Cape Town - Western Cape
General manager: David Smith
Golf director: Nicholaas Lochner
Greenkeeper: Corneille van Rooyen
Club captain: Brendan Mackay-Leslie
President: Ron Clark
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 66.1 out of 100
Conditioning12.9 / 20
Playability13.9 / 20
Aesthetics10.8 / 15
Design Variety11.2 / 15
Shot Values8.2 / 15
Memorability9.1 / 15
Three tees / Par 72
Yellow, 5867 metres, C71.2/123
White, 5558 metres, CR69.5/120
Red, 5100 metres, CR66.9/114
Women’s white, CR75.6/130
Women’s red, CR72.6/124
Visitor green fee
Affiliated R560 Sept-Dec;
R650 Jan-March; R500 April-August
Non-affiliated R800 & R1000
Golf cart R420
Charles Molteno Murray 1936
021 788 2020
75 (2022) & 74 (2021)
Westlake is known as one of the most popular and sociable golf clubs in South Africa. Situated close to the False Bay coastline, overlooked by the Silvermine mountain range, it has had a full membership for many years, and thus sees an astronomical number of rounds played year on year by members and visitors. More than a million rounds over the last 20 years. Early in the millennium it once did 130 000 rounds in a two-year period. The secret behind its success is a membership model relatively rare in South Africa – a full membership subscription including all green fees. This encourages members to play as much as possible.
Westlake attracts visitors with its outstanding conditioning and a fun yet challenging parkland layout, one more demanding than the distance of 5 867 metres from the back tees suggests.
Golf has been played on this site, formerly a farm, since 1932, starting as a 9-holer on the adjoining mountain slopes. This was soon discontinued when the members bought the land, and the current 18-hole course opened for play in early 1936. One of Westlake’s early members was Otway Hayes, who earned his Springbok colours, won the SA Amateur (1939), and was inducted into the SA Golf Hall of Fame.
Impressively tall pine trees in strategic positions are a feature of the course, which lies next to the Silvermine mountain range and is vulnerable to the Cape south-easter. Narrow holes reward straight driving and accurate iron play.
The course has been strengthened over the years by design upgrades to improve holes, and a modern reticulation system that has transformed the overall conditioning. Behind the 18th green is a unique memorial fountain, opened in 1994, which commemorates past members.
Additional Course Facts
64, Jonathan Burgess, 1992 club champs;
Trevor Immelman, 1999 SA Strokeplay
Women: 66, Diksha Dagar, 2019 SA Women’s Open
Limited warm-up range next to clubhouse.
2022 Shaun le Roux & Anelda Oosthuizen
2021 Christian Helmbold & Anelda Oosthuizen
Westlake has some of Cape Town’s most interesting and challenging par 4s, including the second, which doglegs sharply left around tall trees; the 12th, to a green framed by tall pines; and the 18th, another dogleg left around a forest of pines. The fast-paced greens have subtle slopes to test a golfer’s putting skills.
Did You Know
1/ The club hosted the SA Women’s Open for four years on the European Ladies Tour, won by Ashleigh Buhai (2018), India’s Diksha Dagar (2019), England’s Alice Hewson (2020) and Lee-Anne Pace (2021). Left-hander Dagar had the lowest individual round of 66.
2/ A host of SA sporting legends are club members, including cricketers Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher, rugby’s Jean de Villiers, Nick Mallett, Bobby Skinstad and Schalk Burger.
3/ Westlake has hosted both the men’s SA Amateur in 1999 and Premier Interprovincial in 2014. Jean Hugo won the 1999 SA Strokeplay on four-under 284. Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman, who finished second, had a course record 64, but it followed a first round 80. Richard Sterne won the SA Amateur.
4/ Gary Player and Ronan Keating held an 18-hole charity shootout at Westlake in May 2018, raising funds for their respective foundations.
Course and Facilities Rating
Westlake employed a new greenkeeper last year (Corneille van Rooyen) and I have never seen it looking in such excellent condition from tee to green. What a pleasure to play the course. The greens are firm, smooth and pacy, bunkers consistent and fairways well covered with no need for placing. Attention to detail is evident.
03 June 2023
The course is in exceptional condition; tees, fairways and greens equally good. Clubhouse is dated, but I hear it is to be renovated. Halfway house was a good experience.
13 March 2023
Westlake is one of my favourite Cape Town courses. It was in superb condition. We played in a stiff wind, but nothing like the howling south-easter the course is known for. The field was full, typical of Westlake, but the pace of play superb. Never did we feel rushed or pressured. The course is well routed and makes great use of its limited elevation changes on a flat piece of property. I was sad to see that the large tree that used to protect the dogleg on the par-4 12th has died and no longer in play. All the par 3s were a stern challenge due to the wind, particularly No 15 which had a tucked front pin position. Sitting on the terrace in the sun after the round was as pleasurable as I remember.
07 January 2023
Westlake has remained consistent over the years in its conditioning and overall presentation. The greens were not at their best when we played (slow and some invasive grasses) which made the short game challenging. The course is restricted for length but uses its established trees to good effect as a defence. The Shot Values are high too, with several dogleg holes where power isn't the main weapon.
16 December 2022
The par 3s at Westlake don't add up to much in total distance (ranging from 133 to 169 metres off the tips) yet are a formidable quartet, even with three of them advantageously playing slightly downhill. The third has no need for a sand trap, instead it has a devilishly narrow green running steeply from front to back and then falling abruptly off into a swale. Putts here turn sideways. The sixth green is bunkered on the left, with ample bail-out room right, yet the green slopes away to the sand making the pace of pitches and putts tricky to judge. No 15 is the shortest par 3 but the two-tier green, narrow in front and well-bunkered, is exposed to cross-winds. No 17 through an avenue of trees (again, not a bunker in sight) has another awkward long green, this one rising from front to back over a ridge. Missing left leaves a delicate recovery due to the sidehill slope. The course is in fine shape, greens superb.
04 July 2022
Westlake's condition is under strain. There is a grass problem impacting most fairways and some tees. The greens are bumpy, slow and inconsistent.
13 February 2022
A course that requires accurate tee shots to find the fairways (or wildly inaccurate to reach a neighbouring fairway) or beware of the pine trees. Not the longest of courses and so not all clubs in the bag will be tested, but Westlake has a particularly fine set of finishing holes. A good mix of hole lengths make for interesting challenges, including short par 4s to tempt the long hitters. Greens patchy with large dry almost grassless patches (death of poa?) and fairways barren in parts. Disappointing conditioning overall compared to usual standards. Slow round of 4:45 with no halfway stop, hopefully an exception rather than the norm.
03 February 2022
Westlake is in nice condition. Greens are smooth, slowish and rolling well. Not a particularly long course, the challenge is created by the need for good tee shots on several dog-legged tree-lined fairways.
05 November 2021
Westlake has an abundance of excellent holes, and I found it more interesting and challenging than the higher-ranked courses in Cape Town like Royal Cape and Steenberg. There are some superb long par 4s, among them the 18th which is a beauty on which to finish. Accurate driving is essential because you cannot afford to spray it off the tee.
Dieter ten Haag
10 October 2021
Westlake has closed the par-4 14th hole in order to plant new kikuyu grass on the fairway and leave it undisturbed for more than a month. The club can do this and still have 18 holes in play because Westlake is a rarity in South Africa in having a par-3 19th hole they can use as a temporary replacement when a hole needs to be worked on. This is a practice commonly found at golf courses in Australia, particularly the Melbourne sand belt where the extra hole is not just a makeshift one, but built to a high standard of design and popular with members. Westlake's spare par 3, situated close to the eighth green, is relatively short (about 120 metres) but a vast undulating green provides an interesting challenge once you're on the putting surface.
04 October 2021
Westlake have taken pride in getting their greens right, and what a big improvement. They are much smoother and have a better roll (11 on the stimp). The course in general is well maintained, and bunkers consistent with soft sand nice to play from.
08 May 2021
Relatively flat course with a good mix of holes. Can be challenging in the summer south-easter. Friendly and welcoming 19th hole.
Brent Arthur Kleve
01 May 2021
Always feel welcome at this golf club, but the fairways are taking strain. Very wet, hardly any run and two distinctly different grasses on the same fairway.
27 April 2021
Westlake is a fun experience. Not long, but the trees on the course reward accurate drives. The greens are very good and a joy to putt on.
19 January 2021
Westlake looks a seductively pleasant parkland layout standing on the first tee, but I soon found it's no walk in the park, a premium being placed on straight tee shots with so many tree-lined fairways. Some appear dauntingly narrow with a driver in hand. And the course boasts creative greens complexes with subtle slopes which lend it further strength and character, and together with good bunkering increases the difficulty factor. It has a fine variety of long, medium and short holes in the par 5s, par 4s and par 3s. Temporary green at par-5 17th when I played. But the proper green is ready, and the putting surface brilliantly carpeted. One of the best designed greens too, with so many pin positions.
05 January 2021
Westlake has the best finishing stretch of holes of any Cape Town course. None can compete with the quality and variety of the challenge on the last three holes, 16 to 18. The 16th is a different par 5 design, a sharp dogleg right off the tee which then climbs uphill to a green largely hidden from view for most of the journey there. Additionally it is unique in being the only par 5 in South Africa which has neither a water hazard nor a bunker. And yet it's a brilliant hole. No 17 is a par 3 with an awkward raised green, while the round concludes with a terrific par 4 that doglegs left around the tall pines that are a feature of Westlake. Finish with three straight pars and you can be proud of yourself.
02 January 2021
Real fun track. A little tight around some holes but the layout is fair and rewarding if you can shape the ball both ways. Good course and value for money.
16 April 2020
Good parkland course which tests your ability to shape the ball. Great clubhouse atmosphere.
08 April 2020
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