50 courses worth playing in South Africa

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These are the 50 courses worth playing in South Africa that cost less than R500. I am a huge fan of the Golf Digest Top 100. Locally in South Africa, and globally. It was sad to see the publication shut down in here, but I am sure there is a business out there willing to fork out the capital needed to fund just the Top 100 list every couple of years, if not the entire publication. Despite the fact that print is dying with millennials, and most marketing executives don’t support golf publications because of that, there is still a collection of golf publications on my desk, underneath the 2018 Top 100 Courses edition of Golf Digest.

Why do this list?

Having been a motoring journalist in my previous profession, I witnessed the SAGMJ Wesbank Car of the Year descend from one of the most prestigious awards in motoring, to an obligatory event some people attend. If you aren’t familiar with Car of the Year, for 30 years it used to pit the top cars on the market against each other, to determine which was the best overall car on the market. It was an award that was highly coveted as it seemed to find a way for the ultra-reliable, well priced VW Polo to beat a 5 series BMW or an Audi A4.

50 courses worth playing in South Africa under R500
Houghton Golf Club cracks the top 20 under R500

In recent years however, brands like Porsche, Volvo and Porsche again have beaten the people’s choice to the top prize, making the Car of the Year award an elitist trophy, no longer desired by most manufacturers.

How does it work?

So how does this relate to this list? Why have I chosen to create a list of the 50 courses worth playing in South Africa that cost less than R500? Well the reality is, in the 2018 Golf Digest with the top 100 courses listed, it said that a SAGA affiliated golfer can expect to pay R9,800 to play the top 10. Local and foreign visitors could expect to pay a much heftier price. R1,000, or about $80 a round is unrealistic for most locals. And considering that 50% of all rounds played in this country are by non-affiliated golfers, half the country are excluded from playing a top 100 course unless they roll in money.

I am not going to try and invent the wheel here, if the course is on the Golf Digest top 100 courses list, and it costs less than R500, then it will most certainly make this list, but what would the top 50 look like if the maximum rate you’d be allowed to pay as a local or foreign visitor was under R500 ($40), regardless of affiliation. Are there even 50 courses.

Where we got our information?

For clarity, we will look at sites like lastminutegolf.co.za, golfteetimes.co.za, the club websites and we’ll try to make the list as complete as possible, with links to rates and booking pages. The rates exclude carts, unless it is a cart compulsory course, in which case; if you have to take a cart, you have to pay that fee, so if it is over R500, it is excluded.

The same applies to courses in the Western Cape that charge unbelievably high green fees in summer time. If you can’t play for under R500 all year round, you are off the list. R500 may not be possible on weekends, but this list will accept courses that offer rounds under R500 during the week, provided it is offered on more than 1 day.

Here are the top 50 courses worth playing in South Africa that cost less than R500

The Top 10

  1. George Golf Club https://georgegolfclub.co.za George, Southern Cape
    • Low season – R400, High season – R500 (own website)
  2. Humewood Golf Club https://www.humewoodgolf.co.za Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
    • R340 per player (own website)
  3. Sishen Golf Club http://www.sishengolfclub.co.za/ Sishen, Northern Cape
    • R300 per player (own website)
  4. Randpark Firethorn https://www.randpark.co.za Randpark Ridge, Gauteng
    • R285-R400 (weekday am) (own website)
  5. Elements Golf Reserve http://elementsgolfreserve.co.za Near Bela Bela, Limpopo
    • R450 per player (own website)
  6. Maccauvlei Golf Club http://www.maccauvleigolfclub.co.za/ Vaal River, Vereeniging
  7. Cotswold Downs https://cotswolddowns.co.za/ Hillcrest, Kwazulu Natal
    • R470 per player including cart sharing (own website)
  8. Ebotse Links http://ebotse.com/ Benoni, Gauteng
    • R365 per player including cart sharing (lastminutegolf)
    • R375 per player including cart sharing (own website)
  9. Durban Country Club Beachwood https://www.durbancountryclub.co.za Durban, Kwazulu Natal
    • R200 per player (own website)
    • R175 per player (lastminutegolf)
  10. Parkview Golf Club http://www.parkviewgolf.co.za/en/ Parkview, Gauteng
    • R270 per player (own website)
Randpark Golf Club Firethorn
The very intimidating 17th has several almost inaccessible pin positions

Numbers 11-20

  1. Irene Country Club http://irenecc.co.za Irene, Northern Gauteng
    1. R190 per player on Monday (own website)
    2. R510 per player on weekends (own website)
  2. Princes Grant https://www.princesgrant.co.za Stanger, KZN North Coast
    1. R400 per player (own website)
  3. Victoria Country Club http://www.victoria.co.za/golf.htm Pietermaritzburg, KZN
    1. R185 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
    2. R480 per player (own website)
  4. Gowrie Farm https://www.gowrie.co.za Nottingham Road, Midlands, KZN
    1. R270 per player (own website)
  5. Pretoria Country Club http://www.ptacc.co.za Pretoria, Gauteng
    1. R375 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
    2. R850 per player (own website)*
  6. Ruimsig Country Club https://www.ruimsigcc.co.za Roodepoort, Gauteng
    1. R230 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
    2. R500 per player (own website)
  7. Houghton Golf Club https://www.houghton.co.za Houghton, Gauteng
    1. R385 per player (own website)
  8. Euphoria Golf & Lifestyle Estate https://euphoriaestate.co.za/ Naboomspruit, Limpopo
    1. R185 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  9. Modderfontein Golf Club http://mgclub.co.za Modderfontein, Gauteng
    1. R260 – R495 per player (own website)
    2. R195 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  10. Wingate Park Country Club http://www.wingateparkcountryclub.co.za Pretoria, Gauteng
    1. R290-R730 per player depending on day (own website)
    2. R205 per play (weekdays) (lastminutegolf.co.za)
Princes Grant

Numbers 21-30

  1. Randpark Bushwillow https://www.randpark.co.za Randpark Ridge, Gauteng
    • R285-R400 (weekday am) (own website)
  2. Vaal de Grace http://www.vaaldegrace.co.za Parys, Free State
    • R155 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  3. Dainfern http://www.dainfern.co.za/ Fourways, Gauteng
    • R390 per player (own website)
    • R300 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  4. Krugersdorp Golf Club http://www.krugersdorpgc.com Krugersdorp, Gauteng
    • R350 per player (own website)
    • R240 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  5. Killarney Country Club http://www.killarneycountryclub.co.za Killarney, Gauteng
    • R195-R460 per player (own website)
    • From R195 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  6. Umhlali Country Club http://www.uge.co.za/the-country-club/  Salt Rock, KZN
    • R200 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  7. Woodhill Golf Club https://www.woodhillestate.co.za Menlyn, Pretoria, Gauteng
    • R350 per player (own website)
  8. Atlantic Beach Golf Club https://www.atlanticbeach.co.za Melkbos, Western Cape
    • R450 per player (own website)
  9. Mbombela (Nelspruit) Golf Club https://www.nelspruitgolfclub.co.za Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
    • R480 per player (own website)
  10. Mossel Bay Club https://www.mosselbaygolfclub.co.za/ Mossel Bay, Southern Cape
    • R485 per player (own website)
Krugersdorp Golf Club
Krugersdorp Golf Club

Number 31-40

  1. Mount Edgecomb (The Woods) http://www.mountedgecombe.com Umhlanga, KZN
    1. R380-R480 per player (own website)
    2. From R240 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  2. Wedgewood Village and Golf Estate http://wedgewoodvillage.co.za/golf-course/ Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
    1. From R205 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  3. Benoni Country Club http://www.benonicountryclub.co.za/ Benoni, Gauteng
    1. From R175 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  4. Umdoni Park Golf Club http://www.umdonipark.com Pennington, South Coast, KZN
    1. R330 per player (own website)
    2. From R200 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  5. Glenvista Golf Club http://glenvistacountryclub.co.za South Johannesburg, Gauteng
    1. R300 per player (own website)
    2. From R175 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  6. Parys Golf Club & Estate https://www.parysestate.co.za/  Parys, Free State
    1. From R145 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  7.  Goldfields West Golf Club https://web.facebook.com/GoldfieldsWestGolfClub/?_rdc=1&_rdr South Johannesburg, Gauteng
    1. R175 per player (Facebook Page)
  8. Bosch Hoek Golf Club https://boschhoek.co.za Howick, Midlands, KZN
    1. R360 per player (own website)
  9. St Francis Bay Golf Club http://stfrancisgolf.co.za St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape
    1. R430 per player (own website)
  10. Kingswood Golf Estate https://www.kingswood.co.za George, Southern Cape
    1. R500 per player (own website)
Kingswood Golf Estate

Numbers 41-50

  1. Selbourne Golf Estate https://www.selbornehotel.com/en-us/golf South Coast, KZN
    1. R300 per player (own website)
    2. From R215 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  2. Eagle Canyon Golf Estate http://eaglecanyongolfestate.co.za/golf-club Randburg, Gauteng
    1. R360 per player (own website)
    2. From R195 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  3. Koro Creek Golf Club http://www.korocreek.com Modimolle, Limpopo
    1. R310 per player (own website)
    2. From R230 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  4. Royal Port Alfred Golf Club http://www.rpagc.co.za Port Alfred, Eastern Cape
    1. R330 per player (own website)
  5. Reading Country Club http://readingcc.co.za Alberton, Gauteng
    1. From R195 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  6. ERPM Golf Club http://www.erpmgc.co.za/ Boksburg, Gauteng
    1. From R150 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  7. Huddle Park Golf Club http://huddlepark.com/ Bedforview, Gauteng
    1. From R150 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  8. Knysna Golf Club http://knysnagolfclub.com Knysna, Southern Cape
    1. R480 per player (own website)
  9. Mount Edgecomb 2 (The Lakes) http://www.mountedgecombe.com Umhlanga, KZN
    1. R380-R480 per player (own website)
    2. From R240 per player (lastminutegolf.co.za)
  10. Port Elizabeth Golf Club http://www.pegc.co.za/ Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape – R320 per player (own website)

8 of the top 40 clubs in Golf Digest’s 2018 top 100 courses are in the top 50 courses under R500. 46% of the top 100 courses are under R500 to play.

Courses that have no rates on their website and no rates available on any of the online golf booking platforms, will not be on the list.