CEN­TU­RION FROM THE AIR

Aerial views of the wa­ter holes.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Stu­art McLean

Cen­tu­rion Coun­try Club cel­e­brates its 21st an­niver­sary this year. One of the first golf es­tates north of the Jukskei River in Gaut­eng (slightly younger than Sil­ver Lakes), it has be­come a sought-af­ter cen­trally si­t­u­ated place to live for those who work in Sand­ton or Pre­to­ria.

The Hennops River flows through the es­tate and the park­land-style holes at Cen­tu­rion. De­signer Peter Matkovich, who also did the Sil­ver Lakes and Wood­hill es­tate cour­ses in the re­gion, made wa­ter haz­ards and bunkers a cen­tral theme. Orig­i­nal ex­panses of sand have since been grassed over, but the large dam in front of the club­house re­mains the fea­ture of the prop­erty.

“In­side” the dam, as the aerial photo shows, are two unique holes in terms of lo­cal cour­ses.The eighth is a par 3 with an is­land green, and the ninth a risk-and-re­ward short par 4. Bold golfers will take the di­rect route to the green, di­rectly across the wa­ter from the tee to a nar­row spit of fair­way, or you can play safe to an al­ter­nate fair­way on the left.The dam also comes into play on the left of the chal­leng­ing par-4 18th, from tee to green, which Matkovich rates as one of his best fin­ish­ing holes.

Sev­eral tour pro­fes­sion­als have made Cen­tu­rion their home, one rea­son be­ing that it is a strong test from the back tees, with well-guarded and small­ish greens that re­quire pre­cise shot-mak­ing.

Cen­tu­rion gen­eral man­ager Hans Jonck was ap­pointed in 2015 at the age of 24. He served his PGA ap­pren­tice­ship un­der club pro­fes­sional Jannes Sik, be­fore mov­ing to Mount Edge­combe as PGA pro and shop man­ager in 2014. He was men­tored by their GM De­sirée Stone. – Stu­art Mclean

CHAL­LENG­ING FIN­ISH The dra­matic clos­ing holes at Cen­tu­rion CC. In the fore­ground are the par-3 17th and par-4 18th, with the par-3 eighth and par-4 ninth “in­side” the dam.

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