low hills. The holes at Goldfields West are so well camouflaged and spread out that you feel you have the golf course to yourself for the day. A variety of wildlife roams the property.
The original clubhouse was once a stopover hostelry on the farm Driefontein at the turn of the 20th century for travellers between Johannesburg and Kimberley. Little did they know that deep below them lay the richest gold reefs in the world. It was discovered when John Harrison bought the farm in 1911.
Bob Grimsdell’s design features stand out and contribute to the challenge. The fairways are generously wide at times, yet the trees, hazards and rough areas present a challenge if you miss them. And the greens are very different. No bent grass here. The course still retains the local cynodon (skaapplaas) grass which have a strong nap away from the hills. The break on some putts can be enormous. This grass was also on the fairways, but kikuyu has now taken over.
Additional Course Facts
61 by Nathan Moore in 1999 medal
The sixth is a beautiful par 3 played from an elevated tee over a water hazard, and it’s followed by an attractive par 4 turning left uphill and a curving par 5 moving back to the right alongside it. The 14th is an excellent short par 4 to a slightly hidden green.
Full range and short-game areas. Teaching professional and club fitter Ockie Brits (082 850 7966).
2022 Tiaan Wolfaardt & Cheslyn Jacobs
2021 Tiaan Wolfaardt & Marisa van Niekerk
2020 Terrie Meyer & Elizabeth Akehurst
2019 Graeme Whiting & Elizabeth Akehurst
Did You Know
1/ For many years, from 1957 onwards, the course hosted the Western Transvaal Open (now the North West Open), serving as a permanent venue from 1971 to 1986. The Transvaal Amateur was there in 1984 and 1988. The honours board contains famous names from the past.
2/ The course was built on the historic farm Driefontein, which served as a supply depot and staging post in the 19th century between Johannesburg and Potchefstroom. Sadly the original farmhouse building was lost when a modern clubhouse was built in the 1960s.
3/ The club has a variety of annual subscription options, as low as R1950 for bronze membership, and R2950 for platinum membership, with a weekend green fee of R180.
4/ South Africa’s two MotoGP aces, Brad and Darryn Binder, who come from Krugersdorp, are both members of Goldfields West.
Course and Facilities Rating
The rejuvenation of Goldfields West has gathered pace the past year. This layout is well worth the drive into the country for a weekend game. A timeless Bob Grimsdell design with a variety of fun holes. The par 4s are among the strongest, and three stand out. The second, uphill tenth and the 18th are particularly long at 450 metres off the back tees, playing more like par 5s for most golfers when there is no run. The par-3 sixth over a water hazard is a gem deserving of its “signature hole” status. The par-3 13th is another excellent hole from an elevated tee box to a slightly elevated green. Scoring opportunities come on the par 5s where a good tee shot in the right position on the fairway may set up an eagle look. Tee shot landing areas are frequently narrow, with fairways guarded by mature trees. “Risk-and-reward” is a key theme on the shorter holes but the margin for error is often reduced. The clubhouse and pro shop have received plenty of TLC. Good to see Goldfields headed back in the right direction.
21 February 2023
Beautiful course and great value for money. Friendly staff and wonderfully improved facilities, including new carts and locker room. Course condition significantly improved, although greens still not quite up to standard.
12 December 2022
Best condition I have ever seen at Goldfields. A must play experience.
19 November 2022
This is a jewel of a course in top condition. The greenkeeper is doing a brilliant job.
Gerald Van Staden
18 November 2022
Pleasant surprise to see the amount of work and attention to detail going into this special course west of Johannesburg to improve the overall look and feel. A new young greenkeeper acquired earlier this year is making his mark. Much of the dreadful thatch in the cynodon greens has been removed and they are quicker than they ever were, running well. This enhances the experience of playing what is a pure bushveld layout of several memorable holes in a magnificently remote setting. Impressive rock walls have boosted the aesthetics of the water hazards at No 3 and No 15, and the stream cutting through the fairway on the par-5 fifth has also received attention. Goldfields is one of few Gauteng courses where the club tees are the back tees. The club has an excellent green fee special on a Friday: R1 100 for a fourball including carts and halfway house.
13 November 2022
I always enjoy my visits to Goldfields West, a special tranquil place in the bushveld an hour's drive from Johannesburg, and in the last few years it has been comforting to see the excellent rehabilitation of the course and clubhouse under owner Hans Vierra's tenure. It has become a destination again. (A fleet of 40 new lithium battery golf carts arrives in January.) Goldfields is a "heritage site" in SA golf, alongside the likes of Royal Port Alfred, because the Bob Grimsdell layout is unchanged from the original design. No modernisation has taken place and it still has the distinctive and unusual feature of cynodon greens with a strong nap, the direction determined by the adjacent hilly ridge. It's astonishing how slow the greens can be into the nap. Very confusing for golfers who have never encountered this before. A Barbados strain of cynodon is now competing on the greens with the local Skaaplaas variety, in an attempt to speed them up.
24 December 2021
A great course to play with a good layout. The atmosphere is relaxed and the course is protected from any surrounding development. There are some long par 4s difficult to reach in two. The old cynodon grass greens do not putt well and are in need of replacement. Bunkers are inconsistent and many of the blue tees are too small and uneven.
23 April 2021
My second visit to Goldfields West in 2020 and the course has shown a significant improvement in its conditioning since March thanks to investment from owner Hans Vierra in a passionate greenkeeper and new maintenance equipment. The club is in the Central Gauteng Golf Union, which you associate with Joburg city golf, yet here you're in a tranquil bushveld environment. The quality of the greens, with their unique cynodon grass, harks back to the club's heyday in the 1980s and 1990s when they had an excellent reputation. Smooth and true for putting, and possessing the fierce nap which surprises visitors. Putts and pitches are quick running away from the ridge overlooking the course, while into the nap need to be struck firmly. I was there on a Friday when the club runs a special green fee and the course was busy from early in the morning.
15 December 2020
Gratefully this golf course survived after closing for a short while a few years ago.
28 April 2020
What a big improvement at Goldfields West! Under its new owner this course has come on magnificently in the last year or two. Visually it looks as good as Goldfields did in its heyday. An old-fashioned Grimsdell layout hasn't changed much, and its wide fairways provide enjoyable golf. Hundreds of buck roaming the property; it's like a game park. The clubhouse has also been transformed. Everything is upgraded. Smart locker room, lounge and pro shop. The old bar still has the same atmosphere. Friendly staff help towards a unique experience.
12 March 2020
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