Designed in the late 1950s by Bob Grimsdell, the course at Schoeman Park Golf Club lies immediately to the west of Bloemfontein Golf Club, with both golfing layouts situated adjacent to the city’s enormous railway depot. The Sunshine Tour pitched up here on five occasions during the early 1970s then again between 1988 and 1992.
The club was founded by immigrant railway workers in 1904, and there’s an old railway carriage positioned close to the first tee. After moving to its present location, the club was renamed after Ben Shoeman, the Transport Minister from 1954 to 1974, who previously worked on the railways.
Alison Shoeman won her third successive South African Women’s Amateur match play title here in 1978 (she won the stroke play event too) and Waren Abery claimed the equivalent men’s championship (beating Jean Hugo 1-up in the final) when the club hosted the South African Amateur in 1995. No doubt Retief Goosen has fond memories of the course after recording his first professional win here.
Today, the course extends to 6,394 metres from the championship tees, configured as two returning nines. Highlight holes include the short par four 2nd, the pond-protected par three 8th, the right doglegging par four 16th, and the longest par three at the 201-metre 17th.