Glendowner Golf Club has for decades been one of the most exclusive golfing experiences in Johannesburg. In the 1940s and 1950s, the club was the pinnacle of society in the area, a real playground for the wealthy; among the membership was Max MacCready, famous for his victory in the 1949 Amateur Championship at Portmarnock. Charles Alison, a colleague of Harry S. Colt, created a layout in 1937 that has endured more or less intact to the present day, apart from the lengthening necessary to keep attracting South African Open Championships, and most recently the 2013 Ryder Cup. Major renovations in 1980 brought the greens up to contemporary standards. The surroundings are gorgeous, and in fact the site received protected status from the South African government in 1973, which shielded not only the native flora and fauna but also the course from the encroachment of development.