MUST PLAY COUR­SES

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Our monthly fea­ture has 8 Gaut­eng cour­ses you should play.

RUIMSIG – GAUT­ENG WEST

Ruimsig was the first Gary Player de­sign in Gaut­eng, 31 years ago, and this un­du­lat­ing cham­pi­onship lay­out in the West Rand has been renowned for su­perb golf holes and the out­stand­ing qual­ity of its large greens com­plexes, with their slick putting sur­faces. Al­ways highly ranked in the Golf Digest Top 100, it stands at No 57.

The sheer vol­ume of rounds played at Ruimsig CC makes it the most pop­u­lar course within the Cen­tral Gaut­eng Golf Union. At 50 000 a year it is sec­ond in Gaut­eng to Win­gate Park in Pre­to­ria.

Ruimsig is the big­gest sup­porter of Play more golf – more than 8 000 rounds a year – and CEO Gary Ged­des be­lieves the con­cept has been a good one for South African golf. “The cost of golf is a big fac­tor to­day, and only by keep­ing the game af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble will we get ev­ery­one back play­ing again,” he says. Ruimsig changed their mem­ber­ship model this year, re­duc­ing sub­scrip­tion fees by 30 per­cent, to R5 950 for a full male mem­ber­ship (R2 950 for women and un­der-35s), and have signed up 350 new mem­bers in all cat­e­gories, many with pre­vi­ous vir­tual mem­ber­ships.

The club also has a mid­week mem­ber­ship deal of un­lim­ited golf for R495 a month, R395 for se­niors. There are 300 mid­week mem­bers.

When Ruimsig opened for play in 1986, purely as a golf club and not an es­tate, it was in the coun­try­side, on farm­land. To­day it is the cen­tral so­cial hub of a large com­mu­nity, as rapid de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion has seen sub­urbs ex­pand­ing west­wards to­wards Krugers­dorp. The large club­house is now prov­ing its worth, with mul­ti­func­tional venues and north-fac­ing pa­tios over­look­ing the course. It’s a key venue for cor­po­rate and charity days.

Ruimsig has al­ways been a big course, and was the orig­i­nal venue for the fab­u­lous Skins matches from the late 1980s and early ’90s – John Daly among those who graced its fair­ways with Gary Player. It has hosted both the men’s SA Am­a­teur, won by An­ton Haig in 2003, and women’s SA Am­a­teur in 2014, a big mo­ment for the club when the ti­tle was won by 15-year-old mem­ber Ivanna Samu. Mem­o­rable hole: The short par-4 13th is an ex­cit­ing risk-and-re­ward hole, with var­i­ous tee boxes which can en­tice golfers to try and drive the green, pro­tected by wa­ter on the leœ. There have been two aces here, and at the Skins event a car was the prize for an ea­gle. CEO: Gary Ged­des.

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