Yellow 6880 metres, CR74.9/128
White 6203 metres, CR71.7/123
Blue 5463 metres, CR67.5/115
Red 5050 metres, CR64.8/115
Women’s blue, CR73.7/135
Women’s red, CR71.0/128
Golf carts R280
Gary Player Design 2019
060 743 6682/073 365 4579
Golf was first played in Soweto in 1974. Land was granted by the City of Johannesburg after Vincent Tshabalala and other black professionals of that era had petitioned the Minister of Sport, Piet Koornhof.
Gary Player designed the original 18-hole course, but in recent years it had fallen into disrepair. Sunshine Tour Executive Director Selwyn Nathan championed the upgrade of the club and course as a social programme for the Soweto community. The tour rallied the support of the City of Joburg, the PGA Tour and European Tour, The R&A and corporate South Africa to create a legacy project.
Gary Player Design, with Phil Jacobs overseeing the project, designed a new layout, while the US PGA Tour contributed $1 million to the construction work.
The new course is attractive, mainly due to Jacobs’ exceptional bent grass greens complexes which are a stand-out feature. The holes themselves are interesting and thickly tree-lined, providing a parkland feel, narrow in places. The layout is 35-37 with just three par 5s and three par 3s. Unusually you go nine holes without a par 3 from No 8 to 16.
The property itself is on gently sloping land, so there is movement on many holes, alternatively slightly downhill or uphill, seldom flat. Numerous doglegs and bunkers add to the overall challenge which can be demanding, even with only one water hazard in play, guarding the right of the green on the par-5 tenth.
From the back tees this is a long and strong test of golf, and the average score in the 2020 Vusi Ngubeni Tournament was 77.44. Home club member Musiwalo Nethunzwi beat James Kamte in a playoff after they had tied on 5-under-par 283. There were just six scores under 70. From the back tees there are 8 par fours between 403 and 438 metres.
Soweto has already hosted three professional tournaments, including two Joburg Ladies Opens.
Men: 68, Alpheus Kelapile, Tumelo Molloyi, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, James Kamte, 2020 Vusi Ngubeni Tournament
Women: 67, Lora Assad, 2019 Joburg Ladies Open
Short-game area and putting green close to first tee.
2021 Wiseman Hlongwane & Lungile Madela
1/ Refurbishment of the clubhouse began in 2016, plus the construction of fences and a wall to secure the property. The clubhouse is in its own stand separate from the course. There is no golf director or pro shop as yet.
2/ The Joburg Open Pro-Am was held at Soweto CC in March 2017 on the old course to signify the support of the City of Joburg for the Soweto CC upgrade.
3/ The groundbreaking ceremony for the new course took place in December 2017, attended by Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, the PGA Tour’s Ty Votaw, Sunshine Tour Executive Director Selwyn Nathan, and then 92-year-old anti-apartheid activist Andrew Mlangeni, a long serving member of Soweto CC.
4/ The Joburg Ladies Open in March 2019 was the first professional tournament at Soweto CC and won by Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini with a 54-hole total of two-under 214.
5/ There are actually 19 holes on the property. Left of the tenth hole is a spare par-3.
This course has proved one of the best in Gauteng after being revamped two years ago. The fairways and greens are in excellent condition. The only challenge is the 19th hole but the committee has promised they are working on it.
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