Western Cape Top 25
15

Worcester

Worcester - Western Cape

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General manager: Heinrich Bosman
Club pro: Dandre Spies
Greenkeeper: Hendrik Germishuis
Club captain: Kobus Smit
President: Rudi Crocker
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 62.4 out of 100
Conditioning14.0 / 20
Playability12.0 / 20
Aesthetics10.1 / 15
Design Variety9.3 / 15
Shot Values9.5 / 15
Memorability7.5 / 15

Three tees / Par 72

Yellow 6015 metres, CR72.5/126
White 5578 metres, CR70.0/120
Red 4964 metres, CR66.8/111
Women’s white, CR76.3/145
Women’s red, CR72.4/131

Visitor Green Fee

R400 for 18 holes
Golf cart R340 (R200 weekdays)

Course designer

Gary Player / Peter Matkovich 1988

Contact

023 342 7482
www.worcestergolfclub.co.za

Previous Ranking

96 (2021)

Worcester’s championship layout, situated 112 kilometres from Cape Town in the Boland Golf Union region, is set against an attractive backdrop of the Brandwacht mountains. In the winter, a fine time to play the course, these often have snow on their peaks. It is the third oldest club in the Western Cape, founded in 1895.

The golf course adjoins the N1 highway on the opposite side from the central business district and is easy to access. The layout is unique in being an early Peter Matkovich design when he was working for Gary Player’s design company. Matkovich was into risk-reward situations on short par-4s and par-5s, and being creative with the shaping of his greens. The resulting undulations remain on several of them at Worcester.

He also liked to be different in his thinking, so the final three holes on each nine are only par 3s and par 5s, three of each. No other Top 100 course has this unusual arrangement. He introduced one of the first par 3s (No 7) where golfers had to carry a large body of water to a green sitting on the edge of the dam, and a double green shared by a ninth and 18th holes. Unusually for Matkovich though there are no water hazards next to this double green, originally shaped in the form of the African continent.

The course is in a quiet rural setting, with plenty of open space, which makes the surrounding land popular with mountain bikers. Worcester’s layout could be described as “Karoo parkland.” The fringes of the course border the dry bushy scrubland that is indigenous to an area with limited rainfall. The green fairways provide a stark contrast to the rest of the landscape.

Being in a windy area, there are plenty of challenges here, particularly on or around the attractively contoured greens which are a feature. The early holes, all par 4s, venture into scenic low hills, but once you play the steeply downhill fourth the terrain becomes easier to walk. Water hazards (not all visible from the tee, a weakness of the course) come into play from the fifth to the eighth.

The par-3 seventh is a hole which gets attention, the tee shot having to carry a wide expanse of water to the green, varying from 158 to 102 from the three tees. The teeing areas for this hole are unusually stretched in a line along the bank and pathway of the dam.

Additional Course Facts

Men's Club Champion

2022 Chris Erasmus & Liezel Moller
2021 Ryk van Schoor jnr & Maree van Rensburg
2020 Ryk van Schoor jnr & Wilhelmin vd Merwe
2019 Dandre Spies

Course Record

60 by Sunshine Tour pro Ockie Strydom in Wijnlander tournament (28-32)

Feature Holes

The course has two superb risk-and-reward short par 4s, the sixth (where a dam is in play off the tee) and 12th, which is just 283 metres from the back tee.

Practice Facility

Unusual range next to clubhouse and adjoining first hole, as the tees (mats) are built in steps on a slope. A 130-metre range for short irons, with a warm-up net.

Did You Know

1/ There is a unique double green in front of the clubhouse, one of the biggest in South Africa, shared by the par-3 ninth and par-5 18th. The double-storey clubhouse has a panoramic outlook over the course.

2/ Two of the club’s leading players are descendants of legendary Springbok rugby centre Ryk van Schoor. His son and grandson, also named Ryk, have been club champions.
3/ The club’s annual flagship event is the Wijnlander, a four-day tournament in October.

4/ Three Sunshine Tour pros, Ockie Strydom, Oliver Bekker and Christiaan Basson, started their golf at Worcester. The club has hosted the Junior and Mid-Amateur interprovincials.

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
Worcester's layout in a pleasant setting is an early Peter Matkovich design, so it is unconventional for its era (1980s). He introduced some unusual features. I don't know of any other SA course without a par 4 in the last three holes of either front or back nine. Or having an enormous green for 9 and 18 to share in front of the clubhouse. No 7 was a special par 3 for its time, a long carry over water to a small green on the opposite bank. The beauty of the hole is the way the tees have been spaced out between an avenue of trees as you walk around the bank of a large dam. Not all the water hazards are this visible though. How much better would the par-5 eighth be if the hazard left of the fairway was enlarged and open to view from the tee? Attractive gardens full of colourful succulents frame the clubhouse and this is a club which cares for its appearance. Much has been done the past year in the way of improvements, both course and clubhouse.
Stuart McLean
19 January 2023
A hidden gem! The design has many a quirky hole, from risk-and-reward to outright monsters, depending on the wind which often blows and changes the course from day to day. The variation of hole design keeps one interested and focused. A thinking golfer's course, not particularly long, where you don't need to automatically reach for the driver on every tee. Conditioning is superb for a 'dry' area of the Western Cape. Off the fairway the rough can be penalising. The greens right now are as good as you'll find anywhere. Clubhouse renovations have improved the halfway house and pro shop. Staff are friendly and accommodating. There is abundant wildlife on the course.
Warren Minster
11 January 2023
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Worcester is a great layout and varying weather conditions can make it extremely challenging. It requires management from the tee and the greens allow for a variety of pin positions which test approach shots. Pleasantly surprised to see improvements to the course and clubhouse which add to the overall experience. The pro shop and halfway house have been revamped. New cart paths have been built (notably at No 15) and more are planned. Work at the 12th has significantly improved the view of the water feature and greenside bunker at this short par 4. The team at Worcester is doing an excellent job.
Lihan van der Merwe
18 August 2022
Worcester's splendid course lies in a magnificent rugged setting, with an impressive mountain backdrop. They were covered in snow just a week ago. Being one of the first Peter Matkovich designs (he was then working for Gary Player Design) it contains some unusual features characteristic of Matkovich's style. He likes tempting golfers to take on a challenge. The 12th at just 283 metres is one of the best risk-and-reward short par 4s in the Western Cape. Shorter hitters have the challenge of attempting to carry a stream which runs across the fairway short of a ridge, in order to obtain a sight of the green, while longer hitters can try and drive the green. However, you need to be straight. It's guarded by a water hazard on the left and five bunkers. All told, a daunting hole.
Stuart McLean
20 October 2021

Worcester is well worth the drive from Cape Town and is in excellent condition. The design variety was unexpected and I enjoyed the risk and reward elements of several holes. The opening nine holes is particularly interesting with challenging green complexes. The general layout, presentation and attention to detail was impressive. Definitely a course to play when travelling to the Cape Winelands.

Jon James
26 May 2021
A well designed and laid out course with a real inland links feel to it. Very impressive that the course has managed to maintain its good condition right through the hot and windy summer months. You might need a 'bush' club when recovering from the wide rough, but that's part of the character of Worcester.
Mark Lynam
19 February 2021
One of the Cape's gems. Just over an hour's easy drive on the N2 from Cape Town, passing through the spectacular Du Toits Kloof (you can take the tunnel to save time, or enjoy the scenic slow route over the pass). I am always taken aback at how few Cape Town golfers ever go to play here. Course was in good condition. Fairways a bit stressed due to heat and lack of summer rain, but greens excellent (better than some of the more vaunted Cape Town courses!). Worcester deserves a top 100 place.
David Frost
27 December 2020
First visit (I'm from Scotland) and I was impressed with the layout and quality of the greens.
Ron Cameron
24 February 2020
Worcester does fewer than 20 000 rounds a year, so it appeals to adventurous visitors who might find the Winelands courses too crowded during the summer. My Scottish playing partner loved the views and the spaciousness of the setting. It reminded him of golf in Spain. The low vegetation evokes the nearby Karoo. The two nines are distinctly set apart. It's a well-designed and maintained layout with magnificent greens.
Stuart McLean
21 February 2020
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