History of the Golf Course

Local golf lore will lead you to believe that golf has been played in Swakopmund since 1935. Those of us who practice our short game in the Swakop riverbed imagine that must be true, but it wasn't until 1975 that there was any official effort to bring golf to Namibia's coast. 1975 was the year the Swakopmund Golf Club was formed, and the club built a nine hole course with concrete tees, sand fairways and oiled greens, the remains of which are still visible today from Rössmund Golf Club's back nine.

Eventually this wasn't enough for the golf lovers on the coast, and the new Rössing Uranium mine, owned by Rio Tinto, announced at its opening ceremonies in 1976 its intention to build a grass Golf Course. The original design by architect Rees Jones Junior was commissioned for 18 holes, but they ultimately decided to start with only nine. The shorter course opened on 6 March 1979, and the club name was changed to Rössmund Golf Club. If you haven't noticed, Rössmund is an acronym of Rössing and Swakopmund, in recognition of both the mine and the Swakopmund Municipality, which donated 134 hectares of land for the course.

The course matured and developed through 1987 when Bill Kerr was commissioned to add the remaining nine holes. Work was completed on the course in time to stage the club's annual open competition in December 1988. It became clear, though, that despite the new windows just added to the clubhouse, they would need a new structure to accommodate the larger course, prompting the construction of the magnificent clubhouse we enjoy today.

Building operations were completed just in time to host the first of two Skeleton Coast Classic Pro Tournaments that were highlights on the PGA of SA's Winter Tour: the first of these tournaments in 1989 was won by John Bland who carded four under par for his 54 holes, and the second by Roger Wessels the next year. It was in this second tournament that the current course record was set for a round of 64 by Cape Town's Tony Lowe. The pros came back in 2009 for the MTC professional event which was won by Hennie Otto.

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