Measuring a mere 7,000 square miles in area, Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces but it’s also the most densely populated, with an estimated eleven and a half million residents. Much of its landmass is classed as Highveld – an inland grassland plateau that sits more than 5,000 feet above sea level – where golf balls fly a lot further than down on the Indian Ocean coastline to the south.
Three governing bodies are responsible for promoting the amateur game for male golfers in Gauteng: Central Gauteng Golf Union (26,000 members in 33 clubs), Ekurhuleni Golf Union (7,000 members in 17 clubs) and Gauteng North Golf Union with 19,000 members in 18 clubs. GNGU was also the first provincial Union to amalgamate with a women’s golf authority in 2005.
A couple of Gauteng’s old courses from the mid-1930s have stood the golfing test of time and they are Bob Grimsdell’s Royal Johannesburg & Kensington (East) and the CH Alison-designed Glendower in Bedfordview. Of similar quality, the pair of mid-1960s layouts at River Club and Johannesburg (Woodmead) are also highly regarded in the province. Fast forward to shortly after its debut in 2007 and Gary Player’s Blair Atholl layout leapfrogged this quartet of classic courses to very near the top of the national rankings.