63

Randpark Bushwillow

Randburg - Gauteng

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CEO: Francois Swart
Golf manager: Rikert Schalkwyk
Superintendent: Roger Innes
Club captain: Derek McGowan
President: Rean Strydom
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 67 out of 100
Conditioning13.1 / 20
Playability13.9 / 20
Aesthetics10.7 / 15
Design Variety10.5 / 15
Shot Values9.3 / 15
Memorability9.5 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6540 metres, CR73.3/135
White 6330 metres, CR72.2/132
Gold 5930 metres, CR69.9/128
Blue 5477 metres, CR67.4/123
Women’s gold, CR76.7/146
Women’s blue, CR73.9/139

Visitor green fee

Peak weekday R450
Peak weekend R600

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 1948;
Sean Quinn (Golf Data) 2012

Contact

011 215 8600
www.randpark.co.za

Previous ranking

60

The Bushwillow is the older of the two courses at Randpark, and this attractive and shady Bob Grimsdell parkland design began life in the 1940s as Windsor Park. It was a relatively short but tight layout until being revamped by Golf Data designer Sean Quinn, and stretched out to 6 540 metres. It’s an excellent test of golf, with its doglegs, water hazards, and creatively shaped greens.

Bushwillow is very different from the bigger and wider Firethorn, with many more trees lining the fairways, so accuracy off the tee is key to low scoring.

Randpark Club has made a statement in recent years in establishing themselves as one of Gauteng’s premier golf destinations. It has become one of the leading social golf clubs in the country by morphing from a golf club into a community lifestyle club. The upstairs terrace bar of the clubhouse overlooking the course is the place to be on festive occasions.

And their two outstanding golf courses are a big part of the growing appeal of Randpark. The club’s metamorphosis began in 2011 with a four-year R26-million investment into the upgrade of its courses by Golf Data. They were modernised and rebranded in 2013 as Firethorn and Bushwillow. In the last three years the courses have hosted four tri-sanctioned tournaments between the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour, the 2018 and 2020 Joburg Open, and SA Open in 2019 and 2020.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62, Louis Oosthuizen, 2018 SA Open

Note: Shubhankar Sharma shot 61 in the 2017 Joburg Open, but it did not count as the official course record as preferred lies were allowed.

Feature Holes

The course begins with two attractive par 5s in the first three holes where birdies are up for grabs for longer hitters. The third is a superb risk-and-reward par 5, 448 metres from the club tees, where a good drive sets up the question of whether to brave going for the green in two. There’s water fronting the right side of the green, and a bunker short on the left. Bushwillow has a strong finish, with the 378m 16th one of the best par 4s at Randpark. It curves right to left with a stream the entire length of the hole on the left. That’s followed by a long par 5 with water guarding the green.

Practice Facility

Excellent double-storey floodlit range open to the public until 8pm each day. It has 40 covered bays adjoining the clubhouse. It now gives golfers free access with every bucket of balls to the Inrange multiplayer golf experience. Driving range membership is available. There is a fitting and repair centre. Teaching pros Stuart Blackie and Darren Witter. Practice putting greens close to the first tee.

Accommodation

The Fairway Hotel adjoining the Randpark clubhouse and overlooking the first tee of the Firethorn course has rooms and suites, plus 7 Golf Villas, each with a four-bedroom unit and braai area. Ideal for golf groups.

Club Champions

2021 Darren Quirk & Cara Ford
2020 Erwee Botha & Kim Turget
2019 Johan Aucamp & Cara Ford

Tournaments

Randpark hosted two SA Opens in January 2020 (won by Branden Grace with a record equalling total of 263) and December 2018 (Louis Oosthuizen 266), plus the 2020 Joburg Open (Joachim Hansen 265) and 2018 Joburg Open (Shubhankar Sharma 264). The club’s link with the SA Open began with the 1995 championship (Retief Goosen 275) and 2000 Open (Swede Mathias Gronberg 274). In 2019 Randpark became the first 36-hole facility to host the SA Open using both their courses for the championship’s first two rounds, and thus accommodating a field of 240 players.

Did You Know

1/ A low score on the Bushwillow is key to winning tournaments at Randpark. Shubhankar Sharma had 10 birdies in a 61 in winning the 2018 Joburg Open with a 23-under score of 264. Louis Oosthuizen opened with 62 at Bushwillow in winning the 2019 SA Open on 18-under 266. Both courses were par 71 for the SA Open.

2/ Randpark also run the Creek 9 par-3 course, one of Johannesburg’s municipal golfing gems, in nearby Emmarentia next to the Roosevelt Park Rec Centre. Randpark assumed operational control and responsibility in 2013.

3/ Randpark has a Health & Wellness Centre, tennis courts and running track access.

4/ The club has a fleet of 60 carts and specialises in hosting corporate “one-stop shop” golf days. The ability to cater for hundreds of golfers gives Randpark the edge over rivals.

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Overall Conditioning
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Locker Room
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Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
Bushwillow is always fun to play. I like the variety of holes and the flow of the 18 (even more than Firethorn). The conditioning is not quite the same as its neighbour, noticeably in the patchy first and second cut of the fairways. The greens are consistent though and in just as good a condition. A round on Bushwillow always feels a more relaxing day out versus Firethorn, which marks the difference in difficulty between the two.
Chris Wood
18 January 2021
The Bushwillow unfortunately did not have its best winter. The greens were slow and bumpy, and there were water leaks on many holes. It's still a fun course to play though if you stay out of the trees. Bunker rakes are now back on the course after a confusing period of foot-raking, placing in the bunkers, providing mini-rakes, and then running out of them.
Sabelo Ndabazandile
12 September 2020
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Greens generally in great condition and the course is well maintained. A course of this quality should be frequented more often, but players visiting Randpark usually opt for Firethorn being the championship course.
Sandor Kovacs
18 April 2020
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