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COTM Jan 2019: Glendower Golf Club

One of the grand old ladies of the South African golf scene, Glendower Golf Club has stood the test of time – and continues to flourish, writes BEN KARPINSKI in Compleat Golfer.

In just about all sports, you often find yourself discussing the difference between good and great. Many are able to reach the status of good, but only a few make it past that into the rarified altitude of great.

Glendower Golf Club does just that. As host of the SA Open on the European Tour for five years, our TV screens suggested as much, but when you get out on to the course and play it, the reality sinks in.

It’s great in an old-world sense, as in it’s a good old-fashioned parkland test. One that has been testing golfers whether they have been using persimmon off the tees, or space-aged carbon fibre-crowned drivers, and where the trees look like they have been there from the beginning of time. Like every great course, there have been some upgrades, but Glendower’s major attraction is simply its quality.

Many may bemoan its less-than-ideal location alongside one of Johannesburg’s busiest highways, or that its clubhouse is a bit of a throwback to a time when Ernie Els was still called an up-and-coming talent, but none of this matters as you take a short stroll to the 1st tee.

If you are able to bring the ball in from right to left, your chances of finishing with a flourish are that much greater, and will provide a fitting end to a tremendous golfing experience.

Now that Glendower is not hosting the SA Open, Mike Burnard and his team have been able to return the layout to its more friendly original design. The fairways have been cut wider again to incorporate the contours of the bunkers. And with its all-round conditioning and immaculate greens the championship experience is one that always offers something for all levels of player.


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