Where they are playing this week: Royal Cape Golf Club

Feb 7, 2024 | Featured, Features, Sunshine Tour

Royal Cape Golf Club is the oldest golf club in the country, founded in 1885. And, although golf wasn’t played at its current location continuously since then, the present site has been in use since 1905.

It hosts the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open this week, co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour.

Although the course is surrounded by the encroachment of the city, it is still very much a course built on the sandy base of the Cape Flats, just as it was when it was surrounded by smallholdings rather than modernity. The tree-lined perimeter and adjacent railway line and roads ensure that any housing is not much in evidence, and a natural environment is preserved throughout most of the course.

And being out on the flatlands of the Cape Peninsula, the course is naturally exposed to the prevailing winds of the area, both the south-easter, or ‘Cape Doctor’, and the wetter north-wester. The mature trees may provide some protection from the winds on a bad day, but even on a still morning the course will still test a full range of skills, and present situations which require some imagination instead of simply power or accuracy.

At over 6,100 metres from the tips, and with the wind blowing (as is often the case), this venerable old course has tested the best over its long and distinguished past. And while there might be courses with better views in the Cape Town area, there is a maturity and degree of difficulty at Royal Cape that marks it out from many of the more contemporary courses in the area.


  • Royal status was conferred on the course in 1910. The other ‘royal’ courses in South Africa to be thus honoured are Royal Port Alfred (1924), Royal Johannesburg (1931) and Royal Durban (1932)
  • Course record: 62, Andrew Georgiou, 2015 Cape Town Open (31-31, 8 birdies, 1 eagle); 62, Tom McKibbin, 2022 Cape Town Open (29-33, 10 birdies); 62, Darren Fichardt, 2023 Cape Town Open (29-33, 8 birdies, 1 eagle)
  • 2022 British Amateur champion Aldrich Potgieter (then 17) won the 2022 SA Junior Strokeplay at Royal Cape with a 22-under total of 266 (69-66-66-65), a lower score than ever recorded in the Cape Town Open

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