READING AND
EAGLE CANYON
ON THE MOVE

GAUTENG DUO ARE TWO OF THE
BIGGEST CLIMBERS IN THE PAST TWO YEARS

Published by : Stuart McLean - 01 February 2022

Four courses – Reading, Eagle Canyon, Centurion and The Woods at Mount Edgecombe – have been significant movers upwards for a second consecutive year on the Top 100 rankings following today’s announcement of the courses ranked 80 to 61.

It’s interesting to see where these four courses have come from since the SA Top 100 Courses website was launched in 2019.

Reading has made the biggest climb of any club. The challenging tree-lined Alberton layout was languishing at No 99, and has moved up 22 places to No 77 in the latest rankings. This is a remarkably fast elevation in status, but Reading does have pedigree. It has previously been as high as No 70. Design Variety is strong, undulating in areas, and the course has a collection of demanding and interesting holes and greens complexes, plus one of the more eccentric holes in Gauteng.

Reading Country Club Alberton
Reading Country Club.

The par-4 16th has an acute dogleg right fairway to avoid the wall of a housing estate on its boundary fence. With a forest of tall trees on the right side of the fairway, golfers have no option other than to lay up and then play longer seconds to the green. And on the par-4 sixth golfers must take into account electricity wires hanging high over the green from a pylon. If your ball touches them you get to replay the shot.

Eagle Canyon, another Gauteng course, has moved from No 95 to No 78 in the same space of time, a jump of 17 places. Eagle Canyon opened for play in 2005, but it took more than 10 years of improvements to its playability to finally crack the Top 100 for the first time in 2016. Its conditioning has also vastly improved over time.

Built inside an old quarry, this Douw van der Merwe design is radically different from the typical parkland layouts in the region, with a host of unusual holes due to the uneven nature of the terrain. Water often comes into play and it’s a course where the errant golfer can lose a bunch of balls. Not for the faint-hearted therefore, particularly when standing on the tee of the fourth, one of the most daunting par 3s in Gauteng, with water to be carried all the way to a raised green.

A highlight of visiting Eagle Canyon is being able to look out from the height of the clubhouse deck over the entire array of back nine holes.

Eagle Canyon Golf Estate
The club house at Eagle Cnyon.

The Woods, part of the 36-hole Mount Edgecombe residential estate in Umhlanga, KZN, is up to No 62, a shift of 13 places from its position of No 75 two years ago. The Woods, maintained by the Matkovich Group under the supervision of Larry Sogoni and Mike Wallington, has become one of the best conditioned coastal courses in the region in the last few years. Golf director Kevin Stone’s input has also made a difference to its presentation.

Centurion, another estate layout, has moved 10 places in the right direction in the past two years, from No 83 to No 73. That move might have been higher had it not been for the awful flooding the course has suffered on a few occasions in that time. The Hennops River turns and twists through three Gauteng North courses, Irene, Centurion and Zwartkop, and the expensive damage and mess left behind after big rains has been frightful.

The Woods at Mount Edgecombe

Centurion experimented for three years with a change of finishing holes, playing the original eighth and ninth (a short par 4) as 17 and 18. The club have now reverted to the original 17 and 18, meaning that you close the round with a proper long par 4 guarded by water. It is one of only two Peter Matkovich layouts in the Top 100 that ends with a long par 4 rather than the par 5s or short par 4s he favours. The other long par 4 finishing hole is at Woodhill.

Milnerton Golf Club in Cape Town, a links-like layout on the shoreline in Table Bay, built on a narrow stretch of land between the ocean and an inland lagoon, has moved to No 80, its highest position on the rankings since it placed at No 77 in 2005. Milnerton is at its best in the less windy autumn and winter months, blessed with spectacular views.

Sliding backwards in the rankings is Beachwood in Durban, now a pay-and-play facility after being sold to developers by Durban CC a few years back. It remains one of the best designs in the region, so it’s good to see it still open for play. But it is down 13 places to No 66.

Two Gauteng layouts also declined. Randpark Bushwillow was down 9 places to No 72, and Glenvista slipped 7 places to No 79.

UP IN THE RANKINGS

Milnerton, up 6 from 86 to 80

Eagle Canyon, up 5 from 83 to 78

Reading, up 11 from 88 to 77

Paarl, up 6 from 82 to 76

Centurion, up 4 from 77 to 73

Ruimsig, up 2 from 73 to 71

Dainfern, up 6 from 75 to 69

Atlantic Beach, up 1 from 69 to 68

Silver Lakes, up 3 from 68 to 65

Zebula, up 3 from 67 to 64

The Woods at MECC, up 4 from 66 to 62

Stellenbosch, no change at 61

DOWN IN THE RANKINGS

Glenvista, down 7 from 72 to 79

Westlake, down 1 from 74 to 75

Krugersdorp, down 1 from 73 to 74

Randpark Bushwillow, down 9 from 63 to 72

Umhlali, down 5 from 65 to 70

Irene, down 3 from 64 to 67

Beachwood, down 13 from 53 to 66

San Lameer, down 6 from 57 to 63

View today’s rankings here: https://satop100courses.com/

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
Blair Atholl has the longest stretch of… Read more
Bryanston Country Club head teaching professional Leigh-Jane… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club suffered the most devastation… Read more
Durban Country Club will next year be… 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
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE