Black 6667 metres, CR75.8/145
Yellow 6241 metres, CR73.2/143
White 5903 metres, CR71.9/140
Blue 5543 metres, CR69.7/139
Red 5057 metres, CR66.9/133
Women’s blue, CR76.2/147
Women’s red, CR72.9/141
Monday R385 including cart
Tuesday to Thursday R455
Wednesday & Friday R495
Other days R625
Peter Matkovich 2006
031 762 3660
Cotswold Downs is a dramatic and sprawling Peter Matkovich design that borders the Valley of the Thousand Hills inland from Durban. With bent grass greens, unique for the region, it has been recognised since its opening as one of the three best conditioned courses in KwaZulu-Natal. After an early hiccup, the estate has boomed in the fast-growing Hillcrest area.
It’s a bold course with many striking features to it, set in a beautiful valley, and exceptionally good fun to play. The land is continually sloping, so the ball is always bounding forward or sideways. The only really flat area is the top plateau on the back nine from the 11th to 16th. Matkovich had to build an unusually steep par 4 to climb out of the valley on to the plateau.
Cotswold Downs has one of the most attractive and functional modern clubhouses in South Africa, a simple yet superb architectural design with floor-to-ceiling windows in keeping with the social requirements of golf in the 21st century. It is essentially a leisure centre rather than a typical golf clubhouse, catering for estate residents as well as golfers with its restaurant and coffee shop.
Situated in the central valley of the estate, the building was only completed in recent years, 10 years after the opening of the course. It was designed around the operational needs of Cotswold Downs, to maximise usage of all its facilities. The entrance to the clubhouse opens into a scenic courtyard overlooking the ninth and 18th greens, plus a large practice green.
Because of its undulating topography, Cotswold Downs is not an easy walk for golfers, so golf carts are mandatory over this adventurous layout.
66 by Brendan Adlam in 2016 club champs
The most talked-about hole at Cotswold is the par-3 fifth, where the cliffside tee towers 80 metres above the green, which sits on the far side of a river bank. It’s a real parachute par 3. The 17th is a spectacular dogleg right par 4 coming down from the back nine plateau, and the par-5 18th is a mighty risk-and-reward challenge to finish. First there’s a water hazard to carry with the tee shot, and then there’s a large wetland protecting the narrow entrance to an elevated green.
Magnificent large putting green below clubhouse with short-game area. Warm-up range.
2020 Charlie Dell & Kaz Eigenmann
2019 Dean le Vieux & Barbara Cochrane
2018 Brendan Adlam & Barbara Cochrane
1/ Cotswold Downs found a unique area to store their fleet of golf carts – in the roof of the clubhouse! Most clubs have their cart barn under the clubhouse. The roof area has room for 84 carts sitting on a large slab of concrete which helps keep the rooms underneath stay cool in summer.
2/ The Leisure Centre is the hub of the estate, having a fitness centre, swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, plus The Kitchen restaurant with its gastro-pub style comfort food menu, and a bar. It hosts conferences and events for residents. There are cycling and running trails on the estate.
3/ The Cotswold Downs website has an excellent video flyover of each of the 18 holes.
4/ The club is run on a management basis reporting to a board of directors under chairman Keith Wakefield. There is no club captain.
If you've played this course recently, why not tell us all about it? Follow the link to our review section, complete our grading criteria and give us some details on your experience. If selected, your review will appear amongst the course’s collection of player reviews.