The Woods at Mount Edgecombe
Umhlanga - KwaZulu-Natal
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 69.7 out of 100
Conditioning15.2 / 20
Playability14.4 / 20
Aesthetics10.5 / 15
Design Variety10.2 / 15
Shot Values10.1 / 15
Memorability9.3 / 15
Four tees / Par 72
Yellow 5885 metres, CR71.3/134
White 5619 metres, CR70.2/130
Blue 5225 metres, CR68.4/127
Red 5040 metres, CR66.1/123
Women’s blue, CR73.9/131
Women’s red, CR71.6/127
Visitor green fee
R460 affiliated weekday
R575 affiliated weekend
R545 & R685 non-affiliated
Golf cart R430
Sid Brews 1935,
Hugh Baiocchi 1992
031 502 1010
62 (2022) & 66 (2021)
The Woods is closed for renovation work and will re-open on Saturday, September 30
Mount Edgecombe Country Club has the only 36-hole facility in KZN, part of this 1200-home golf estate north of Durban. The two 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.
Both courses have been in the Top 100, but only The Woods continuously since the rankings began. This course started out in the 1930s as part of Huletts Country Club, and was then redesigned in 1992 to accommodate the new Mount Edgecombe estate development close to Umhlanga Rocks. The main clubhouse and pro shop overlook The Woods finishing holes.
The Woods also underwent a significant re-routing of their layout due to the construction of a new par 3 in 2017 for safety reasons. This hole was originally the par-5 fifth, bordered by estate homes on the left and a busy road on the right outside the boundary fence. Too many golf balls were going astray, and Peter Matkovich designed a superb downhill par 3 in its place which is now the seventh. Water left of the green makes it a challenging proposition. This lowered the course par from 72 to 70, with five par 3s. The re-routing of holes on each nine was done to create a better balance of holes in terms of overall distance and design variety.
The Watershed Café, overlooking Pani Dam in the heart of The Lakes course, has proved a fabulous facility for club members and residents since it opened in 2017.
Read: TOP AMATEURS GATHERING AT Mt EDGECOMBE
Additional Course Facts
61, J C Ritchie, 2022 Jonsson Workwear Open first round
(30-31. Hole-in-one at 2, eagle 14, 5 birdies)
61, Aldrich Potgieter, 2023 SA Amateur (29-32. Nine birdies)
There have been four 62s by Keith Horne (2018 Sun Sibaya Challenge), Ruan Conradie, Neil Schietekat, Hennie Otto (2019 Sun Sibaya), but there was placing in each Sunshine Tour event.
The Woods has a demanding finishing stretch which begins as early as the uphill par-4 13th. Water is in play from 14 to 16, a downhill par 5, then a par 3 with water to carry all the way from tee to green, and a dogleg right par 4. The 17th is a shortish par 4 to an elevated green, and 18 a strong 4 with water left of a large sloping green.
Mount Edgecombe Golf Lodge close to the clubhouse has six rooms for guests.
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.
Did You Know
1 / The Woods hosted the European Tour’s 2013 Nelson Mandela Invitational, won by Dawie van der Walt. Colin Nel and Jorge Campillo had 59s in the second round, but because the course had been shortened because of heavy rain, the scores were not official records.
2 / Home club member Jared Harvey won the 2011 SA Strokeplay Championship at The Woods in a sudden-death playoff over Scot David Law. Jared’s father George Harvey had twice won the same title, in 1973 at Houghton and 1976 at Mowbray.
3 / The SA Amateur was first hosted by MECC in 1998. Trevor Immelman won the 72-hole strokeplay and Jean Hugo the matchplay. It returned in 2023, both titles won by Frenchman Martin Couvra.
4 / The SA Women’s Amateur was first held here in 1980, when MECC was known as Huletts. It returned in 1996, and the 2023 SA Strokeplay was won on The Woods by Samantha Whately (216).
5 / Club general manager Desiree Stone is the mother of 2016 SA Open champion Brandon Stone.
6 / 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.
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
Course and Facilities Rating
Impressed with the improvement of The Woods the last few years and looking forward to the changes due to commence at the end of May.
16 May 2023
The Woods was magnificently manicured. Greens excellent, true and receptive with approach shots. Tee boxes level, neat and clearly marked. Fairways and rough clearly defined.
12 May 2023
The service was excellent as the staff were helpful and friendly. The course was in great condition from tee to green. We were delighted to be welcomed in the pub by the
club captain after our round.
12 May 2023
Greens in the best condition they have been in the 20 years I’ve been playing here.
05 May 2023
The Woods is in superb condition. The rough is short which allows you to find a wayward ball, helping the pace of play. Bunkers need work but that is in the plans.
05 May 2023
The Woods is one of the most challenging courses I've played. The two consecutive holes 15 (par 3) and 16 (dogleg right par 4) are exciting for any golfer with water hazards to be carried off the tee. Course maintenance is excellent, and I must praise the clubhouse and halfway house catering.
05 May 2023
Been playing here for many years and the course conditions have never been better.
28 April 2023
Bunkers are being rebuilt this year which should improve the ranking of The Woods.
09 April 2023
Beautiful course with its own unique feel. Friendly service from the pro shop to the starters.
Han sen Huang
09 April 2023
The rough proved testing after the SA Amateur Champs but this showed us what these elite golfers encounter at that level. Our golf was slow looking for golf balls, but I did learn a lesson in being more cautious about avoiding the rough and what clubs to use out of the rough. Greens and fairways were in superb condition.
09 April 2023
Course is in exceptional condition. Each tee box has been attractively manicured and lends a beautiful visual effect to the fairways about to be played. No placing is allowed on The Woods, the fairways being smooth and neatly maintained. I enjoyed a wonderful outing and some challenging pin positions made for an awesome experience.
09 April 2023
The course is stunning, notably the fairways. The team works hard to keep the standard up. Bunkers not great but they are being upgraded from June to September when The Woods closes for four months.
06 April 2023
The Woods would be more enjoyable to play if the rough was cut shorter. I don't understand why we need such thick rough. It slows play unnecessarily as golfers struggle to find their ball even when slightly off the fairway. The marshall then starts to rush players to make up time, resulting in the whole experience becoming unpleasant.
06 April 2023
The Woods is an enjoyable layout, in excellent condition with attention to detail very evident.
31 March 2023
The experience at MECC, from the moment you check in, is fantastic week in week out. The operations team are visible and ready to chat and assist. The course marshals are professional and keep the field moving. The layout of The Woods is challenging and well-manicured.
24 March 2023
All aspects of conditioning were above average and particular mention needs to be made of the greens which have improved to the extent that they can now be considered among the best in KZN. The three special holes (14 to 16) that make up “Amen Corner” at The Woods are exhilarating to play and can either make or break one's round as each has water to avoid. No 14 is a downhill par 5 with a water hazard front left of the green. This is followed by a par 3 from an elevated tee across a wide expanse of water, and then a dogleg right par 4 where the tee shot must carry a dam to reach the fairway.
24 December 2022
The Woods course has continued to improve its standards of conditioning and presentation in the past year, and must be considered Durban's premier layout in that respect. Greens that were average a few years back have been transformed into beautiful putting carpets. And the top level of the Mount Edgecombe clubhouse has undergone a magnificent upgrade, with a new 19th hole, restaurant and cafe areas. Although primarily a course where golfers use carts, I found it a comfortable walk, although with the changed routing of the layout there are long walks between some greens and tees. Notably that from the sixth green to the tee of the par-3 seventh, due to the fact that the hole used to be a par 5 (shortened for safety reasons). There is now a practice hole in part of that space.
17 November 2021
The Woods course has undergone a substantial transformation in conditioning this year. The greens, once among the poorest of the Durban clubs, are now among the best to be found in KZN, thanks to the paspalum grass being overseeded with bent. The course is also magnificently presented from tee to green. Acting golf director Kevin Stone, working closely with the maintenance staff, has improved the definition of the holes, starting with rectangular-shaped tee boxes which enhance the visual impression for golfers from the moment they start their round. Amazing what a difference the right personal care makes to a course, especially from a seasoned tour professional like Stone.
21 November 2020
One of Durban's best championship layouts with some memorable risk-reward holes.
08 March 2020
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