Golf Course Review Reading Country Club – January 2017
We travelled South of Johannesburg to Alberton, where we find Reading Country Club. This Club has been around since the 1940s and the most obvious tell-tale signs are the size of the trees on the course. They are immense. Seldom will you find such a heavily wooded golf course, but they tell a story of a vision laid out before World War 2 which has left us this interesting woodland layout.
Reading is a down to earth club without the pretentiousness of many other Golf Clubs in Johannesburg. Being a club that is there for its members, its facilities are showing their age but this doesn’t mean that they don’t work well. Everything seems to function. From the bar, the change rooms and the staff all do what they need to do without being overly impressive. The halfway house is very tight and could definitely do with a bit more space. But the water pressure in the showers was amazing –(I need the name of their plumber) … definitely take a shower at Reading Country Club!
The course itself starts in an unusual fashion in that the front nine doesn’t start and finish next to the clubhouse. This means you get a bit of a walk to the first tee and again to get back to the halfway house. This is minor as on the first tee box you are faced with large trees looming in front of your tee shot, water running down the right and across the hole. Not an easy start. In fact there is water on more than half the holes, so bring some extra balls along with you if you tend to spray it a bit.
The condition of the course is good. It is not at the same manicured level of many of Joburg’s more expensive courses, but they give you a more than decent track to chase your golf ball around. The greens were bumpy but I was advised that they had recently been hollow tined and were fantastic a few weeks prior. Maybe they will ask me to play another round in a month or two to see if the greens have regained their glory. The bunkers to, were nice and consistent.
If you haven’t yet played Reading, I would definitely book a round and definitely take that shower…
My favourite hole – Number 6 – par 4 – Pretty hole with water to carry off the tee and a second up to an elevated green
My worst hole – Number 16 – par 4 – Easily the worst hole on the course. It has been squashed in to accommodate a residential estate and has left Reading with a hole that cries out for a redesign.
Overall Experience rating by the Everyday Golfer: 8 out of 10.