Golf Course Review… Johannesburg

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Fact File

Location – 20 Marais Road, Dowerglen ext. 2
Par-72
Rating – 72 (club tees)
Length – 6442m (club tees)
Best Time to Play – December to May

History

In 1935, ten businessmen formed a company and purchased the farm ‘Glendower’ with the purpose of creating a country club. An English golf architect, Mr Allison, was employed to plan the course and a South African professional golfer, A.F Tomsett, was assigned the task of construction. The club was opened on 7 March 1937. In 1973 the club was proclaimed a nature reserve in order to preserve the excellent birdlife found on the course. Glendower was recently ranked 12th in the Golf Digest rankings and has hosted the SA Open three times – in 1987, 1993 and 1997.

The Course

Situated approximately 15 minutes’ drive from OR Tambo airport, Glendower is ‘a classic parkland golf course’, says long-time member and 1985 SA Open champion, Gavan Levenson. “It’s a great test of golf for all levels of players and it’s a lot of fun to play.” They recently upgraded the course to USGA spec and are particularly proud of their greens. The major changes were to the fifth and 18th holes, with the fifth lengthened and given a dog-leg, whilst the 18th green was moved further away from the clubhouse, for better viewing for tournaments. “I think Glendower has variation and it’s not a boring golf course. That’s why people love coming here. It’s always in brilliant condition and I think it’s a very friendly golf club,” says Levenson.

Signature Hole

The par-three third hole can play anything from 225m (championship tee) to 128m (ladies tee). “It’s a great, great par-three,” says Levenson. “It rewards really good shots, but there are percentage shots you can play.” The hole from the club tee measures around 165m and the safest option is to play for the right half of the green, as the green is in a half-moon shape with water on the left. “Drawing the ball away from the bunker on the right would be a good shot for a top player,” says Levenson, “but my tip for the average player would be to start it in the middle of the green and cut it back away from the water.”

Rates

Affiliated Visitor – R290 (week day)
Non-Affiliated Visitor – R450 (week day)
Caddy – R165 (minimum – includes halfway house)
Cart Hire – R250
Club Hire – R250

Additional Facilities

Levenson’s golf academy is based at Glendower and he offers teaching to all golfers, from beginners to professionals. Visitors are also welcome to visit the driving range and hit balls. There are also chipping, bunker and putting practice facilities. Glendower also has a small function room with projector, flip charts and screens, and seats approximately 80 people.

Directions

From OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg take the Edenvale off-ramp. Turn right at the traffic lights. Turn left onto Boeing Road, then turn right into Selwyn Road. Turn right into Marais Road, and you’ll reach Glendower Golf Club.

Contact

Tel: +27 11-4531013, glendower.co.za