Yellow 5812 metres, CR70.3/124
White 5634 metres, CR69.6/122
Red 5076 metres, CR66.4/115
Women’s white, CR76.0/129
Women’s red, CR72.3/123
Affiliated R440 weekday,
Tom Field 1926,
Colonel SV Hotchkin 1929
Kloof Country Club enjoys a beautiful setting inland from Durban in the hills. The rolling terrain makes for one of the hillier courses in KwaZulu-Natal, with major elevation changes throughout the 18 holes. Features of the course include a cricket field adjoining the par-5 17th hole, a par-3 finishing hole in front of the clubhouse, and a par of 70.
The club was founded in 1926 with a 9-holer and was extended into an 18-hole course in 1929 on the strength of a design by the respected English course architect Colonel Stafford Vere Hotchkin, who was visiting South Africa to design a links at Humewood in Port Elizabeth. He was subsequently in such demand that he consulted on redesign work at Kloof and Durban CC, Maccauvlei and Royal Johannesburg, Mowbray and East London.
It’s difficult to know which are original Hotchkin holes, as the club has subsequently used Bob Grimsdell in the 1950s and Peter Matkovich in the 1990s for further alterations and improvements to the layout.
The parkland course begins with an attractive downhill par 4 framed by tall trees, and the front nine, due to the steepness of the terrain, is unusual in only measuring 2 741 metres. There are three par 3s in the first six holes, two uphill par 5s, and two adventurous short par 4s.
The front nine at Kloof invariably produces sub-par golf from good players, and one of the more remarkable rounds took place in July 2006 when Bradley Grant had three consecutive eagles. He holed a bunker shot for 3 at the fifth, aced the sixth with a 6-iron, and then hit an 8-iron close at the uphill par-5 seventh for a tap-in 3.
The back nine has several outstanding holes, beginning with the 441-metre par-4 tenth which doglegs right towards the Kloof Gorge. The last six holes beginning at No 13 are all challenging and varied in design.
The Kloof badge is that of a leopard, which used to be found here in earlier years. Two greens are built close to the edge of the Kloof Gorge, where there’s a sheer 200-metre drop to the valley floor. Being at that height above sea level Kloof has its own microclimate – the course was the first in KZN to have bent grass greens – and it can get cool and misty. There’s a story of a Kloof member playing with a visitor on a misty day, and taking a practice swing on a tee in the direction of the Gorge. After apologising for almost playing out of turn, he said “It’s your tee.” The visitor then proceeded to launch his ball into the depths of the Gorge.
64 by club member Mark Cox in 2003
KZN Champion of Champions.
Two famous South African caddies have been members of Kloof: Glen Murray, who worked for many years for Sergio Garcia, and Greg Hearmon, who carried Retief Goosen’s bag when he won his first US Open in 2001. Sergio played at Kloof while holidaying with Glen after their 2003 victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. Murray has donated interesting memorabilia hanging on the walls of the club’s attractive 19th hole.
2021 Michael Sim &
2020 Ruben van der Burg & Sue Hipkin
2019 Malcolm Mitchell & Georgie Nolden
When Kloof hosted the Dale Hayes Junior Classic in July 2009, two top KZN juniors, Martin Rohwer and Leorin Pillay, holed out for aces with consecutive shots on the par-3 sixth hole. This is thought to be a first in a tournament in South Africa.
1/ Kloof has been home to the KZN Champion of Champions tournament for 50 years. It’s a gathering of all the men’s and women’s A division club champions from around the province. Originally it was for men only, and the idea for the first tournament in 1972 came from a past Kloof captain, Des Hamilton. David Suddards won a record five titles. The women’s event began in 1977, and Tiffany Avern-Taplin won it eight times in 10 outings from 2004 to 2014. The men’s tournament patron is Tim Clark, who won the title in 1994.
2/ Kloof hosted SA Open Qualifying prior to the 2005 championship at Durban CC. The winning total was 6-under 134 by Alex Baillie. The club hosted the 2015 SA Women’s Amateur won by Carrie Park. Home club member Brittney-Fay Berger had a 68 in qualifying, and reached the semifinals of the matchplay.
3/ Kloof CC is in a nature conservancy area, and the property is a haven for bird watchers. A wide variety of birdlife includes Woolly Necked Storks, African Hoopoes and Crested Barbets.
4/ This is a proper country club, with a cricket oval, tennis and squash courts, and a swimming pool. A popular venue for weddings and functions.
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