A former host of the Dunhill Championship and a regular venue for the South African Open, the Houghton golf course was first designed in 1926 by club professional A.M. Copland. The layout has been altered continually ever since. In 1993 Peter Matkovich remodelled several holes and introduced new water hazards while Gary Player’s company upgraded the bunkers around this same time. In more recent times, the course was actually closed down for a couple of years while the clubhouse site was redeveloped into apartments, and the golf course overhaul by Nicklaus Design.
We saw this highly rated championship course prior to the Nicklaus changes, and were underwhelmed.
There are some decent holes here, but none from the top-drawer and the strange use of sand and water definitely hurts the layout. The 12th hole, for instance, is a short par three ringed by trouble, some sand bunkers and others ponds that are shaped to look like bunkers.
Aside from the sweeping down and up 13th, and the long par three 15th there is little to recommend here.
Note – since our visit the routing has changed, with the 5th hole becoming the 1st hole, and the 4th hole becoming the 9th.