Length of Course: Men 5664 m Ladies 5043 m
Type of Course: Parkland
Visitors: Booking essential
Club Professional: Greg McDonald 021 689 2811
Club Shop: Yes
Practice Facilities: Putting greens, chipping green, practice range, practice net
Catering: Bar, restaurant, halfway house
Location: Centrally situated at 1 Raapenberg Road, Mowbray
General Manager: Jason van Veyeren
Postal address: P.O.Box 38003, Howard Place 7450
Phone: 021 685 3018
Fax: 021 686 6008
RISING OF THE PHOENIX
One of Cape Town’s oldest and traditional clubs opened in 1910. As we print, the club is in the throes of celebrating its centenary year and they have much to celebrate. The golf course has always been a true classic parkland layout with wonderful tree-lined fairways and has hosted the South African Open seven times and what was a highly popular Bells Cup three times.
Well known golfing personalities such as the three South African legends Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els as well as Seve Ballesteros, Lee Trevino and Vijay Singh (who was a winner of the Bells Cup) were among the famous local and overseas professionals who enjoyed their time at the club.
While always moving with the times, in 1993 the club went through a tumultuous period, as having just completed an upgrading programme to the course in readiness for the Bells Cup, an electrical fault in the bar caused a spark that started a fire. Those of us who are familiar with the Cape understood that the southeaster wind gusting that night resulted in fanning the flames to such an extent that, in only forty-five minutes, the clubhouse was totally destroyed.
Out of all bad comes some good! A new R3.5 million clubhouse (the cost in 1993) rose from the ashes and in the intervening years both members and visitors have enjoyed the wonderful facilities that now compliment the improvements on the course.
Many of these improvements were immediately to enhance the challenge. Water hazards were extended, new drainage ditches introduced thus improving the year-round playability and in 2006 all the greens were redesigned. This last effort to continuously improve the course has had some hiccups, for while the shaping and extension of the greens was highly appreciated, the bent grass chosen for the surfaces proved incompatible with the prevailing Cape weather. Subsequently the grasses have been changed and Mowbray is now back to its prime, just in time to have a wonderful celebration of the pleasure it has given to golfers for 100 years and which I am sure it will continue to do in the future.
Gould’s Special Note:
The club has undergone several attempts in recent years to upgrade its greens and up until recently this was unsuccessful. I am pleased to say these are now very playable and much merit must also go to Tinus Fouche the very able and willing green keeper who has made a vast improvement to the course as a whole.
1st Hole – Par 4 – Men 269 m Ladies 260 m
This hole doglegs right. Though it is short, it requires an accurate tee shot to avoid two bunkers set in the fairway on the right. Both are easily carried with a wood or long iron, but anything less than accurate will run out of fairway into trees on the left. The second shot is to a large undulating green protected by two front bunkers.
2nd Hole – Par 4 – Men 367 m Ladies 314 m
The tee shot should be on the right-hand side of the fairway. The fairway is lined by trees on both sides and two fairway mounds, one on the right and one further left towards the green, can create problems with distance and any shot that is too long to the green is projected by a mound to the back of the green. Too far right and a sharp slope will take you towards out of bounds.
From Cape Town, take the N2 towards the airport. Take the Raapenberg/Pinelands turn-off (Exit 10) and follow the turn left and turn immediately right at the traffic lights. The club entrance is at the bottom of the hill.