Course Review: Centurion Country Club

19 Nov

Centurion Country Club – if nothing else, play this course for the finishing two holes! The Par 3 17th and Par 4 18th are two of the best finishing holes anywhere in South Africa!!!

Centurion Country Club is the work of legendary Zimbabwean Golf Course Design Peter Matkovich who counts the amazing Arabella Golf Club as his handywork too.

I was a bit unlucky to be playing Centurion Country Club in the middle of a very dry summer and due to some shady business about nicking water from the local authority and a dodgy green keeper who emptied their coffers (purely hearsay and unsubstantiated), the fairways were quite bare and very dry – great for long drives that run for miles but not so much for iron shots. The greens, however, were in excellent shape.

Being a brown guy, it did feel a bit awkward playing Centurion Country Club as the membership seems to be largely old school “Afrikaners” (loosely referred to as Dutchman or Dutchies) who are still struggling to come to terms that they are no longer able to rule the Black Man and more importantly (heaven forbid) have people who aren’t any shade of white or pink play golf at their Club – Keep in mind that the Centurion area in Pretoria used to be called Verwoerdburg – Mr Verwoerd being the doos who is widely accepted as the father of apartheid – catch my drift… (Disclaimer – All Dutchies are not racist – just mostly the ones in Centurion!!!)

Despite the occasional death stare, I enjoyed the round at Centurion Country Club. The bro-in-law and I took on our wives’ long time golfing Uncle and his BFF (with whom we share a passive-aggressive rivalry). We were 1 up going into the island green Par 3, 17th hole which was playing a mere 140 meters/153 yards with the pin precariously close to the water at the front right. The Uncle and I took the wussy route going for centre of green and ended up with a 40 footer from the back left of the green (my ball just inside his so my putting line was sorted) and the bro-in-law went nuclear – straight at the pin, hit it a bit long and left himself a 25 footer for birdie. The Uncle’s BFF only managed a session feeding the fish golf balls and stuck 2 or 3 into the water…

Walking to the green, feeling like Jesus walking over water, we thought we had the game checked, done and dusted – alas, we both 3 putted to the old dude’s 2 putt (my only frikkin 3 putt for the day!!!) and we headed to the very unique 18th “All square”.

You’d think we’d have given away the impetus but cometh the hour, cometh the man…The 18th at Centurion Country Club plays a mere 290 meters/317 yards from the club tees – easy, short par 4 right? Wrong…you can either choose to attack the green and fly your ball 260 meters/284 yards as that’s the carry to ensure your ball doesn’t end up wet…(Yup, there’s more water then fairway on this hole) OR you can take the conservative route and hit a 185 meter/200 yard iron shot to a tight fairway running far down the left (anything longer and you’re in a massive bunker). This option lengthens the hole a bit and you’ll be left with a 130-140 meter/153-163 yard shot to the green

This is where the bro-in-law, who’d been hacking up the course all day and not contributing to the partnership, came to our rescue – playing off an 18 handicap, he drives his ball to the edge of the green and birdies the hole for us to walk off the course victorious!!! Excellent day at the course capped with two exquisite finishing holes and the drama to match.

If you’re ever in the area, have a go at the Centurion Country Club – you won’t be disappointed – they’ve definitely saved the best for last 🙂

Par: 72
Club/Blue Tees: 6,372 meters/6,968 yards
(Sorry, I lost my scorecard and can’t seem to find an online version of their scorecard – though this may help)
Front nine: Two x Par 5s, Two x Par 3s, Five x Par 4s
Back nine: Two x Par 5s, Two x Par 3s, Five x Par 4s
Cost of a Round: ZAR430.00

17th at Centurion Country Club

Dutchman at Centurion Country Club