Randburg - Gauteng
CEO: Francois Swart
Golf manager: Rikert Schalkwyk
Superintendent: Roger Innes
Club captain: Derek McGowan
President: Rean Strydom
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 74.5 out of 100
Conditioning15.7 / 20
Playability15.3 / 20
Aesthetics11.0 / 15
Design Variety11.2 / 15
Shot Values11.3 / 15
Memorability10.0 / 15
Five tees / Par 72
Yellow 6766 metres, CR75.5/146
White 6421 metres, CR73.4/142
Gold 5948 metres, CR71.1/133
Blue 5491 metres, CR68.6/126
Red 5158 metres, CR67.0/122
Women’s gold, CR77.3/152
Women’s blue, CR74.2/147
Women’s red, CR72.0/140
Visitor green fee
Peak weekday R450
Peak weekend R600
Sid Brews, Koos de Beer 1971;
Sean Quinn (Golf Data) 2014
011 215 8600
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 three tri-sanctioned tournaments between the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour, the 2018 Joburg Open, and SA Open in 2019 and 2020.
Firethorn is the younger of the two layouts, also the longer, championship design on which the final two rounds of the SA Opens were decided. The original Randpark layout, created in 1971, was given a major facelift by Golf Data designer Sean Quinn, who built seven new holes on the Firethorn. It opened for play in 2015. Several of the changes were in response to the flooding of the course by the wide stream that flows through the property. The greens were all rebuilt, the bunkering altered in places and given a distinctive white-faced Golf Data look.
Five of the new holes are on the front nine, beginning with the par-5 second alongside the stream, and then the fifth to eighth where the stream has been brought more into play on the right of the excellent par 4 seventh and par 3 eighth.
Additional Course Facts
61, Otto van Buynder on IGT Tour, June 2018
62, Christofer Blomstrand, 2017 Joburg Open;
Marcus Armitage 2020 SA Open;
Branden Grace 2020 SA Open.
Johan Aucamp & Cara Ford
The 18th, originally a par 5, now plays as a long par 4 of 464 metres from the back tees. Long hitters need to lay up for the stream which crosses the fairway. The approach is uphill to one of the large sloping greens which are a feature of the layout. It wasn’t the most difficult par 4 during the SA Open though. Those were the second, played as a par 4 for the championship, the uphill dogleg 10th and the downhill 13th.
Excellent double-storey floodlit range open to the public with 40 covered bays close to the clubhouse. There is a fitting and repair centre. The range is open until 6.30pm each day. There are practice putting greens near the first tee. A driving range membership is available. Teaching pros Stuart Blackie and Darren Witter.
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. The hotel hosts conferences, weddings and functions.
Did You Know
1/ 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. Creek 9 is the home of Foot Golf in South Africa.
2/ New members, and there are numerous categories, are entitled to 3 free nights at The Fairway Hotel, and their spouses have free lifestyle membership. The club has a Health & Wellness Centre, tennis courts and running track access.
3/ The club has a fleet of 70 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.
4/ Randpark is home to the Central Gauteng Golf Union offices.
Randpark hosted the two most recent SA Opens in January 2020 (won by Branden Grace with a record equalling total of 263) and January 2019 (Louis Oosthuizen 266), plus the 2018 Joburg Open (Shubhankar Sharma 264). All European Tour events. 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.
Course and Facilities Rating
Firethorn is a great layout, although some of the design changes didn't enhance the flow of the course for me. That said, each hole plays independently and presents a varied challenge. I played the course in its best condition post the Joburg Open and found it a tough challenge with the rough incredibly thick and the greens fast. This is when the course comes into its own. Other times of the year I have found variability in conditioning between the fairway, first cut and second cut. Bunkers are always in great shape, the greens roll true, so good putts are rewarded.
15 January 2021
A magnificent gem in the heart of Randburg, worthy host of the SA Open the last two years. Greens in perfect condition and the course sublime.
01 January 2021
Course in fantastic condition, greens reliable and true.
30 October 2020
Definitely a top 10 golf course in South Africa!
Altus du Plessis
24 September 2020
Course in average condition. Confusing bunker protocols with rakes out on all bunkers and bunkers in a mixed state of repair.
10 September 2020
A world-class golfing experience from the car park to 19th hole! The course is extremely well conditioned and manicured, but don't let its beauty deceive you. A true test of all your skills.
16 April 2020
Greens spectacular and running true. Fairways are European Tour standard and bunkers in top condition and consistent.
05 April 2020
The greens took a lot of traffic during recent tournaments yet they remain exceptional, true and reasonably paced with no imperfections.
27 February 2020
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