The Randpark course was established in the mid-1960s when Randpark Golf Club acquired some land adjacent to their Windsor Park course and Sid Brews was tasked with routing a second 18-hole layout. Mark Muller later redesigned the Randpark course greens in the early 1990s, in time for the club hosting the South African Open in 1995 and 2000.
Laid out to the north of the clubhouse that serves both courses, the course has several holes that make use of irrigation ponds and the Klein Jukskei stream to add both danger and beauty in equal measure to the golfing challenge.
Randpark is renowned for its fearsome finish, starting at the 488-yard, par four, 16th hole, where a dam must be avoided to the left of the fairway. The 17th is a monster 223-yard par three with water to the left and sand to the right (so no bail out for the faint hearted) then the 542-yard, par five, final hole doglegs left across a stream to a well-guarded, elevated green – one of the toughest trio of finishing holes in the country.
The Firethorn course was remodelled in 2015 by Sean Quinn, on behalf of Golf Data, the construction company. Seven entirely new holes were constructed, every green was rebuilt and a number of bunkers were modified and given distinctive flash fronted faces. The 18th was changed from a long par five to a tough 507-yard par four.
The front nine was changed dramatically: the old par three 2nd was removed, replaced with a par five which doglegs right to the location of the old 3rd green. Three holes on the old outward half (holes 6, 7 and 8) were also eliminated, replaced by four new holes that run counter-clockwise to the old routing.
Randpark Golf Club hosted the 2019 South African Open for the first time in nineteen years (Sweden's Mathias Grönberg claimed the 2000 title played over the old Randpark course). In 2019, the first two rounds (prior to the cut) were staged on both the Firethorn and Bushwillow courses before rounds three and four were concluded on the Firethorn. For the first time in his career, national hero and 2010 Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen, emotionally won the SA Open title. The SA Open returned to Randpark in 2020 when Branden Grace claimed the title.
Randpark is a weird one. The condition is great, and it has a lot of really good holes (1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16), but the holes that aren't really good, are really dull. Holes 9-16 is a great stretch, and people might argue 17 and 18 too. I think there are lots of good holes, but no great holes, which lets the course down. Another negative is the clubhouse is absolutely vile, and whilst it does the job, looks like it belongs on a business park and not a golf course.
Played Randpark on a charity golf day, the course had its ups and downs, but it was an amazing course to play on.
Clubhouse: Felt warm and inviting from pro shop to locker room.
Tee Boxes: Want an amazing feeling it was walking onto the tee boxes, grass cut to the perfect length, and nice and flat.
Fairways and rough: Fairways played really well, the rough was a bit tough at certain places but overall really nice.
Bunkers: amazing nice soft sand and put up a challenge.
Greens: Amazing amazing greens, well looked after and maintained.
I will be playing there again.