Germiston Golf Club
Club: 6339m (6932 yards)
Ladies: 5235m (5725 yards)
Championship: 6550m (7163 yards)
Germiston Golf Club is an old established golf course less than half an hour from the Johannesburg city centre. There is something understated about Germiston and the course screams old school course design. It is a parklands style course that is relative open and forgiving to the novice golfer, but at the same time provides just enough forgiveness to the lower handicapped golfer. At a shade over 6,300m, the course is not at all long, but what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for is clever hazard placement.
We played Germiston in the dry winter months on the Highveld, meaning the ball travels a good deal further off the tee than it would in the wet season. The greens were in really good condition and landing an approach on the putting surface would normally make the ball hold. This allows you to choose your club exactly to the distance you have in. The greens were fast, but ran true and we were able to trust the lines we chose and stick the ball where we aimed it. Germiston Golf Club is great value for money and the food at the club house was reasonable and well priced.
A daunting risk reward par 5 that plays downhill with a dogleg left to right. Taking on the dogleg can mean trouble with a few huge trees guarding the corner and a massive fairway bunker to swallow up the shorter drives. Carrying the bunkers and finding the fairway, even in winter will still leave you with over 200m in to the green for your second. The green is protected in front by a large body of water which requires a decent strike just to carry. The green slopes heavily from back to front meaning you can take the water on with a long iron and still stop the approach with some certainty. Most players will lay up their approach on this hole, but will still find walking away with a par a more than manageable task. Those bold enough to hit the big boomer in will have a decent shot at eagle and birdie should be expected if you hit the dance floor with your second.
Finishing off your round with a par 3 is sometimes a fun and interesting way to end. Germiston’s 18th hole is definitely fun, but is also terrifying. At around 180m off the club tees, over water and flanked by the Germiston Lake, wind and club selection are so important on this tough finishing hole. Although the green is rather big, from across the water, it looks tiny. The bigger hitters will have a medium iron in and everyone else will have a long iron, so stopping the ball on the putting surface is quite tough. Overshooting the green will leave a tough pitch downhill towards the water and under-hitting your tee shot will leave you needing a reload. Bunkers, water and distance, three things that make a tough par three, but also a great par 3 and a fitting way to end a great course.