Killarney began life as the Transvaal Automobile Club and its first golf course opened for play in 1929. The expansion of the Johannesburg motorway system led to the club moving to its current location in 1970 and even then, the holes on this 155-acre site are laid out on a long, narrow strip of land adjacent to the M1 motorway.
Fairways run in a north-south direction alongside the busy highway and another road crosses the front nine to the south of the property. The site is never more than around 300 yards wide, but it’s pleasantly undulating and a small creek runs through the layout and this, along with a few small ponds, brings water into play on several holes, most prominently at the 9th and 18th, in front of the clubhouse.
On such a constricted site, it’s no surprise to learn that the par for the course is set at 70, mainly due to the fact that there are only two par fives on the scorecard, one on each nine.
The first of these long holes appears at the 5th and it measures 549 yards from the back tees. With out of bounds to the right and the creek to the left, the fairway leads to a multi-tiered green that sits behind a man-made dam.The shorter 512-yard 15th offers a real birdie opportunity. The tee shot has to avoid a bunker on the right side of a wide fairway that kinks to the left. From there, a lay-up short of the water hazard in front of the green will leave a short pitch to a large putting surface guarded by a bunker and creek to the left and another large sand trap to the right.