Glendower - Gauteng - South Africa

Glendower Golf Club,
20 Marias Road,
Dowerglen ext2,
Bedfordview,
Gauteng,
South Africa


  • +27 11 453 1013

  • Golf Club Website

  • Take the Linksfield turn off from the N3

  • Welcome, except Saturdays


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 on some old Glendower farmland. A. T. Tomsett, the club’s first professional/greenkeeper (who was with Glendower for 17 years) oversaw construction of the layout.

Fifty years later, the club embarked on a major upgrade program, reshaping greens, building new tee positions and adding a number of water features around the course. The results were good enough to see Glendower host the South African Open three times in ten years, beginning in 1989.

Not content with these improvements, the club installed new USGA standard greens and bunkers at every hole in 2007, raising low lying putting surfaces like those at holes 10 and 12 in the process.

Many look to the par three holes for respite (three of the four short holes are played over water) when they play here, such is the unrelenting nature of the long par four and par five holes on a course measuring just over 7,000 yards from the back tees.

The feature hole on the course is the 468-yard, par four, 10th which requires a long approach over a wide lake to a green that has two bunkers on either side of the putting surface – front pin positions rarely yield a par score on this hole, never mind a birdie.

In November 2013, after a 16-year gap, the 104th edition of the South African Open returned to Glendower Golf Club (won by Morten Ørum Madsen) and the tournament remained at the Gauteng club until 2018.

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Description: 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... Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Reviews: 4
TaylorMade
Alex Frolish

The mist hung over the 9th green and the lake beyond like the scene of a Hollywood movie set. It was very still and remarkably quiet, just 15 minutes before our tee time (the first of the day), and although I should have been making final preparations on the putting green, I found myself looking down over the course and taking photographs of this quite magical vista.

You will most probably be familiar with Glendower if you watch professional golf, as it has featured numerous times as the host of the South African open in the last 20 years. It is remarkable how much of the course I recognised from the TV footage and how impressive it is up close and personal.

Parkland in nature, Glendower has a graceful flow to it, while never really giving you too much space to breath. From the very first tee shot, the opening run is a tough one, and if you still have a scorecard intact making your way to the 7th tee, you will have played some solid golf.

The bunkers here are filled with vibrant red tinged sand, and the opening tee shot is all about missing the gaping sand trap on the right at driver distance while leaving yourself a good angle to the well protected green. As intimidating tee shots go, you will find very few less so than the quite magical par 5 2nd. Played over a large body of water to a tight tree lined fairway, this is an exacting question so early in the round. Equally difficult is the long par 3 3rd, where water short and left forces you to look long and right. That may seem like the safest miss, but the chip/ bunker shot played back towards the water will counter that theory. The 4th is stroke index 1, where length and accuracy are required, and a deft touch needed on the slippery green. The 5th is Stroke Index 3! Hopefully you get the picture; you don’t get much opportunity to ease your way in to your round here.

The 9th deserves special mention as, although the hole is relatively short, the green is so well defended by a small lake at the front right and the putting surface itself is so small, that the short iron shot you will play into this green will have to be executed perfectly and with supreme accuracy.

The 10th is the blockbuster hole on the course and only the longest and most accurate tee shots will leave a comfortable chance of making the green on this par 4. Everything else will either be a layup or a high octane risk/reward swish for glory. In my opinion, holes like this need to be the exception, to avoid making a golf course too much of a toil for the average golfer. But in moderation, a test of this nature is both memorable and brilliant and this is most certainly some spectacle of a golf hole. Played gently downhill with to a green guarded by a deceptively wide angled body of water, strategy is the key to success here and you need to be willing to amend your game plan as you move down the hole.

The final hole specific comment is related to the 12th tee shot which is possibly, along with the 2nd, the toughest on the course. Played across an angled water hazard, the question is a simple one; can you carry the ball the intended distance on the intended line. Long and right and you will head up a steep tree filled bank, while left or short brings the waterway into play.

Glendower is a balanced test across the 18 holes and examines all facets of your game while asking many engaging strategic questions. It may not be as long as some of the other courses in Johannesburg, but it’s difficulty comes from the relatively small landing zones and the pacy greens that need to be approached from the right angles. A special course in the context of African golf and one that you should put near the top of your list if you are visiting Johannesburg.

June 17, 2022
8 / 10
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Craig Robinson

Its a good course, with some very enjoyable par 5's. They were hollow tinning so the greens were inconsistent and this made the round pretty unpleasant but i am sure that this is a great course when the course is in immaculate condition.

I did think that it lost points for the clubhouse, pro shop and catering facilities, which were substandard to courses in the area.

September 08, 2020
6 / 10
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David Roodt
July 02, 2021

Craig, I agree that the club needs to revisit touch points other than the golf course alone. Golf has become a gate to gate experience and the club are investigating improvements to all touch points which should enhance the entire experience.

David Roodt - General Manager, Glendower Golf Club

Keith Alexander

Glendower is a classic parkland routing that demands a high standard of ball striking and strategic positioning on every hole. A wonderful test of golf, superb putting surfaces, and a very welcoming club. My “home from home” when in South Africa, and I highly recommend visiting.

October 13, 2019
8 / 10
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Paul Jakeman
To me this feels like one of those lovely old parkland courses you get in the UK. In that the clubhouse is fine, the facilities are ok – but the course is just such a pleasure. You can see why they have hosted so many tournaments here over the years. One of my favourite holes - the par five 2nd tests your nerves as you have to thread your drive throw a narrow gap of trees! Picturesque and in great condition, this is probably my favourite golf course in the Johannesburg.
December 02, 2010
8 / 10
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