South African Amateur

During the Kimberley Exhibition of 1892, the local golf club hosted a week-long South African Tournament, with the main event comprising The Championship of South Africa and this involved a series of 18-hole match play ties “open to all non-professional players who have been six months members of any golf club in South Africa”. The first winner of the SA Amateur was Denholm Walker of the Cape Golf Club, defeating local golfer H. J. Mackay by one hole.

South African Amateur Championship Trophy

For the second edition of the contest at Port Elizabeth the following year, the Union Steamship Company presented a fine silver trophy, the Challenge Cup, for competition in the SA Amateur championship. The event was won by D G Proudfoot from Graaff Reinet and he went on to win the title eight years in a row, from 1893 to 1902 (no Amateurs were held during the Boer War years in 1900 and 1901).

After Proudfoot won the challenge trophy outright with his first three victories, the Union Steamship Company presented another trophy to replace it at King William’s Town in 1896 and this floating trophy could not be won outright. To this day, this is the silverware presented to the winner of the competition.

In 1908, the Open and the Amateur were both played concurrently during the South African Tournament at Port Elizabeth over 72 holes and this format would remain until the Amateur became a match play contest in 1925. The 1908 event attracted a field of thirty; seven professionals and twenty-three amateurs. G. Fotheringham from Durban won the first of his five Opens with an aggregate score of 294 (unheard of at the time) and J.A.W. Prentice claimed the first of his four Amateur titles with a total of 310.

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South African Amateur host courses

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.

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Bryanston

15th Gauteng - Best in Area 44th South Africa Ranking

Bryanston plays very long (7,400 yards from the back markers) and the tone is set for the round with back-to-back par fives at the opening two holes.

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De Zalze

11th Western Cape - Best in Area 36th South Africa Ranking

De Zalze is yet another creation from the prolific Peter Matkovich and is laid out within the 750-acre Spier Estate in the shadow of the Helderberg Mountains...

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East London

3rd Eastern Cape - Best in Area 14th South Africa Ranking

East London Golf Club has hosted the South African Open seven times (between 1930 and 2001) and it’s widely regarded as one of the top courses in the Eastern Cape.

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George

4th Western Cape - Best in Area 15th South Africa Ranking

George Golf Club members have played on the same site for more than 85 years so it’s little wonder George is sometimes referred to – by Fancourt visitors in particular – as “the Old Course.”

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Glendower

2nd Gauteng - Best in Area 8th South Africa Ranking

Formed back in 1935, the Glendower Golf Club engaged the services of Harry Colt’s associate, Charles Hugh Alison, to lay out an 18-hole parkland course in two loops of nine...

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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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Houghton

18th Gauteng - Best in Area 56th South Africa Ranking

Jack Nicklaus officially opened his new Signature course at the long-established Houghton Golf Club in 2011. The course is not brutally long but relies on strategic bunkering to protect par.

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South African Amateur Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Trevor King Courses Played 28
2 Heinrich du Preez Courses Played 27
3 Les Coetzee Courses Played 25
4 Gideon Steyn Courses Played 24
5 Frikkie Bosman Courses Played 22
= Stuart McLean Courses Played 22
= Leon Bevan Courses Played 22
= Byron Price Courses Played 22
= Neil van Niekerk Courses Played 22
10 stuart mcclymont Courses Played 21