Southbroom, KZN South Coast - KwaZulu-Natal
General manager: Gavin Sole
Golf director & PGA pro: Derek James
Greenkeeper: Charl Potgieter
Club captain: Don Osbourn
President: Gerald Fitzgerald
Chairman: John Fox
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 62.4 out of 100
Conditioning11.9 / 20
Playability12.3 / 20
Aesthetics11.2 / 15
Design Variety9.6 / 15
Shot Values8.2 / 15
Memorability9.2 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
White 5571 metres, CR70.0/129
Blue 5179 metres, CR67.8/126
Red 4971 metres, CR66.7/121
Grey 4651 metres, CR64.8/117
Women’s white, CR75.7/140
Women’s blue, CR73.4/135
Women’s red, CR72.1/132
Women’s grey, CR69.7/127
Visitor green fee
A L (Lorry) Mandy 1950
039 316 6051
99 (2022) & 92 (2021)
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.
Additional Course Facts
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 to be found on club website.
PRACTICE FACILITY & LESSONS
Southbroom has one of South Africa’s best teachers in Derek James, the 2020 PGA Club Professional of the Year. He is a short game specialist, and has worked with SA’s best professionals. He was PGA Teacher of the Year in 2008 and 2014. The club has a short range with mats near the clubhouse, plus a short-game area and main putting green in front of the clubhouse.
2021 Gavin Sole & Lizzie Currie
2020 Gavin Sole & Heather Anderson
2019 Gavin Sole & Janet Humphrey
Did You Know
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 12 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.
Course and Facilities Rating
Southbroom Golf Club remains a big attraction for golfers visiting the South Coast. It's an enjoyable layout which puts golfers in a holiday mood and the atmosphere in and around the clubhouse is friendly and welcoming, notably in the pro shop across the road where the team of Derek and Sheena James and Dane Adendorff provide unique old school service. Everyone who enters is greeted effusively and treated cordially. There is banter and chat with members and visitors while maintaining efficiency and a helpfulness that is rare in today's world. It's a village institution in Southbroom and I'm always surprised at the useful items you can find in the shop's nooks and crannies. May it never change. And on the golf course there's plenty to like about its playability, short par 4s and short par 5s.
19 March 2023
KZN has been experiencing a heatwave yet nevertheless the course was in good condition. Understandably some greens had brown patches on fringes but the pin placements on these holes meant the damage did not impact on play. The sea views from the "tee-on-the-beach" of the par-3 fourth remains one of the most spectacular of any course in the world.
24 January 2023
Having not played Southbroom in years, I was looking forward to returning. My memory might be foggy, but I cannot remember the course being in such good condition as it is now. The fairways were immaculate, the greens slightly faster than other South Coast courses. Southbroom is said to be the shortest of our Top 100 courses and it offers a combination of long and short holes. Three of the par 5s are great risk and reward holes. The famous beach hole, the stunningly beautiful par-3 fourth, played easier as the wind conditions were favourable. Due to being a twoball on a busy competition day, we played the course in a different routing to normal to speed up our round. Played 10-13 slowly before returning to the clubhouse, then 1-9, followed by 14-18. It worked very well.
23 October 2022
The KZN South Coast has had good rains this year, perhaps too much at times. Southbroom is looking particularly lush. Greens slow at the moment but should be good for the upcoming festive season when the golf club rocks with holiday makers. One of the friendliest and most helpful pro shops in South Africa, always well stocked with interesting products.
15 November 2021
A friendly course to play, both in the welcome in the pro shop and the fairness and shortness of the holes. I enjoyed the simple but comfortable clubhouse, the size of someone's house, not a hotel. Why do some golf clubs overbuild these facilities? Some modern clubhouses are more like the crazy palace of a mansion called Pin Hi which overlooks the third green. That's what I expect to find in Dubai, not Southbroom! My favourite part of the course was the four holes behind the pro shop, No 10 to 13. An interesting "Little" Amen Corner with enjoyable tee shots and tight greens where you can make birdies or bogeys.
Dieter ten Haag
10 May 2021
A jewel of the KZN South Coast. A testing short layout which epitomises the look and feel of the older South Coast courses. The famous signature par-3 fourth is always a delight to play. Southbroom was in good condition with only a slight lack of attention to fairway definition. The overall experience is a welcoming one, backed up by club pro Derek James' passion and positivity towards this club and golf.
01 January 2021
Southbroom provides plenty of proof that a good golf course does not necessarily have to be a long one in terms of metres on the scorecard. The first six holes on the back nine add up to just 1 549 metres, or an average of 258 metres a hole, yet golfers of every description are tested to the full on each one of them. The uphill tenth (282m) has a long three-tiered green where you can easily go astray with your blind approach; the par-3 11th from its elevated tee has water guarding the green, as does the downhill 13th (311m). The 14th is a cracking long par-3 to a narrow green. The par-5s vary between 413 and 444 metres, yet such is the excellence of the design that they still demand a golfer's full attention.
13 November 2020
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