KwaZulu-Natal Top 23
Durban - KwaZulu-Natal
General manager: Simon Draycott
Operations manager: Julian Pillay
Greenkeeper: Simon Draycott
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 68.5 out of 100
Conditioning12.0 / 20
Playability14.1 / 20
Aesthetics10.8 / 15
Design Variety11.6 / 15
Shot Values9.8 / 15
Memorability10.2 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
Yellow 6016 metres, CR 72.0/136
White 5883 metres, CR71.2/134
Blue 5445 metres, CR68.8/124
Red 5308 metres, CR68.0/121
Women’s blue, CR74.8/139
Women’s red, CR73.9/135
Visitor green fee
Sid Brews 1930,
Gary Player 1996
031 035 1530
53 (2021) & 41 (2020)
Beachwood is no longer the second course of Durban Country Club, and is being run independently as Beachwood Country Club under new owners. It sits right on the Indian Ocean, midway between DCC and Umhlanga, although sea views are hidden by the dense vegetation dividing the length of the course from the beach.
Sadly this superb layout, also an environmental haven for birdlife, may be living on borrowed time. It was due to close in October 2020, the land having been sold by Durban CC to property developers, but the good news is that it is staying open for the next few years with development plans on hold while it is leased out to local businessmen.
The clubhouse has been converted into a pub and live entertainment venue called Blues with a minimum age requirement of 25 (men) and 23 (women), and that has been an instant success. There’s also a fitness centre and café.
Beachwood is seeking new members, and its green fee rates make playing there excellent value during the week.
Being seaside golf, the terrain is continuously undulating along rumpled fairways, with some holes on higher levels than others, and there is usually a testing breeze.
Beachwood occupies a narrow strip of land and it does have some extremely tight holes in places, with daunting tee shots to be faced. Its modern contoured greens are creative designs and can present some tricky pin positions, while the bunker design is outstanding.
Additional Course Facts
60 by Lindani Ndwandwe
There are a surprising number of elevation changes for what appears to be a flat course. The stroke one sixth hole (410 metres) must rank as one of the best par 4s in South Africa. It’s played from a high championship tee on a bushy dune to a fairway which doglegs sharply left. There’s a stream on the right which cuts back across the fairway, leaving a demanding approach shot to a large green. The eighth to the tenth are three magnificent par 4s on gently undulating land alongside the beach.
Short-game area at first tee.
Basil Naidoo & Lydia Muhl
Did You Know
1/ Beachwood merged with Durban CC in 1994, to provide DCC members with a second course. A new clubhouse was built and an outstanding upgrade of the old Beachwood layout was done by Gary Player Design.
2/ Part of the front nine skirts a rare mangrove swamp, and the property supports a variety of wildlife. You play 10 holes before returning to the clubhouse for the halfway house.
3/ Beachwood’s 18th is a 185-metre par 3 finishing in front of the clubhouse bar, and the course is one of only four in the Top 10 which finishes with a par 3 – the others being Umhlali, Kingswood and Katberg.
4/ Golfers often have to wait on the par-5 17th tee for light aircraft coming into land at neighbouring Virginia Airport on the other side of the fence.
Course and Facilities Rating
I've played 40 of the Top 100 courses, and Beachwood does not rate with me. The greens are probably the worst of any Top 100 course, Playability is 4/10, Aesthetics 5/10 and Memorability 4/10. Displaying this course in the Top 100 is extremely deceiving to a person trying to evaluate it for the first time. Selborne, which is not listed, would be a better choice as a KZN course. It hosts Sunshine Tour events while no one would host a tournament at Beachwood.
07 January 2023
What a disappointment to see what's happened to such a great track (clubhouse area included). The rough hadn't been mown for weeks and was shin high in many places. The paspalum greens are in a dismal state, some of them half sand. However, where there is grass the putts roll true. Despite this I am grateful the course remains open. It is one of the best designs in KZN, second only to DCC. I can only hope DCC take over Beachwood this year while their course is closed for renovations and bring it back to some respectability.
06 January 2023
I play Beachwood four or five times a year and it has slowly gone downhill the past five years. My most recent round the greens were in a worse condition than when the course opened up after the April floods. The bunkers damage your clubs, the tee boxes are rough, and the greens need a bump-and-run shot as opposed to a putt. Horrible condition for a once spectacular course. Windsor Park municipal down the road is in better condition at a fraction of the price.
24 July 2022
Beachwood survived largely intact after the April deluge in Durban, and even with some fairways that remain flooded it is busy, probably because you can play all 18 holes, not an option everywhere in Durban. One hole that did take a knock is the par-5 fourth, where a swimming pool has dislodged itself from the adjoining hillside and repositioned itself on the edge of the fairway. Thankfully no houses joined it. The hole is being played as a short par 4 due to all the silt and soil that poured on to the fairway. Similar minor landslides occurred on 13 and 14, the short par 4 which now has an unusual hazard of sand and bush in the middle of the fairway. Beachwood is a quality golf course and deserves to be in better nick, yet at the same time it's reassuring to see it still going strong.
29 May 2022
Beachwood remains in reasonably good condition. Wind was blowing hard during my round so anything slightly off line was swallowed up by the bush which borders many holes. A serious challenge when played in these weather conditions.
26 January 2022
Beachwood provides a stern test off the tee, with thick coastal bush waiting to gobble up a wayward drive on virtually every hole. Knowing which line to follow off the tee is critical, especially when the breeze is up. The greens are currently in good condition and running well. The tee boxes and bunkers are not in the best shape, with many undergoing maintenance. That being said Beachwood is great value and fun to play. The second is a great par 3 which requires no more than a wedge but will test your nerve with a wetland guarding the green. The back-to-back par 5s (3 and 4, running parallel to each other) provide early scoring opportunities. The par-3 18th frequently requires a long iron and steely nerve and is a great hole to finish the round. The halfway house upgrades and service are exceptional and right up there with the best in the region. Beachwood remains a great day out and a "must play" if you are in Durban.
06 November 2021
Disappointed in the course and conditioning. Rough is unkempt, long and full of greenkeeper debris. Many balls are lost lying down and slowing the pace of play. Change rooms have no hot water and general club appearance is run down. Not the Beachwood course or club once remembered. Hopefully some care and attention will improve it.
12 February 2021
Beachwood may have been sold by Durban CC and its maintenance budget slashed, yet it remains in a reasonably good condition and its new owners have not allowed the course to deteriorate. Good news that Beachwood remains open for play, because losing it would be extremely sad. It is an outstanding design, with creative greens complexes, and a delight to play. If you were to create an 18-hole layout from the best holes of Durban CC and Beachwood, you would have one of the finest coastal courses in the world. Holes 4-6, 8-9, and 12-16 are my favourites. I particularly like the magnificent stonework tees which are a classy feature.
22 November 2020
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