Woodmead is regarded as the more prestigious of the two 18-hole courses at the Country Club of Johannesburg though the Rocklands course is a very good, more open layout than its neighbour and well worth combining in a 36-hole visit.
Located in the northern Johannesburg suburb of Sandton, the Woodmead course was built by the Hawtree Company in 1968. Over time, a number of changes have been made to the design, most notably the shaping of mounds in certain areas, the opening up of water features that were previously concealed on other parts of the course and the installation of a modern irrigation system.
The pick of the holes on the front nine is the 210-yard, par three 4th, played from an elevated tee over water to a narrow, raised green with mounding to the rear. On the back nine, one of the more memorable holes is the 440-yard, par four 17th which has a right doglegged fairway (with water to the right and bunkers to the left) leading to a long, narrow green that is the most undulating on the course.
The course itself is challenging, with plenty of water hazards – and although there are a few hills, none are too onerous. They were blessed with a great piece of land to build a golf course and they’ve done a damn good job with it. The only downside, is that they are very strict on non members (as a lot of the good clubs in Jo’Burg are, particularly at weekends) and they do have some over zealous marshals on the course ensuring you keep up the pace – which I did find a little tiresome. But overall well worth the visit.