Published by : Stuart McLean - 05 February 2021

Fancourt in the Garden Route is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading golf resorts, so it is no surprise that their Montagu course, ranked No 8, was judged the Best Conditioned Course in South Africa during the past year. Fancourt’s reputation was built on the immaculate preparation of its golf courses, particularly their greens.

Fancourt Montagu ranked best for greens in SA
Best greens in SA. The par-3 second hole at Fancourt Montagu.

The Montagu was voted as having the best quality Greens in the country, with an average mark of 8.6 out of 10. More than a thousand ratings for Conditioning were received on the Top 100 Courses website, which launched last year, and the Montagu narrowly took the No 1 spot from St Francis Links, the Eastern Cape golf estate ranked No 5, which scored 8.55/10.

For the first time in the history of the rankings, originated by Golf Digest magazine in 1998, the golfing public were allowed to vote on Conditioning together with members of the course rating team. Public participation is set to increase further in 2021 following the buzz around the announcement of the Top 100 rankings last week.

Conditioning statistics under the Golf Digest format used to be a broad brush stroke, one mark out of 10 from raters. Conditioning is now divided into five parts counting for a total of 20 points, or 20% of the total mark. Greens have their own category, worth 10 points, while Bunkers, Fairways, Tees and General Presentation count for the other 10.

Today we name the Top 50 courses with the top-rated greens in South Africa, plus regional lists for Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Garden Route and Eastern Cape.

Kingswood in George is renowned for the quality of its greens.

These 53 courses (there was a tie) come from every part of the country. Gauteng, where the highveld climate confers an advantage in growing bent grass greens in an ideal environment, has 20 courses, the Garden Route 10 (most of the top 100 courses in this small region), KZN 6, Western Cape 5, Eastern Cape 4, Mpumalanga 3, Limpopo 2, Free State/Northern Cape 2, and one from North West. All three of the Fancourt courses are on that list.

The Garden Route courses generally have a higher standard of Greens conditioning than those in Gauteng as a percentage. Ten of their 13 courses in the Top 100 scored at least 7.6/10 for Greens. Only 16 Gauteng courses out of 35 in the Top 100 were in that same bracket.

The weakest region for quality greens was KZN, where the coastal courses have nearly all opted for paspalum grass, which gives a slower putting surface, to cope with the heat and humidity of the summer months. Their top-rated greens were all at inland venues (principally the Midlands), where bent grass is used. KZN has 16 courses in the Top 100, yet only six of them feature in the Top 50 of Greens.

Separate ratings for Greens has also identified lower-ranked courses which have historically boasted outstanding greens, but couldn’t compete previously with some of the bigger budget top-ranked courses on Overall Conditioning.

Wedgewood in Port Elizabeth ranks No 78, yet its magnificent greens are rated No 5 alongside Fancourt Links and Royal J&K East. Victoria in Maritzburg is ranked No 39, but its greens are the equal of those at Leopard Creek and Randpark Firethorn. Johannesburg’s Glenvista is No 72 and its greens are judged superior to four Top 10 courses.

Blair Atholl was judged to have the best quality greens in Gauteng.

Kingswood and Goose Valley in the Garden Route are ranked between 90 and 100; anyone who has played these courses will know that their slick surfaces are a delight. Kingswood’s greens match those found on the PGA Tour for speed and trueness.

The only 9-hole course in the Top 100, Bosch Hoek in the KZN Midlands, prides itself on quality greens.



1 Fancourt Montagu 8.6

2 St Francis Links 8.55

3 Blair Atholl 8.5

4 Sishen 8.45

5 Wedgewood; Fancourt Links & Royal J&K East 8.4

8 Leopard Creek; Victoria; Randpark Firethorn & Humewood 8.3

12 Glenvista 8.25


13 Elements 8.2

14 Royal J&K West; Steyn City; Glendower; Arabella; George; Pearl Valley; Fancourt Outeniqua & Wingate Park 8.0

22 Highland Gate 7.9

23 Royal Cape 7.85

24 Simola; Kingswood; CCJ Rocklands; Wanderers; Pretoria CC; Goose Valley & Killarney 7.8


31 Gowrie Farm; Olivewood; Plettenberg Bay 7.7

34 Bosch Hoek; Parkview; Knysna; Pecanwood 7.65

38 Centurion; Worcester; CCJ Woodmead; Oubaai;
Champagne Sports 7.6

43 Mbombela 7.55

44 GPCC; Hermanus; San Lameer, Bloemfontein, Bryanston 7.5

49 Euphoria; Woodhill; Modderfontein; Cotswold Downs;
Eye of Africa 7.4



1 Blair Atholl 8.5

2 Royal J&K East 8.4

3 Randpark Firethorn 8.3

4 Glenvista 8.25

5 Royal J&K West; Steyn City; Glendower; Wingate Park 8.0

9 CCJ Rocklands; Wanderers; Pretoria CC; Killarney 7.8

13 Parkview; Pecanwood 7.65

15 Centurion; CCJ Woodmead 7.6

17 Bryanston 7.5

18 Woodhill; Modderfontein; Eye of Africa 7.4

21 Ebotse Links 7.3

22 Eagle Canyon; Benoni CC 7.1

24 Dainfern; Ruimsig 7.0



1 Fancourt Montagu 8.6

2 St Francis Links 8.55

3 Wedgewood; Fancourt Links 8.4

5 Humewood 8.3

6 George; Fancourt Outeniqua 8.0

8 Simola; Kingswood; Goose Valley 7.8

11 Plettenberg Bay; Olivewood 7.7

13 Knysna 7.65

14 Oubaai 7.6

15 East London 7.3



1 Victoria 8.3

2 Gowrie Farm 7.7

3 Bosch Hoek 7.65

4 Champagne Sports 7.6

5 San Lameer 7.5

6 Cotswold Downs 7.4

7 Zimbali 7.0

8 The Woods at MECC 6.8

9 Umdoni Park 6.6

10 Prince’s Grant; Durban CC 6.4



1 Pearl Valley; Arabella 8.0

3 Royal Cape 7.85

4 Worcester 7.6

5 Hermanus 7.5

6 Stellenbosch 7.35

7 Atlantic Beach 7.3

8 De Zalze 7.1

9 Steenberg 7.05

10 Clovelly 7.0

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
1 Bosch Hoek Golf & Lodge Near… Read more
Joe Knox is not a golf pro… Read more
Louis Oosthuizen’s display at Leopard Creek is… Read more
Homeowners at the Oubaai golf estate in… Read more
The weekend of the SA Open at… Read more
Fancourt have built a new halfway house… Read more
This year is the 25th anniversary of… Read more
An attractive 9-hole course on the remote… Read more
Peter Matkovich has kept himself active as… Read more
Marco Simone was the first purpose-built golf… Read more
More than half of South Africa’s courses… Read more
On a quiet Central Drakensberg road between… Read more
Listed below are all 414 courses affiliated… Read more
Gary Player Country Club will forever be… Read more
The new millennium has seen a remarkable… Read more
Pretoria Country Club has been rated on… Read more
The US Open at Los Angeles Country… Read more
South African Open host Blair Atholl, ranked… Read more
Of all the great tournament venues that… Read more
Augusta National has Amen Corner to describe… Read more
The closure of Beachwood CC in Durban… Read more
Former Sunshine Tour commissioner Arnold Mentz has… Read more
Durban Country Club will be closing their… Read more
Casey Jarvis has become the second youngest… Read more
In South Africa, the Halfway House stop… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club was devastated by flooding… Read more
The Garden Route is a popular destination… Read more
Pearl Valley has been judged as having… Read more
Zwartkop Country Club, the 18-hole course owned… Read more
Does any other sport offer as many… Read more
Silver Lakes has asked to be removed… Read more
Mount Edgecombe Country Club is hosting two… Read more
KZN estate Cotswold Downs, at No 52… Read more
There was a change of the guard… Read more
Houghton and Hermanus are two clubs at… Read more
Woodhill continues its phenomenal rise up the… Read more
Having a river flowing through your course… Read more
Atlantic Beach is one of those courses… Read more
Katberg, Orkney and Emfuleni are this year’s… Read more
An exciting project in Mpumalanga is the… Read more
We’re seeing five key changes to the… Read more
The Eastern Cape has been included as… Read more
The Alfred Dunhill Championship is one of… Read more
Royal Johannesburg’s newly renovated West Course was… Read more
Durban Country Club’s iconic short par-4 18th… Read more
Composite courses could become fashionable locally in… Read more
Blair Atholl is an exciting new addition… Read more
Veteran East London Golf Club member Denis Jones… Read more
How would you react if you learned… Read more
Blair Atholl has the longest stretch of… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club suffered the most devastation… Read more
Durban Country Club will next year be… Read more
Bryanston Country Club head teaching professional Leigh-Jane… Read more
Work has started on the refurbishment of… Read more
Golf Digest magazine in the United States… Read more
The Sunshine Tour visited 17 of SA’s… Read more
TOP 20 GREENS 1 Fancourt Links, 2… Read more
No 1-ranked Fancourt Links claimed more honours… Read more
Links courses were the big winners in… Read more
Gauteng is endowed with wonderful golf courses,… Read more
Today’s announcement of 20 courses ranked between… Read more
Anyone who has played at Plettenberg Bay… Read more
Woodhill is one of 17 courses in… Read more
Four courses – Reading, Eagle Canyon, Centurion… Read more
Two new entrants to the Top 100… Read more
Such has been the huge amount of… Read more
The new year ushered in great excitement… Read more
The 2022 Top 100 Course Rankings will… Read more
It was 30 years ago this January-February… Read more
Christiaan Burke, this year’s scoring sensation in… Read more
In recent years golfers have experienced more… Read more
Ian Leach, a doyen of golf club… Read more
They do not count as criteria when… Read more
Following the oddest year in major championship… Read more
From Plettenberg Bay in the east to… Read more
Veteran Western Province golfer Greg Woodbridge gave… Read more
In a high-profile appointment, Meyer du Toit,… Read more
Fancourt in the Garden Route is acknowledged… Read more
After an innovative, lengthy and suspenseful week… Read more
Golfers in the greater Gauteng region are… Read more
South Africa’s collection of bushveld courses are… Read more
Big positional swings are a feature of… Read more
Three of the new entrants into the… Read more
My 61-day Road Trip visiting 70 courses… Read more
Cash prizes for holes-in-one are being offered… Read more
The design of the standard golf cart… Read more
Zimbali Lakes has been an anticipated golf… Read more
Highland Gate was a popular venue for… Read more
It’s not fashionable today but there was… Read more
The Humewood links in Port Elizabeth has… Read more
A countdown has begun to the announcement… Read more
Irene Country Club elected its first female… Read more
The Top 100 Courses website has a… Read more
I’m on a road trip around South Africa aiming to complete visiting… Read more
The PGA of South Africa announced its… Read more
Pinnacle Point have done it again and… Read more
Gary Player Country Club will become the… Read more
St Francis Links has introduced a great… Read more
Big changes are taking place at South… Read more
Colin Nel at the weekend became the… Read more
The golfing members at Irene Country Club… Read more
While golf has happily resumed, with most… Read more
One of South Africa’s iconic golf courses,… Read more
GolfRSA today received the green light for… Read more
Golf courses around South Africa serve as… Read more
The golf industry will need to adapt… Read more
GolfRSA is making every effort to ensure… Read more
South African golf courses today are increasingly… Read more
PGA professional John Dickson spends most of… Read more
One of the stated 10 keys to… Read more
The national lockdown over the coronavirus has… Read more
David Melman is the Golf Manager at… Read more
Golf clubs have been issued with lengthy… Read more
There are a handful of golf courses… Read more
When the idea of a Top 100… Read more
Silver Lakes Golf & Wildlife Estate in Pretoria has been named one… Read more
Golf participation in South Africa would appear to be increasing, with Handicap… Read more
Serengeti Estates in Ekurhuleni has created one… Read more
Intimidating and challenging closing holes help create… Read more
Umhlali Country Club in Ballito on the… Read more
Erinvale Country Estate & Golf Club is… Read more
The Links at Fancourt and Leopard Creek… Read more
It’s a magical scoring barrier everywhere in… Read more
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington will make history… Read more