The Lakes at Mount Edgecombe

Umhlanga - KwaZulu-Natal

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General manager: Vacant
Greenkeeper: Larry Sogoni (The Matko Group)
Club captain: John Herselman
Chairman: Darryn Hutchinson
Acting golf director: Andrew van der Knaap
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 66.3 out of 100
Conditioning14.6 / 20
Playability13.8 / 20
Aesthetics11.0 / 15
Design Variety9.2 / 15
Shot Values8.7 / 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

R495 weekday, R620 weekend
Non-affiliated R595 & R735
Golf cart R460

Course designer

Dayson, De Villiers & Van der Merwe 1997
(Douw van der Merwe later of DDV Design)


031 502 1010

Previous ranking

83 (2023), 88 (2022) & 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

2023 Astin Arthur & Amy Fletcher
2022 Cade Cryer & Bronwyn Rae
2021 Jono Poppesqou & 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.


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

Did You Know

1/ The Lakes hosted the 2023 SA men’s Amateur Strokeplay won by Frenchman Martin Couvra on 15-under-par 273, and 2023 SA Women’s Amateur, won by Kyra van Kan. It hosted a 54-hole Sunshine Tour event in 2016, the Sun Sibaya Challenge won by Peter Karmis on 18-under 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 age 70, posting a 36-hole score of 144 over the two MECC courses to win by two.

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
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Course Reviews
The Lakes is a cart course, paved from first tee to 18th green, and the introduction of kerbing on the cart paths, to prevent lazy golfers driving on to tees and the fringes of greens, has had a beneficial effect on the conditioning, which is immaculate. Sensational looking tee boxes are a feature of The Lakes experience, as are tightly mown runoff areas around the greens. The Lakes has cynodon grass on the greens, and last year for the first time they were overseeded with bent, which has already speeded up the putts. The course opens with some friendly holes and wide playing corridors, yet it isn't long before the stronger holes materialise, and challenges abound in varying terrain amidst tropical forest, wetlands and water hazards.
Stuart McLean
07 March 2024
Persons walking the paths alongside the course pose a distraction. I have a fear of hitting someone. One person strolled along the path next to No 10 with his son and dogs. Cries of fore did not deter them!
Graham Lopes
28 January 2024
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The Lakes is in the best condition I have seen it. The stand-out feature are the greens, which are in superb condition, but the overall presentation is also very good.
Daryl Meyer
28 January 2024
This course is very well presented. Off the yellow tees (6241 metres) it is a good test for the low handicap. And very playable for the average golfer off the white tees (5811).
Graeme Inggs
13 January 2024
Course was generally good but bunkers in a shocking state after the rain. We had a shotgun start and were rudely shunted through halfway without being able to sit down and enjoy a meal and beverage. I had a guest who paid R520 for 18 and I was embarrassed for him.
Bradley White
12 January 2024
Some lovely holes, notably the stroke 2 (uphill par-4 16th) which requires a good tee shot and challenging approach over palm trees to the green. The only downside about playing The Lakes in winter is that some holes have hard fairways sloping towards water hazards which means a good tee shot can be unfairly punished, spoiling the playability of the course. Greens rolling well and in good condition.
Amy Laird
20 August 2023
Due to The Woods being closed for a bunker upgrade, The Lakes is experiencing a lot more golf cart traffic which might have affected the fairways. The course is extremely dry, the fairways firm and bouncy, and we found good tee shots sometimes punished because of closely mown grass around the penalty areas. Balls were disappearing into the water hazards. The greens were slow, apparently to protect them from the additional rounds being played. I’d like to play the course again in summer as I suspect it would be a more pleasant experience.
Tara Swart
15 August 2023
The work done on the greens over the past two months is starting to show. Speeding up and running true!
Ryan Leary
26 July 2023
Fabulous course, beautifully maintained, with attractive surroundings, gardens and wildlife.
Helen Donald
25 July 2023
Enjoyable course in great condition that offers a fair test for everyone. One of SA's best golf experiences.
David Watts
22 July 2023
The commitment by the MECC golf director and course maintenance team to present a course of quality, one enjoyed by its members, despite some adverse weather, has to be admired. Continuous improvement seems to be their goal.
13 July 2023
With The Woods at MECC closed for four months until the end of September we members are all playing on the beautiful surrounds of The Lakes. It is superbly manicured. Correct placement of tee shots and approaches is critical. Good golf is rewarded and errors costly. Winter, with its sunny days and less humid conditions, is a great time of year to be playing golf in Durban.
David Boonzaier
08 July 2023
The Lakes is maturing as a layout. Overall condition hugely improved with some great tweaks after Kevin Stone took charge as golf director. I think the wayward rough (close to properties) should be longer to compensate for the shortness of the course. And the par-5 eighth would be a better hole as a low stroke par 4. The overall experience could be improved by changing the nines around, the current ninth becoming the 18th. There has already been a precedent at MECC where the routing of holes was changed on The Woods. With that change the 19th hole on The Lakes would become the Watershed facility. Although I am sure it's good for pace of play, the halfway house at the Watershed feels rushed with the current 'drive-through' arrangement.
Andrew Asherson
05 July 2023
This is a fantastic layout and challenges golfers in every way possible. Very playable and forgiving enough to make it a brilliant experience even for high handicaps.
Len Nel
10 May 2023
The improvement of The Lakes has been exceptional the past two years. Attention to detail is of the highest quality. Although a short course it is demanding and requires a sensible strategy and good shot making for the best results. It uses every club in the bag.
Matthew Jooste
09 April 2023
Good course but the pace of play was ridiculously slow, so we bailed after 12 holes. We were waiting five minutes on every shot and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
John Hyde
04 April 2023
General course condition near perfect but greens are slow. Especially compared to The Woods next door.
Jonathan Carrington
03 April 2023
Course in excellent condition, the fairways resemble greens. The speed and trueness of the greens was fast and fair. The rough a little long in places making it difficult to find your ball.
Laurie Martin
03 April 2023
The Lakes is in the best condition it has been for years. I believe the nines should be reversed, with the first tee moving to the current par-4 tenth at the Watershed Cafe and finishing there on the current par-4 ninth.
Robin Moss
03 April 2023
I find it curious that of the two courses at Mount Edgecombe, GolfRSA rates The Lakes (132 slope) easier than The Woods (134) off the white tees. I would have thought the other way round. The Lakes does have some wide fairways but there's intimidating tee shots to be faced between 8 and 16 which makes this a compelling layout for the stronger golfer. The long par-4 ninth is similar to the famous 18th at TPC Sawgrass (home of The Players Championship) with the Pani Dam edging the left side of the hole from tee to green. And opposite is the 14th with water right of the fairway. Before that the downhill 13th is narrow. The dogleg par-5 15th is an improved hole after a multi-million-rand project to build a wide gabion channel to replace part of the stream which crosses from the right-hand side of the fairway to the left, feeding a dam behind the green. No more flooding and the reeds left of the green have disappeared, giving a cleaner look to the complex.
Stuart McLean
30 March 2023
Would like to see quicker greens but probably not possible without changing the grass.
Keval Mehta
24 March 2023
Fantastic layout demands accurate shots with danger lurking on many holes. Every hole very different but fair. The Lakes remains in immaculate condition all year round.
Bruce Jones
24 March 2023
Rated the "easier" of the two Mount Edgecombe courses but still a great challenge, especially off the tee. Different layout to The Woods which gives you two unique experiences at the same club.
Ryan Leary
23 March 2023
Dare I say that The Lakes has been lavished with so much attention in recent years that it has become the premier course at Mount Edgecombe? It has a glorious look to it from tee to green. It is certainly a more interesting and challenging layout. I'm told that competitors in last month's SA championships preferred it to The Woods. And very quiet and tranquil in the forest compared to the traffic noise levels around The Woods. The halfway stop at the Watershed Cafe by Pani Dam also provides a great offering of breakfast dishes for morning golfers.
Dieter ten Haag
21 March 2023
An excellent course that is better than its present Top 100 ranking.
Bernhard Coetzer
03 March 2023
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
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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