Maccauvlei Golf Club
Men – 6288m
Ladies – 5337m
Championship – 6820m
Situated on the banks of the Vaal River between Gauteng and the Free State, Maccauvlei Golf Club is a picturesque parklands course that both challenges and rewards the average golfer, yet is just technical enough to be hard on the slightly better golfer too. The course is neither long, nor short, but it is mixed up with some short par 5s, long par 3s and tricky par 4s. The SR for Maccauvlei is 71, meaning it plays slightly under handicap and that provides an enjoyable day out for most who play this lovely track.
A mere 45 minutes from the bustling city of Johannesburg, Maccauvlei feels like a holiday course, something out of the ordinary, yet there is something very Highveld in its design. Trees line the fairways, bunkers protect a lot of the landing zones and the greens, which were in immaculate condition, are well protected. The greens ran very fast and very true the day we played and the entire course was in near perfect condition. The value for money at Maccauvlei Golf Club is almost unbeatable anywhere in the country and this top 50 course is well worth the drive for a day out.
This par 5 is a prime example of a risk and reward hole. The fairway is narrow off the tee box and the right hand side is guarded by a huge tree. The hole is not particularly long for a par 5, but getting up in two is no guarantee either. A drive favouring the right of the fairway runs the risk of the approach being blocked by the mammoth tree guarding the right, and a drive down the left leaves a longer shot and brings the greenside water into play a little more. The green falls off slightly to the water and has a well placed bunker to protect it, but birdie on this hole is not a difficult score to achieve and walking away with a par will feel like defeat. The hole is pretty, well designed and an interesting way to kick of the rest of the front 9.
The only way to describe the 17th hole is to say it is the one with the bunker. Now most of the holes on this course have bunkers, but none as immense as this one. Reputed to be one of the biggest bunkers in the world, this canyon of a bunker guards the steep approach up the hill to the green. It is both deep and long and as wide as the fairway itself. It is a daunting task to have to clear and an even more daunting task to get out of. The 17th itself is a dogleg left par 4 that is long and treacherous. The fairway slopes away from your target, meaning your ball generally finishes further from its destination than you play it. Your long second into the blind green is quite steep uphill and clearing the bunker is more daunting than clearing water. A par 4 on this hole is a decent score and there is a sense of achievement once you have finished the 17th.
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