Johannesburg (Rocklands) - Gauteng - South Africa

Country Club Johannesburg,
Lincoln Street,
Woodmead,
Johannesburg 2128,
South Africa


  • +27 (0) 11 202 1600


For over a hundred years now, the Country Club Johannesburg has provided a wide range of sporting activities for its members at Auckland Park and Woodmead, its two recreation complexes. Auckland Park focuses on cricket, bowls and racquet sports whilst golf is the main sport at Woodmead where the club is the proud owner of two magnificent 18-hole courses.

“Country Club has an unusual history by local golfing standards,” wrote Stuart McLean in the book he co-authored with Jamie Thom entitled South Africa’s Greatest Golf Destinations. ”It is the only old historic club that moved to a new site in the modern era of the game,” continued Stuart in this brief edited extract.

“While other older clubs had established themselves on existing properties early in the 20th century, Country Club members played golf on the outskirts of Johannesburg for more than sixty years before moving to the Kyber Rock area in 1970.

This intelligent, forward-thinking decision by the golfing committee to leave their home club and set up a new 18-hole course in rural farmland paid rich dividends for future generations of members. They acquired enough land that Country Club could build a second course, Rocklands, with space to spare.”

The Rocklands layout is the newer of the two courses and its more open fairways are the perfect foil to the tougher, tighter Woodmead track. In the early 1990s, Martin Hawtree added nine new holes to the former 9-hole Woodlands course his father had designed for the club almost twenty years previously, creating the Rocklands layout. Golf Data has since upgraded both 18-hole courses, introducing USGA-specification greens.

On the Rocklands layout, many cite the two water-protected holes at 5 and 7 – the former a right doglegged par four, the latter a treacherous par five – as the most memorable on the front nine. On the inward half, tee shots at the short 15th and 17th must carry water all the way to the green – even if golf balls remain dry, they must also avoid some well-placed sand traps surrounding the putting surfaces.

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Reviews for Johannesburg (Rocklands)

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Description: The Rocklands course (formerly known as Woodlands) is the newer of the two 18-hole layouts at The Country Club Johannesburg and its more open fairways are the perfect foil to the tougher, tighter Woodmead course. Rating: 6.5 out of 10 Reviews: 2
TaylorMade
Alex Frolish

This course featured as part of a four round golf tour to Johannesburg, and with the other three courses being Glendower, Steyn City and Blair Athol, it’s safe to say it flew under that radar. The Country Club is closer to the centre of Johannesburg than many of the courses in the area, and boasts a wealth of land and two well conditioned golf courses. While it may have had a lower profile than the other courses played on our trip, it more than held its own in terms of an initial impression on arriving at the property.

The Rocklands is the more open of the two courses here, with only the opening few holes applying any feeling of physical restriction from the tee. What was very evident from the 1st green site was just how pure the greens were. The board by the practice green declared they were at 11 on the stimp meter, but when combined with some subtle sloping, it was clear that this is what provides the majority of the defence of this course.

The front nine meanders up and around a hillier part of the property with a couple of water hazards featuring later in the nine. The 5th was probably the pick of the holes; this downhill par 4 requires you to put the ball in position off the tee to allow a clear shot at the sloping green that is fronted by water. A mention in dispatches also for the small saucer shaped 8th green which you need to treat with the utmost respect and leave your ball below the hole at all costs.

The back nine then allows you a little more breathing space and is probably the more scoreable of the two sides. The 11th is a testing par 4 and quite rightly ranked as the hardest hole, as it examines all facets of your game. The run 14-17 is the signature section of the course with water again featuring heavily. The downhill 14th is a great strategy hole, with risk/reward decisions to be made on both line and length from the tee. Play cautiously and it will only stiffen the test of the approach, played to a green guarded by a particularly intimidating body of water. The 16th features arguably the most difficult tee shot on the course, where the carry over the water and corner bunker is deceptively long, and the landing area is smaller than it would appear.

In summary, out of the four courses we played, this one was probably the most enjoyable to play as an amateur golfer. The test is a little less stringent, the course is a little shorter and that means you are likely to score better (which always leads to a sense of enjoyment). Architecturally, it is pleasant without being particularly significant. But it is the conditioning of the course that provided the true value for money.

June 13, 2022
6 / 10
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Henry

Not for the feint af heart but a majestic course none the less. Easy to go off target and catch a swim on a few holes with greens mande tot test the best players in the world. Worth the go if you want to be surprised by the beauty of nature in the middle of the city. Be ware of tortoises and hedgehogs.

May 15, 2021
7 / 10
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