Modern day members of Royal Cape Golf Club are very proud to belong to the oldest golfing society in South Africa (formed in 1885) where founding members first played their golf at Wynberg Military Camp and then Rondebosch Common before moving in 1906 to the present location at Ottery.
Situated in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, the course was designed by an eminent South African architect named Charles Murray in the late 1920s. It remained largely unchanged for the best part of seventy years until it underwent a major facelift in 2000, when all the greens were brought up to USGA specification.
The true test of any course that is called “championship” is the number of top flight tournaments that have been held on it and Royal Cape is well endowed in that regard, having hosted the national Amateur Championship eight times and the South African Open ten times (the last in 1996 when Ernie Els won). For several years, in November, the club has hosted the Cape Town Open on the Sunshine Tour.
Basically, Royal Cape is a classic parkland course, laid out on pretty flat terrain, where fairways are narrow, causing wayward shots to be severely punished by the bordering trees. Ponds and creeks come into play at a number of holes on each nine (holes 3 to 6 and 13 to 16) and inaccuracy here will be dealt with harshly by the water hazards.
One of the toughest holes in the whole country is found at the 440-yard, par four, 14th, sandwiched between two par threes. It’s a right dogleg, normally played into the prevailing wind, with water protecting the front right hand side of the green – not too many golfers walk off here with a par score on their card.