The Republic of South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa, covering an area of 1¼ million square kilometres, with a population of around 60 million people. Bounded to the south by 2,800 kilometres of coastline along the South Atlantic and India Oceans, South Africa shares inland borders with five other nations (Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) and it also surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho in the north east part of the country.
Sport plays a big part in South African culture, especially football, rugby union and cricket, with national teams participating successfully in all three games down the years. Organized golf goes back as far as any of these pursuits, to the late 19th century, during the 1892 Kimberly Exhibition when the local golf club organized a week-long South African Tournament for amateur players.
The SA Open followed on at Port Elizabeth in 1903, though a further twenty years would pass by before the PGA Match Play Championship was inaugurated at Royal Cape in 1923. The first women’s national amateur championship was played at King William’s Town in 1906 but the South African Women’s Open didn’t get going until 1988 at Germiston Country Club.
Brothers Jock Brews and Sid Brews dominated golf domestically between World War I and World War II, winning many of the national events and playing challenge matches across the country which captured the imagination of the public and did a great deal for the development of the game. After the Second World War, Bobby Locke made his mark internationally, winning the Open in Great Britain four times in nine years between 1949 and 1957.
This paved the way for other South African professionals to follow in his footsteps. Gary Player was the next person to win Major tournaments, claiming nine in total between 1959 and 1978, before Ernie Els and Retief Goosen also became multi-Major winners in Britain and the United States. Since then, Trevor Immelman, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have all joined the exclusive club of players to have savoured success in the four main golfing events that are staged every year.
Golf RSA is the unified body of the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) which administers amateur golf in the country, looking after the interests of around 465 golf clubs and 124,000 male, female and junior members. Formed in 1922, the Professional Golfers Association of South Africa represents approximately 750 men and women involved in the professional side of the game.
Our rankings of the Top 100 Golf Courses of South Africa were last updated in April 2021. Click the link to read the story.