By Nick Herbert – The Travelling Golf Dad
I recently joined Glendower Golf Club as a golf member. The reactions from other golfers have been 100% respect for what is a tough championship course layout, with year-round top quality conditioning. The clubhouse has had an internal facelift with cool contemporary decor. The menu has also been updated.
All-in-all it is a pleasant place to relax after a solid walk around the 6423m track, off the white tees. Most of the golf courses around Johannesburg’s city bowl have had several recent large rainstorms and the rough at Glendower is a full shot penalty… take your medicine and chip out 50m or face losing another shot in this treacle. Attention to detail is what defines A-list courses and Glendower has a great team on the greens, who daily look after the countless flower beds, tee boxes and willow trees, which were being trimmed while I was on the course with a long metal sjambok. Pristine describes the efforts involved, congrats to the Green Team!
When you tee it up at Glendower, you know your opponent is going to be tough but very fair and even rewarding at times. Pick your tees according to your pain threshold, no shame in accepting that the upcoming Par 4’s are perhaps the most challenging as a set in SA. Play it forward we say! The fairways are perfect right now. No mud balls and up to 25m run on a penetrating drive.
The greens are medium in size with a considerable slope to contend with. Breaking 30 putts around here either means you are a great chipper or had a great day on the greens. Green speed was around 10.5 and downhillers were all hit off the toe to try to avoid the dreaded 4-foot return being missed. Bunkers are also consistent and produce minimal eggy lies and can be easily escaped with spin. Considerable work in 2019 and 2020 had to be done to accommodate the sale of the practice ground area for retirement housing.
The 10th dam was excavated and the excess earth was repositioned and between the 10th and to the right of the par 5 8th hole. The favourite hole must be the short Par 3 3rd hole plays from 140m to 190m to a large green protected by water short and left, the bailout area on the right has a large bunker, which only the really talented can save Par from. Your best chance of a run of birdie holes is from the Par 5 on the 13th to Par 4 on the 16th.
With several cost-effective membership options newly on offer, Glendower Golf Club could truly be the best club to join in 2021. Unlimited golf for junior golfers for only R366pm! For more info www.glendower.co.za or email Damon firstname.lastname@example.org
What did Dean (The Travelling Golf Dad’s son) think of Glendower?
Glendower was a tale of two nines for me. The first nine holes I played with my Dad (I played last year) were the 10th to 18th holes and I struggled to position myself off the tee-boxes and ended up with 48 which was way higher than my normal nine holes of around 40. The front nine, however, turned out amazing as I birdied 1st, 5th and eagled the 8th par 5 to go -4 for the 9 holes – still my best nine-hole score so far off men’s tees. Keep to the fairways and try to have uphill putts would be my tip for other juniors learning their way around this great track. Dean now plays off a +0.2 and recently won the first medal at the Balderstone Sports Institute on -1 (71) at Royal West.