Golf Course Review – Pretoria Golf Club – August 2016
Pretoria Golf Club is situated in the West of Pretoria and is the oldest course in the city. Founded in 1894, even the former President Paul Kruger was said to have graced their hallowed turf. Enough history stuff for now… so when I told people that I was playing at Pretoria Golf Club, the comment came up time and again that Pretoria Country Club is a very nice course. I then would have to correct them and say that I understood that the course I was scheduled to play was Pretoria Golf Club and not Pretoria Country Club. Being from Johannesburg, I didn’t understand what the confusion was. To me everything the other side of Midrand is Pretoria and it is all far. But once I am in the car and moving, it doesn’t make any difference to me, especially when I am going to play golf. But they would persist…are you sure that you are playing at Pretoria Golf Club?…that is in the West of Pretoria. I would just shrug and reply…if that is where Pretoria Golf Club is, then that is where I am going.
It seems that Pretoria Golf Club lives in the shadow of Pretoria Country Club (which I have yet to play). I asked these Pretoria “experts” why they held these views. I heard issues such as it isn’t a great part of Pretoria, they killed the greens a couple of years ago, people have been attacked on the course, etc, etc, etc… It is amazing how some bad stories can hold a place hostage. So here is my experience.
Pretoria Golf is a little gem. I found the course with little difficulty and never once felt that I was driving through a dangerous area. The Clubhouse and it cloakrooms were in good condition and the parking was secure. The Pro Shop ticked all the boxes without being pretentious. The people I dealt with were pleasant and helpful and my caddy was very good. I was worried about the course especially after the “killing the greens” story. To my relief, I found greens with grass on them. Not only did they have grass but they were great greens. Nothing whatsoever wrong with them. I was impressed. I also never felt unsafe at any time during my 6 hours there.
The layout of the course felt a little dated, but overall it was a good day out and the winter roll on the fairways was crazy. Fortunately I had a good caddy in Lucas, as he stopped me smacking my driver off every tee and saved me a few times from overshooting the fairway. Greens held well for this time of the year and the bunkers had a good amount of soft sand in them.
Overall I had a very good experience and wouldn’t hesitate going back to have another go on this track. It doesn’t have the cache or status of some other clubs, but it is worth the visit and you can expect to have a pleasant day all round. Unless your golf is off that day, but then that isn’t the courses fault, is it?
My scariest hole – Number 17 – par 5 – Huge dogleg right, water off the tee, water all around the green except for a narrow strip right in front. A par is a great score here.
My favourite hole – Number 1 – par 4 – Elevated tee shot. Aim at the cooling tower to the left of the three towers.
Overall Experience rating by the Everyday Golfer: 7.5 out of 10.