ABOUT OBSERVATORY GC
Golf started in Observatory over a 9-hole course in 1912 and Observatory Golf Club was officially established in 1914, with the course extended to 18 holes in 1922. Observatory Golf Club is the oldest golf club in Johannesburg still operating from its original grounds, celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2014.
The layout of the course has changed somewhat in this time. The course is not that long, but with narrow fairways & smaller greens, is a true test of intellectual golf. The current Committee has been working over the past years to improve the course, with a bunker renovation plan, additional irrigation on the fairways & small cosmetic projects on the course itself. The Clubhouse has seen many changes in the past two years, with a newly renovated Halfway House, function room extension & renovation of the bar.
Observatory Golf Club boasts a history rich in character:
Bobby Locke, one of South Africa’s greatest golfers, won the Open Championship four times playing out of Observatory as his home club & the “Bobby Locke Corner” in the bar shows a picture history of this. Further, the Henning brothers learnt to play their golf at Observatory.
The course has two signature holes:
The Par-5 7th Hole is a picturesque hole with a view of Johannesburg City Centre from the raised tee-box with a blind fall to a smallish green guarded in front by a pond. The par-4 10th Hole is stroke 1 for a reason. The out of bounds boundary fence running along the right hand side of the narrow fairway, with a tree line along the left hand side, is intimidating enough to make many a golfer leave the driver in the bag & rather use a safe iron shot off the tee. Bunkers guard the long, narrow green left and right with a steep slope off to the left if you miss the green. This hole has proven many a golfer’s nemesis.