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The Woods 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 68.9 out of 100
Conditioning14.8 / 20
Playability14.4 / 20
Aesthetics10.3 / 15
Design Variety10.2 / 15
Shot Values9.9 / 15
Memorability9.3 / 15

Course Summary

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

R420 affiliated weekday
R525 affiliated weekend
Non-affiliated R495 & R620

Course designer

Sid Brews 1935,
Hugh Baiocchi 1992

Contact

031 502 1010
www.mountedgecombe.com

Previous Ranking

66 (2021) & 75 (2020)

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.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

61, J C Ritchie, 2022 Jonsson Workwear Open first round
(30-31. Hole-in-one at 2, eagle 14, 5 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.

Feature Holes

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.

Accommodation

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

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.

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

4 / The SA Amateur was first hosted by Mount Edgecombe in 1998, when Trevor Immelman won the 72-hole strokeplay crown and Jean Hugo the matchplay.

5 / 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.

Club Champions

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

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
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.
Stuart McLean
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.
Stuart McLean
21 November 2020
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One of Durban's best championship layouts with some memorable risk-reward holes.
Trevor King
08 March 2020
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