Cotswold Downs

Hillcrest - KwaZulu-Natal

Played this course? Review it now
General manager: Bryan Coleman
Golf director: Ross Dewes
Greenkeeper: Gilbert Chagwe (Matko Group)
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 69.6 out of 100
Conditioning13.7 / 20
Playability13.8 / 20
Aesthetics12.1 / 15
Design Variety9.6 / 15
Shot Values11.0 / 15
Memorability9.4 / 15

Course Summary

Five tees / Par 72

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

Visitor green fee

Monday R385 including cart
Tuesday to Thursday R455
Wednesday & Friday R495
Other days R625

Course designer

Peter Matkovich 2006


031 762 3660

Previous ranking


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.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

66 by Brendan Adlam in 2016 club champs

Feature Holes

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.

Practice Facility

Magnificent large putting green below clubhouse with short-game area. Warm-up range.

Club Champions

2020 Charlie Dell & Kaz Eigenmann
2019 Dean le Vieux & Barbara Cochrane
2018 Brendan Adlam & Barbara Cochrane

Did You Know

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.

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
Cotswold Downs provides a stern test of accuracy off the tee and approaching the greens. The greens are in excellent shape and running true. The course playability is impacted by some of the sloping greens which are unnecessarily penal for the club golfer. The fairways are not up to the expected standard with some worn areas, perhaps as a result of the high cart traffic on a course where carts are essential. On the positive side the facilities and service at Cotswold Downs are exceptional.
Jon James
25 August 2021
Greens in excellent condition; always a pleasure to play here.
Trevor King
03 March 2020
Submit Your Review & Ratings


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.

Course Location
Other Top 100 Courses in the Area
  • Durban Country Club
    RANKED 12
  • Zimbali
    Ballito, KZN North Coast
    RANKED 25
  • Beachwood
    RANKED 53
  • Victoria
    RANKED 39
  • Umhlali
    Ballito, KZN North Coast
    RANKED 65
  • The Woods at Mount Edgecombe
    RANKED 66