Bob Grimsdell

Full Name
Robert G. Grimsdell
Year of Birth
1897
Year of Death
1986 (aged 89)
Place Born
Amersham, Bucks, England
Place Died
Vereeniging, South Africa

After World War II, Grimsdell became a full-time golf course architect based in Scottburgh, South Africa. Over the next 30 years he established himself as the leading designer in South Africa and surrounding nations. Geoff Cornish and Ron Whitten

Bob Grimsdell left his native England when he was a teenager and travelled to South Africa. He joined the South African armed forces and was subsequently deployed to France during the First World War, holding a commission in the Royal Air Force until 1920. After hostilities ended he moved back to England, married, and became the professional at Chorley Golf Club in Lancashire.

He soon became interested in golf course architecture and struck up a friendship with Harry Colt and C.H. Alison, soaking up as much knowledge as he could from the two masters of design..

“A fine competitive golfer in his youth and a devotee of H.S. Colt, Bob Grimsdell moved to South Africa in the twenties to establish himself in a year-round golf career,” wrote Cornish and Whitten in The Architects of Golf.

Grimsdell and his wife lived in Cape Town and he became attached to the Mowbray Golf Club. Ironically, in the early 1950s, Grimsdell designed the nearby course for the newly formed King David Golf Club. Unfortunately, Grimsdell’s King David course (considered one of his best designs) was recently lost to a non-golfing development, so the Mowbray and King David clubs merged, creating King David Mowbray Golf Club.

“He became pro-greenkeeper at several South African clubs,” continue Cornish and Whitten, “including Royal Johannesburg, whose East course he laid out in 1933. A talented player, Grimsdell won the Orange Free State Open and Match Play Championships as well as the Belgian and German Opens.” Unfortunately, Grimsdell was unable to win at South African national level, twice finishing as runner-up in the South African Open and four-time finalist in the South African Match Pl...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Bob Grimsdell

Benoni Country Club

38th Gauteng - Best in Area

The Benoni Country Club was originally established as the Van Ryn Golf Club back in 1906 when it was created by employees of the Van Ryn mine.

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Average Reviewers Score:
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Bloemfontein

2nd Free State - Best in Area 94th South Africa Ranking

Golf in Bloemfontein dates back more than a century but the parkland course in play today at Bloemfontein Golf Club is a Bob Grimsdell layout that was later refashioned by the prolific Peter Matkovich and Dale Hayes.

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Bosch Hoek

14th KwaZulu-Natal - Best in Area 96th South Africa Ranking

Designed with nine holes and eighteen teeboxes, the once-private course at Bosch Hoek Golf Club in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is an early 1960s Bob Grimsdell layout which has recently been upgraded with bent grass greens by Golf Data.

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Average Reviewers Score:
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Emfuleni

39th Gauteng - Best in Area

The parkland course at Emfuleni Golf Estate is a 1948 design from the prolific Bob Grimsdell, which was recently rejuvenated by Golf Data’s Sean Quinn. Des Terblanche won the Sunshine Tour’s short-lived Emfuleni Classic here in 2000 during the tour’s inaugural season.

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Goldfields West

5th North West - Best in Area 76th South Africa Ranking

The course at the Goldfields West Golf Club is set within a nature reserve in the Wonderfontein Valley where a variety of wild animals can be found wandering the fairways.

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Average Reviewers Score:
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Hans Merensky

6th Limpopo - Best in Area

Don’t be surprised to see elephants, antelopes, giraffes, monkeys and baboons in and around the perimeter of Hans Merensky's fairways, whilst hippos and crocs can be found at some water hazards!

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Average Reviewers Score:
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Huddle Park

35th Gauteng - Best in Area 100th South Africa Ranking

The Huddle Park Golf & Recreation course is laid out within one of Johannesburg’s largest parks and it’s part of a grassland, woodland and wetland property extending to five hundred acres beside the suburbs of Linsfield and Orange Grove.

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Average Reviewers Score:
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Irene

16th Gauteng - Best in Area 48th South Africa Ranking 88th Africa Ranking

The 18-hole parkland golf course at Irene Country Club dates back to 1912 but it was remodelled in more recent times by Phil Jacobs Design.

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Average Reviewers Score:
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Kimberley

2nd Northern Cape - Best in Area

Bob Grimsdell designed Kimberley Golf Club’s new layout when it relocated to a site close to Kamfers Dam in 1960. Tony Jacklin claimed an early professional win here in 1964, as did Ernie Els in 1990.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Bob Grimsdell Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Trevor King Courses Played 26
2 Heinrich du Preez Courses Played 25
3 Frikkie Bosman Courses Played 24
4 Les Coetzee Courses Played 22
5 Herman Kriel Courses Played 20
6 Leon Bevan Courses Played 19
= Neels Courses Played 19
8 Franscois Marx Courses Played 17
= Hans Vierra Courses Played 17
10 Dawie Strydom Courses Played 16