Club offers more than game of golf

2017-04-27 06:01
=Golfers in the early days of the 9th hole at the current Uitenhage Golf Club. Photo: SUPPLIED

=Golfers in the early days of the 9th hole at the current Uitenhage Golf Club. Photo: SUPPLIED

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For the past 126 years the game of golf has been part of the history of Uitenhage. In fact, the Uitenhage Golf Club is ranked amonst the six oldest clubs in South Africa!

It was established in 1891 by Scottish immigrants with 8 members on a 9 hole course hacked out of the countryside in the then new residential area of Van Riebeeck Heights. By 1901 the club was moved to land adjacent to the Swartkops River, where it stayed for 49 years. Then in 1950, with a membership of 232, it was relocated to its current location next to Willow Dam.

“The game of golf has not changed much, but membership to the Uitenhage Golf Club has changed in that non-golfers can now also be members to enjoy a relaxed time in a friendly environment,” said Morris Olivier, manager at the Uitenhage Golf Club.

Greens

This course was designed by a Doctor Murray from Cape Town and for the first time in Uitenhage, golf could be played covering 18 holes.

“The current golf course has been undergoing constant improvements over the last 5 years,” said Olivier.

“All 18 greens have been seeded with Royal Blue grass during the past 10 years, which offers a better putting surface. What is of interest is that the greens at the previous course were of Kimberley Blue ground. This was a vast difference from what golfers will experience when playing today.”

According to Olivier, by June 1965, the first purified sewerage effluent water was used on the course.

“This resulted in huge improvements to playing conditions, which have been ongoing ever since.”

By 1981 membership stood on 429 and in 1985 the club embarked on a programme to improve the condition of the greens with the introduction of Bent Grass greens.

At present, green fees are very reasonable, with special rates on offer on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday. On Friday there is a special offer for anyone.

Club competitions are held on Wednesday afternoons and all day Saturday for those who want more than a social round of golf.

Club houses, facilities & braai

The first club house, next to the Swartkops River, was constructed in 1903 and it cost 125 pounds.

Some 47 years down the line or rather greens, the current club house was built. During 1994 major building alterations took place with the creating of a new Proshop, Halfway House and Sundeck on to the main bar.

“In the beginning of the year we upgraded the bar area, dining area and built a new deck with braai facilities. If you are a group of 10 or more, you can buy braai packs from the bar and use the deck facilities,” said Olivier.

Visitors will also find an upgraded men’s locker room and well stocked Proshop, through which golf carts can be hired, and a golf course that is of the best in the province.

“Lady visitors are well catered for and are most welcome,” said Olivier.

The hall can be hired by anyone and the fee of R2 000 which includes tables, crockery and chairs as well as draping. The in-house catering should, however, be used.

Happy hour, light meals & draws

Every Tuesday and Thursday is Happy Hour time at the club house, for the duration of each day.

The club also offers light meals during daytime and a limited menu has been introduced for Friday evenings. On Mondays and Wednesdays home cooked take-away meals are available at R40 and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays take-away pizzas are available.

“There is a special WhatsApp group established for the take-away services. It currently stands at 90 members and is still increasing,” said Olivier

Also on Fridays is the attendance draw for all members and social members. It starts at R250 and grows every week with R250. For those attending the big draw, there is also a R10 attendance draw.

“Thanks to keen golfer Gert van Huyssteen, VW Market Square now sponsors an extra R500 attendance draw every mid and last Friday of the month,” said Olivier.

Membership

Currently the membership stands at 328 and visitors to the club are most welcome.

To become a social member the cost is R150 a year and then you are part of all attendance draws and the club facilities.

The greenkeeper and staff are constantly making small improvements to the play ability of the course. Visitors will find a course that is neat, well defined and very enjoyable to play!

  • Enquiries: Morris Olivier or Linda du Plessis at the Uitenhage Golf Club 041 966 1868.

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