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
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
2/ Randpark has a Health & Wellness Centre, tennis courts, and running track access.
3/ 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.
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.
2021 Darren Quirk & Cara Ford
2020 Erwee Botha & Kim Turget
2019 Johan Aucamp & Cara Ford
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.
Definitely a top 10 golf course in South Africa!
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