Where they’re playing in South Africa this week: Humewood Golf Club

Feb 21, 2024 | Featured, Features, Sunshine Tour

Humewood Golf Club, which is where the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour will co-sanction the Nelson Mandela Bay Championship this week, was opened for play 95 years ago in October 1931.

It was designed by Colonel SV Hotchkin, who introduced some profound design ideas at several SA courses on his 1929 visit. He also designed East London Golf Club, just over 300 kilometres up the Eastern Cape Coast.

Humewood is called the ‘only true links in Africa’ for a reason. Hotchkin drew inspiration from the Old Course at St Andrews. The legendary South African Bobby Locke, four-time winner of the Open Championship regarded Humewood as one of the best courses he ever played. Located in the sand dunes of Algoa Bay, on the outskirts of Gqeberha and with vast coastal bush surrounding the course, Humewood is a classic British links at the edge of the African continent.

Humewood is a course which has hosted several tournaments throughout its history, including the South African Open Championship on five occasions. Ernie Els won the last SA Open held there in 2006 with an impressive 24-under-par. Humewood hosted the first 72-hole men’s SA Amateur Strokeplay in 1969.

If high winds come into play, and they almost inevitably will in a city nicknamed ‘The Windy City’, then some of the holes will become really challenging. Hotchkin built eight unusually long holes, three heading west (four, eight and 13), three east (seven, 11 and 15), and two north-south (10 and 17). Up until the 1970s these were all par-fives, but four (four, eight, 10 and 13) have become par-fours. Members talk of two ‘courses’, West and East. When the westerly wind blows out to sea across Algoa Bay the downwind par fives are reachable in two, while the par fours into the wind can take three shots to reach. The easterly wind presents an opposite picture.


  • The course record is 62 by Daniel Greene in 2010 Vodacom Origins and Jaco Prinsloo in 2023 Nelson Mandela Bay Championship
  • Humewood hosted both the SA Amateur and SA Open in 1934, just three years after it opened
  • The second round of the men’s SA Amateur Strokeplay in 1969 witnessed a wind of such ferocity that the average score was in the 90s. Winner Dale Hayes shot 89 and kept his position. His winning total was 314

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