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The first hole offers a very gentle introduction to the course. At 481 metres from
the back tees, it is a short Par 5. Whilst a well positioned drive is required in
order to set up the opportunity to go for the green in two, the average golfer starting
his/her round will find the wide (very wide for Parkview) landing area very comforting.
The greens complex also offers a relatively simple start, having a very generous
opening into a large and minimally contoured green. Whilst the green is guarded
by two very large bunkers, these will only trouble a very errant shot, and being
fairly shallow they should be easy to recover from.
The second hole has lost its status as the Stroke 1 hole following the
reconstruction of the greens, but it is however a very demanding Par 4. The new
stroking (Stroke 7) should not be construed as suggesting that the hole is any
easier than before - it only means that there are two other more difficult
holes on this side of the course. The drive is one of the toughest on the
course, with the narrow landing area being guarded on both sides by tall trees,
and the ubiquitous Braamfontein Spruit looming as a hazard just a few metres to
the right of the fairway. The green itself is one of the most subtle in terms
of slope on the course. the green is uniquely unbunkered, instead being guarded
by two swales - the one to the left is tightly cut and thus requiring a
delicate pitch shot, whilst the kikuyu in the right hand one is left at
With a very large teeing area and a deep green, the third hole is a very
versatile design in terms of club selection. Having selected the correct club,
the shot must be played with pinpoint accuracy - the green is the smallest of
the Par 3's, and is surrounded by two bunkers to the front and one to the back,
as well as a swale to the left and a steep drop-off to the right. The right
front pot-bunker will gather up shots left short, and at over two metres in
depth is one of the most difficult bunkers on the course. the putting surface
is evenly contoured and will offer two-club rewards to good tee shots.
The fourth hole, affectionately known to club members as "The Wallers" - in memory
of one of the club's founding members who was instrumental in obtaining land on
which the hole is built - has deservedly become the Stroke 1 hole. The teeing area
is high above the fairway, and a drive of over 170 metres is required just to reach
the fairway from the back tee. For the long hitters, there are thickets of trees
just metres to the left and right of the fairway, and the irrigation dam beckons
for any ball leaked to the right. A solid drive down the right of the fairway is
required in order to open up the entrance to the green. The green itself is one
of the largest on the course, but it is also the most aggressively contoured, and
will only reward shots played below the hole within the immediate vicinity of the
pin. A misdirected shot to the green will leave a tricky putt across some steep
slopes. The complex includes two small but tricky bunkers as well as several steep
The fifth hole is a Par 3, and offers a long narrow target from an elevated tee
some 167 metres distant. The tee shot is complicated by swirling winds caused by
several large trees that frame the hole. The green is well guarded by four deep
bunkers, one of which lies as a sentinel in front of the entire green. The left
side of the green is protected by several swales, and out of bounds is just a slight
pull away. The putting surface is relatively gentle after the fourth green, but
is by no means an easy read.
There are three significantly better holes on the course since the reconstruction,
and this is the first of them. The player is faced with a strategic decision on
the tee - to play sensibly and lay up to avoid the fairway bunker that extends two-thirds
of the way across the fairway at the 220 metre mark from the back tee, or to take
out the big stick and have a go at clearing the left side of the bunker. Tee shots
that are pushed or pulled will be punished by poor lies amongst groves of trees.
A series of mounds have also been added to the right of the fairway. The greens
complex is one of the prettiest on the course, being framed by a natural rock outcrop
that has been planted with a colourful assortment of indigenous plants and trees.
The green is the smallest on the course, at just over 400 square metres, has two
distinct tiers, and is superbly protected by strategic bunkering to the front and
back left. The back right of the green has a steep drop-off into some very thick
This hole has been changed back into a Par 4, and will undoubtedly play as difficult
as the stroke 5 rating suggests. From the back tee, the player is forced to choose
between a safe shot down the middle of the fairway or risk a reward shot over a
bunker some 220 metres distant. Balls carrying the bunker will bound forward off
the slope, thus gaining valuable extra metres on this long 430 metres hole. The
green itself is large to accommodate long second shots, but at the same time it
is extremely penal to misdirect shots, being guarded by three large bunkers and
a few swales. The sluit (Braamfontein Spruit) runs the full length of the hole on
the right, and is an ever present danger, especially near the green where it is
only 10 metres distant. The slope of the green is more subtle than most and will
require an accurate read.
At 410 metres, after an accurate shot off the tee, this hole requires a long iron
into one of the narrowest greens on the course. As always the sluit beckons on the
right for any pushed or sliced shot off the elevated tee. At the same time there
is no solace for a pulled to the left, where the best result is a bad lie behind
many tall and thick trees that prevent any attempt at getting on the green, the
worst result is out of bounds on the left. The small green is the major result for
the Stroke 3 rating - whilst it is only guarded by a single bunker on the front
left, it is also substantially elevated which means that swales and steep drop-offs
protect the balance of the undulating putting surface.
Parkview Golf Club consists of uneven loops of eight and ten holes, so the small
but comfortable halfway house is the next point of call, before moving on to tackle
the balance of the challenging layout.
This short 339 metre Par 4 requires a definite choice of strategy off the tee -
firstly, lay up and leave a mid-iron to a sighted green, secondly, go long off the
tee and leave a short but blind shot to the green, or lastly, try to hit a driver
over the high mound some 60 metres short of the green - beware the deep bunker set
into the mound however. The smallish green is well protected by three large bunkers,
as well as a very steep bank to the right. the putting surface is quite undulating,
and definitely requires that approach shots are directed to the immediate vicinity
of the pin.
The teeing area for this long Stroke 2 hole has been extended some 20 metres back,
now bringing the two fairway bunkers back into play for the long hitters. The sluit
has to be crossed with the tee shot, and is an ever-present lateral water hazard
on the left side. From the landing area, players require a long iron or fairway
wood into a very tight green complex. A new mound in front of the green will prevent
most shots from running onto the green, instead channeling them either into the
bunker guarding the left front of the green or else into the deep swales on the
right hand side. The green itself is more subtle in character than most, and will
require an accurate read of the gentle slopes.
This short Par 4 is perhaps the most deceptive hole on the course. The tee shot
should be ideally hit over the tall willow tree on the inside corner of the dog-leg,
although this strategy also brings the sluit directly into play for slightly mis-hit
shots. Whilst the right side of the fairway is easy to hit, the left side offers
the best approach into the exceptionally pretty greens complex. A feature of the
bunkering on this hole is the elevated bunker to the back right. The green is well
contoured, with some very interesting transitions between the different areas that
the pin may be in.
As Stroke 16, this fairly short Par 4 is one of the easy scoring opportunities, although
any pulled drive off the tee will end up behind or inside some very thick and tall
trees on the corner of the dog-leg. The ideal position on the fairway is the right
side, from where a short iron approach into the slightly elevated green can be easily
executed. As with all of the greens, accuracy is required however, as the transition
from the front to the back tier is fairly testing. There is a large and deep bunker
guarding the entire front left of the green, and this is best avoided.
The Stroke 10 hole is a long uphill Par 5. It offers a daunting tee shot over the
omnipresent sluit, which also turns and runs down the first 150 metres of the hole
on the immediate right hand side. The ideal line is however down the right hand
side of the fairway, but this obviously exacerbates the danger of the sluit. Tee
shots hit to the left of the fairway will drift down to the middle, but this strategy
sacrifices all-important distance. From the tee players cross the sluit via the
"Bobby Locke Memorial Bridge" (Bobby was one of Parkview's more famous members).
The second shot is all uphill, with only the tall trees behind the green visible
as a line indicator. The majority of players will hit a short-iron third shot into
the clover shaped green, which is guarded by a large mound on the left and a small
but deep bunker on the front right. The putting surface is challenging, with several
This hole is another significant change to the course, having changed a drab short
Par 5 into a possible opportunity, as befits the Stroke 18 status. However any misdirected
second shot will find one either in the approach bunker or one of the other two
large greenside bunkers. The green itself is appropriately small, and offers an
interesting reverse tier into a very tight back left area of the green. There is
a large depressed swale in front of the green to prevent shots easily running on,
and the back of the green drops off steeply from large mounds.
This long 194 metre Par 3 is arguably Parkview's new signature hole, offering a
vista that is both pleasing to the eye and daunting to the golfer. From the tee,
one first has to negotiate a particularly pretty part of the sluit, before carrying
the ball the balance of the distance over a newly constructed dam. Whilst there
is a large bail-out fairway to the right, the approach from this area is less than
optimal. Over-clubbing to avoid the dam is not a good option, since the green is
angled forward toward the tee in order to be receptive to the long tee shot, and
a pitch shot from the back will have to be perfectly executed to avoid running through
the green and into the water. The green is a mixture of subtle and obvious contouring,
and the birdie opportunity has to be earned by an accurate tee shot into the immediate
vicinity of the pin.
Over the years the short 304 metres from tee to green has ruined many a scorecard.
The green is reachable for long-hitters, but any deviation off line is severely
punished by thick plantings of willow trees (on the left) or tall pine trees and
thick rough (on the right). The safe play is to tee off with a mid-iron, and then
hit am accurate short iron to the relevant part of the green. On the green, there
is a severe slope from back to front, but the "shelves" between the transitions
are large enough to enable the ball to stop where desired.
This long 417 metre Par 4 offers the hardest driving challenge on the course, thus
earning its Stroke 4 rating - any drive that is slightly pushed or faded will end
up out of bounds or amongst the thick trees guarding the boundary, whilst shots
missing to the left side will be either in the sluit or behind some very tall willow
trees. The entire left and right hand sides of the fairway are lined with trees,
in most cases just a few metres from the closely-mown area. The fairway also slopes
severely to the left, leaving a challenging side hill stance for the long second
shot. The green is guarded on both sides by some very large bunkers, and there are
also several mounds and swales, especially to the right. The putting surface is
undulating in parts and subtly sloped in other areas.
For matches going down the last hole, this is a suitably challenging hole. The tee
shot has first to be threaded between several trees on the left and the sluit on
the right into a large landing area. A good tee shot will leave a short iron to
the green for most players on this 335 metre hole. The greens complex has been specifically
designed to be pleasing to the eye from both the fairway and clubhouse veranda,
which is just 9 metres from the back of the green - good shots into the green will
be rewarded with ebullient applause from the sociable Parkview membership. The complex
itself is very well guarded, having three of the biggest bunkers on the course,
as well as a particularly deep and daunting swale on the front right of the green.
The putting surface consists of both slow and quick transitions between the various
areas that the pin may be situated. All in all, a great finishing hole.