Playing golf in Gauteng in Winter has its ups and downs. As the Winter stretches further into the year, so the golf courses slowly turn from green to yellow to brown. This has its positives as the ball runs out so far that even short hitters can feel like Dustin Johnson when they hit it over 300m. Conversely, I always miss the picture book greenness that springs to mind whenever I dream of playing golf. Those lush green fairways snaking between the trees, water features featuring actual water instead of dried up ponds and soft greens which hold the ball. Irrespective of the Season though, it’s always good to be out playing golf.
Jackal Creek is located in the North Western Suburbs of Johannesburg and I had my first opportunity to give it a crack. Whenever you play a course for the first time it can be challenging to know how each hole plays. Jackal Creek is particularly difficult in that respect. You really need a cart around this course and due to this fact they have no caddies available here. On many of the tee shots, you cannot see where you need to hit and how much space you have to hit in to. You cannot rely on a caddy to advise you of the best club or line, so you need to hope you are playing with a local to help you navigate around the course. It is not a particularly long track, and I only recall hitting my driver twice throughout the round and this wasn’t because it was having a bad day, but because the shortness of the course added to the excessive run deemed it unnecessary. The greens were green but firm and quick. On certain putts, where you expected the ball to stop it would return to where you started from or sometimes even further.
The course was in decent condition considering the time of year, although I have seen better manicured courses in Joburg. The Clubhouse is a modest but functional arrangement. The proshop has limited gear, cloakroom does the job without being elaborate and the halfway house fulfills its function without being fancy.
Jackal Creek is definitely an interesting golf course. I think you need a few rounds under your belt here to fully appreciate its idiosyncrasies and design features. I would like to revisit there in the Summer months when the green has returned before I give my final verdict on this one.
My favourite hole – Number 17 – par 4 – You need a hybrid or long iron off this tee with a demanding second to what is basically an island green. Get near the pin here, this green has some evil slopes.
My worst hole – Number 18 – par 5 – A long uphill hole with water right off the tee, then cross over the creek, then a shot at the green with a large water feature to the left of the green. I dare you to not lose a ball on this one.
Overall Experience rating by the Everyday Golfer: 7.5 out of 10.
Boundary Rd, Roodepoort, Johannesburg, 2169