One of South Africa’s top-ranked, premier courses plays host to the Sunshine Tour’s Fortress Invitational this week.
Established in 1935 and opened in March 1937, Glendower Golf Club has been the venue for several prestigious tournaments, starting with the 1939 Transvaal Open which was won by Bobby Locke.
The club was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1973, to protect the abundant bird life, which is underscored by the fact that each hole is named after a bird species.
Major renovations took place at Glendower in the 1980s, where all 18 greens were reshaped and rebuilt, new tee positions added, existing water hazards extended and new water hazards added at several holes. The club hosted its first of eight SA Open tournaments in 1989.
The course was upgraded again in 2008. This 18-hole parkland layout set among large trees offers a stern test for players, with its par-three and -four holes being particularly challenging.
Water hazards come into play on the par-three third, and sixth holes. One of the more notable holes is the par-four 10th where golfers need to play a long approach shot over a lake to a green with two bunkers on either side.
Few would disagree with former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley who commented that Glendower was one of the best he’d played after the 2013 SA Open.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Club member Kyra van Kan is the reigning GolfRSA number one golfer. She won her first club championship title at the age of 13 and went on to win four more titles in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
- Rory McIlroy played at the 2017 SA Open at Glendower where he lost in a play-off to Graeme Storm.
- Glendower Golf Club was ranked eihth in South Africa’s Top 100 Courses this year, a drop of two places from 2022.