Review for Royal Johannesburg & Kensington (East)

Reviewer Score:


One of the premier classic courses in the nation’s largest city. I must admit, my first reaction after finishing the round was that I had a new found huge appreciation for the course. I watch the Joburg Open every year on television, and the course never seemed to inspire me. Oh what a difference it makes to play the course for yourself! The first 8 holes have dramatic changes in elevation, and the tall trees lining the fairways being in bloom only increase the demanding nature of the layout. The course opens with a par 5, tagged as index 18, but once you reach the second tee box, the challenge increases exponentially. The 2nd hole is a 200 meter par 3, the 3rd hole is a tight par 4 with bunkers pinching the small landing area, leaving an approach shot in a well bunkered green – possibly my favourite looking approach shot. The 4th hole is a murderous par 4 back up the hill dog-legging to the right. It is 450 yards of thrilling punishment. The opening stretch will really test every facet of your game as the holes are long, tight and tough! The front nine continues to throw tight, long, difficult holes at you and reminds you that “par” is a great score. The changes in elevation over the first 8 holes is a testament to the routing. Playing well on this course is as rewarding a feeling a golfer can get. The 10th hole is widely known as the toughest par 4 on the property. At approx. 470 meters from the members tee, this beast-like monster comes to life and is pretty much a par 5 for most players. The 11th is the signature hole and definitely the most attractive hole on the course. The fairway plays downhill and swoops to the right. The green is guarded by a pond lined with rail-road ties. The movement of this hole and the unique design contribute to an outstanding par 4. A number of the holes on the back nine run parallel, but overall, I really enjoyed my round and highly recommend it to all visitors.

Date: September 07, 2015

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