Free State / Northern Cape Top 9
9

Kimberley

Kimberley - ​Northern Cape & Free State

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Club manager: Ronnie Engelbrecht
Greenkeeper: Andries Kori
Club captain: Mpho Mogale
Chairman: Ronnie Engelbrecht
President: Mike Doherty

COURSE SUMMARY

Three tees / Par 72

White 6300 metres, CR71.7/124
Blue 5858 metres, CR69.7/118
Red 5372 metres, CR66.7/115
Women’s blue, CR76.3/132
Women’s red, CR72.9/125

Visitor Green Fee

R310 affiliated, R350 non-affiliated
R250 Tuesday & Sunday
Closed on Monday

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 1960

Contact

053 841 0179
www.kimberleygolfclub.co.za

The Northern Cape is predominantly flat, and the Kimberley golf course is no different, with subtle undulations, making it a relatively easy walk. Safe passage, however, is skilfully interrupted by mounding and tight greenside bunkers included by Bob Grimsdell, who was commissioned in the late 1950s to design the city’s first course with grass greens.

The course, arid in places, parkland in others, has a rural feel to it, being on the city outskirts, just off the N12, close to Kamfers Dam with its flamingo population, and is unique in retaining the original indigenous Elliot grass on the greens. The grain of this cynodon species is particularly strong and puzzling for the visitor in terms of green speed and break. The kikuyu fairways are lush in the summer rainy season.

Kimberley is one of South Africa’s oldest golf clubs, founded in 1890 at the height of the Diamond Fields boom. It was one of the leading clubs in the country at the turn of the 20th century, hosting the first SA Amateur Championship in 1892, and three others until 1913.

The most celebrated characteristic of that period was the “greens,” each putting surface comprising of diamondiferous tailings, the famed Kimberley Blues.

The Blues were used from 1900 to 1960 on the original course, situated closer to the city centre in a suburb now called Monument Heights. The old clubhouse today serves as the MOTH Club. The Kimberley Blues were the course’s undoing as a championship venue when the SA Golf Union decreed that only grass courses could hold the tournament.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

63 by Hugh Baiocchi, 1989 Railfreight Classic

Club Champions

2021 & 2020 Andries Kori
2019 Deon Kruis & Mikah Poonawassy

Practice Facility

300-metre long and 120-metre wide range, short-game area, large putting green.

Accommodation

Close to the clubhouse is Sun International’s Flamingo Casino and the Kimberley Road Lodge.

FIRST WIN FOR ERNIE ELS

It was at Kimberley GC in 1990 that Ernie Els achieved his first win as a professional, in the Spoornet SA Classic, then part of what was called the Winter Tour.

Did You Know

1/ The Barney Barnato in October is one of the premier festival weeks in South Africa, and a highlight of the calendar. Founded in 1990 in the club’s centenary year, and, named after the legendary mining entrepreneur who gained control of the diamond industry in its early days. It attracts golfers from throughout the country, with entertainment laid on every night.

2/ The Freddie Tait museum in the clubhouse honours the British Amateur champion, from Scotland, killed in action at Koodoosberg near Kimberley in 1900 during the Anglo-Boer War. The Freddie Tait Cup is presented to the leading amateur golfer at the SA Open.

3/ Papwa Sewgolum shot 68 in 1961 for the course record. Then in a 1966 tournament Harold Henning twice shot 66, before Tony Jacklin had a 65 in final round.

4/ Kimberley hosted the SA Mid-Amateur Interprovincial in 2018 and the SA Under-19 Interprovincial in 2021.

5/ In 1882 Kimberley was the first city in the southern hemisphere, and second in the world, after Philadelphia, to have electric street lights. (Load shedding was only developed some 130 years later).

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
It was raining when I arrived in Kimberley and the Northern Cape is greener and wetter than usual. Considering that this is a semi-arid region the amount of water on the course this summer has been unusual. It began in December during the Junior Interprovincial when there was a hailstorm on the last afternoon which covered the course in a white sheet. The clay base means the flat course doesn't drain easily and thus there's muddy areas and puddles which cannot be traversed by foot or cart. Fortunately the mowers have been active, and the rough has now been cut down. I'm told it was so thick off the fairways that balls disappeared, never to be found. Enjoying the unfenced course most of all is a herd of feral horses which find the grazing delightful. But the course staff get anxious when they start galloping about. Their hooves can seriously damage the greens.
Stuart McLean
18 March 2022
Kimberley is in the best shape I’ve seen it ever before. It was an excellent host of the SA Under-19 Interprovincial tournament in December 2021, won by Western Province (A section) and Boland (B section). Well done to all.
Leon Bevan
12 January 2022
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