Yellow 7096 metres, CR76.5/148
White 6246 metres, CR72.3/140
Blue 5782 metres, CR69.4/132
Red 5001 metres, CR65.3/122
Women’s blue, CR76.3/150
Women’s red, CR71.4/140
Signature: Weekday R670,
Whistling Thorn: R500
Includes use of the range and a complimentary draft after your round.
Jack Nicklaus 2009
011 552 7200
Serengeti, with its opulent Jack Nicklaus Signature layout, is home to a large and growing residential estate which will soon have a 5-star hotel. It is conveniently situated to OR Tambo International Airport and the R21 highway with its direct links to Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The development of the 780-hectare estate has transformed a flat and featureless plain into an attractive golfing venue, famed for its outstanding conditioning. Nicklaus takes painstaking care in the look, feel and positioning of his bunkers, and at Serengeti he cultivated a naturally rugged and ragged wasteland look to balance softly undulating playing surfaces. Water hazards are a feature, although they only come into play on eight holes.
Acclaimed by Golf Digest as South Africa’s Best New Course in 2010, it’s a championship layout from the 7 096-metre back tees, and within three years of opening it was hosting the SA Open on the European Tour, where there was low scoring from the leaders. However, the club tees are friendlier at 6 246 metres, where the average golfer can best enjoy a mix of dramatic and unusual holes. Undulating greens make for an interesting challenge, and the pace of the putting surfaces is regulated as a result.
Nicklaus designed 27 holes at Serengeti, with a separate 9-hole course called Whistling Thorn. This is now a unique 18-hole championship Par 3 course. It’s a stunning creation by Dino de Abreu, a part of it in among attractive wetlands. There are five different tee options, and from the pro tees it measures 3268 metres, or an average of 182 metres per hole. The middle blue tees are a more manageable 2514 metres (average 140 metres). Two or three holes resemble short par 4s from the back, and each nine has a really short par 3.
Golf carts are compulsory on both courses.
61 by Kyle McClatchie in 2015;
63 by Caitlyn Macnab (women’s record) in 2019
The eighth is a talked-about risk-and-reward par 5, with water right of the fairway, and an island green. That’s followed by a superb long par 3. The back nine has some beautiful water features, and a terrific stretch of holes from the par-3 12th to par-5 16th.
Serengeti has one of the best practice facilities in the country, having a long, wide range with target greens conveniently set next to the clubhouse. It is home to the Wanna Be A Champion Golf & Fitness Academy headed up by teaching professional Doug Wood and fitness guru Garth Milne. There is a gym in the clubhouse. They also have academies at Fancourt and Woodhill. Each offer latest swing analysis and putting aid technology. Serengeti has the only registered AimPoint instructor in South Africa in Sandra van der Berg.
2020 Caitlyn Macnab & Nadia van der Westhuizen
2019 Ryan Joyce & Caitlyn Macnab
1/ The SA Open was hosted by Serengeti in 2011 and 2012 when it moved to Ekurhuleni. Hennie Otto, who grew up in nearby Boksburg, won in 2011 with 14-under 274, with former Sunshine Tour pro Dean van Staden (ERPM) as his caddie. The 2012 Open went to Henrik Stenson on 271 by three from George Coetzee, who had a 63 in the third round. Stenson employed a Soweto caddie, Solomon Soli.
2/ Hennie Otto equalled the SA Open scoring record with a 62 (one eagle, 8 birdies) in the 2012 final round.
3/ In 2018 and 2019 Serengeti hosted the Sunshine Tour’s end-of-season Tour Championship with a 40-man field, won by Jean-Paul Strydom in 2019 with 274, and Darren Fichardt in 2018 with 271.
4/ Club member Caitlyn Macnab, 18, the No 1-ranked women’s amateur in South Africa, made history in 2020 when she entered and won the men’s club championship playing from the gold tees. This is believed to be a first in South Africa. Caitlyn shot 74-71 to win by two from John Ferreira.
5/ The third hole is one of the longest in Gauteng, 619 metres, and played to a 4.97 average in the SA Open, with just 3 eagles.
6/ Serengeti offers members a new 9-hole mashie course with holes of about 50 metres.
The cool season grass on the fairways has been taken over by kikuyu, so the fairways are patchy and ugly. The greens are okay at times. Bunkers are in poor condition; some have sand and some not. There is no control of pace of play. Halfway house is okay, yet expensive.
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