In 1917/18 the Houghton Estate Golf Club existed in an area approximating to where King Edward Seventh School and St John’s School are located. In 1921 this club split
In 1917/18 the Houghton Estate Golf Club existed in an area approximating to where King Edward Seventh School and St John’s School are located. In 1921 this club split and many of their then members reloacted to Royal Johannesburg Golf Club. The residue decided to stay and establish a new golf club, which thereafter was called the Houghton Golf Club.
Steeped in tradition, Houghton Golf Club is one of South Africa's premier golfing venues. The course has a proud history as a championship facility having hosted no fewer than eight SA Open events, the first of which took place in 1951. The course too has been the chosen venue for the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Championship.
A firm favourite amongst the Highveld golfing fraternity its original design dates from 1926. A.M. Copland, the club's first professional, was the course architect, laying out the course on a thickly treed tract of land featuring considerable undulation. Houghton's underlying qualities as a test of golf have not been radically altered with the passing of the years, though, to stay abreast of developments in the game the decision was taken to appoint the Jack Nicklaus design group as the course architects for the new layout.
The new design at Houghton is not brutally long, especially given the rarefied air of the Highveld. In order to defend the golf course from the longer hitters strategically positioned bunkers have been used extensively to catch the wayward drive, thus making club selection essential. The new greens have been contoured with rolling undulations and subtle slopes to protect the integrity of the course.
The parkland layout is dotted with ponds and dams and an abundance of flowering shrubs also provide great variety and colour. Situated adjacent to the greenbelt of The Wilds, the site is a perfect extension to Johannesburg’s natural fauna and flora and is a proclaimed bird sanctuary with Egyptian geese, guinea fowl, dikkops, plovers and a variety of waterfowl being present.