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Soweto Country Club

Johannesburg - Gauteng

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Club captain: Sipho Kunene
President: Raymond Martin
Greenkeeper: Lucky Mvelashe

COURSE SUMMARY

Four tees / Par 72

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

Visitor Green Fee

Affiliated R280
Non-affiliated R350
Golf carts R280

Course designer

Gary Player Design 2019

Contact

060 743 6682/073 365 4579
www.sowetocountryclub.com

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.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

Men: 68, Alpheus Kelapile, Tumelo Molloyi, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, James Kamte, 2020 Vusi Ngubeni Tournament
Women: 67, Lora Assad, 2019 Joburg Ladies Open

Practice Facility

Short-game area and putting green close to first tee.

Club Champions

2021 Wiseman Hlongwane & Lungile Madela 

Did You Know

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.

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Greens
Bunkers
Tees
Fairways
Presentation
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Service
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
Since Soweto's refurbishment the course has maintained excellent greens. There are hazards that might spoil your scorecard, like that on the par-5 third, which is also in play on the par-4 fourth. The course has a good balance of challenges like trees, water, dog-legs, hazard areas, and strategically placed bunkers. The fairways are well maintained and I could not fault SCC on their rough. There could be improvements in the pro shop, the halfway house and 19th hole. Without fail the highlight of my rounds there come on the par-4 eighth, alongside a settlement on the left where kids watch the golfers play. They clap and encourage golfers playing that hole. If you make a birdie these kids will make you feel like a "pro." Experience this for yourself. SCC has its own character and the experience is mostly good.
Dumi Maseko
27 February 2022

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.

Sipho Kunene
11 January 2022
View more reviews
The new Soweto course is worth playing, yet may struggle to attract visitors as it is not easy to locate. You need a satnav as there are no signposts. The greens complexes are exceptional and the bent grass surfaces putt like a dream. Numerous caddies available at clubhouse, and the best way to enjoy the course is to walk with a caddie. Even from the club tees this is a testing 18 holes, and finding the fairway off the tee is crucial as the rough is thick, although you are unlikely to lose a ball. There is no pro shop yet.
Stuart McLean
30 March 2020
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