SA OPEN GOES
TO SUN CITY FOR
THE FIRST TIME

Published by : Stuart McLean - 11 November 2020

Gary Player Country Club will become the 22nd different course in the last 100 years to host the South African Open.

With no Nedbank Golf Challenge this year, the Open fills the void for the Sun City resort from December 3 to 6. Interestingly, the par-5 ninth, in front of the clubhouse, will be played as the 18th in the championship, which is how the golf course routing was originally planned by Gary Player.

Sun City is the furthest north the Open has ever been, and Sun City is the first resort to host the Open.

Sun City Gary Player Golf Course
The par-5 ninth hole of the Gary Player layout will play as the 18th in the SA Open.

It means that seven of the Top 10 courses in the rankings have now hosted the Open. The exceptions are Arabella, Fancourt Montagu and St Francis Links.

The SA Open between 1970 and 1995 was played at a limited number of seven traditional venues in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, but in the last 25 years the rota has expanded to include a wide variety of 12 classic and modern golf courses in nine different provincial unions around the country, including the GPCC.

Randpark in Johannesburg was the first club to break the traditional rota when it hosted its first Open in 1995, won by Retief Goosen. The Firethorn course has since hosted another three Opens, including the last two in 2019 and 2020 won by Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace respectively.

SA Open champion Branden Grace and family.

Stellenbosch became the first course in the Cape Winelands, part of the Boland Golf Union, to have the Open in 1999, won by home club member David Frost. The championship hasn’t returned there, but it did go back to the Winelands for three years, at Pearl Valley from 2007 to 2009.

Erinvale in the Cape overlooking False Bay was the first estate course to host the Open, in 2003 and 2004, both tournaments won by Trevor Immelman, in his home town of Somerset West.

The new millennium saw the return of former Open venues East London and Humewood, albeit disappointingly for one-off appearances. East London had the 2000 Open, 33 years after its previous occasion, and Humewood hosted the 2006 Open, after an absence of 49 years.

Fancourt Links became the first and only course in the Garden Route to host the Open in 2005.

TOP 10 COURSES TO HOST SA OPEN

Durban CC (17), Glendower (8), East London (8), Royal J&K East (7), Pearl Valley (3), Fancourt Links (1).

COURSES RANKED 11 TO 25 TO HOST THE OPEN

Humewood (5), Randpark Firethorn (4), Erinvale (2)

COURSES RANKED 26 TO 50 TO HOST THE OPEN

Royal Cape (10), Maccauvlei (4), Serengeti (2), Parkview (1)

COURSES RANKED 51 TO 100 TO HOST THE OPEN

Houghton (8), King David Mowbray (7), Bloemfontein (2), Stellenbosch (1), Royal Port Alfred (1)

UNRANKED COURSES TO HOST THE OPEN

Royal Durban (2), PE Golf Club (2), Zwartkop (1)

Note: Number of Opens hosted in brackets

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
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
Of all the great tournament venues that… 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
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD FOR ST FRANCIS LINKS During… 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
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE