Modderfontein Golf Club Review
Club: 6322m (6954 yards)
Ladies: 5219m (5760 yards)
Championship: 6651m (7307 yards)
Modderfontein is a course that has given many of the SOS Tour members a start in the game of golf. The club prides itself in a fantastic youth system that offers the young aspiring golfers a great place to nurture their talent. The course on the Eastern side of Johannesburg has grown from strength to strength over the last few years and is now regarded as one of the finest courses in the country. Regularly ranked in the mid sections of Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses in South Africa, Modderfontein is a stern test of golfing patience, your bravery and thinking throughout most of the 18 holes.
It is a parklands style course with plenty of trees on both nines. The back nine is littered with water on most of the holes and the architect of Modderfontein didn’t add any of the water on the course just for aesthetics. If there is water on a hole, it is most certainly in play, with the exception of the par four 16th. The course is not easy, despite the scoring average of the guys on the SOS, and Modderfontein regularly plays above its handicap stroke. The length of Modderfontein is just about average for a course at this altitude, but with proper course management, Modderfontein is a really enjoyable day out.
It is important to think about what you want to achieve off the tee at Modderfontein, as nothing is as simple as it may look. It is also important to remember that position is better than power on this track, and having a long iron in from the fairway, or laying up on a par 5 is considerably better than finding yourself in deep trouble 75m closer to the green.
It is not often the stroke 18 (easiest hole on the course) makes it into the list of featured holes on the SOS Golf Tour course reviews, but the first at Modderfontein is all you would expect from a really good golf hole, despite the fact that it is a definite birdie chance to open up. The first is a par 5, dog-leg right which is only 422m off the club tees. What makes the first a challenge is that if you choose the risk and reward option off the tee box, you have several risks you would need to negotiate. There is water short of the fairway, and running the entire length of the first 280m of it as well. In order to leave yourself on the fairway, and avoid running through it into the trees on the left, you need to attack your drive down the side of the fairway that is protected by water. And even if you do find the short grass down the right hand side, you may be left with a host of very high trees to carry from about 180m out. If you have a drive that finds the fairway, you will be left with no more than a short or mid iron it to a green that offer up very little in the way of protection. Besides the one greenside bunker, this large putting surface is very receptive to approaches. A birdie is expected, a par is ok, but anything over that will feel like a real let down to start off your round here.
This par 4 hole is everything a stroke 1 (toughest hole) should be. It is long, hazardous and mentally intimidating. The driving area is guarded by trees on the left and water on the entire right flank. What makes the 15th such a challenge is that if you play it down the left, to avoid the water; you will have a massive second into a difficult green. If you play it down the middle, you risk running into the water. Miss-hits on this hole are not forgiven. The green slopes back to front, but with a deep bunker front left and a bunker on the right, just hitting the green with a long iron is a challenge. Over the back of the green is a steep drop off, making club choice imperative. Holding the green with a long iron isn’t easy, so this stroke one will demand the best from your golf game. Most pros would be happy with par here, so the amateurs should be happy just to walk away. Par is a great score and good reward for clever play