South Africa

The Most Charming Golf Courses in Johannesburg and Gauteng

by Paul Joseph  |  Published January 26, 2023

The province of Gauteng and its famous capital Johannesburg are home to some of South Africa’s finest golf courses, drawing golfing enthusiasts from far and wide.

(Photo: The Country Club Johannesburg)

In total there are 62 high quality courses – including 26 in Johannesburg – dotted across the province, each with their own distinctive character and playing conditions. Among them are couple dating all the way back to the 1930s that have stood the test of time, while other are more recent additions to the region’s golfing landscape. We’ve picked out 7 of the best courses that Gauteng has to offer.

The Country Club Johannesburg

The Country Club Johannesburg’s is home to two exceptional championship courses that offer distinct golfing experiences. The original course is Woodmead, situated in the upscale Sandton district of Johannesburg. which opened in 1968, and is an exceptional parkland course with tall trees, immaculate greens and a rich sense of history. The course is a breathtakingly scenic and well-maintained, blending effortlessly into its woodland forest surroundings, with tree-lined fairways, well stocked dams and strategic mounding adding to its appeal. Together, with the many bird species seen on the course, this creates a harmonious balance between city and nature. Meanwhile, The Sandwedge halfway house offers discerning golfers the perfect midway break.

Lincoln St, Woodmead, Sandton

Maccauvlei Golf Club

Established in 1926, Maccauvlei is situated on the banks of the Vaal River, and is essentially parkland in style, with link like characteristics. Although the front nine has several memorable holes, it is the closing holes on the back nine which are its piece de resistance, with the six-hole stretch from 13 onwards a true delight. Another famous hole on the course is the 17th, with its giant bunker sloping up from the fairway towards the green, and in its day reputed to be the largest in the world. Away from the course itself, there’s also a bar area, a function venue, a halfway house, and a Pro Shop. The strength of the club is vested primarily in the enthusiasm and support of its members but also, in the goodwill of visiting golfers.

Old Sasolburg Road Viljoensdrif, Vereeniging

(Photo: Maccauvlei Golf Club)

Glenvista Country Club

Set in a picturesque valley in the southern Johannesburg suburb of Glenvista, this course is surrounded by the imposing backdrop of a steep-faced gorge that cuts through the heart of Klipriviersberg range. The dramatic change in geological contours from cliff faces to floodplains help make the course a truly unique place to play golf. The course’s signature hole is the 10th, where a mid iron tee shot towards the famous 10th dam leaves golfers with another mid iron shot over the dam to a green protected by a bunker at the back. Meanwhile, the green is well protected by three bunkers to the front and water to the left.

Vorster Avenue, Glenvista, Johannesburg South

The River Club 

You’ll need to know a member to access this ultra-exclusive private golf club, located in Johannesburg’s Sandton district. Founded in 1967, the meticulously maintained course features lush, green kikuyu fairways and a serene atmosphere a world away from the buzzing urban metropolis nearby. In terms of playability, the par-71 course offers challenging but friendly playing conditions for golfers of all abilities, and while the layout is broadly flat there are some challenging dog-leg holes. Indeed, the finishing stretch of the course is widely regarded as one of the most challenging anywhere in the country. Adding to the scenery are regular spottings of the same red bishop bird species seen on the club logo.

Links Road, Driefontein 41-Ir, Sandton

(Photo: The River Club)

Waterkloof Golf Club

One of the landmark golf courses of east Pretoria, this course sits in an attractive countryside setting on Waterkloof Ridge overlooking the Groenkloof Nature Reserve. The layout features some undulating greens, which provide the main challenge on a course that is relatively wide open off the tee. Highlights include a beautifully framed 15th hole and 9th and 18th greens which come together up a gentle incline in front of the large double-storey clubhouse, both protected by the same large water hazard. In recent times, an impressive 6,000 indigenous trees have been planted on the grounds of the well-wooded course and the fairways are dressed in an excellent kikuyu.

Johan Rissik Drive Waterkloof, Eclipse Road, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria

Cullinan Golf Club

Situated some 30 kilometres outside Pretoria, Cullinan Golf Club is home to one of the oldest golf courses in South Africa. Having originally been established in 1905, up until the mid-20th century it was rated the best 9-hole course in South Africa. However, a redesign was needed to keep up with the growing demand for a top-notch course in this region – and that led to the course that still exists today. Located in the immediate vicinity of a huge diamond mine, it is characterised by mature trees, while the fast and demanding greens are in fine condition and are defended not only by bunkers, but also by large trees, providing plenty of shade for golfers and adding to the bucolic scenery.

1 Main Road, Cullinan

(Photo: Cullinan Golf Club)

Jackal Creek Golf & Country Club

Characterised by winding fairways and aesthetically-shaped elevation changes, this championship parklands course in the Johannesburg suburb of Roodepoort is popular thanks to its challenging but achievable layout. A number of truly memorable holes allow golfers great visual reward for their shots, while the broader picturesque surroundings add to the spectacle. Strategically placed bunkers demand good ball management, making it a real test for players of every ability. At the end of the game, a modern clubhouse welcomes players with a spectacular restaurant and bar complete with a balcony overlooking the 18th green.

Club House Jackal Creek Golf Estate, Roodepoort, Johannesburg