fairways & beyond

The history of Royal Johannesburg is a storied one; founded in 1891 as the Johannesburg Golf Club, golf was first played on the property as early as 1909. It received its Royal Charter in 1931, and has matured into an unrivalled experience in the golf course-rich Gauteng. The Bob Grimsdell-designed East Course in particular is a major drawcard, having hosted a multitude of top amateur and professional events over the years.

When looking at the main golfing venues in South Africa, Royal Johannesburg is one of a handful that offers more than one course, with its quality of design, conditioning and all-round facilities difficult to beat.

This doesn’t happen by simply firing up the mowers and turning on the sprinklers, though. In the 133 years of the club’s existence, there have been highs and lows that have shaped its identity.

A progressive merger between the nearby Kensington Golf Club in the 1990s breathed fresh life (and resources) into the club to take it into a new era as the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club. That period set it up for incredible growth and the creation of industry benchmarks.


A visit to Royal Johannesburg shows how much investment the club has made in recent years.



Situated on the east of the city, Royal Johannesburg provides an established green zone. 

Read more

Gallery below

Explore the East Course

So much so that in 2023 the club decided on a rebrand featuring the iconic clubhouse clocktower, and is now known as Royal Johannesburg, as it celebrates the club’s history while looking boldly into the future.

This new identity started taking shape from 2017 when the championship East Course underwent extensive renovations to all greens and bunker complexes. Some added minor design tweaks have made the course even more playable for all levels. The mark of a true championship layout is one that tests the professionals while still being a fair challenge for the everyday golfer.

The East Course passes this with flying colours, and in doing so also offers two nines that are rather different, with the front nine being a par 37 with three par fives, and the back nine a par 35 with some tricky twists and turns before finishing on the lone par-five 18th. It makes for a course that delivers breathtaking moments as a special occasion choice for out-of-towners, while ensuring the quality that members want to return to.

The West Course was also renovated in 2022, which has resulted in both courses having a “new” feel but with all the charm and character of their established parkland designs. Part of the West’s improvements included switching over the nines, which arguably made for a stronger finish.


A variety of membership levels are available at Royal Johannesburg.

read more


Everything you need to know about what’s on offer at Royal Johannesburg.

read more

Gallery below

Explore the West Course

Gallery below

The stroke-one par-four 16th is the starting point for this turn for home which, in combination with the tricky par-three 17th and getable par-five 18th, make for a memorable end to a round.

As a general average, the East Course could play around three shots more difficult than the West. This can be attributed to the extra length, potential difficulty of pin placements and greens complexes, plus the ever-daunting reality of there being more water on this lower-lying layout.

Whichever side you choose to tee it up on, though, you are in for a world-class golfing experience.



Situated on the east of the city, Royal Johannesburg provides an established green zone. Home to a variety of migratory and non-migratory bird species and natural plant life, the course is maintained in accordance with its natural counterparts.

Special environmental-sensitive zones are demarcated on the property, with one such area set aside for bees. A garden-to-kitchen initiative has been launched, seeing a large amount of fresh produce being grown on the grounds. Along with the implementation of water storage and the use of hybrid maintenance machinery, the club’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint is becoming a reality.

Added facilities come with a need for increased infrastructure such as parking. With upgrades in this department needed, including shade structures, Royal Johannesburg saw this as an opportunity to create its ambitious solar power and battery micro grid – 452 solar modules are now fitted in this expanded area, meaning 400Mwh of energy is created per annum. This has resulted in huge financial savings for the club, a further reduction in its carbon footprint and the ability to be more in control of how it runs its operations.

With all these future-focused elements coming to the fore at Royal Johannesburg, there is no better time to apply to become a member, book a round of golf, arrange a padel game with friends, or bring the family for a meal at the award-winning Old Oak restaurant.