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
Ken Elkin 1955,
Danie Obermeyer 2004
021 863 1140
76 (2022) & 82 (2021)
This parkland course, on the banks of the Berg River, overlooked by a mountain range, was rebuilt in the early years of the millennium when its 18 holes were 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 men’s 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 several holes changed with 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 par-4 second has the river on the right, making for a daunting tee shot. The eighth is a wonderful short par 4 coming in the opposite direction, played to a craftily angled elevated green.
Paarl Golf Club, founded in 1908, is 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 the current site.
The Sunshine Tour has played several events at Paarl, with the championship tees set at 6 300 metres.
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.
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.
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.
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 club’s Winelands Classic, forerunner of festival golf weeks, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019.
3/ Clinton Whitelaw’s 10-under 62 (eagle and 9 birdies) in a 2009 Sunshine Tour event came a day after shooting 80.
4/ 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.
5/ Paarl hosted the 2023 SA women’s 72-hole teams championship using all 3 nines. Megan Streicher won the individual on 284. There were 68s by Kesha Louw and Vicki Traut on the Old Course. The 2004 men’s SA Amateur champions at Paarl were Matthew Kent (strokeplay) and Hennie Rootman (matchplay).
2023 Ryk van Schoor & Vanessa Smith
2022 Ethan Smith & Vanessa Smith
2021 Ethan Smith & Vanessa Smith
2020: Tyran Snyders & Bianca Lohbauer
2019: Daniel Cronje & Lumien Orton
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.
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.
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