St Cathryn’s Golf Estate

Kranskop - KZN Midlands - KwaZulu-Natal

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Manager & greenkeeper: Piet Nel
Secretary & accommodation: Cathy Nel
Bar manager: Gary Tatton

Course Summary

Three tees / Par 72

White 5863 metres, CR70.7/132
Blue 5042 metres, CR67.2/112
Red 4738 metres, CR65.2/106
Women’s white, CR77.5/144
Women’s blue, CR72.6/129
Women’s red, CR70.3/120

Visitor green fee

R220 for 18, R180 for 9
Cart hire R340 & R240

Course designer

Piet Nel 1993


082 555 2661

When KZN farmer Piet Nel had finished designing and building the par-72 9-holer in 1993 he had to give it a name. He had heard of St Andrews, so along those lines he called it St Cathryn’s after his wife Cathy.

The layout is an interesting and innovative one from an amateur designer, especially as the landscape is undulating in places. It’s fun to play, quirky and challenging. “It’s technical in places, particularly the par-5 fifth,” says Piet Nel. The two nines are different from each other. Some greens have two flags, while two holes have separate greens. There is considerable variation from hole to hole.

The third is a 228-metre par 4 bordering the dam, stretched to 293 the second time round, with another green further on. No 6 is an interesting hole, from a tee overlooking a large trout dam higher on the property. After driving across the dam to a sloping fairway there’s a green in view, but not the one for the first time round. You play over it, and another distant green appears – this is a 498m par 5.

The course begins with a strong par 4 playing slightly uphill from an elevated tee, and ends with a par 3 where you play across the fairway of the most difficult hole on the course, the par-5 No 5/14. This plays 514 metres as No 14, the stroke one. The tee shot is downhill to a fairway with a wetland on the left, and the second shot has to skirt the wetland and cross the entrance road. The green is elevated on a hillside, so requires a long drive to go for it in two.  

All 18 holes have an eclectic mix of names, in English, German and Zulu, and No 8 is Augusta. It’s a striking 278m downhiller through an avenue of tall pines. The fairway runs out at about 180 metres, and it’s best to lay up and play an approach shot over the entrance road to a two-tier green. There’s a pin both front and back. Looking back from the green it’s a beautiful sight.

The wooden clubhouse at St Cathryn’s is a comfortable countryside venue, with an outside deck on the dam. An attractive setting in late afternoon as the sun sets. Inside there’s a cosy 19th, with good food on the menu. Cathy Nel, who runs the kitchen, sources local products, some of it from the German community. It’s a popular stop among bikers for weekend breakfasts.


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Additional Course Facts

Club Champions

2020 Merwin Rabe & Nicol Nieuwoudt
2021 Darren Reeksting & Nicol Nieuwoudt
2022 Gareth Larkan & Frann Scott
2023 & 2024 Troy Gifford


There are four en-suite double rooms in a motel block, plus a log cabin and two single rooms, all with self-catering kitchenettes. Local attractions include the Kop at Kranskop and hot springs.

Did You Know

1/ After the course opened in 1993, Cathy Nel – who oversees the catering – designed a wooden sign to display at the entrance on the R74. It read Tee & Sand Wedges, and this is where the catchy term first appeared in South Africa. The title was later “appropriated” by a golf publication.

2/ Hermannsburg private school nearby is South Africa’s oldest co-ed school. St Cathryn’s is home to the school’s Penrose golf academy.

3/ Four local golf clubs – St Cathryn’s, Greytown CC, Noodsberg CC and Mooi River CC – have embraced a Quadrangular series where their members meet up four times a year, hosting an event at each of their courses.

4/ There are two dams on the estate for bass and trout fishing. And bird lovers can try and identify some of the 250 species seen in the area, including crested cranes.

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Course Reviews
An interesting and fun 9-holer to play, offering plenty of variety from one nine to the other thanks to innovations like separate greens and two flags on some greens. A course without a single bunker, the only one among those on the Top 100 Courses website to own that distinction. The design makes for some challenging holes and a few greens have tricky slopes to them. They were bumpy on my visit. I enjoyed the short par 4 No 3/12 alongside the main dam, with two greens 70 metres apart, and the par 5 No 5/14 required three good straightish shots to reach an elevated green just behind the clubhouse with hazards lurking along the way. Loved the tee shot on No 6/15 over the trout dam and around some trees to the fairway. No 8/17 is a fabulous downhill short 4 through an avenue of trees where it's imperative to lay up because of the entrance road in front of a steeply tiered green.
Stuart McLean
14 June 2024
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