Design of Gowrie Farm Golf Course

Gowrie Farm was originally a golf course in the 1920’s, so it seemed appropriate for Gowrie Farm to revert to a golf course in 2008 – 150 years after it was initially registered as a farm.

Gowrie Farm Golf course is an 18 hole course, designed by Guy Smith, an Attorney from Pietermaritzburg. Guy is passionate about classic design and is heavily influenced by the old courses of Scotland and some of the courses built in the United States in the early 1900’s, in particular, Merion and Pinehurst.

In building Gowrie Farm, Guy identified the following as important elements in classic design:

  • Tees, which are close to the ground;
  • Fairway shapes which are dictated to by the natural features of the land;
  • Push-up greens with interesting run-offs;
  • Bunkers which are tucked in close to the greens; and
  • Fairway bunkers which dictate a player’s choice of option from the tee.

This has led to an exciting, traditional course, which is fun for the average golfer, but tough for the low handicapped golfer to post a good score.

“Bunkers should have the appearance of being made with the careless abandon with which a brook tears down the banks which confine it, or the wind tosses about the sand of the dunes, forming depressions or elevations broken into irregular lines. Here, the bank overhangs, where there it has crumbled away.”

Robert Hunter “The Links”
(The builder of Cypress Point, Alistar McKenzie’s masterpiece)

"Gowrie Farm is the best kept secret in world golf."

~ Selwyn Nathan ~
Commissioner of the South African PGA