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The Lakes at Mount Edgecombe

Umhlanga - KwaZulu-Natal

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General manager: Desiree Stone
Greenkeeper: Larry Sogoni (The Matko Group)
Club captain: John Herselman
Chairman: Darryn Hutchinson
Golf director: Kevin Stone
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 64.3 out of 100
Conditioning13.7 / 20
Playability13.0 / 20
Aesthetics11.1 / 15
Design Variety9.0 / 15
Shot Values8.5 / 15
Memorability9.0 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6241 metres, CR73.0/135
White 5811 metres, CR70.9/132
Blue 5373 metres, CR69.0/121
Red 4986 metres, CR66.9/117
Women’s blue, CR74.9/132
Women’s red, CR72.4/127

Visitor Green Fee

R395 affiliated weekday
R495 affiliated weekend
Non-affiliated R465 & R580

Course designer

DDV Design (Douw van der Merwe) 1997

Contact

031 502 1010
www.mountedgecombe.com

Previous Ranking

98 (2021)

Mount Edgecombe Country Club has the only 36-hole facility in KZN, the two courses belonging to a 1200-home golf estate north of Durban.

The courses were rebranded in 2018 as The Woods & The Lakes as part of a major upgrade to the clubhouse, pro shop and other member and home owner facilities. The Woods is parkland golf on the estate’s older layout, with gentle undulations, while The Lakes, with its hillier terrain, is named after its central water features.

The Lakes welcomes walkers, but is essentially a cart course – there is a lengthy drive to the first tee from the clubhouse. It has the more interesting topography of the MECC courses, with elevation changes, indigenous bush, and the large Pani Dam in the heart of the course. Previously a sugar cane plantation, it’s an out-and-back layout, with a new halfway house for golfers built in the middle of the course next to The Watershed Café overlooking Pani Dam. This has proved a fabulous facility for club members and residents since it opened in 2017.

With water frequently coming into play, The Lakes is a challenging and fun experience. There is an exciting stretch of holes from No 6 to No 9 where danger lurks away from the closely mown areas. The seventh is a beautiful par 3 with water right of the green. Some of the best holes come on the back nine, notably the long par-4 11th, the downhill short par-4 13th, and the attractive par-4 14th where the Pani Dam adjoins the entire right hand side of the hole.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62 by Oliver Bekker in 2016 Sun Sibaya Challenge.

Club Champions

2021 Jono Poppesque & Amy Fletcher
2020 Hennie Heyns & Bronwyn Rae
2019 Greg McKay & Amy Fletcher

Practice Facility

The spacious Mount Edgecombe range is a separate facility a short drive from the clubhouse, open to the public. Upgraded with new bays and a short-game area, it is recognised as the premier range in KZN, and has an excellent restaurant. The resident pro is Steve Cottingham, who won the PGA of SA Teaching Pro of the Year award in 2021 and 2016.

Accommodation

Mount Edgecombe Golf Lodge close to the clubhouse has six rooms for guests.

Did You Know

1/ The Lakes hosted a 54-hole Sunshine Tour event in 2016, the Sun Sibaya Challenge won by Peter Karmis with an 18-under total of 198. He was 13-under for the par 5s, with three eagles.

2/ Club general manager Desiree Stone is the mother of 2016 SA Open champion Brandon Stone.

3/ There are 8 villages on Mount Edgecombe Two, each named after famous American courses.

4/ Hennie Heyns won the 2020 A division men’s club championship at the age of 70, posting a 36-hole score of 144 over the two Mount Edgecombe courses to win by two shots.

5/ The Lakes is one of only 9 Top 100 courses that is a pure out-and-back layout; in other words no holes return to the starting point or clubhouse at any stage until the 18th. The other eight are: Fancourt Links, Durban CC, Blair Atholl, Eye of Africa, Oubaai, Milnerton, Parys and Olivewood. Two other courses, Fancourt Outeniqua and Royal Port Alfred, are out-and-back designs, but Outeniqua’s 15th tee is close to the clubhouse, as is the 14th tee at Port Alfred.

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Greens
Bunkers
Tees
Fairways
Presentation
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Service
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
With vastly improved conditioning the past year The Lakes has risen in stature as an enjoyable and attractive course to play. The Royal Blue cynodon fairways are superb and I like the way they have consistently been mown to a lower height not just around the large greens, but up to 20 metres out from the front edge, to provide more options for recovery shots, a putter being one of them. The low-lying holes around the main water features (six to nine) took a soaking during the April floods, plus a deluge of silt cascading out of the adjoining forest and bush. This was hastily removed before it could do lasting damage, yet the par-5 eighth was still being played as a par 3 after nearly two months. The ninth alongside the Pani Dam, one of the toughest par 4s with water left and forest right, has a new back tee where you now have to carry the water to reach the fairway. It's not a particularly long carry yet makes for a more interesting and challenging angle.
Stuart McLean
03 June 2022
The Lakes greens had recently been given what looks like an extreme haircut, yet are recovering quickly and already putting surprisingly well. Mount Edgecombe took the bold step of using a Graden mower for the first time to aggressively attack the thatch on the surface of the greens. Very different from hollow-tining, the mower cuts shallow grooves, the top layer of grass is then scraped off, and new sand spread over the green. This cultural practice evidently produces smoother and faster greens.
Thomas Souness
20 November 2021
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I played the two Mount Edgecombe courses on consecutive days, and these are both fine layouts comparable in attractiveness and conditioning, although different in their design features. There was a time when The Lakes was thought inferior to The Woods, but that was not my take after this visit. They are on a par. Walking is now encouraged at The Lakes, for me a plus. The Lakes opens with some generously wide holes, but from the sixth onwards the challenge becomes sterner as wetlands, water hazards and bush come into play, along with elevation changes. I enjoyed the 10-hole stretch from six to 15. Each hole is outstanding, and the variety most notable. My favourites were the stunning par-3 seventh, the long par-4 11th, the downhill short par-4 13th, and the par-4 14th flanking the broad Pani Dam.
Stuart McLean
17 November 2021
Mount Edgecombe has two fine golf courses, quite different from each other, yet The Lakes has never received the same acclaim as The Woods, possibly because it was a brand new design, whereas The Woods is a revamp of the old Huletts layout. And also perhaps due to the number of water hazards that come into play at The Lakes. From the sixth hole to the 16th there's a succession of troublesome holes where balls can be lost with stray shots. But The Lakes also has some generously wide fairways and is an enjoyable course to play. One drawback though is that it's a cart course, whereas walking is allowed at The Woods.
Stuart McLean
22 November 2020
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