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Victoria

Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal

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Club manager & golf director: Mark Truter
Greenkeeper: Kriben Gounder
Club captain: Kevin Perumal
Chairman: Lawrence Hoatson
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 73.2 out of 100
Conditioning14.8 / 20
Playability14.5 / 20
Aesthetics12.7 / 15
Design Variety10.9 / 15
Shot Values9.8 / 15
Memorability10.5 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 71

Yellow 6156 metres, CR73.3/137
White 5942 metres, CR71.9/134
Blue 5287 metres, CR67.9/122
Red 5151 metres, CR67.4/119
Women’s blue, CR74.5/140
Women’s red, CR73.4/139

Visitor green fee

R400 affiliated
R480 non-affiliated
Group rates available

Course designer

Bob Grimsdell 1933,
Golf Data 2007

Contact

033 347 1394
www.victoria.co.za

Previous ranking

38 (2023), 41 (2022) & 39 (2021)

The majestic and scenic Victoria course benefitted enormously from a major upgrade in 2006/07 which transformed the old Bob Grimsdell layout.

Golf Data’s Sean Quinn designed creative and challenging greens complexes for this undulating hillside course which possesses some of the most interesting and varied holes in South Africa. It’s an old-fashioned classic with a modern enhanced twist.

Victoria lies on the steep slopes of Town Hill, below the N3 highway which climbs steeply out of Maritzburg to Hilton, and the terrain makes for a thrilling golf experience as well as displaying magnificent views over a valley. The 335-metre first hole sets the scene, plunging straight downhill to the green. There is not a flat hole on this course. Elevation changes abound, and the fairways roll and slope prodigiously in places.

The Golf Data upgrade was financed by the sale of land for a residential estate on the perimeter of the course. It was a bold renovation where some average holes became much more appealing to the eye. The greens are to USGA specifications with Penn A1 bent grass. Extensive storage dams were added to the property, creating attractive water hazards.

Victoria has a good mix of demanding long par 4s and relatively short ones. The seventh is just 277 metres from the back, but the narrow elevated green is well defended. Nearing the finish, 15 and 16  might only require wedge approaches, yet treacherous small greens call for accurate golf. There are only three par 5s (the par is 71) and each has special characteristics. The third and 18th climb and dip, while the 11th is a fabulous downhiller with water lapping the right side of the fairway in the last 100 metres before the green.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

59 by Daniel Greene in November 2008.
Note: Golf director Mark Truter had 59 on the old layout in 2003.

Feature Holes

There is an outstanding run of five beautiful and challenging holes to begin the front nine, four par 4s and a par 5. The second fairway sits high on a ridge above the third fairway heading in the opposite direction. The 391-metre fifth is a highly unusual uphill hole with a dogleg left that is a classic piece of golf course architecture from an earlier era, a rare gem. Victoria has 10 holes going out before returning to the clubhouse and the halfway house.

Accommodation

There are 3 en-suite guest rooms separate from the clubhouse. Booking through club website.

Practice Facility

Range is 230 metres long, 30m wide. Large sloping putting green in front of the clubhouse. Warm-up net.

Club Champions

2024 Morgan Phillips &
2023 Nathan Trod & Penny Yeats
2022 Chris Cordier & Wendy Carruthers
2021 Nikhil Gopal & Sonja Purdon
2020 Morgan Phillips & Sonja Purdon
2019 Nikhil Gopal & Sonja Purdon

Did You Know

1/ The club’s history is interlinked with the city’s Victoria Club founded in 1859. Maritzburg Country Club was established in 1933 by golf-playing members of Victoria Club, located in Longmarket Street for 100 years. As MCC grew in numbers so the influence of the city club declined until the two clubs merged as VCC in 1997.

2/ The first official round of golf in South Africa was played in the city in June 1886 at Maritzburg Golf Club with hickory clubs commissioned from Old Tom Morris.

3/ Ernie Els made his final SA Amateur appearance in 1989 when Maritzburg CC hosted the championship for the first time. He won his first 72-hole SA Strokeplay title with five-under 279, and then lost in the matchplay final to Craig Rivett after 38 holes. Els played in four consecutive finals from 1986 to 1989 and lost three of them.

4/ VCC hosted the SA Mid-Amateur in 2015, and Gerlou Roux won with seven-under 277.

5/ Victoria has conference and function facilities, plus floodlit tennis courts, squash courts and a swimming pool.

6/ The golf course adjoins Queen Elizabeth Park nature reserve, so expect sightings of rare birds such as the crowned eagle.

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Course Reviews
Impressed with quality, balance and diversity of holes, especially considering the steep terrain. The starting holes on both sides (No 1 and 11) begin from highly elevated tees to what look to be narrow fairways. The sloping ground and firm fairways mean you have to allow for substantial roll. The short par 4 seventh (279) is straight and flat yet most tee shots run close to the green, leaving a nerve-wracking approach to a shallow green where plenty of spin is needed to stop the ball before it rolls over the back down towards trouble. Victoria has 11 par 4s (three 5s) and every one of them is a gem, whether it be short, medium or long. Interesting green contours stress a sound putting stroke. Beautiful water hazards alongside Nos 11 (524) and 12 (430) make for two of the best holes on the property.
Lamprecht de Villiers
12 May 2024
I have played numerous courses and being a youngster Victoria has never disappointed me in the many times I have played it. The risk versus reward factor plays so well in decision making on shots, and Victoria has some of the purest greens I know. Gorgeous course to say the least.
Ben Knatten
16 April 2024
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Great layout with attractive scenery. Slopes on some of the greens a bit excessive.
Jaco Ackermann
31 July 2023
Victoria never disappoints and even playing there in wintry conditions following snow proved enjoyable. The numerous elevation changes (tilted fairways and uphill and downhill holes) ensure an interesting round. The greens were in fantastic condition and can arguably be rated as currently the best in KZN. I particularly enjoy the four par-3s. Even though of similar length (ranging from 130m to 170m), the configuration of the greens is different and allow for testing pin placements. Nos 8 and 17 are played from elevated tees (one over water), No 13 is uphill, and No 6 is fairly level but to the trickiest of the four greens. One does not often see such a mix of short holes on modern courses where the emphasis seems to be more on length than any other design factor.
Trevor King
27 July 2023
What a great course. I played in mid-June so winter conditions were starting to show. There were some firm bounces (greens included). Some of the best greens I've seen in KZN, with really cool shapes. Always fun having to be creative with chips and putts to get the ball to the hole. A few putts in our fourball went off the green. I expected a very undulating course because of Victoria's hillside location, but the course is routed so well that you can walk it comfortably. Bunkers are large and deep, and strategically placed. Victoria tests all aspects of the game, asks you to be creative, and rewards good shots. I'd love to return in summer to see how differently it plays. The KZN Midlands offer a great golf destination.
Jean-Luc Regaud
27 June 2023
Good to be back at Victoria. I last played the course in 2014. It is a stunning layout, scoring high on memorability and design variety. It combines the ambience of a true country course with excellent conditioning. Fairways and bunkers are in good shape. Greens are true and quick, which rewards good putting. The layout combines a number of testing lengthy par 4s with some excellent shorter holes. Given its hillside location I find the design encompasses elevation in a unique manner. A great barometer of evaluating a course is simply "Do I want to go back and play it again tomorrow?" In the case of Victoria the answer is a resounding yes! I believe the course could rise into the top 30 in years to come.
David Frost
10 May 2022
Fantastic use of elevation around this hilly Maritzburg course. Nothing better for me than elevated tee shots, the excitement and anticipation with the hang time and waiting to see where the ball lands. Victoria tests almost every aspect of the game, and the walk and humidity can test your endurance. Greens could be quicker, but they have true roll. However, I found the pace of play poor (no marshalls to be seen), while the range is not functional in its current position near the first tee. And the clubhouse has outdated facilities. It should encompass the magnificent valley views.
Graham Jones
28 January 2022

VCC is a parkland gem in superb condition. The greens have some of the best surfaces I have played in KZN and the roll is consistent and fast. The changes in elevation and risk-reward par 4s (specifically holes 7, 15 and 16) are highlights on each nine. The strokes one (12th hole, par 4) and two (5th hole, par 4) are demandingly excellent holes with high memorability. It is clear why Victoria has been rated in the Top 50 and it looks likely to stay there based on the attention to detail, great service and enjoyment factors. If you haven't played it, add it to your itinerary. It will not be the last time you make the detour into Pietermaritzburg.

Jon James
05 November 2021
This is a popular golf course on weekends, as I discovered, and you can see why. The club is in a beautiful situation and it has plenty to offer. Lots of interesting holes, brilliant greens both in terms of the shaping and quality of the putting surfaces, and it's fun to play with a good mixture of uphill and downhill approach shots to greens. There's a deck above the pro shop with a pizza oven, an attractive area to hang out after the round with a good view of the course. The club has recently invested in a new fleet of electric carts which run impressively.
Thomas Souness
04 May 2021
This course never ceases to impress. Although not long, the greens are well protected and sometimes a wise lay-up pays dividends. The greens are the best I've played.
ALAN MARTIN
14 February 2021
I have played numerous courses in KZN recently and Victoria would be ranked my No 1. It's playing absolutely well from tee to green.
Shabeer Essa
13 February 2021
The Victoria estate suffered a short but deadly hailstone storm this week. They were the size of golf balls. The main damage was to roof tiles in homes, the course's excellent greens were unscathed. Victoria, on the upper slopes of a valley, is one of the most picturesque parkland layouts in the country, its fairways framed by attractive mature trees, and the many undulations make for an interesting variety of outstanding holes. There's a huge drop in elevation from the highest point of the course, the 13th green, to the lowest, the fifth fairway, which means very few flat approach shots to superb modern greens built by Golf Data which are a feature of the course.
Stuart McLean
21 November 2020
Currently the best greens in South Africa. Victoria has a great mix of long and short par 4s and great short par 3s. Good practice facilities -- bar a full range -- which enable hours of practice without boredom.
Nikhil Gopal
19 April 2020
I have played half the courses in the Top 100 and while Victoria may be my home club this is one of the most beautiful courses in KZN. Some long par 4s and the short holes are difficult.
Sean Moffatt
24 March 2020
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