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Parys

Parys, Free State - ​Northern Cape & Free State

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General manager: Vacant
Greenkeeper: Werner Ferreira
Club captain: Ian Kennon
Chairman: Basil King
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 61.7 out of 100
Conditioning11.8 / 20
Playability13.2 / 20
Aesthetics9.6 / 15
Design Variety9.4 / 15
Shot Values9.7 / 15
Memorability8.0 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6860 metres, CR76.2/140
White 6511 metres, CR73.8/137
Blue 6128 metres, CR71.8/133
Red 5487 metres, CR69.0/127
Women’s blue, CR78.6/152
Women’s red, CR74.4/145

Visitor green fee

R380 weekday including cart
R485 weekend including cart
Non-affiliated R380 & R600

Course designer

Cobie Legrange &
DDV Design 2007

Contact

056 818 1567
www.parysestate.co.za

Previous ranking

Unranked (2023), 95 (2022) & 81 (2021)

Parys has become a significant golf destination in the new millennium with the construction of two scenic Top 100 courses in the town, built on the Free State banks of the Vaal River. Parys itself is a popular getaway escape for weekenders.

Parys Golf & Country Estate is the closest to town, and on the tree-lined fairways of this attractive modern design you are never far from tributaries of the Vaal. That’s because most of the estate is on an island, reached from the town by an old suspension bridge built in 1918. Golfers probably see more of the river than visitors who frequent the main street of Parys.

The river is more a scenic distraction than a major hazard. It doesn’t come into play too often. However, there is the intimidating long par-4 sixth where the green sits on a rocky outcrop with the river flowing around it. And at the par-5 ninth the approach shot to the green has to carry a significantly wide expanse of water. The elevated green of the par-5 18th has the river coursing around its right side, and then behind the green.

Former golfing legend Cobie Le Grange designed the layout with the late Douw van der Merwe, and it’s a rare out-and-back design which only returns to the clubhouse at the 18th. The halfway house, and four holes (10 to 13) are on the mainland part of the estate. Interestingly, all the greens are raised, a precaution against flooding from the river.

Golf carts (R300 for 18 holes) are compulsory most of the time, but walking is allowed before 10am Tuesday to Thursday, and after 3pm on Fridays and Sundays. The other golf estate in Parys is Vaal de Grace, with a course designed by Nick Price.

Parys upgraded their maintenance fleet with two John Deere machines and a progressive mower from TurfBay. New sand has been put in the bunkers, and the pro shop has been moved and rebranded.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62 by Desne van den Bergh in 2016

Feature Holes

Parys has a demanding front nine, measured at 3 499 metres off the gold tees. Nos 6 and 7 are challenging par 4s which played over par when the Sunshine Tour visited in 2018. The sixth was rated one of the toughest holes that year on tour. The back nine offers more birdie opportunities, with a beautiful run of holes from 12 to 18, several close to the Vaal River.

Accommodation

Luxury 4-bedroom estate homes available to rent for golfing groups. Book through the club website.

Practice Facility

Public range with separate entrance near 10th tee, a long way from clubhouse. Short-game area at the clubhouse.

Club Champions

2023 Joe Meyer & Bonnie Jordaan
2022 Bernard Hattingh & Carene le Roux
2021 Bernard Hattingh & Miempie King
2020 Christiaan Dannhauser & Bonnie Jordaan
2019 Albert Weigelt & Bonnie Jordaan

Did You Know

1/ Parys has long been a popular weekend getaway for Gauteng residents, 100 kilometres south of Johannesburg. More than a century ago it was known as the Pride of the Vaal to city folk who flocked there by train. Visitors are attracted by restaurants, pubs, microbreweries, cafes, curio and antique shops.

2/ The name of the town was derived from a 19th century German surveyor who said the town’s position next to the broad Vaal River reminded him of Paris on the Seine.

3/ Parys is popular for leisure activities on the Vaal, and Real Adventures provides river cruises, rafting, paddling and tubing, along with land-based action.

4/ Parys Golf Club was founded in 1913, with a 9-hole course on Golf Island as it was called. The new course has hosted two Vodacom Origins events on the Sunshine Tour, in 2013 (Andrew Curlewis 207) and 2018 (Garth Mulroy 206).

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Course Reviews
Surprised that Parys is not in the Top 100. In fact, it could be quite highly ranked. It is an excellent bushveld layout, packed with challenging and interesting holes, in an attractive tree-lined environment with the Vaal River flowing past on both sides of the course. The estate homes hardly intrude on the playing experience. I liked the par-4 second hole, dogleg right, with the green overlooking the river. Nos 10 and 11 are out of place in a different environment from the other 16 holes, but you return to the main island at No 14 for a fine finishing stretch of holes. The greens are not what you would describe as particularly interesting but being large they offer plenty of varied pin positions.
Dieter Ten Haag
08 December 2023
Playing at Parys with its high Slope and Course Rating means several extra shots on your handicap. A big course off the yellow back tees, and tight in many places. An index between 7 and 8 means a course handicap of 14 from yellow! Some formidable par 4s and 3s. Even the white club tees are lengthy at 6500 metres, so I received three shots more than normal. A well-designed layout with big greens and attractive river views. Such as at No 2, a terrific dogleg right par 4 with its green perched above the Vaal River. There's much river, rapids and rocks to be seen, yet avoiding water is not as big a factor as you might imagine. There's the famous par-4 sixth with its own island green, a river crossing at the par-5 ninth, while water guards the front of the long par-3 eighth. The last three holes have the river on the right, a strong combination of par 3, par 4 and par 5.
Stuart McLean
07 May 2023
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Parys has recovered exceptionally well from the flooding earlier this year when 14 holes were under water and the course was closed for three weeks. Greenkeeper Werner Ferreira and his staff have done brilliantly to have the layout in such fine condition again. Being on a narrow island in the Vaal River makes the residential estate and course vulnerable to higher river levels. The single-lane concrete bridge into the golf club was damaged and is still being repaired, so the only entrance is the one on the R59. The four holes that stayed above the water level were Nos 2 and 3, and 10-11 on higher ground away from the river.
Stuart McLean
07 May 2023
Parys is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, especially the holes close to the Vaal River.
David Stratton
22 January 2021
The Vaal River swirls around both sides of this golf course, and enhances the attractiveness of the holes. Very popular on weekends, but Parys could do with more visitors in midweek. It's a layout which better golfers will really appreciate; your iron play needs to be strong, as the greens are slightly elevated and the bunkering is good. Parys has had a rainy summer so the course is beautifully green. The practice range is a separate facility some distance from the clubhouse.
Stuart McLean
12 March 2020
Excellent layout and design. Fairways, greens well bunkered. The course has had a lot of rain, which explains slow greens and inconsistent bunkers. Overall most enjoyable.
Henry Trevena
13 February 2020
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