Wimbledon evokes visions of strawberries and cream. But at Wanderers during South African golf's PGA Championship, big juicy steaks washed down with a tall glass of beer were the order of the day for many years. Enjoying a mouth-watering steak done on a braai during the PGA became one of the best-loved traditions in South African sport, until Wanderers lost the event in 1996. The course is placed right next door to The Wanderers test cricket ground, and the sports lovers in Johannesburg's plush northern suburbs are occasionally torn between watching Ernie Els burn up the golf course, or walking across to the cricket stadium to see an Alan Donald or a Jonty Rhodes in full cry.
Compleat Golfer magazine rated Wanderers' 19th hole, which enjoys a magnificent view o the course, as the best in the country. And the big, comfortable clubhouse with the fine food that it offers adds to the pleasure of a day at Wanderers. South Africa's PGA Championship, backed for many years by Lexington, but now sponsored by Alfred Dunhill at Houghton, is a tournament held in high regard throughout the world. The winner receives an invitation to play in the World Series of Golf in Akron, Ohio. In 1995 (for the first time in the history of the game in Africa) the PGA was slotted in as an official event on the extended Volvo European Tour with Ernie Els the winner. Graham Henning, one of the four famous Henning brothers who have all made a name for themselves in golf, is resident professional at Wanderers and is the father of Nic Henning, who won the South African Amateur stroke play title before joining the paid ranks and earning his European Tour card.
The course is lush and green in summer, but the grass on the fairways turns more of a golden colour in the dry, bracing winter months. But Wanderers is always in immaculate condition, and a delight to play. To suit television, the nines were switched around for the PGA. But for the remaining 51 weeks of the year members and visitors are treated to one of the finest opening stretches of holes imaginable. And the other nine? Yes, it's also superb.
The bent grass greens are very good and the airways are excellent. It is a well-wooded course which is completely surrounded by the residential area.
|Wanderers Golf Club|
|18 holes, par-71, rating 70, 6 197 metres.
The bent grass greens are very good and the fairways are excellent. It is a well-wooded course which is completely surrounded by the residential area.|
|Rates and fees are available on request|
|Travelling on the M1 North, turn into Corlett Drive. Turn right into Rudd Road and then immediately right into the club.|
|None needed for casual play; visitors not permitted to play in competitions.|
|Facilities and Activities|
|Facilities||Professional; practice tee; a clubhouse which offers light snacks and also has a dining room.|