If you have spent your fair share of time on a golf course, you would have heard the phrase, “You drive for show and putt for dough.” What you may not know is that it was Bobby Locke who said it. I bring him up because this post reviews his home course, Parkview Golf Club Johannesburg.
As a youngster, I spent many vacations in Joburg visiting my eldest sister, who lived a stone’s throw away from Parkview Golf Club. Since I spent many an hour navigating the LB Waters layout, I have shared some advice on how you can experience it.
Parkview Golf Club Johannesburg Overview:
Distance: 6545 meters (7158 yards)
Course Type: Parkland
Course Designer: LB Waters
Fairway Grass: Kikuyu
Green Grass: Bent
Other Services: Golf cart hire and golf clubs hire
Club Hire: Yes
Price Per Round: $27 (excludes cart or caddie)
Parkview Golf Course Layout and Features:
Parkview is a par 72, 7158-yard parkland layout with immaculate fairways and greens. This course punishes wayward tee shots, with trees, streams, and nearby roads coming into play.
If you are known for smashing your driver offline, keep it in the bag at Parkview. My lowest rounds on this track have been driver free.
The Front Nine at Parkview Golf Club
Talk about a baptism of fire. The first two holes leave no room for any shots left as a main road comes into play.
Hole 1 is a short par 5, at only 481 yards. Longer hitters can reach this in two.
There is a fairway bunker to the right at 235 yards and the left at 287 yards. If you are going for it in two, be careful of the two bunkers guarding either side of the front green.
Go left off the 2nd tee, and your ball may be eating tar and the windshield of a car. Go left, and you will be chopping timber. I suggest a long iron off the tee, keep it straight and have a relatively simple approach into an unguarded green.
The 3rd hole is a 156-yard par 3. Two bunkers protect the front of the green while a back left sand trap stands guard.
After a relatively easy par 3, the hardest hole on the course awaits. Trees and houses await you on the left, while more trees line the right. The hole doglegs slightly to the left. So a 250-yard tee shot to the right side of the fairway is needed.
With the treacherous stroke 1, done and dusted hole 5 is a short par 3. Two bunkers hug the right of the green, while a big sandtrap lurks at the back. There is also a small bunker at the front left, but only a fat shot would bring that into play.
At 146 yards, even us average golfers won’t have a problem with distance.
The 6th is a super short par 4, measuring 317 yards. Mini forests line the left and right fairways, and there is a bunker on the left at the 213-yard mark. However, that won’t come into play for most of you.
The front right and left of the green is protected by sand. Otherwise, you should have no problems.
Keep it straight. That is all. There are trees to the left, trees to the right, and two bunkers in front of the green. It is a long par 4 measuring 440 yards. You would want to be short and straight off the tee than long and in the woods.
The hole opens up around the green, so if you are short with your 2nd, you can get up and down for par.
The 8th is another tree line hole that requires two straight shots for a G.I.R. At 380 yards, the bigger hitters can strike a long iron off the tee for a comfortable approach. Due to the course layout, the 8th is the last hole before you refuel at the halfway house.
As is the trend with Parkview Golf Club Johannesburg, the ninth brings more trees and no room for error.
I recommend aiming for the point between the big yellow trees located 223 yards from the tee. Landing the ball here will leave you with an easy 100-yard pitch in to give yourself a shot at a birdie.
Back Nine at Parkview Golf Course
The back nine offers more of the same in terms of tight lines and trees. There are a few short par 4’s which will tempt you to pull out your driver. I suggest you refrain from that.
The 10th is a dog left, requiring you to tee off to the left of the stream running through the course.
236-yards from the white tees sit two bunkers. Your line is 1 meter to the left of the smaller sand trap. Anywhere past those two bunkers will stand you well for your approach shot.
Keep the ball to the right of the green as this hole slopes down to the ravine. There is also the issue of two bunkers on the left as well. Keep it tidy, and you could score serious points on this stroke 2.
Given the tight line off the tee and the dogleg left, this 299-yard par 4 requires brain over brawn. Aim to the left of the clearing in the right rough, and strike an iron off the tee. A 6-iron usually works for me.
From there, you only have 127 yards into the green. However, this shot is tricky. Hazards lie in the form of the three bunkers at the front and sides of the green. Then there is a ravine to the right, and long shots risk going out of bounds.
The 12th was made for long hitters with a natural draw and maybe lefties with a power fade. It is 259-yards to the center of the green and is absolutely drivable. Here is why I wouldn’t recommend going for it.
The hole doglegs to the left, with trees coming into play on both sides. To get it on in one, you need a draw or fade of about 2-3 yards. If you get too much draw, it could end in the sand. If you don’t get enough draw, it will go straight into trees.
I suggest whacking an iron off the tee and sticking it 187 yards down the center of the fairway. A 99-yard 56-degree wedge awaits, and the possibility of a birdie.
The 13th is the first par 5 of the back nine and the hardest at Parkview. Here, we are faced with a 565-yard layout, with trees on both sides. And, if it wasn’t challenging enough, a bunker is installed in the center of the fairway at the 238-yard mark. Finally, houses feature for the entire hole, down the right.
My line for this hole is to the right of the bunker. I usually hit a 3-wood to keep my shots online, which rules me out of reaching in two.
If you are braver than I am and can hit a 280-yard drive, you will only have 234-yards to the center of the green. Longer hitters can reach this in two from that position. Again, if you veer off target, the hole will end badly.
I suggest a 3-wood, 3-iron, 56-degree wedge approach. Three solid strikes will still give you a shot at a birdie on a pretty uneventful green.
Par 5 14th turns us back towards the clubhouse. The hole strokes as the easiest at Parkview. It measures 533 yards, and as you guessed, trees line the left and right. However, the shrubbery is not as thick down the right, and it is better to be on that side of the hole.
I recommend smashing a 3-wood off the tee down the right-hand fairway to open up the hole. A 3-iron for your second and a sand wedge should place you in a promising position to make another birdie.
After being teased by the stoke 18, the 15th hole is more challenging. It is a 204-yard par 3, with water protecting the front left of the green. If you fly the water, a bunker awaits you on the left. Shots to the right will find another sandtrap.
If the pin is at the front left, don’t go for it. Aim for the center-right of the green and get it safely on the dancefloor.
The 16th is a straightforward par 4. Big hitters may fancy a crack at the 325-yard hole, but there is a safer way to play this hole. Aim for the 230-yard mark down the middle of the fairway, leaving yourself a 94-yard wedge into the green.
There is only one bunker left of the green that you need to factor in for your approach shot.
Trees cover the left and right rough, but this fairway is wide enough for you to smash a 3-wood off the tee. If you can get up to the 250-yard marker with your tee shot, you will have 196-yards into the green.
Three bunkers protect the green at the front, so don’t leave your second shot short.
You can see the 19th hole and taste that cold beverage, but first, you need to navigate the stroke 8, 18th. Your line is 1 yard to the right of the bunkers, located 269-yards from the tee.
If you can send your shot 250-yards, it will leave you with a short 118-yard approach into the final green. There are two bunkers to either side of the front of the green and one at the back.
Now your round is finished, and you deserve an alcoholic beverage. Get into the 19th hole, and sit in the clubhouse that Bobby Locke once frequented.
Conclusion on Parkview Golf Club:
Parkview Golf Club Johannesburg is a challenging course. It is well looked after from tee box to green.
The Kikuyu fairways are in impeccable condition, and the greens are some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of putting on. They are moderately quick and are perfect for a smooth stroke.
Since Joburg sits at 1917 yards above sea level, the ball goes further than at the coast. That makes some of the par 5’s reachable in two, while some par 4’s are drivable. As mentioned, it is best not to test fate on this course. Play it safe and keep it tight.
Parkview Golf Club Johannesburg gets my stamp of approval. The next time you are in the City of Gold, book a tee time here. If you feel you need more time to prepare, why not learn how to play more layouts using our golf course tips and reviews.