CENTURION FROM THE AIR
Aerial views of the water holes.
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.