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Mowbray Golf Club

Mowbray Golf Club

Mowbray Golf Club was established in 1910. Set at the foot of Table Mountain, the Golf course is renowned for its breathtaking views, lush fairways and immaculate greens, the club is recognized as being one of the best in the country with all major amateur championships having been played there. Mowbray has hosted the SA Open seven times and the Bells Cup three times.

Golf in South Africa was started by one Lt General Henry Torrens who was sent here in 1885 to head up the British forces in the Cape colony. Only 9 days after his arrival, he set up a meeting at which the formation of the Cape Golf Club (later Royal Cape) was put in motion. The first course was built in Wynberg where play began in 1886. After relocating to the Rondebosch Common in 1891, the Club opened a new course in 1906 on a property in Ottery. Until it was closed in 1910, the course on the Common was kept going, despite a number of hazards you would not normally expect to find at a leading golf club. For example, rugby matches were played across the first hole on Saturdays, the second was right next to a Malay cemetery and the fourth also served as a Municipal rubbish dump. Being a Common, the members of the public were also allowed to ride their horses there and even graze their cows.

It was from this background that the Mowbray Golf Club was formed in 1910 by the group of players who didn't relish the long trek to Ottery and it's because of this heritage that the only rugby you will find at Mowbray is on Saturday afternoons on the big TV screen in the bar.

The original course was designed by a very talented member but over the years many changes have been made according to the designs of leading golf architects of the day. Set in a very central area - about 15 minutes from the Waterfront and Cape Town's International Airport - Mowbray is a parkland course, which provides an excellent test of golf. The terrain is flat, but plenty of trees and water features make for an interesting experience, with the beauty of the mountain and abundant wild life dominating the scenery.

A significant feature of any coastal course is, of course, the wind. This is where Mowbray is unique, in that the holes have been so laid out that you will seldom find yourself with the wind directly in your face or right at your back. Also, believe it or not, the wind in Pinelands is seldom as severe as in other parts of the peninsula.

Both fairways and greens remain soft throughout the year. The fairways consist predominantly of kikuyu grass while the greens are a mixture of fine grasses which provide an excellent putting surface.

While the course is not particularly long, the golfer will find Mowbray a real challenge. It is generally accepted that the S A Golf Union ratings of 71 from the back tees and 69 from the front make it about 2 or 3 strokes more difficult than average. Don't let this put you off, however. If you hit the ball straight, you'll do well and even if you go off line here and there, the rough is very forgiving and is kept well trimmed.

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