5 COURSES ON THE UP
Durbanville, Pecanwood, Riviera, Bloemfontein and Atlantic Beach.
Keeping a course in top condition is becoming increasingly expensive, and rising maintenance budgets mean only the wealthier clubs can afford to sustain their courses at peak condition all year. Nevertheless, several courses have shown markedly improved conditioning, as greenkeepers and course superintendents continue to show passion and commitment to their labours of love.
Among those which have come to our attention are: DURBANVILLE: One of many courses nationwide which have outsourced their maintenance to Southern Turf Management, which has become the biggest course maintenance contractor in South Africa. However, it’s usually the individual greenkeeper at the course who makes the di erence, and at Durbanville in the northern suburbs of Cape Town it is Chris Kitson who has helped take the course to another level. Durbanville is a course pushing for Top 100 status, backed by a proactive committee and general manager, and it’s now just on the outside looking in. PECANWOOD: The Jack Nicklaus design at Hartbee- spoort Dam was always one of the top 10 conditioned courses in South Africa, yet standards started to slip some ve years back as budgets were reduced, and the steady deterioration saw its ranking plummet. It has now fallen out of the top 30 for the rst time, yet Golf Digest’s raters generally con-firm an improvement in the general conditioning, especially the bunkering. It was a major setback for the course when a hailstorm damaged the greens in January just when it was coming back to its best. RIVIERA: This course returns to the Top 100 for the rst time since 2002, not just because of high levels of conditioning on a tight budget in a depressed golfing market in the Vaal Triangle, but for a
The Magaliesberg range tower over the Jack Nicklaus design at Pecanwood. This is the par-3 third hole.