Stellenbosch, Winelands - Western Cape
General manager: Chris van der Merwe
Golf director: Louis Destroo
Greenkeeper: Neil Scheepers (STM)
Club captain: Kobus van Schalkwyk
President: Leon de Wit
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 69 out of 100
Conditioning14.3 / 20
Playability14.5 / 20
Aesthetics11.5 / 15
Design Variety10.5 / 15
Shot Values9.0 / 15
Memorability9.2 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
Yellow 6388 metres, CR 73.7/136
White 6036 metres, CR 72.2/129
Blue 5486 metres, CR 69.4/124
Red 5082 metres, CR 67.4/120
Women’s blue, CR75.4/131
Women’s red, CR72.6/125
Visitor green fee
Winter rate R380
Ken Elkin 1953
021 880 0103
61 (2021) & 65 (2020)
It’s easy to see why Stellenbosch is one of the most popular courses in the Western Cape for foreign tourists every summer. An attractive parkland layout in the heart of the beautiful Cape Winelands region, this efficiently run club offers a welcoming experience for visitors, and it pulsates with activity throughout the summer. Recording more than 50 000 rounds a year – half of those by visitors – it ranks as one of the busiest clubs in South Africa.
The multi-storey clubhouse, with its outside deck, has a panoramic view of the golf course and the surrounding mountain range. With an excellent kitchen, where better to lunch after a morning round, or sip a sundowner if you play in the afternoon. And there’s a magnificent practice range facility for those who want to warm up beforehand or work on their game. Yes, the value of the all-round package is hard to beat.
The layout at Stellenbosch is both highly challenging from the back tees – not long ago this was a par 74 – and very playable from the others. The first nine begins with six strong tree-lined holes, five lengthy par 4s and a 519-metre par 5. The nine concludes with a downhill par 3 offering beautiful views of the university town, a sidehill par 5, and an uphill par 3. The club has planted more than 500 new trees since 2010 to maintain the parkland look.
In 1999 it played host to the SA Open on the European Tour, and a stellar cast of top professionals found it a handful, with home town boy David Frost winning on five-under-par 279. Ernie Els was T-6 on 283, Bernhard Langer finished on 288, Nick Faldo 290 and Ian Woosnam 291.
Golf has been played on the gently sloping terrain of this site since the 1950s. New greens were laid in 2004, creating more options for pin positions, to celebrate the club centenary. Stellenbosch GC was founded in 1904, making it the fourth oldest golf club in the Cape.
Additional Course Facts
63 by Jean-Paul Strydom in 2019 Vodacom Origins.
Stellenbosch has some distinctive holes, notably the 433-metre par-4 sixth where the approach shot must carry the corner of a neighbouring vineyard to reach an elevated green. This is followed by a 139-metre par 3 played steeply downhill to a large green, with views of the university town. The 14th is a wonderful uphill par 5, where the second shot must be kept to the right in order to open up a green hidden away behind large trees.
Protea Hotel Stellenbosch and De Zalze Lodge.
World Amateur Team Championship 2006,
SA Open 1999 (David Frost),
Five SA Masters (Mark McNulty 86, David Frost 87, John Bland 88, Hugh Baiocchi 89, Fulton Allem 90)
Outstanding facility close to clubhouse open to public with grass bays, plus a Titleist club-fitting academy. Head PGA pro is Erich Kliem (firstname.lastname@example.org). Teaching programmes for juniors and beginners.
Did You Know
1/ Golf director Louis Destroo, who has had a long career at Stellenbosch, is the current chairman of the PGA of SA. He won the 2017 PGA Professional of the Year award, and was Club Pro of the Year in 2012.
2/ The clubhouse is a conference venue, for groups of between 20 and 80. See the club website for packages. The club offers a car wash facility.
3/ Mark Muller rebuilt all 18 greens complexes before the club’s centenary in 2004.
4/ David Frost, who won the only SA Open played at Stellenbosch in 1999, caddied at the club as a youngster for his father Donnie.
5/ Justin Harding, who rose to the top 50 of the World Ranking in 2019, won the 2009 club championship.
6/ Former Western Province and Boland golfer Dewald Botha won the club championship 11 times in 20 years between 1983 and 2003, including seven in a row from 1983 to 1989.
7/ The other Stellenbosch course, De Zalze, is three kilometres away.
2021 Donovan Liddicoat & Crystal Beukes
2020 No championship
2019 Meyer Pauw & Crystal Beukes
Course and Facilities Rating
Stellenbosch keep improving the experience at their club, whether it be the clubhouse (currently being revamped) or upgrading the cart paths. Also new drainage across the fairway of the par-5 12th. The course is in good condition and well maintained. The greens hold and are smooth to putt on at about 10 on the stimpmeter. Fairways well grassed and placing unnecessary.
08 August 2022
This is one of South Africa's top courses, well designed and fun to play. The greens and fairways are in awesome condition, and the 19th is one of the best in the country.
14 April 2022
Stellenbosch has become one of the busiest courses in South Africa when it comes to golfing rounds. In the club's latest financial year, from August 1 2020 to July 31 2021, they had 54 790 rounds. That equates to an average of 150 rounds a day. This is in line with the increased popularity of golf since courses reopened in June 2020 following the first Covid lockdown. Stellenbosch has seen a huge influx of members under the age of 30, reducing the average membership age by more than 10 years to 45. The club provides an excellent golfing experience backed by superb clubhouse and practice facilities.
10 October 2021
You cannot fault the fairways and tees at Stellenbosch. They are in excellent condition despite the large amount of traffic at this popular layout. Unfortunately the greens are taking a beating with an enormous amount of pitch marks that are sadly not being repaired. In between the pitch marks the greens are smooth and even to putt on.
16 April 2021
Stellenbosch must be considered one of the best overall golf experiences in the Cape. An interesting and challenging layout, in superb condition from tee to green. And when the round is over it's hard to beat the delights of the 19th hole, the view, the food, the service. Full marks to the management.
28 March 2021
Stellenbosch greens are good all year round. The mountain views are magnificent. The par-5 eighth is known by members as the "Snakes or Grapes" hole. An intimidating tee shot not only has a vineyard to contend with on the left (grapes) and rough on the right (snakes), but has a fairway sloping from right to left towards the out-of-bounds fence. To complete the Winelands experience the 19th Hole is a must, with pizza and wine.
19 January 2021
A well-designed "US Open" style course provides an excellent challenge from the back tees, with quality greens and fairways. A reason why the club generates so many good young golfers can be attributed to the championship strength of the layout. A fantastic clubhouse atmosphere.
25 October 2020
Having not played Stellenbosch in a long time, I was pleasantly surprised by the general condition of the course. The original layout has been largely retained over the years with improvements. Lovely views and no houses! Worth a visit.
17 August 2020
Good to see so many young golfers using the facilities at Stellenbosch. Many of them out on the course in the morning I played, and they keep the range pumping later in the day. The bays were packed in the middle of the afternoon. The club has excellent practice facilities, underlining just how important this is to clubs attracting members and visitors and growing the game. The Stellenbosch course is in immaculate condition, and the overall experience is always pleasant with five-star attention to detail.
16 August 2020
In good condition and always challenging. Nice setting and great views.
The slow pace of play, 4 hours and 50 minutes, for the round spoiled an otherwise good experience.
28 July 2020
Excellent experience from when you park until you leave the club after 19 holes.
20 March 2020
Course in great condition considering it is the driest time of year.
Facilities first-class, pace of play a problem with so many tourists enjoying the course.
13 February 2020
What a great 19th hole to end a round! Magnificent outside decks high up in the clubhouse overlooking the course with good service and excellent food, specially from the pizza oven. The overall experience at Stellenbosch is superb, and no wonder there are so many visitors wanting to play at this beautiful venue.
27 January 2020
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