The History of Boschenmeer

Records show that golf in Paarl was, in all probability, first played in the 1880’s when Mr Wahl, an attorney, pioneered the game in the town. After a period of initial growth golf died out in 1899, due to the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war.

In 1908, it was decided to re-establish golf, with the founding of a small golf club by Messrs. Skelly, During, Toby de Villiers, A.J. Lewis, A. Bohlmann, J.H. Steven and Dr. Heyns, who made up the original members. The Club’s links were laid out on the grounds of the Van der Poel’s Plein.

One of the members at that time recalled a rather amusing story. “Residents of Van der Poel’s Plein complained that golf was a dangerous game. Bohlmann and Steven were sent down as representatives of the club to meet the Municipality to demonstrate that Golf was indeed a harmless game. Bohlmann proceeded to demonstrate, but unfortunately hit a ball with such vigour that it nearly ‘demolished’ a young girl who was passing by. The Municipal Council, subsequently decided that Golf was ‘dangerous’ and arranged to lease the Club property at Sanddrift.”

The Club continued to carry on its ‘dangerous game’ of golf in natural surroundings that were an inspiration to the players. The Paarl Golf Club was subsequently officially founded in September 1908 under presidency of Lord de Villiers, with a nine-hole course laid out along the Berg River at Sanddrift. The clubhouse was up-to-date with every modern convenience, including a telephone and electric lights.

The Paarl Golf Club, with its 28 men and 16 lady members, was affiliated to the WPGU when the South African Golfing Union (SAGU) and the Western Province Golfing Union (WPGU) were founded in 1910.  Matches where played against other clubs, such as the Cape Town Metropolitan Golf Club and Royal Cape. The match against Royal Cape is still played today.

Tommie Hall, Alf Devine, Heinrich de Villiers, Dr. Frank Bester, F. Wallem, and A. Bohlmann, were some of the outstanding players, with Piet Joubert, who won the Western Province Country Championship. The Paarl Golf Club regularly entered the Spilhaus Trophy, Kruger Cup, Devine Cup and Retief Cup. In 1924 the Club succeeded in winning the Spilhaus Cup and the Country Kruger Cup.

The Paarl Annual Golf Ball was usually a huge affair and was rated an outstanding feature on the social calendar. The Paarl Golf club was later affiliated with the Boland Golf Sub-Union and played matches against many Boland clubs, and today has an annual match against Stellenbosch Golf Club.

In time the 9 hole course became inadequate, and in 1955 the club made a decision to move to Suider-Paarl, where an 18 hole course and an impressive clubhouse was built on a site between the Berg River and Wateruintjiesvlei. The new property has magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, with snow visible in the splendid clear winter months. Again the municipality assisted by clearing the river banks and granting a loan for the building of the ‘second’ clubhouse.

In 1965 the golf club ran into financial difficulties; and in order to resolve this predicament it launched a fund raising project by offering life membership at R200 with target of R10 000. The target was easily reached with the subsequent survival of the club.

In 1983 the records show that the golf club had grown to a membership 423 adult members, to become the first club in the Western Province to organise sponsored tournaments, which were to form an important source of revenue.

The annual Winelands Classic, which has been held in October since 1979, is one of South Africa’s major amateur golfing events. It is significant source of revenue and one of the club’s foremost public relations undertakings. In addition, the Champagne Classic for mixed ourf balls played during the Winelands week has grown in popularity.

The development of the Boschenmeer Estate, which incorporated the grounds of the Paarl Golf Club, took place in 1997 and changed the face of the Paarl Golf Club radically. The redevelopment created a further nine holes which became the Boschenmeer Nine, which resulted in the Western Cape’s first 27 hole golf club.

The 27 holes are made up as follows:

1 – 9       The River Nine

10 – 18  The Paarl Nine

19 – 27 The Boschenmeer Nine

In 2004 the new clubhouse was officially opened.



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GPS Coordinates:
S33 45.735 E18 59.035

848 Wemmershoek Road
Boschenmeer Golf Estate
Paarl Golf Club