Par – 72
Rating – 71
Length – 6,286m
Parkview Golf Club has a rich history, having opened in 1916 and given its current name, “probably because that is what it offered.” The course was designed by LB Waters, who had won the inaugural SA Open in 1903. But the club’s most famous member was four-time Open Championship winner Bobby Locke, who joined the club in 1936. Parkview became his adopted home, and he played at the club until his passing in 1987, after which a memorial bridge on the 13th hole was named after him. Parkview’s legendary clubhouse was refurbished in 2006 and the ‘19th hole’ there is social, to say the least.
According to the club, “it’s a perverse irony that the man recognised as the original architect of the course was LB Waters. On all but one of Parkview’s 18 holes, there is a real chance of a golf ball getting wet!” The sluit that runs through the course has always dominated Parkview. Apparently, Waters avoided the temptation of setting up the course to traverse the water course that Parkview follows. He realised that the sluit would be much more of a menace if it ran parallel with the direction of the holes, and so it proved. With its narrow fairways and inviting sluit, Parkview is a parklands course for the straight driver, and you don’t have to be particularly long off the tee. “The course is relatively short by modern standards, yet it’s still quite challenging,” says golf director Ashley Roestoff. “The greens are legendary and always in tip-top condition, whilst the course itself is picturesque, with lots of trees giving you the feeling of being in a park. It’s also generally admired for the condition of its fairways and greens.” The course gives you a fairly easy start, with the short par-5 first, but thereafter it’s a series of challenging par-4s and threes, including the stroke one fourth, which requires a long, accurate drive down the right. There’s some respite with the drivable par-4 sixth, but that is also protected by bunkers. Halfway house is reached after eight holes, with 10 holes making up the second loop. There are a few more short par-4s on this nine, along with back-to-back par-5s, with the second of those presenting a genuine birdie or even eagle opportunity. The 18th finishes in front of the clubhouse, with the green directly below the balcony and the watchful eyes of members and other golfers enjoying a post-round drink.
Parkview’s signature hole is the par-3 15th, which is a challenging short hole over water. Depending on your length off the tee and any wind on the day, it’s usually a mid-iron over the water to a sloping green surrounded by tall oaks and with bunkers guarding it on the left and right. Anything short will end up in the water, whilst anything long will leave a challenging pitch onto a surface running away from you and towards the water.
Visitor (weekdays) – $42
Visitor (weekend) – $47
Caddie – $18
Cart Hire – $22
Club Hire – $15
From O.R. Tambo International Airport, first get on to the R24, before taking the N3 South towards Durban. After that, take the M2 towards Johannesburg and follow signs for Sandton/Pretoria. Soon after, take the Jan Smuts Avenue turn-off. From Jan Smuts, take Westcliff Drive to your left and then turn right into Wicklow Avenue.
Address: Emmarentia Avenue, Parkview
Tel: +27 11 646 5400