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

Bloemfontein

3rd Free State - Best in Area 87th 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.

Bosch Hoek

15th Kwazulu Natal - Best in Area 89th 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.

Goldfields West

5th North West - Best in Area

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:
TaylorMade

Hans Merensky

Gem South Africa - 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:
TaylorMade

Hermanus (East)

17th Western Cape - Best in Area 54th South Africa Ranking

Known in South Africa as the best land-based whale watching place in the world, the small fishing village of Hermanus at Walker Bay is also the location of a very good golf course...

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Irene

16th Gauteng - Best in Area 46th South 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:
TaylorMade

Kloof

16th Kwazulu Natal - Best in Area 93rd South Africa Ranking

The course at Kloof Country Club dates back to the “Golden Age” of architecture and was extended to 18 holes in 1929 by Woodhall Spa's Colonel SV Hotchkin...

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Mbombela

3rd Mpumalanga - Best in Area 76th South Africa Ranking

The Mbombela Golf Club, formerly Nelspruit, hosts an annual competition called the “Jock of the Bushveld Festival of Golf,” and this event attracts amateur golfers from all over the country.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade