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Modderfontein

Johannesburg - Gauteng

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General manager: Vacant
Club pro: Fanie Viljoen
Greenkeeper: Andries Madonsela
Club captain: Toni Fernandes
Chairman: Michael Koekemoer
President: Steve Chewins
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 70.8 out of 100
Conditioning14.0 / 20
Playability14.6 / 20
Aesthetics10.3 / 15
Design Variety11.0 / 15
Shot Values10.7 / 15
Memorability10.2 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6737 metres, CR74.4/139
White 6374 metres, CR72.6/135
Blue 5720 metres, CR69.0/126
Red 5235 metres, CR66.3/117
Women’s blue, CR75.1/141
Women’s red, CR72.2/135

Visitor green fee

Affiliated R280 Wednesday & Friday;
R250 other weekdays including halfway
R380 weekends
Non-affiliated R350 weekdays & R480 weekends

Course designer

Arthur Tomsett 1939,
Hugh Baiocchi 1990

Contact

011 608 2033
WhatsApp: 079 459 1773

Previous ranking

56 (2023), 55 (2022) & 58 (2021)

There are many distinctive and challenging holes at Modderfontein, one of the most centrally situated courses in Gauteng. The strength of the layout lies principally in its redesigned back nine. This was the work of the club’s most famous member, Hugh Baiocchi, during his brief course design years.

The club was originally known as the Modderfontein Dynamite Factory Club. The course was officially opened in February 1939 with Bobby Locke as the celebrity guest.

The parkland course is set in a valley overlooked by the clubhouse, and the sloping land makes for some pleasant undulating holes. A stream runs through the course and comes into play on several holes, notably the excellent par-4 18th. Water hazards are a feature of the splendid back nine, starting at the attractive downhill 12th. The Gautrain passes behind the 13th green, and this is the start of a wonderful run of holes back to the clubhouse. The 14th is the last of the par 3s, with a stream curling around the green, and that’s followed by the most intimidating hole on the course, a 453-metre par 4 with water down the right of the fairway. It’s one of the best risk-reward long par 4s in Gauteng.

Modderfontein is one of only four Top 100 courses where the starting hole on each nine, Nos 1 and 10, with tee boxes closest to the clubhouse, is a par 5. Two of the others are also Gauteng courses – Benoni CC and Wanderers, while Umdoni Park on the KZN South Coast is the only coastal example. However, there are two other courses, Blair Atholl (Gauteng) and Olivewood (Eastern Cape) where Nos 1 and 10 are both par 5s, but the tenth hole is nowhere near the clubhouse and is not used as a starting hole.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

61 by Mike de Villiers (twice)

62, Christiaan Burke, in winning Big Easy IGT event in June 2021. Played front nine in 29.

Practice Facility

Full-size range, short-game facility and putting green.

Club Champions

2023 Blaine Macer & Daisy Daniels
2022 Cody Holwill & Bongi Mokaba
2021 F G Dorfling & Ilze-Mari Kriek
2020 Greg de Villiers & Peachy Swarts
2019 Kevin Sharp & Peachy Swarts

Did You Know

1/ Modderfontein hosted its first SA Amateur with the 2024 women’s championships. Kyra van Kan (Silver Lakes) won the 54-hole Strokeplay title on 8-under 208, including a second round 67. Gia Raad (CCJ) won the matchplay. Hosted Joburg Ladies Open in 2018 (Ashleigh Buhai 208), in 2022 (Swede Linn Grant 208) and 2024 (Swiss Chiara Tamburlini 275).

2/ Mike de Villiers, PGA Club Pro of the Year in 2010, was head professional at Modderfontein for 46 years before leaving in 2022. He grew up in the area with great friend Hugh Baiocchi, becoming the club pro in 1976 at age 22 under then club GM Johnny Baiocchi. A leading teacher, he helped prepare Hugh Baiocchi in the mid-1990s for his successful career on the US Senior Tour.

3/ Another celebrated member was Steve Williams, one of SA’s best amateurs who emigrated to New Zealand. He represented South Africa in his 40s, and won the SA Senior Open and Senior Amateur. In 2006 he won the 72-hole Northern Amateur at Modderfontein.

4/ Modderfontein hosted the men’s Northern Amateur six times from 2002 to 2008. The 2007 strokeplay champion was Attie Schwartzel, which meant three members of the Schwartzel family won that trophy, father George in 1985 at Irene, and older brother Charl at Randpark in 2001.

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Course Reviews
There's clearly an abundance of top courses in Gauteng if a special layout like Modderfontein is No 21 in the region. Strategically interesting for the shot-maker and the poa greens putt extremely well (the SA Women's Amateur is here next week). Few in SA can boast memorable first and 18th holes as it does. Strong in Design Variety, Shot Values and Aesthetics, it has several unique looking holes and a broad selection of attractive greens complexes with room for awkward pin placements. The 453-metre 15th leads the way, a great 4 in design and challenge. Fairway curving right alongside a river, followed by an angled approach to a distant green. An enormous tree short left of the green makes the hole. The river, which twice comes into play on the superb par-5 first and par-4 18th, troubles golfers on four of the five closing holes. Water is a predominant hazard, other than on holes 3 to 8, with its hilly terrain.
Stuart McLean
03 February 2024
Real nice course in good condition, one I will visit again. But I need to mention the halfway house. The food is too much. The whole idea of halfway is to grab a quick snack to get you going for the next nine. The burger I had was a proper meal. Took a little long to eat.
Ignis van der Merwe
09 January 2024
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Modderfontein presents a good test throughout the year and excellent value on a weekday. It has some of the best par 4s in Gauteng, and an enjoyable variety of holes. No 15 (stroke 1) is a dogleg right around water which requires full concentration, while No 18 is similarly strong with a narrow landing area and well-defended green. Water is a significant feature with hazards and streams in play on almost half the holes. A favourite hole is the downhill par-3 ninth with water guarding the green. The greens are in excellent condition, the fairways similarly well-conditioned. Bunkers are not typically a strength, being poor in places, which must impact the overall rating.
Jon James
11 February 2023
My first visit to Modderfontein and it exceeded my expectation. It offers the best value for money in Gauteng. The design is a good one and the conditioning is excellent. During December the grass grows quickly, and the maintenance team was on top of it. A fun course to play and an easy walk. I recommend a round here.
Thinus Keller
26 December 2022
Modderfontein has again hosted the Joburg Ladies Open but this was a bigger occasion as the tournament was part of the Ladies European Tour for the first time, and that brought with it live television coverage the last two rounds, alerting more golfers around the country to the attractiveness of this less well-known parkland layout. Modderfontein is an exacting course for any golfer with its many doglegs, water hazards and undulating terrain, and the female pros played it as a par 73 for the event at a distance of 6064 metres. Swedish winner Linn Grant was in complete control though, carding 69-67 the last two rounds for an 11-under total of 208 to win by five. (Ashleigh Buhai had the same total when she won the title at Modderfontein by the same margin in 2018.) Interestingly Grant also won the Jabra Ladies Classic at nearby Glendower with a total of 206 and a low round of 65.
Stuart McLean
02 April 2022
The Modderfontein greens rival any top course. No surprise why it hosts so many amateur tournaments. A great championship challenge, particularly on the back nine with its collection of great holes. The front nine has a few repetitive dogleg holes.
Graham Jones
28 January 2022
One of the best value for money layouts in Gauteng, and that would probably include the whole of South Africa. And it comes with one of the best 19th holes, very social after golf, with a wonderful view over the course. The opening hole at Modderfontein must be one of the best in the land too, especially from the elevated back tee. What a nervy challenge for your first tee shot of the day. You need to keep your drive on the left half of the fairway to avoid the river on the right, and also long enough that you can clear the river with your second shot and get close to the green of this dogleg par 5. It's just one of many classic holes which makes a round here terrific.
Dieter ten Haag
22 December 2021
Modderfontein with its undulating terrain and numerous doglegs provides an interesting test of accuracy, especially off the tee. And it is good value, particularly on a weekday when there are green fee specials. There is plenty of design variety on both nines. Each nine opens with an unusual par 5 (the first is flat and the tenth uphill), and the nines conclude challengingly with the par-3 ninth and the demanding par-4 18th, which both have water hazards guarding each green. The greens are excellent and provide true surfaces all year round.  A highly recommended walk.
Jon James
28 July 2021

An enjoyable course, although it has a few weak holes, notably the first. The front nine includes some good traditional 90 degree dogleg par 4s which is uncommon in Johannesburg. This gets you thinking strategy from tee to green The back nine is challenging and has some great holes which test every facet of your game, particularly 12 and 15, both well designed and championship level par 4s. The greens were in very good condition and running true to line with fair speed. The clubhouse and halfway house are dated and could use a revamp but the new Green Bar is a good inclusion with a great view of the course.

Graham Jones
17 May 2021
Best greens I have played in a while!
Martin PIenaar
18 January 2021
One of the more enjoyable Joburg courses. The variety of holes offer different challenges together with a fun factor. The par-4 Stroke 1 (453m 15th) is one of the best holes in the country. Excellent greens, although soft, being receptive even for shots from deep rough. However, they run fast and true. Fairways and tee boxes decent. Check-in area was scary in this time of Covid, a long queue.
Sabelo Ndabazandile
06 January 2021
The club offers excellent value green fee deals to attract midweek visitors. Terrific 19th hole overlooking from high above the two challenging closing holes, the par-3 ninth and par-4 18th, both equally dangerous with water guarding their greens. No 18 is one of those special golf holes to finish a round. Beautiful greens.
Thomas Souness
27 December 2020
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