Johannesburg - Gauteng

Played this course? Review it now
General manager: Jeff Langman
Greenkeeper: Dean Whitson
Golf director: Francois Spangenberg
Club captain: Stuart Smith
President: Mike Dix
Chairman: Frank Dodkins
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 68 out of 100
Conditioning13.8 / 20
Playability14.1 / 20
Aesthetics10.6 / 15
Design Variety10.5 / 15
Shot Values9.9 / 15
Memorability9.1 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 71

Yellow 6500 metres, CR73.1/131
White 6150 metres, CR71.1/126
Blue 5665 metres, CR68.6/124
Red 5252 metres, CR66.5/121
Women’s white, CR78.0/140
Women’s blue, CR74.6/136
Women’s red, CR72.1/130

Visitor green fee

R495 weekdays, R530 weekends
Non-affiliated R640
Golf cart R460

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 1939,
Rob O’Friel 1999


011 447 3311 or 011 880 9682

Previous ranking

66 (2023), 60 (2022) & 62 (2021)

Wanderers is one of the iconic golf clubs in South Africa due to having been the permanent host for 23 years of what used to be the country’s premier tournament, the Lexington PGA Championship. This annual showcase at the Wanderers from 1972 to 1995 drew large galleries to follow famous American and British golfers competing against South Africa’s finest. 

The winners included five major champions – Gary Player and Ernie Els, Tom Weiskopf, Hale Irwin and Corey Pavin. And many leading South Africans have their names on the trophy: Dale Hayes three times (1974-76), Hugh Baiocchi, John Bland, Bobby Cole, Fulton Allem, Tony Johnstone, Mark McNulty and David Frost. The PGA had such status that the winner was invited to the World Series of Golf at Firestone in Ohio.

Today the Wanderers remains one of Gauteng’s most beautiful parkland courses, its undulating fairways lined with majestic rows of distinctive mature trees, primarily oak, ash, birch, chestnut, elm, camphor and stinkwood. By modern standards it’s now a shortish course, yet tight enough off the tee to trouble most golfers. 

A R2-billion development with Investec Property for the Wanderers has been deferred until 2026. This will entail the loss of the par-4 ninth hole bordering Rudd Road. A new clubhouse will be constructed and the course will be changed and upgraded, with new water features being built. 

The golf club owns the property, yet for many years it was part of the greater Wanderers Club. It owes its prime position in upmarket Illovo to the foresight of Victor Kent, who in the 1930s purchased the land so the club could move out of central Johannesburg, and add golf for its members. The course opened with 10 holes in 1939, designed by Bob Grimsdell and club member Felix Oliver, with 18 completed a few years later.

Three of the original holes were lost when the Wanderers Stadium was built in the 1950s. The course has three par 5s, with a par of 71.

Wanderers is one of only four Top 100 courses where the starting hole on each nine, Nos 1 and 10, with tee boxes closest to the clubhouse, is a par 5. Two of the others are also Gauteng courses – Benoni CC and Modderfontein, while Umdoni Park on the KZN South Coast is the only coastal example. However, there are two other courses, Blair Atholl (Gauteng) and Olivewood (Eastern Cape) where Nos 1 and 10 are both par 5s, but the tenth hole is nowhere near the clubhouse and is not used as a starting hole.

Additional Course Facts

Feature Holes

The course has changed since the halcyon days of the PGA Championship, having been upgraded in 1999 by Rob O’Friel, but still concludes with the famous uphill par-4 18th where many a tournament was decided on the final green. The downhill tenth is a fine risk-and-reward par 5, with water short of a green which stands in the shadow of the Wanderers cricket stadium. The course is defined by narrow and sloping fairways, several dogleg holes, and rewards those who drive the ball long and straight. The 11th is a superb dogleg left par 4, while the fourth is a short par 4 seemingly hemmed in by trees from tee to green.


The Protea Hotel Wanderers is across the road in Corlett Drive.

Practice Facility

Range close to clubhouse with 200-metre distance. Large putting green in front of clubhouse; chipping green with complimentary warm-up balls.

Club Champions

2023 Eric Ncube & Gia Raad
2022 Daniel Frangos & Tebogo Lefifi
2021 Alistair Goble & Tebogo Lefifi
2020 Gareth Elfick & Tebogo Lefifi
2019 Gareth Elfick & Tebogo Lefifi

Did You Know

1/ The busy social scene at Wanderers GC attracted famous international sportsmen and women as members. These included Graeme Pollock, Steven Jack (a former club captain), John Waite and Spook Hanley from cricket, Francois Pienaar, Hugh Bladen, James Small and John Robbie from rugby, and Pat Pretorius from tennis.

2/ Gary Player’s wife Vivienne was a Wanderers member, and famously had two aces in one round in 1978.

3/ There were two 61s in the PGA Championship at the old Wanderers by Fulton Allem (1989) and Rett Crowder (1993), while David Frost posted a record 72-hole score of 21-under 259 in winning the 1994 PGA (64-67-65-63).

4/ Dale Hayes shot 62 in the third round of the 1975 PGA, and that included calling a penalty shot on himself when his ball moved at address.

5/ The prizemoney for the first PGA Championship in 1972 was R25 000. It reached R100 000 in 1980, and R500 000 in 1993.

6/ The first co-sanctioned European Tour event held in South Africa was the 1995 Lexington PGA, the last one at the Wanderers. Ernie Els won his second PGA trophy and R220 000. Alfred Dunhill took over the sponsorship and the tournament moved to Houghton.

Course and Facilities Rating
blankConditioning Ratings
Overall Conditioningblankblankblankblankblank
blankFacility Ratings
Pace of Playblankblankblankblankblank
Practice Facilityblankblankblankblankblank
Halfway Houseblankblankblankblankblank
Pro Shopblankblankblankblankblank
Locker Roomblankblankblankblankblank
19th Holeblankblankblankblankblank
Course Etiquetteblankblankblankblankblank
Course Reviews
The Wanderers was one of the last top clubs in Gauteng to tackle the increase and impact of cart traffic on what was once a course where everyone walked. They have remedied that by building numerous concrete paths around greens and tees to eradicate unsightly dirt tracks, with more to come. It's now a smoother journey for the cart brigade. A bigger project though has been the two-year development around the par-3 sixth hole. A large dam (left of green) has transformed a weak hole, although the water could have been closer to the green for better visual effect. The left bank of the dam has been raised to incorporate elevated white and yellow back tees of No 7, enhancing the look and feel of this terrific long dogleg left 4. Wanderers, with tree-lined fairways, has interesting design variety, although unusually you only play one par 3 in the first 11 holes if you start at 1. This is a welcoming tee shot, a par 5 with a wide fairway inviting you to swing freely.
Stuart McLean
26 March 2024
I was pleasantly surprised with the condition of Wanderers. The greens were pure. I really like the course upgrade done with No 7, and the water feature at the par-3 sixth. At the par-4 seventh the tees have been moved further back alongside the new dam, more left and elevated. It is now a true Stroke 1 with a challenging drive around the dogleg left, leaving a long iron into the green. You have to shape your drive with a gentle draw to miss the water hazard right of the fairway, at the same time avoiding the bunker left. Very nice hole. I enjoyed the halfway house, getting the sense of freshly prepared food. Overall, apart from the winter conditions, this was a good experience and a place where you can test your game. I would recommend though that the club look at the signage of holes. If you don't know the course it can be tricky at times to know where to go.
Ignis van der Merwe
22 September 2023
View more reviews
Wanderers members have endured a busy year of construction and irrigation projects which are a positive sign for the club's future. An enormous dam has been built high on the property alongside the par-3 sixth hole which will hold some 12 million litres of water and feed the course's new irrigation system (replacing an ancient one). Evidence of the laying of irrigation pipes can be seen throughout the parkland course, including the ninth hole alongside Rudd Road which has been earmarked to disappear as part of the Investec Property development. This has been put on hold for at least another four to five years. The dam, once filled this summer, will enhance the aesthetics and challenge of the sixth. And on the left bank of the dam new elevated tees have been built for the seventh, transforming this strong par 4 into something special. The Wanderers was one of Johannesburg's premier courses in the three decades when it hosted the PGA Championship, and with membership picking up it can stage a comeback.
Stuart McLean
24 October 2022
The course is in really good condition. Attention to bunker edges pleasing to see. Greens were good but agonisingly slow. We really need a concerted effort to encourage clubs to speed greens up.
David Frost
27 March 2022
The positioning of the Wanderers in the heart of the city makes it a convenient meeting point for golfers. The course has a timeless feel and is fortunate to have one of the best greenkeepers in Dean Whitson. The putting surfaces are superb. The bunkers have often been an Achilles heel but have improved, and his team are working on definition and consistency. The finishing holes are among the best. The 16th is an uphill par 4 with a well guarded green; the par-3 17th a beautiful hole playing 135m off the club tee. The par-4 18th provides a stern uphill test. The clubhouse is currently undergoing renovations and the old halfway house has reopened under the trees near the first tee, a welcome return. Wanderers should be back to its best when the course has dried out and the greens are back to their best in autumn.
Jon James
25 March 2022
This old style parkland course places a premium on driving skills.
Neville Clarke
30 January 2022
Great greens for a course which has seen better days. Wanderers is an excellent layout, although modern equipment is putting pressure on its length. Not much room to grow. However, it is conveniently situated close to the highway between Johannesburg and Sandton, and a sunrise 9 holes followed by breakfast is a great way to start the day in summer.
Graham Jones
29 January 2022

The Wondrous Wanderers is like stepping into a time capsule. The trees on this course are massive and the one is older than the next. The neighbouring blocks of flats also come from another era. But what a magnificent walk. This is the definition of a parkland course. Bunkers are excellent and the ground staff have done well to present the course so playable considering Gauteng has experienced something of a monsoon lately. The course is teeming with Grey go-away-birds (grey loerie or kwêvoël). Oh, and did I mention the Bullring is towering over you!

George Raubenheimer
21 January 2022
The Wanderers layout we know so well from the Lexington PGA years will likely change substantially in 2022 when two new holes are designed by Peter Matkovich to replace the existing eighth and ninth. The land is earmarked for a residential cum commercial development. The eighth will be missed by those who like a challenge. There are few short par 4s where most golfers will happily walk off the green with a par. It is a daunting hole mainly due to the approach shot being played steeply uphill not only to a raised green, but one designed on a narrow diagonal and protected by deep bunkers.
Thomas Souness
27 April 2021
One of the pleasures of playing at the Wanderers is the fact that you open your round with a downhill tee shot on a par 5, either the first or the tenth, to a broad fairway. It helps free up your swing for the holes ahead. The Wanderers is not only a beautiful parkland layout, with mature trees framing fairways, but it has extremely attractive greens complexes, created by Rob O'Friel more than 20 years ago which have stood the test of time. There are some long and narrow greens where the pins can be tucked away in tough positions. Invariably a missed green can see the ball running away down a slope or into a well-placed bunker.
Stuart McLean
24 April 2021
Wanderers provides good highway access points in the heart of Johannesburg. I enjoy the greens, some of the best putting surfaces year round, and the shaping of the holes which provide an interesting test of shot making. The course presentation is consistent and the course offers good value for visitors. The bunkers have improved recently, having been inconsistent previously.
Jon James
09 April 2021
Course in a good condition, and I enjoyed the layout. Greens rolling well.
Stefan Rudman
18 December 2020
Condition is really good. Great greens, bunkers well-sanded and maintained. A real winter treat.
David Frost
10 September 2020

I'm a club member, yet impartial enough to give the highs and lows of the Wanderers. The clubhouse is old and due for demolition. The food, bar and friendly members help create a welcoming environment. It's one of the friendlier clubs in Johannesburg. Our greens are the highlight of a course that is a fair test for all handicaps. They are among the best I've played and consistently so. The Wanderers has some cracker holes, notably Nos 1, 7, 8, 10, 11 (signature hole), 13, 16, 17 and 18.

Gavin White
05 March 2020
Submit Your Review & Ratings


If you've played this course recently, why not tell us all about it? Follow the link to our review section, complete our grading criteria and give us some details on your experience. If selected, your review will appear amongst the course’s collection of player reviews.

Course Location
Other Top 100 Courses in the Area
  • Parkview
    RANKED 36
  • Killarney
    RANKED 47
  • Houghton
    RANKED 30