Gauteng Top 41
Johannesburg - Gauteng
General manager: Danny Swarts
Club pro: Fanie Viljoen
Greenkeeper: Paul Neveling
Club captain: Greg de Villiers
President: Steve Chewins
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 69.8 out of 100
Conditioning13.4 / 20
Playability14.6 / 20
Aesthetics10.3 / 15
Design Variety10.8 / 15
Shot Values10.7 / 15
Memorability10.0 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
Yellow 6737 metres, CR75.1/140
White 6374 metres, CR73.0/136
Blue 5720 metres, CR68.8/131
Red 5235 metres, CR66.5/126
Women’s blue, CR76.0/146
Women’s red, CR72.8/141
Visitor green fee
Affiliated R280 Wednesday & Friday;
R250 other weekdays including halfway
Non-affiliated R350 weekdays & R480 weekends
Arthur Tomsett 1939,
Hugh Baiocchi 1990
011 608 2033
WhatsApp: 079 459 1773
58 (2021) & 58 (2020)
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
61 by Mike de Villiers (twice)
62, Christiaan Burke, in winning Big Easy IGT event in June 2021. Played front nine in 29.
Full-size range, short-game facility and putting green.
2021 F G Dorfling & Ilze-Mari Kriek
2020 Greg de Villiers & Peachy Swarts
2019 Kevin Sharp & Peachy Swarts
Did You Know
1/ Mike de Villiers, PGA Club Pro of the Year in 2010, was head professional at Modderfontein for 46 years before leaving in September 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.
2/ Another celebrated member was Steve Williams, who recently emigrated to New Zealand, having been one of SA’s best amateurs. He represented South Africa in his 40s, and won the SA Senior Open and SA Senior Amateur in recent years. In 2006 he won the 72-hole Northern Amateur strokeplay title on his home course.
3/ The club hosted the men’s Northern Amateur six times between 2002 and 2008. The 2007 strokeplay champion was Attie Schwartzel, which meant that three members of the Schwartzel family won that trophy, father George in 1985 at Irene, and older brother Charl at Randpark in 2001.
Course and Facilities Rating
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, and I will be back soon.
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.
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.
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 a terrific experience.
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.
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.
17 May 2021
Best greens I have played in a while!
18 January 2021
One of the more enjoyable Johannesburg courses that has a variety of holes offering different challenges together with a fun factor. The par-4 Stroke 1 (453-metre 15th) is one of the best holes in the country. The greens are excellent, although a bit soft, being receptive even for shots from deep rough. However, they do run fast and true. Fairways and tee boxes in decent condition. The check-in area was scary in this time of Covid, a long queue taking up to 15 minutes.
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.
27 December 2020
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