Zwartkop Golf Course, Centurion
Zwartkop Golf Course, Centurion, Gauteng / The Zwartkop Country Club is situated on what was originally the farm Zwartkop named after the bird found nesting on the farm. It 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 of the FNB Tour.
The course is built around the Hennops River which the player crosses 12 times in a round or which comes into play on most of the holes. A variety of trees and shrubs abound and much of the natural foliage is incorporated in the design of the holes. The course is not overly long and the greens are small and 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 the 1994 ICL International.
The 495-metre 4th is a good hole. Although it is relatively short for a par-five, the ambitious second shot has to carry the river while a huge tree guards the right of the green. 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 for the faint-hearted.
Golf course architects, Peter Matkovich and Dale Hayes, were commissioned to redesign the greens and surrounding areas. The gentle humps, swales and subtle bunker positions which have become the Markovich trademark are now much in evidence.
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Did you know?
Zwartkop Country Club is one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in the Pretoria area. The greatest names in golf have walked the fairways, from Sam Snead, Peter Thompson and Bobby Locke to Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Nick Price and Retief Goosen.
golf courses in the gauteng province