Intriguingly, the eighteen holes on the Gowrie Farm layout play to only twelve greens in what might best be described as a highly unconventional golfing configuration.
The course was designed by Guy Smith, the developer behind the Prince’s Grant Golf Estate on the Kwazulu-Natal north coast, and it lies close to the small township of Nottingham Road, just off the main Johannesburg-Durban highway.
Fairways were constructed with the aid of local farmers who helped to install the irrigation, and the playing corridors were laid out to basically fit the land available, with very little earth moved during the build.
The par five 2nd (which doubles as the tough par four 12th) gives an early indication of the challenge ahead, playing longer than its scorecard yardage indicates (into the prevailing wind) and its highly contoured green is just one of many to be found here.The 164-metre 16th – one of three par threes that are played once during a round (the others are the 4th and 11th) – is the feature hole at Gowrie Park, with the par four 9th and par five 18th, routed around the large dam in front of the clubhouse, the best of the rest.
The course has lovely fairways and greens but the course is very poorly marked - for example ( of many) finding the 9th tee box proved to be problematic and the second hole is a goner if you cannot drive 225m (300 if the wind is toward you) - maybe they should put the tee off in the bog or bring the start of the fairway into the wetland. Also the course management needs training - we were playing 18 and the sent us off on the 9th - when we came to play the first nine we were in a queue of 9 holers who had been given the get go and we got a bit frustrated with the congestion. They should've waited until the guys playing 18 had all gone through before letting the masses onto the course.