The course at Vaal de Gráce is situated six miles along the Vaal River from Parys Golf & Country Estate in the Free State and it’s the first South African design project for Nick Price.
In recent times, Nick has collaborated with the likes of Tom Fazio, Craig Schreiner and Steve Smyers as they constructed a number of courses in the United States. Now that he has formed his own design firm, the three-time Major winner is involved in golf projects in Florida, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and here on the African continent.
The course – configured as two returning nines that extend to a total of 7,382 yards from the back markers – hosted the South African Amateur Championship in 2011 and it held the national mid-Amateur event in 2012, won by Neil Homman.
Golf Director Herman Beukman described some key holes:
"Best hole on the front nine is the par four 3rd. It plays to 327m with the Vaal River on the left. You can hit the green from the tee in one shot and make two or play your tee shot into the water and make five so it’s a fine risk-reward hole.
The most difficult hole on the outward half is the par four 9th, rated stroke index 1. It plays all of 443m from the back tees to a well-bunkered fairway and green site.
Best hole on the back nine is the short par three 16th which lies next to the river. With a green that slopes markedly from back to front, birdie twos are a rarity at this hole.
The toughest hole on the inward half is the par 5 14th, measuring 519m. It’s not the longest par five on the card but the river runs all the way down the right from tee to green and there’s bunkers and bush on the left to catch those who over compensate for the water."
Unfortunately in March 2020, the day before
lockdown began in South Africa, the owners decided they wouldn’t be reopening
due to a dispute over homeowner course maintenance contributions.