84

Goldfields West

Carletonville - North West Province

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General manager: Sonnette Joubert
Marketing manager: Ananda Balt
Greenkeeper: Renier de Beer
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 63.4 out of 100
Conditioning12.1 / 20
Playability12.0 / 20
Aesthetics11.7 / 15
Design Variety10.0 / 15
Shot Values8.3 / 15
Memorability9.3 / 15

Course Summary

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

Affiliated R270 weekdays;
R320 weekends
Non-affiliated R320 & R370
Specials on Friday & Sunday
R495 for two plus cart and halfway

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 1949

Contact

018 011 2910 or
064 814 2117

Previous ranking

88

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

Course Record

61 by Nathan Moore in 1999 medal

Feature Holes

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.

Practice Facility

Full range and short-game areas. Teaching professional and club fitter Ockie Brits (082 850 7966).

Club Champions

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 R1100 for 60+ and juniors, rising to R3150 for platinum membership, with a weekend green fee of R180.

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Greens
Bunkers
Tees
Fairways
Presentation
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Service
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
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.
IAN LEACH
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.
Stuart McLean
15 December 2020
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Gratefully this golf course survived after closing for a short while a few years ago.
Leon Bevan
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.
Stuart McLean
12 March 2020
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