Length of course: Men 5797 m Ladies 5392 m
Type of Course: Parkland
Visitors: Members only on Saturdays and Tuesday afternoons. Visitors welcome all other days – advisable to book
Golf Operations Manager: Tony Louw
Club Shop: Yes
Practice Facilities: Driving range – balls supplied. Chipping area, putting green
Hire Facilities: Clubs, trolleys, caddies and drive carts
Catering: Bar, restaurant, halfway house
Location: 174 Ottery Road, Wynberg 7800
General Manager: Cassie Viljoen
Postal address: P.O.Box 186, Ottery 7808
Phone: 021 761 6551
Fax: 021 797 5246
A ROYAL EXPERIENCE
South Africa’s oldest golf club naturally portrays a sense of history and tradition. Improvements to the single-storey clubhouse, dating back to 1924, have merely served to enhance that sense of tradition and cleverly blend it with the needs of today’s golfer. Just stop and look at the honours board and you will see that the South African Championship was first held here in 1910. George Fotheringham won in that year and again in 1914.
The South African Open has been held at this challenging course eleven times since then with notable winners being Gary Player in 1965, Charles Bolling of the USA in 1983 and in 1990 Namibia’s Trevor Dodds won with a four round score of 285. The most recent championship (1996) was won by Ernie Els, who tamed the famous layout by posting an eighteen under par total. Established by Lieutenant General Sir Henry D’oyley Torrens in 1885, the club received its ‘Royal’ title in 1910, following a visit by the Duke of Connaught. The course was originally in the Wynberg area after which it moved to the Rondebosch common in 1890. In 1905, the land on which the course is now located, was acquired.
As one would expect of a Royal Club, this one has moved well with the times. The refurbishment to the clubhouse has been complemented by improvements on the course itself. All 18 greens were re-laid to USGA specifications and planted with dominant Bent Grass and the professional golfers, competing in the Players Championship held at the club from 1999 to 2002, enjoyed the results. Nic Henning of South Africa won in 1999 and the budding talent of 21-year-old Trevor Immelman, also from South Africa, held off the challenge of Ernie Els to win the tournament in 2000. In December 2001, Ernie Els fired a last round 65 to overhaul the field with a final score of 273 and in 2002, Mark McNulty reminded his younger challengers that he was far from a spent force as he took the trophy.
The Royal Cape also has the added attraction of a good practice range situated a short distance from the clubhouse, and three practice nets.
The second nine has what the locals call their own ‘Amen’ corner – two challenging par 3s and a truly magnificent par 4 that are usually played against the prevailing wind! Two of these are:
13th Hole – Par 3 – Men 158 m Ladies 126 m
A testing par 3, made more of a challenge by the southeaster wind. On a calm day front and back bunkers are both in play. Against the wind, the back bunker is rarely reached, as a usual six iron shot becomes a three iron!
14th Hole – Par 4 – Men 382 m Ladies 371 m
This long par 4 curving to the right has water all along the right-hand side, although a severe slice is required for the water to come into play from the tee. However, if the approach to the green is pushed, the water will win! The large green has subtle slopes that make this an added feature to this truly challenging hole.
Gould’s Special Note:
In 2010 the club is 125 years in existence and celebrates 100 years as a Royal Club.
From Cape Town take the N2 towards the airport. Then the M5 south towards towards Muizenberg and take the M68 left, (Exit 19) which is Ottery Road and turn first right into the Golf Club entrance.