Gowrie Farm lodge and golf course boy

Timeless tradition meets the tee at Gowrie Farm

Gowrie Farm’s history traces back to 1858, when it was first registered as a farm under the ownership of John King from Scotland. It was on this farm that the village of Nottingham Road eventually took root. Gowrie Farm was originally a golf course in the 1920's, so it seemed appropriate to revert to a golf course in 2008, 150 years after it was initially registered. Originally opened as a 12-hole course, it reached maturity at the beginning of 2024 when it was extended to a full 18-hole course. This marked the beginning of a new era of golf at Gowrie Farm.

Our History


In 1858, John King sowed the seeds of Gowrie. Seeking greener pastures, both literal and metaphorical, King and his family found solace in this haven and contributed greatly to the establishment of Nottingham Road.  

The story begins when the King family, including John King, his wife, Janet, and their children, originally arrived in Natal in 1849 through the Byrne Immigration Scheme. They paid ten pounds for twenty acres of land in the Burn Valley in Richmond. However, upon arrival, they found their allotments to be too small and stony for viable farming. 

Disappointed by this reality, they sold the allotments at a profit and headed to the Midlands, where John King purchased Lyndoch, and then in 1858, purchased Gowrie Farm. They settled on Lyndoch, where King, like many other pioneers, overcame many difficulties, including lions and leopards, and managed to establish a thriving dairy farm.


Charles Smythe, who was to become an integral part of Gowrie Farm’s history, arrived on the farm of John and Janet King in 1874. His connection with the King’s went back to his family home in Scotland, Methven Castle, where John King managed the property for the Smythes.

It was agreed that he would lease Gowrie from John King on a share basis. He also went on to marry one of Kings’ daughters, Margaret, and expanded his farming empire, including buying the farm next door, Strathearn, and a farm in Estcourt, Valkop. He later went on to become Prime Minister and Colonial Secretary of Natal in 1905.


In 1923, Gowrie Farm was home to a rudimentary golf course. Photos of golfers putting on a sand green surrounded by a fence to keep out animals can be seen in the clubhouse lounge, offering a glimpse into the storied past of the property. Little is known of what happened to the initial golf course as the ownership of the farm changed a number of times before being bought by Jub Greene.


In 2002, Jub Greene and Guy Smith, together with three others, began the development of Gowrie Village in Nottingham Road. While developing the village, Jub approached Guy, and together they decided to develop Gowrie Farm.


In 2008, exactly 150 years after first being registered as a farm, the property returned to its golfing roots when Gowrie Farm reopened as a 12-hole course. In addition to the lodge and golf course, this development included a residential estate that offered the opportunity for people to live on a secure estate on a working farm.  

The initial objective for the golf course was to build a short course in the traditional way, with classic push-up greens, tees close to the ground and simple fairways that followed the land. The trustees had no grand ideas and merely set out to create a simple, fun country golf course. The response was overwhelming. It made history as the first short course in South Africa to be ranked among Golf Digest SA's top 50 courses in the country. Additionally, it achieved global recognition when Golf Digest USA, together with the UK’s Golf Monthly, ranked it as the 4th best short course in the world outside of the USA.


Having earned an outstanding reputation as a short course, the pressure to deliver was on when it came to developing the course and extending it to 18 holes. This was taken on by new partners, Roger Newman and Dale Hayes. After much hard work and anticipation, the course expansion was completed at the beginning of 2024, marking the start of a new era of golfing tradition at Gowrie Farm.

Gowrie Farm Lodge & Golf Course-1923 Paintings-1
Gowrie Farm Lodge & Golf Course 1923 Golf Course-1


Paintings of photographs given by Lal Greene to Gowrie Farm Golf Club in 2008, showing W.E. Ford and L.R. Greene, Lal’s father, playing golf at Gowrie Farm in April 2023. Paintings by Brett Dodd.

Gowrie House - 1888

Our Golf Course Today

Gowrie Farm Lodge & Golf Course Golf