Malmesbury is the largest town in the Swartland region, 65 kilometers north of Cape Town on the N7 highway. First settled in 1703, it’s an area known for its grain and wine cultivation, sheep and poultry farming.
The Golf Club at Malmesbury moved in 1960 to its current location on the western side of the N7 away from the town – the old course was near the Blues Rugby Club and later adjacent to the blue gum forest near the Swartland High School.
Being built on a hillside it has an interesting up-and-down 9-holer with bent grass greens which firstly flows away downhill from the clubhouse, before returning back up again. The hilly nature of the layout makes for excellent drainage, and even in the wettest weather, the course is playable 365 days a year.
The fairways are lush with kikuyu grass, and a few years ago the club sold the right half of all the fairways to a local grass farmer to raise much-needed funds. The club survived and the fairways returned back to normal within four months.
There has long been talk of the course being extended to 18 holes, with the development of the adjacent Mount Royal Golf and Country Estate. Another nine holes were designed and shaped, to be incorporated into the present layout, but went no further than that because of the financial climate. There is a likelihood of it being built in the not too far distant future.
The clubhouse is welcoming, and sundowners can be enjoyed on the patio with excellent vistas of Table Mountain. The Halfway House Restaurant was established last year and is popular with local restaurateur Marius Foot in charge.
Memorable hole: Malmesbury golf club is known for its long par 4s, but the hole which golfers most remember is the downhill 200-metre par-3 15th, a testing tee shot into the south-easter.
Through the years the club has been successful in winning the Kruger, Brodie and Nelson leagues. Currently, the Brodie 1 men’s and Ladies League teams are leading their respective league divisions.
The local schools utilise the golf club for their inter-school Leagues and competitions and there is no cost involved. Junior golfers are coached at the club for a nominal fee.
Club members have represented at Provincial level on regularly through its history and currently, two junior members are representing Boland Junior Golf.
Former Sunshine Tour star De Wet Basson, who played with Ernie Els in the 1992 World Cup of Golf in Madrid, started golf at Malmesbury and won the club championship five times between 1983 and 1988.
Cedric Rooi, from the Worcester Golf Club, is the current course record holder, with a 64 during the second round of the 2019 Malmesbury Open.
The main fund raiser event for the club is the yearly Swartland Classic which takes place in late November or early December.
The course is popular with golfing societies on Sunday mornings, while pensioners get special rates on Mondays and Tuesdays.
With the current full member annual membership costing R3 500, the club is popular with Cape Town golfers, and there are 700+ members.