MATKOVICH
HAS NINE
IN THE TOP 50

WOODHILL BREAKS INTO TOP 50 FOR FIRST TIME

Published by : Stuart McLean - 01 February 2023

Woodhill continues its phenomenal rise up the Top 100 rankings, started two years ago, and becomes the ninth Peter Matkovich design inside the Top 50, easily the most of any single designer (Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player each have six). The Pretoria East course breaks in for the first time at No 50. It has moved up 20 places in the last two years.

Woodhill is a beautifully presented layout within an attractive residential estate, and it scores high in three of the six Criteria used to assess courses. It received 12 out of 15 marks for Aesthetics (scenic values inside the course), 14.8 out of 20 for Playability (challenging low-handicaps while providing enjoyable options for high-handicaps) and 15.4 out of 20 for Conditioning.

Woodhill owes much of its character and beauty to the varying topography of the site, with some significant changes in elevation in places which boosts Design Variety, and the plentiful indigenous trees on the estate which have matured over almost 25 years and play strategic roles. It has both challenging and sensible holes, creative designs, but nothing unusual or outrageously different, which is rare for a Matkovich canvas.

blank
The 12th is one of Woodhill’s feature holes, a long par 3 from a high tee.

But Woodhill was completed in 1999, when Matkovich was at the height of his success and beginning his best work. Of his nine courses in the Top 50, seven were opened from 1999 onwards. His only early works in the Top 50 are Prince’s Grant (1994) and Steenberg (1996), which feature in today’s rankings announcement at No 43 and 45 respectively.

Matkovich, whose latest creation, La Reserve Golf Links in Mauritius, on which he has worked for nigh on four years, interrupted by Covid, is due to open later this year, can put his name to 20 courses in the current Top 100, of which 16 are originals, and the other four redesigns. Only three of them are not connected to a residential estate.

Seven Matkovich designs are featured in today’s announcement of courses ranked between 41 and 60. They are a diverse group from four regions of the country competing against each other for prominence.

Ebotse Links (42) is an outlier due to the specific links theme of its layout, Prince’s Grant and Cotswold Downs (52) have similarities in the extreme ups and downs of their KZN terrain, Zebula (57) is pure Limpopo bushveld, Woodhill and Steenberg pristine parkland, while San Lameer (60) is unique in its plentiful use of water hazards and wacky risk-reward holes. Other than Prince’s Grant, which is down one place, all of them have moved up in the rankings this year.

blank
Zebula is a Matkovich course in the Limpopo bushveld. This is No 8.

Cotswold Downs, incidentally, is ranked No 1 in Greens for this rating period with a score of 8.67 out of 10, a clear winner over The Links at Fancourt and The Club at Steyn City.

The courses between 41 and 60 are of strong quality, which results in fluctuations from time to time, because all 20 in this instance are separated by just three points. San Lameer at 60 has 69.3 points and Royal Cape at No 41 is on 72.5. Plettenberg Bay, which has been locked in this group since 2007, has fallen five places to No 49. Gowrie Farm loses its Top 50 position and drifts out four places to No 54.

blank
High man-made dunes are a feature of Matkovich’s Ebotse Links in Benoni.

Gowrie Farm in the KZN Midlands is already progressing to become a full 18-hole course rather than a clever hybrid design with 12 greens and alternate routes. Work on shaping seven new holes has begun under designer Guy Smith’s guidance, and we look forward to the unveiling of a “new” course either later this year or in 2024.

COURSES GOING UP

  • Woodhill 7 to 50
  • Zebula 6 to 64
  • Els Club Copperleaf 5 to 51
  • The Woods 5 to 57
  • Ebotse Links 4 to 42
  • Steenberg 3 to 48

COURSES GOING DOWN

  • Serengeti 5 to 44
  • Plettenberg Bay 5 to 49
  • Gowrie Farm 4 to 54
  • Euphoria 4 to 55
Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
When KZN farmer Piet Nel had finished… Read more
There are five new entries in the… Read more
The Top 100 rankings have returned to… Read more
Golf Digest South Africa has returned and… Read more
Mount Edgecombe CC in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal has… Read more
Ten years ago Gowrie Farm in the… Read more
If you follow SuperSport’s 213 channel, then… Read more
Stellenbosch Golf Club has been rated on… Read more
The seaside course at Milnerton Golf Club… Read more
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
blank blank
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE
blank
blank
blank
blank