Rescue for course due to close.
There has been good news regarding golf courses to start 2017. Goldfields West in the North West, one of our premier hidden gems, has been saved from closure after the club went into liquidation. Its rescuers have plans to upgrade the clubhouse and course. Somerset West are building a new back nine that will be a boost for this old Cape club, founded in 1908.And the body corporate of Elements Private Reserve, one of our best bushveld courses, has plans to resuscitate the ailing Waterberg Estate. Somerset West The Matkovich Group have started work on a major upgrade of the Somerset West golf course in the Cape, building 10 new holes in a project that should transform an awkwardly balanced layout previously set in three different sections of property. Golfers had to cross (on foot) both a railway line and a highway to complete 18 holes.The section furthest from the clubhouse has been sold for development, and Matko Group designer Louis van der Walt has managed to fit eight holes into the area between the railway line and highway, where previously there were four, and retained the par of 72 with a total measurement of 5 900 metres.A storm water attenuation pond will be a feature of the new back nine. Nothing will be done for now to eight of the older holes around the clubhouse, which largely form the front nine. Wanderers Golf Club This famous Johannesburg course, home of the PGA Championship for more than 20 years from the 1970s to 1990s, is due for radical development from 2020 onwards. General manager Lenn Flanagan confirms that the existing eighth and ninth holes, bordering Rudd Road, are to be sold to Investec for development.A new clubhouse will be built, plus new holes close to the clubhouse. Wanderers was once one of the busiest courses in the country, doing over 50 000 rounds a year, but membership has declined in recent years. It is hoped that the changes will arrest that. goldfields west Goldfields West Golf Club, liquidated as a business in February, has been rescued by two concerned individuals, Heinrich du Preez of Radical Golf and club member HansVierra, who say they will invest in restoring it back to its former glory. They believe that this Top 100 course in the North West Province is too good a golfing experience to be closed down and lost. Goldfields, a Bob Grimsdell design near Carletonville, and part of the Central Gauteng Golf Union, was ranked as high as No 47 in 2004. It has since slipped to No 97, having lost its subsidies from the neighbouring gold mines that used to support the club. Goldfields is the epitome of a golfing hidden gem, set in beautiful tranquil
countryside, with various species of buck roaming the course. It used to annually host the Western Transvaal Open for many years, and continues to be a challenging test. Elements Private Reserve The body corporate of Elements Private Golf Reserve in the Waterberg have acquired the clubhouse and commercial rights from the previous hotel group operator. Ian Leach, formerly at Zebula, has been appointed as general manager.They promise to deliver an improved golfing experience at the Limpopo estate that has struggled in recent years.The 18hole Peter Matkovich bushveld course is one of the best designs in the country, although it slipped to No 26 in the 2016 Golf Digest Top 100 due to conditioning issues while the estate suffered in the drought. Good recent rainfalls have transformed the area.
Body corporate chairman Gavin Hart said the water issues at Elements are “now a thing of the past because of the agreements we have concluded with our neighbours to ensure we have enough water to irrigate our fairways during the winter months.”The venue will be promoting golf, conference and wedding business, plus the selling of properties.A mountain bike track has been built on the reserve. Elements offers self-catering accommodation in the form of 13 rental pool homes.
The par-5 seventh hole at Elements Private Reserve (above), and opening hole at Goldfields West Golf Club (right).