Western Cape Top 25

Paarl (Old Course)

Paarl, Winelands - Western Cape

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Managing director : Willem Pretorius
Golf director: Werner Bernhardt
Greenkeeper: Wynand Viljoen (Servest)
Club captain: Jacques Hamman
Chairman: Ian van Schalkwyk
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 66.3 out of 100
Conditioning13.1 / 20
Playability14.4 / 20
Aesthetics11.1 / 15
Design Variety9.5 / 15
Shot Values9.0 / 15
Memorability9.2 / 15

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6214 metres, CR72.7/134
White 5978 metres, CR71.5/134
Blue 5598 metres, CR69.7/127
Red 5080 metres, CR67.1/115
Women’s blue, CR75.9/134
Women’s red, CR72.3/125

Visitor green fee

R495 affiliated
R695 non-affiliated

Course designer

Ken Elkin 1955,
Danie Obermeyer 2004


021 863 1140

Previous Ranking

82 (2021) & 86 (2020)

The parkland course at Paarl, on the banks of the Berg River, overlooked by a mountain range, was rebuilt in the early years of the millennium when the course was redesigned to accommodate the Boschenmeer residential estate. 

An additional 9 holes was added to the 18-hole Old Course to make up a 27-hole facility, which provides interesting options for members and visitors. The Boschenmeer 9 is different in design from the Old, with numerous water hazards and changes in elevation, and was used when the SA Amateur Championship was hosted by the club for the first and only time in 2004. The Boschenmeer 9 is regularly paired with one of the nines from the Old Course to make up the “course of the day.”

The Old Course remains on the site of the original 18, although many of the holes have changed since Danie Obermeyer’s modern makeover. He excelled in his superbly creative greens complexes and bunkering which add to the overall challenge. 

The front nine, attractively situated alongside the river, is outstanding, one of the best in the Cape in the variation of testing holes on display. The eighth is a wonderful short par 4 on the river bank, played to a craftily angled elevated green.

The Sunshine Tour has played several events at Paarl, with the championship tees set at 6 300 metres.

One of SA’s golfing legends, David Frost, who went to school at Paarl Boys High, has many of his worldwide trophies displayed in cabinets upstairs in the clubhouse entrance. He won the Million Dollar Challenge three times, and had 10 wins on the PGA Tour.
Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62, Lindani Ndwandwe, 2005 Parmalat Classic;
Gerlou Roux, 2006 SAA Invitational;
Clinton Whitelaw, 2009 SAA Invitational


Luxury self-catering options inside the estate at Boschenmeer House.

Practice Facility

The Ben Fouchee Golf Academy range adjoins the sixth hole on Boschenmeer 9, open to members and public, some distance from the clubhouse. Fouchee, a former SA Amateur champion (1987), is one of the PGA of SA’s top 25 teachers. There is an excellent short game facility next to clubhouse.

Feature Holes

An impressive sight from the upstairs balcony of the grand clubhouse is of two greens separated by a water hazard. The course concludes on each nine with two risk-and-reward par-5s. The 530-m ninth has a stream in front of a narrow green, with water guarding the right; while the 483-m 18th has the water left. Pine trees lining the fairways are a feature of several tight driving holes.

Did You Know

1/ The club boasts a family-friendly environment. The clubhouse includes the Skin Revival wellness and beauty spa upstairs, a hair salon, the Golfing Goat restaurant, plus a 350-seater Winelands function hall (now a regular music theatre), and 150-seater conference facility.

2/ The Paarl Golf Club was founded in 1908, making it one of the oldest in the Western Cape. The club’s first course was a 9-holer on the Berg River at Sanddrift. In 1926 Bob Grimsdell, club pro at Mowbray, laid out a new 9-hole grass links, possibly his earliest design work. A move was made in 1955 to another site and 18 holes.

3/ The club’s Winelands Classic, forerunner of festival golf weeks, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019.

4/ Clinton Whitelaw’s 10-under 62 (eagle and 9 birdies) in a 2009 Sunshine Tour event came a day after shooting 80.

5/ Jaco van Zyl shot a 54-hole total of 22-under 194 in winning the 2010 SAA Invitational at Paarl (66-64-64).
He had 29 on the back nine in the final round.

Club Champions

2022 Ethan Smith & Vanessa Smith
2021 Ethan Smith & Vanessa Smith
2020: Tyran Snyders & Bianca Lohbauer
2019: Daniel Cronje & Lumien Orton

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
Paarl is looking exceptional this summer. All credit to their maintenance team for achieving such a high standard of conditioning while having to deal with the heat and load shedding disruptions, which impact on pumping water out of the Berg River into holding dams. I've long admired the greens complexes on all 27 holes at Paarl. The size of the greens, the elevation of some, and the creativity of their subtle slopes means that holes play very differently depending on where pins are situated. The Old Course has an abundance of good holes which grow on you the more you play them. Birdie opportunities open up towards the end of each nine in the form of two splendid short par 4s at 8 and 16, followed by a pair of terrific dogleg par 5 finishing holes in front of the clubhouse sharing a common water hazard. The clubhouse facilities have improved markedly from a few years back, with an outstanding halfway house and 19th hole upstairs.
Stuart McLean
10 December 2022

It's hot in Paarl at this time of year. The temperature was in the mid 30s on the morning I visited, and there are days when it climbs to 40. The Berg River which flows alongside the course looks tempting. And Paarl's popularity is confirmed by how busy it is with visitors and younger golfers. It's the only club I've seen which offers its customers cold refrigerated water on tap kept in wine barrels, at two places on the course near the tees at No 5 and 14. It's an innovative touch which typifies the many improvements at Paarl in the last few years both in the clubhouse and on the course. The golf club, which operates independently from the Boschenmeer residential estate, has an excellent halfway house, and that's matched by the upstairs outside deck for golfers and restaurant inside. A new irrigation system is being installed and the course is looking particularly good from tee to green despite the stress of the constant heat and wind.

Stuart McLean
16 January 2022
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Paarl is an enjoyable parkland course with surrounding mountains and landscapes. Fairways are in good condition, but the course could do with more attention to detail around the greens.
Henry Trevena
21 October 2020
The fairways are much improved at Paarl. We played in a big wind and those fast undulating greens proved rather difficult.
Anton Bezuidenhout
25 August 2020
An enjoyable first visit to Paarl. Some quality holes alongside the river.
Mark Lynam
27 February 2020

Bunkers & tees tend to be inconsistent. Overall presentation superb though. Practice range some distance away which requires extra time should you wish to use it. However, there is a net at the clubhouse alongside a superb chipping area. The clubhouse building is so big it lacks a homely atmosphere.

warren minster
18 February 2020
Paarl's front nine alongside the river is incredibly good and well designed, but the back nine has some weak holes before finishing strongly at 17 and 18. There is an excellent short-game facility close to first tee. Clubhouse catering is top quality.
Stuart McLean
13 February 2020
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