White 5571 metres,
Men CR70.0/129; Women CR75.7/140
Blue 5179 metres,
Men CR67.8/126; Women CR73.4/135
Red 4971 metres,
Men CR66.7/121; Women CR72.1/132
Grey 4651 metres,
Men CR64.8/117; Women CR69.7/127
A L (Lorry) Mandy 1950
039 316 6051
Southbroom is a popular golfing venue with a unique ambience in that its course is an integral part of the village scene on the lower KZN South Coast. The fun and enjoyable layout – shortest of the Top 100 courses – is refreshingly different in an old-fashioned way.
With no security fences enclosing it from the public roads, the holes meander around the village as if part of a public park. A road passes between the clubhouse and pro shop, as you sometimes find at golf clubs in the UK or Ireland. The clubhouse sits on a rise above the course, with beautiful views looking south.
Southbroom is an affluent and delightful village with an attractive shopping centre, and the golf club is a key part of community life. It teems with holidaymakers in the summer season, yet the course still remain busy during the rest of the year, popular as it is with tour groups. The club promotes golf in the mild winter months, hosting its Classic week in July, and a Ladies Classic in May.
The reason for its popularity is due to the significant improvements made to the course over the last 20 years, transforming its look and quality. Numerous dams were built to make Southbroom more self-sufficient in terms of irrigation and improve the drainage; these hazards have toughened up the challenge. Water comes into play into eight holes on the front nine.
Par at Southbroom is still 72 even though it’s just 5584 metres. Interestingly the first 14 holes measure just 4 000 metres, so accuracy rather than distance is the essential requirement, particularly on a breezy day. The course is close to the Indian Ocean, although you only see it on the tee of the par-3 fourth, built right on the beach.
Many golfers regard the Southbroom pro shop as the best on-course facility in South Africa. Run by Sheena and Derek James for the last 23 years it is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of golfing treasures. And if they don’t have something in stock, they will find it for you.
62 by Derek James & Gavin Sole 2007
The fourth, with its tee built on rocks above the beach, has long been the club’s signature hole. At 114 metres one of the country’s finest “short” par 3s. The par 3s are all outstanding, the most fearsome being the 185m 14th which begins a strong closing stretch of holes. Two good par 4s follow, and the round concludes with back-to-back par 5s, the 18th climbing up a steep hill to the green. A curious feature of the par-5 ninth is the tree growing in the middle of the green.
Numerous guest houses, holiday cottages, townhouses and flats in Southbroom can be found on the golf club website.
Southbroom has one of the best teachers in South Africa in club pro Derek James, who was named No 1 teacher by Golf Digest in 2016. He is a short game specialist, and has worked with SA’s best professionals. He was the PGA of SA Teacher of the Year in 2008 and 2014. The club has no range, just a short-game area and main putting green in front of the clubhouse.
Gavin Sole & Janet Humphrey
1/ Southbroom began as a 9-holer in the late 1930s. With the development of Southbroom as a township after World War Two a new 18-hole course was built, and the golf club founded in 1950. The official opening of course and clubhouse was in November 1954.
2/ The club has had many personalities over the years, and today everyone knows Derek James, a Springbok amateur golfer in the 1980s, who moved to Southbroom in 1997 with his family after leaving the Sunshine Tour – he was runner-up to Ernie Els in the 1992 SA Open at Houghton. James has twice won both the PGA of SA Club Pro of the Year award (2002 and 2014).
3/ GM Gavin Sole has represented KZN many times at the Premier Interprovincial. He’s been club champion 10 times, every year since 2012. He and James share the course record of 62, James first in February 2007, and Sole equalling the mark five weeks later.
4/ Former Springbok Jeanette Burd won 15 women’s club championships (1952-1971). She married the first club pro, Ron Burd. Golfing legend Cobie Le Grange was club champion in 1959-60. Willie Rush and son David won 11 club championships between them, and KZN veteran Ivan Curlewis won 9.
5/ Southbroom hosted the 2013 SA Women’s Open, and bad weather allowed only one round. It was won by Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord with a 69.
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