Yellow 6631 metres, CR74.3/137
White 6218 metres, CR72.2/133
Blue 5753 metres, CR69.9/124
Red 5239 metres, CR67.2/120
Women’s blue, CR76.0/141
Women’s red, CR72.5/134
R140 Thursdays, Sunday PM
R195 Sunday AM
George Peck 1926,
Col S V Hotchkin 1929,
Peter Matkovich 1999
016 421 3196
Maccauvlei is a famous club in SA African golfing history, yet its classic 1920s course remains something of a hidden gem due to its remote location on the Vaal River 80 kilometres south of Sandton City. It was a fashionable weekend retreat for golfers between the two world wars.
Today it offers an outstanding experience in terms of both challenge and conditioning, and has the best value visitor green fee among Top 50 courses. It is R100 on Mondays, R130 Thursdays and Sunday afternoons, and R140 Tuesdays. Seniors pay R70 on Tuesdays.
The long winding driveway to the club takes you into a tranquil old-world environment and the original clubhouse set amidst shady trees. Inside, some of the rooms have been restored to how they were in the club’s heyday.
Maccauvlei was labelled an “inland links” in its early years, and the sandy terrain on which it was built backs those claims. However, the holes are now mostly lined with giant eucalyptus trees, and only the bunkering bears any resemblance to a links.
The club ushered in the new millennium with a new upgraded course by Peter Matkovich. All 18 greens were remodelled. He did away with virtually all the old water hazards (three remain) and reinstated bunkering as the main design feature. One of his best ideas was to remove many of the trees on the banks of the Vaal River which obscured the view. He created a new green close to the water on the par-5 15th.
Maccauvlei is on the Free State bank of the Vaal, and in recent years became part of the Free State Golf Union after many years with Central Gauteng. There was a short period when it was part of Western Transvaal (now North West). On the opposite bank is Riviera golf course, in Central Gauteng.
62 by Mellett Hendrikse in National Teams Champs.
The signature hole, and one of the most unique designs in South Africa, is the daunting 422-metre 17th which plays away from the river back to the clubhouse. A wide fairway curves left and opens up a vast bunker which stretches 100 metres up a slope to a high lip concealing the green beyond. Only the top of the flag is visible. The third is a short par 4 to a narrow raised green adjoining an old Boer War cemetery.
Range adjoining tenth hole has a limited number of bays. Attractive large putting green in front of clubhouse.
2019 Attie Schwartzel & Olivia Tait
2020 Attie Schwartze
1/ Masters champion Charl Schwartzel grew up on a farm near Maccauvlei. His father George was club captain during the 75th anniversary. Younger brother Attie is the men’s club champion, having regained his amateur status after playing on the Sunshine Tour.
2/ Attie Schwartzel has been club champion seven times, Charl three, and George once.
3/ The club has an excellent on-course pro shop owned and managed by professional Marthinus van Staden.
4/ Maccauvlei became a regular SA Open venue soon after it opened, hosting four championships between 1927 and 1949, three won by Sid Brews. The other was by Bobby Locke in 1938.
5/ Maccauvlei may have hosted more elite amateur tournaments than any course in South Africa. Every year there are at least three. For many years, while there was accommodation on the property, it was the venue for the men’s National Teams Champs. It has been replaced by the Harry Oppenheimer Trophy, in honour of an early club patron.
6/ Former club captain, chairman and president Dereck Mocke, the club historian, played in the club championship for 50 consecutive years from 1967 to 2016. He passed away in April 2020.
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