Published by : Stuart McLean - 13 December 2023

Joe Knox is not a golf pro you will have heard of, but he made headlines at Waterkloof Golf Club in Pretoria when he became the first person in South Africa to have 10 consecutive birdies in a tournament round, beginning at the very first hole. There’s only been one other recorded instance of this happening anywhere. In August 2019, American Brandon Beck, 34, opened the first round of a Southern California Golf Association club tournament at Rustic Canyon GC with 10 straight birdies.

Knox, 27, who is out from England playing the Bushveld Tour in Gauteng, began his second round of the 54-hole Waterkloof tournament on December 5 by chipping in for birdie on the par-4 opener. He changed his golf ball because it was scuffed, and reeled off another nine of them with nine straight one-putt greens.

Joe Knox had eight putts in his opening nine of 27.

“I was miles left of the fairway with my first three drives of the day, but then played great golf from there on,” said the 27-year-old from Leeds in Yorkshire who has based himself at Dainfern. “However, I ended up only shooting a 7-under 65, which I guess is disappointing after my start. My putter went cold on me on the back nine. I didn’t make another birdie. I three-putted No 11 going for my 11th straight birdie.”

Knox has been playing the mini-tours in SA since 2022 with the aim of earning a Sunshine Tour card through the annual Q School in April. “It’s a great country for such an opportunity,” he said. “Playing the mini-tours here in Gauteng is affordable compared to the UK and Europe where the costs are unsustainable. There are numerous events within a short drive of each other, and you have wonderful courses and terrific weather.”

His playing partners at Waterkloof were Matthew Bright and Hanlo Jacobs, and when he made his fifth consecutive birdie he recalls them saying “slow down” to him. “The run should have ended after the fifth, because the par-3 sixth at Waterkloof is long and has a mad green. I hit an 8-iron to about 30 feet, and my putt had something like six feet of break. In it went.

“No 7 is an easy par 5, and it was a straightforward chip and putt for birdie. At the par-3 eighth it was just a sand wedge over the water to eight feet. No 9 was a tough uphill four into the wind, so par would have kept me happy, but again I holed from 18 feet.” That gave him 27 for the nine with eight putts.

Waterkloof Country Club in Pretoria was a scene of a new South African record.

It was at another Pretoria course, Woodhill, where the previous South African record of nine straight birdies was set by Sunshine Tour pro Alan McLean in the third round of the 2005 Telkom PGA Championship. His run began at No 7 and ended at No 15. He went on to shoot 62.

Nine in a row has been achieved three times on the DP World Tour, most recently on November 18 at Jumeirah in Dubai by Englishman Matt Wallace, who birdied every hole on the back nine of the Earth Course.

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
Today, it’s a fairly common occurrence in South Africa to encounter wild… Read more
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
blank blank