54

Steenberg

Cape Town - Western Cape

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General manager: Gavin Woodroffe
CEO: Walter Tarr
Greenkeeper: Robbie Misplon (Golf Data)
Club captain: Trevor Sayer
Chairman: Tim Aiken
Golf manager: JJ Bekker
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 68.4 out of 100
Conditioning13.6 / 20
Playability14.5 / 20
Aesthetics12.5 / 15
Design Variety9.5 / 15
Shot Values9.0 / 15
Memorability9.3 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6 166 metres, CR73.3/135
White 5844 metres, CR71.5/133
Blue 5472 metres, CR 69.3/133
Red 5164 metres, CR 67.6/128
Women’s blue, CR75.3/135
Women’s red, CR73.2/131

Visitor green fee

R1,550 non-affiliated
R950 affiliated

Course designer

Peter Matkovich 1996

Contact

021 713 2233
www.steenberggolfclub.co.za

Previous ranking

55

Cape Town’s first golf estate is one of the country’s premier residences, with properties at trendy Steenberg fetching high prices. Numbering just 225 explains why. It’s more than just a residential address though. There’s a luxury boutique hotel, restaurants and a wine estate. The golf club is a similarly smart upmarket venue commanding one of the high-end visitor green fees in the Cape Peninsula; plus a considerable entrance fee for new members.

A feature of the parkland course is its mountainous surrounding and neighbouring vineyards. Although an archetypal Peter Matkovich estate design, it doesn’t feel as hemmed in as some. Housing seldom flanks both sides of a fairway, and there’s ample width off the tee to offer different angles of approach to the greens. The course Aesthetics are excellent, with streams and wetland areas enhancing the experience. Steenberg set out to establish the best conditioned course in the Cape, with fast-paced greens, and it achieved that pristine look for many years. Conditioning issues due to Cape Town’s water crisis, however, saw Steenberg fall outside the top 50 for the first time. All the bent grass greens and surrounds were replanted, and Golf Data changed the design of three greens to improve the course’s playability.

The modern greens with their undulating bent grass surfaces provide the biggest scoring challenges. Most of Matkovich’s original waste bunker areas have disappeared, although one remains left of the fairway on the par-5 12th, stretching for hundreds of metres.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

68 by the late Andrew Carris in 2007

Feature Holes

Steenberg has excellent and varied design balance, with several doglegs to contend with. As with many Matkovich designs the 18th is a risk-and-reward par 5 with water right of the green and bunkers left. The par-4 third is an attractive hole bordering a vineyard, where a good drive leaves a downhill approach to a rumpled green falling away steeply on the left. The par-3 seventh has a unique peninsula green within a water hazard, and the par-3 14th – where you view Elephant’s Eye on the mountain – has a 65-metre long green.

Accommodation

Steenberg Hotel & Spa, which includes the award-winning Tryn Restaurant, formerly Catharina’s.

Practice Facility

Steenberg has an excellent long range with artificial mats at the clubhouse side, and grass tees at its opposite end. However, practice balls do tend to stray on to the edge of the first hole. There are two short-game areas. The club is home to the EOGA Golf Academy, founded at Steenberg by teaching pro Etienne Olivier.

Did You Know

1/ Steenberg’s history dates back to 1682 when a farm was first established by early Cape settlers.

2/ A new modern art gallery by the Norval Foundation frames the entrance to the estate. It was endowed by Steenberg member Louis Norval, the 1979 SA Amateur champion at Humewood.

3/ Golf club membership is open to non-residents, but is limited to 350 with a waiting list.

4/ Former Springbok rugby player Lance Sherrell is a recent men’s club champion.

5/ Previous Steenberg CEO Peet de Wet received the Club Manager of the Year Award in 2018.

Club Champions

2021 Noel Anderson & Bobbi Brown
2020 Freddie Spencer & Bobbi Brown
2019 Lance Sherrell & Bobbi Brown

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
It has been a particularly wet winter in the Cape, but Steenberg has handled all the rain remarkably well. The course was in fine condition and highly playable the day after an overnight storm, other than puddles on the fifth fairway, long a problem hole for draining. The greens must certainly rank among the best in the Cape Peninsula, running at a perfect speed for club golfers. Steenberg has four outstanding par 3s, attractive and challenging, and also having a multitude of tee positions which add variety to how they play. In general, the plentiful tee box options at Steenberg on most holes can only add to the enjoyment of the course for members. So many courses are stuck with the same tee markers week after week, which means the holes play the same way with no variation other than wind direction.
Stuart McLean
30 August 2021
Good layout with excellent practice facilities. Good mix of holes providing a challenging but fair round of golf.
Brent Arthur Kleve
30 April 2021
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A great Cape Town layout with a good mix of risk and reward holes, and which rewards good course management. The greens are in excellent condition and running true.
Lihan van der Merwe
06 April 2021
Played Steenberg in an extremely strong south-easterly, and it says a great deal for the course's playability that you can still enjoy your golf and score well in difficult conditions. The greens are in outstanding shape and running quick, so they do represent the toughest challenge in a wind, especially some of the false fronts which can quickly catch you out, and have your ball retreating off the green. A beautiful setting is one of the features of this Cape Town estate, and it also has one of the best designed clubhouses in South Africa, compact, attractive, functional, smartly decorated, while retaining a 5-star aura. The practice range is handily close (mats only) with a spacious number of bays.
Stuart McLean
26 February 2021
I hadn't played Steenberg since August 2017. Played three rounds in December. The course is in superb condition, especially fairways and greens. Good to have it back in great shape again.
David Frost
28 December 2020
The golf course at Steenberg has been through a torrid time in recent years. However, it has turned the corner and is again a delightful place to play, albeit not at the same level of conditioning. The 2015 Golf Data renovation included the addition of false fronts on several greens, harking back to the Golden Age of course architecture, and they provide an element of deception. The par-3 second is now a much improved hole. One disappointment is the Steenberg bunkers: some fluffy and soft, others hard and bare. Mostly large and flat, they also look dated, both in proliferation (I counted 91) and in scope. The lengthy waste bunker left of the par-5 12th -- the only one that hasn't yet been removed -- will hopefully soon be replaced by something more aesthetic looking and challenging. The practice facility is superb, and unlimited range balls are included in the visitor green fee.
Hamish Houston
18 September 2020

Playing Steenberg was an absolute joy. Greens were excellent. Quicker than most but true and fair. They've made some wonderful design changes in the greens. This is a high-end course in terms of the visitor green fee, and the service standards and hospitality of the staff is outstanding, friendly and attentive. 

warren minster
18 September 2020
A favourable return to Steenberg. The course in excellent condition and the greens a pleasant surprise. Firm but receptive, evenly paced, challenging and running true. I had a superb caddie, Andre, who knew his lines, and I made several putts thanks to his assistance. The overall presentation of the course was good with the spring flowers out on a sunny day. My overall experience was complete when my clubs and cart were cleaned afterwards. My cart's wheels were particularly thankful as they had never been washed before!
Brent Kleve
14 September 2020
The course was in better condition than I have seen it in recent years. Good all round and the drainage at last sorted out! It was a windy day and the greens were running too fast for those conditions.
David Leslie
13 September 2020
Some fairways remain soggy after all the rain, otherwise in good condition and well matted. Greens have improved and run truly at 10.5 on stimp. I would liked to have seen more attention to detail, however I am sure all course budgets have been cut. Be interesting to see what happens going forward.
Henry Trevena
28 August 2020

The long turn-around of Steenberg's conditioning is nearing completion in the greens and surrounds. But bunkers remain below par, with little consistency in sand depth or texture. Most have pebbles, and some liners are visible. Steenberg, like many courses, is over-watered and would support better play and more interesting shot-making if it was firmer. But the modern mentality is that golfers want a lush green course to admire.

Hamish Houston
20 March 2020
Top-class golfing experience with top-class facilities to match.
Trevor King
08 March 2020
Steenberg's course conditioning has improved immensely. The fairways are excellent, greens firm and running well. Attention to detail re shaping and trimming is what has improved the most. The rest of the facilities are all excellent.
Eve Starke
02 March 2020
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