The course at Ruimsig Country Club (originally known as Roodepoort CC) was the joint design of Ron Kirby and Gary Player back in 1985. Holes are laid out on more open terrain than most of the parkland courses in Johannesburg so instead of tree-lined fairways causing problems, golfers have water hazards, bunker complexes and thick rough to contend with here.
The greens are also a major factor to be considered, as they are generally larger than those found on most South African courses, with many subtle breaks and borrows. All eighteen putting surfaces were replaced in 1997 and they have the reputation of playing hard and fast.
Ruimsig is very long from the championship tees (where even the four short holes measure between 185 and 225 yards) but a variety of tee positions allows the golfer to play from between 5,800 yards and 7,350 yards in total.
The four par fives (at holes 4, 9, 14 and 18) are memorable holes at Ruimsig, especially the 580-yard final hole, where the tee shot must avoid two dams on either side of the fairway. Water also features in the form of dams at the 4th and 14th, while a canal cuts across the fairway on the 9th. Stray off line at any of these holes and you are in big trouble.
The course has been called “an inland links” which is technically incorrect but not a bad way to describe it as the open nature of the landscape often requires shot making imagination to handle the strong winds that can blow here. Ruimsig (Roodepoort) also played host to the SA Amateur Championship in 2003.
May 10, 2015