Robert Grimsdell

- Published on this site: 21-10-2020 19:54:20

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Robert "Bob" Grimsdell ( England , 1897 - South Africa , 1986 ) was an English golfer and golf course architect . 

Grimsdell was one of the first golf course architects in South Africa, from the 1930s to the 1970s .

In his teens, Grimsdell set out on his own to travel to South Africa. As a soldier in the South African army, he stayed in France during the First World War . After the war, he became a golf professional and joined the Chorley Golf Club , in Lancashire . Soon, he was influenced by the architecture of the courses and became friends with the golf course architect Harry Colt and Charles Alison. He learned the skills from them and so he became an architect too. 

In the early 1920s he returned to Cape Town with his wife and joined the Mowbray Golf Club . In 1926 he became a member of the Royal Johannesburg Golf Club as a golfer . For the next twenty years he played certain golf tournaments and in between he was also active as a golf course architect. Due to crime, he left Johannesburg in 1946 and moved to Vereeniging and started working full time as a track architect. In September 1986 he died of natural causes. 


Grimsdell was also a good golfer, becoming the runner-up of the South African Open twice . He also competed in the South African Match Play Championship, reaching the finals four times, but lost each time, in 1925, 1927, 1929 and 1932.

Golf courses

  • During his career, Grimsdell realized more than 20 golf courses, all located in South Africa.
  • Bosch Hoek Golf Club , Bosch Hoek
  • Cullinan Golf Club , Cullinan
  • Goldfields West Golf Club , Carletonville
  • Hans Merensky Country Club , Phalaborwa
  • Hermanus Golf Club , Hermanus
  • Kempton Park Golf Club , Johannesburg
  • Kimberley Golf Club , Kimberley
  • King David Golf Club , Cape Town
  • Gap Country Club , Durban
  • Maritzburg Golf Club , Pietermaritzburg
  • Mossel Bay Golf Club , Mossel Bay
  • Nelspruit Golf Club , Nelspruit
  • Oppenheimer Park Golf Club , Welcome
  • Orkney Golf Club , Orkney
  • Parkview Golf Club , Johannesburg
  • Randfontein Golf & Country Club , Johannesburg
  • Royal Oak Country Club , Johannesburg
  • Royal Port Alfred Golf Club , Port Alfred
  • Scottburgh Golf Club , Scottburgh
  • St. Francis Bay Golf Club , St. Francis Bay
  • The River Club Golf Course , Johannesburg
  • Umkomaas Golf Club , Umkomaas
  • Victoria Country Club , Pietermaritzburg
  • Blackcap Country Club , Pretoria

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