Zwartkop Country Club, one of South Africa's best-known golf courses, has long been a tournament venue for both professional and amateur events, and is also the permanent site for the annual ICL International, which forms part o the NB Tour. The club's location, just south of Pretoria in South Africa's busy Gauteng province, is really ideal and is a big plus. And so is the layout of the parkland course, which was extensively upgraded in 1992. The flat, featureless and extremely grainy greens built some 60 years ago have been replaced with superior bent grass putting surfaces. Golf course architects, Peter Matkovich and Dale Hayes, were commissioned to redesign the greens and surrounding areas. The gentle humps, scales and subtle bunker positions which have become the Matkovich trademark are now much in evidence.
The Zwartkop course is not overly long, but the beautiful Hennops River, which meanders through the par-72 layout, comes dramatically into play at exactly eight of the 18 holes. The greens are small therefore allow for tight and demanding pin placements. These factors all combine to add a good deal of bite to a well-wooded course. In spite of these immense difficulties, Nick Price still managed to card an incredible tournament winning record 61 when he played in the1994 ICL International.
The Hennops River cuts into the putting surface at the treacherous 399-metre par-four 8th hole, where the approach shot is intimidating as a long carry to a narrow green is required. Too much club leaves the golfer with an awkward chip back onto the green that, if hit too firmly, can easily run back into the water. South African touring professional, Michael Green, carded an infamous 15 at this hole during the 1993 ICL International. On the back nine, the 15th (146-metre par-three), 16th (318-metre par-four) and 17th (144-metre par-three) are Zwartkop's answer to Amen Corner at Augusta National. These holes are relatively short, but the river is hard up against each putting surface. Only bold, accurate shots will yield pars or birdies, with double bogeys in store or the faint-hearted.
One of Gauteng's oldest clubs, Zwartkop was upgraded in 1992 and now has excellent bent grass greens and well-covered kikuyu fairways. The Hennops River runs through the course and comes into play at eight holes.
|Zwartkop Country Club|
|18 holes, par-72, rating 73, 6 365 metres (club tees). One of Gauteng's oldest clubs, Zwartkop was upgraded in 1992 and now has excellent bent grass greens and well-covered kikuyu fairways. The Hennops River runs through the course and comes into play at eight holes.|
|Rates and fees are available on request|
|Travel north on the M1; turn into Corlett Drive. You then turn Travelling from Johannesburg on the N1 North, turn left at the signpost to Old Johannesburg Road. Turn right at the traffic lights into Old Johannesburg Road. Follow this road for about 8 kilometres and the entrance to the course is on the right.|
|Golf union membership card, proof of home club membership and handicap certificate.|
|Facilities and Activities|
|Facilities||Pro shop and lessons with a professional; a clubhouse offers light snacks and has a dining room.|
|Activities||Tennis and squash|