The Wanderers Golf Club – Golf Course Review January 2017
So often it’s the little things that make a big difference in a person’s perceptions when they experience a Golf Club. Some clubs get it right, so it can be done. Some clubs make an effort but fail to take it to the next level where they will provide clients with an exceptional experience. Glendower and Randpark are two clubs which other club CEOs should visit and see how to do it. Well trained, good food and willing staff with good facilities making the overall experience a great day out. In these tough economic times, they are making money when many other clubs are not.
The Wanderers Golf Club is a long established course in the heart of Johannesburg. In its heydey, it regularly hosted the old Lexington PGA event which I remember from my younger days. The course itself is still worth playing. It is a traditional parkland layout with well-established trees and tight fairways and still a great test of golf. The greens are in good condition and the course was busy when we played.
Whilst I enjoyed my day out on the course, I was surprised by the condition of the facilities and my interaction with the staff at Wanderers. The cloakrooms are functional but sorely in need of an update as is the bar area, which gave me the feel that it was an old boys club and they didn’t really like visitors invading their space. The service at the Wanderers Golf Club from the staff was puzzling.
I went to the halfway house prior to tee off to wash sun cream off my hands. The dispenser at the basin was empty. I brought this to the attention of the staff member working there. Upon reaching the halfway point for the round, I again proceeded to the basin to wash my hands before breakfast only to find the dispenser was still empty. I spoke to the same staff member and she merely looked at me blankly as if to ask what my problem was. In the bar the waiting staff, while being acceptably attentive, did not know what stock they had and regularly returned advising that they didn’t have stock of various orders. It is these interactions which tarnish a person’s perception of a Club.
I do not know the financial situation of the Club, but in my opinion, it needs to update itself otherwise it may soon be extinct. In relation to its competition in Johannesburg, it is falling way behind, which is a sad indictment to a once proud club. Let’s hope they can turn things around and bring back their glory days. Come on Wanderers, you have a great course, all the Everyday Golfers are watching to see if you can pull this around.
My favourite hole – Number 17 – par 3 – Beautifully framed downhill shot from the tee box.
My Scariest Hole – Number 10 – par 5 – Out of bounds all down the right and a tough approach into the green.
Overall Experience rating by the Everyday Golfer: 8 out of 10. (This only relates to the Golf Course itself)
Address: The Wanderers Golf Club, Rudd Rd & Corlett Drive, Illovo, Johannesburg, 2116
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