Wild Coast

Near Port Edward, KZN South Coast - KwaZulu-Natal

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GM & president: Peter Tshidi
Golf manager: Vacant
Greenkeeping consultant: Gary Barker
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 72.2 out of 100
Conditioning11.8 / 20
Playability14.5 / 20
Aesthetics11.9 / 15
Design Variety11.2 / 15
Shot Values11.7 / 15
Memorability11.1 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 70

Yellow 5807 metres, CR71.0/133
White 5329 metres, CR68.5/125
Blue 4995 metres, CR66.3/116
Red 4579 metres, CR64.5/113
Women’s blue, CR71.8/127
Women’s red, CR69.7/122

Visitor green fee

R630 sharing cart
Caddie R260

Course designer

Robert Trent Jones Junior 1983


039 305 2799

Previous ranking

36 (2023), 35 (2022) & 28 (2021)

The iconic Wild Coast Sun course remains one of the most exhilarating golfing experiences in South Africa. Built on rugged undulating terrain next to the Indian Ocean, it offers a combination of quirky and dramatic holes, and was one of the first in the country by an American course architect.

It is surprisingly short from the club tees at 5329 metres (5828 yards), mainly because there are six par 3s, but then again there are no long par 4s. On a calm day it’s benign, yet extremely tricky and testing in a firm wind.

Owned by Sun International as part of their casino resort, the Wild Coast Sun followed in the footsteps of Sun City which had opened five years earlier. It’s a remote part of South Africa, 200 kilometres from King Shaka Airport – on an excellent highway – the beginning of a stretch of hundreds of kilometres of unspoiled and beautiful coastline known as the Wild Coast. The course can be quiet at times, which adds to the enjoyment and sense of isolation of a round.

Golf carts are compulsory today due to the hilly nature of the layout, but that wasn’t always the case. In the early years everyone walked. However, a funicular railway which took golfers up a steep hill from the 12th green to 13th tee no longer exists. Most fourballs usually employ a caddie or two, and the female Xhosa caddies are renowned for their friendly nature and ball-finding abilities.

The entrance to Wild Coast Sun is immediately across the bridge over the broad Mtamvuna River. This marks the boundary between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. So Wild Coast is in the Eastern Cape, even though as a golfing destination it aligns itself with the cluster of KZN South Coast courses. However, the club pays its affiliation fees to the Border Golf Union, 500 kilometres away in East London.

The Wild Coast Sun has had one club professional since it opened, the legendary Fred Beaver, who is now semi-retired and runs the pro shop. He arrived in September 1982, before the first holes were opened.



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Additional Course Facts

Course Record

62 by Brett Liddle. Jean Hugo had a 60 (30-30) in October 2019 at Wild Coast Sun Challenge (eagle, 8 birdies), but there was placing.

Feature Holes

There are six par 3s, varying in length from the 110-metre fourth – one of the few holes with an ocean view – to the 188-metre 11th. The sixth is a stunning downhill par 3 overlooking the Mtamvuna River, while the 168-metre 13th plays across a deep gorge to the green. The par-5 12th is one of the most spectacular holes in South Africa, the tee perched on the edge of a high precipice to a fairway far below bordering a wetland. The par-4 18th, again from an elevated tee, asks for a big carry over the resort’s main dam, and then a steeply uphill approach to the green.

Practice Facility

Limited to warm-up nets at the first tee, and putting greens. There is a range for those golfers with their own golf balls on the road adjoining the tenth hole to the maintenance workshop.

Club Champions

The Wild Coast Sun is a resort course but club championships have been held over the past 40 years, but not every year. K Govender won the title 12 times between 1991 and 2011.

Did You Know

1/ The Wild Coast annually hosts Sunshine Tour events, and there have been numerous low scores on the par-70 layout, literally dozens of 61s and 62s. But the first round of 60 only came in October 2019 from veteran pro Jean Hugo, who went on to win the Wild Coast Sun Challenge. The first 61 was by Doug McGuigan in 2000, and Mark McNulty had one the next day. McNulty won six times at the Wild Coast.

2/ James Kingston’s 61 in the 2005 Nashua Masters (29-32) included scores from 1 to 5 on his card. He aced the 11th and had an eagle 2 at the second.

3/ The Wild Coast course can bite back painfully if the wind is up. Hugo’s final round after his 60 was a 74. Callum Mowat shot 61 in the first round and 76 in the second of that tournament.

4/ The Nashua Masters was played from 2001 to 2011; the lowest 72-hole winning score was 263 by Darren Fichardt in 2009, and the highest 279 by Hennie Otto in 2002.

5/ The first Sunshine Tour event at the Wild Coast was in 1984, and Seve Ballesteros was in the field, finishing third. Other international stars and major winners played in the Wild Coast Skins from 1987 to 1992.

6/ Each May since 1983 the Wild Coast hosts the Founders tournament, started by Charles Fiddian-Green and other founding members of the club.

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Course Reviews
Course in average condition, fairways & tees okay, but greens bumpy and inconsistent.
Malcolm Lowe
03 March 2024
Wild Coast is a unique experience, and club pro Fred Beaver is always welcoming.
Peter Ray
03 March 2024
View more reviews
Six par 3s makes the Wild Coast different and enjoyable. Robert Trent Jones' only course in South Africa is a wonderful experience. Although out of the way you will enjoy your golf and there are other fine courses in the area.
Keith Simpson
07 November 2023
I hadn't played Wild Coast for years, and this great track was as good as I remembered it. Dramatic tee shots, particularly on the back nine, the more memorable nine. Some holes on the front are mundane and boring but serve as a link between better holes. Being winter the course was dry, which created some firm bounces. Some greens have severe contours and being slick and fast that made putts impossible to stop within three metres of the pin if your approach shot was on the wrong section of the green. A disease appeared to have attacked some greens which as a result weren't good.
Jean-Luc Regaud
06 August 2023
One of South Africa's best layouts and always a pleasure to play. After all the challenges the Wild Coast has faced in recent years, Fred Beaver has really put every effort in getting the course and facility back up there.
Kevin Stone
24 July 2023
I was on the KZN South Coast for a weekend breakaway and was impressed with the course condition at Wild Coast Sun and its spectacular views. Ticked my box and I will come back again.
Piet Grobbelaar
24 April 2023
Delighted to see the Wild Coast Sun course in such an improved condition. It is being properly looked after again and I hear a modern irrigation system is forthcoming, plus new sand in the bunkers. The paspalum greens are looking healthy and putting better than they have in many years. The fairways have good coverage and much of the invasive broad-leafed grasses on them is being eliminated. The Wild Coast remains an unexpectedly exciting experience on a grand scale. So much creative imagination in the design of the holes on such a hilly site. Virtually every one of these holes occupies its own private secluded setting. Six par 3s and four unique par 5s you won't easily forget. And do appreciate the beauty and bold sizes of the green complexes. Some are masterpieces of design thinking with their subtle slopes. Ahead of their time for South Africa. A par 4 dogleg 18th to finish that's in keeping with the general adventure of the layout. Fancy yourself as a long driver? The tiger line to the green is over the clubhouse roof with a draw!
Stuart McLean
17 March 2023
Played on a day when several of the "club" tee boxes were under maintenance. As a result other tees were in play on these holes, some considerably longer or shorter than normal. This posed a different challenge, particularly on the par 3s. Wild Coast is a pleasure to play due to the abundance of spectacular holes coupled with amazing scenery.
Trevor King
22 December 2022
Having not played here for almost 10 years, I was curious as to whether my memories held still. They did and more. Greens were slower but fairways and tees were immaculate. The six par 3s and four par 5s are something else, the combination and variety amazing. At times I was reduced to being a photographer rather than a golfer as the views were breathtaking. The course didn’t feel claustrophobic despite all the extra growth of tropical vegetation over the years.
Sabelo Nsabazandile
23 October 2022
One of my favourites. Wonderful sea views and a nice set of par 3 holes. The whole experience of course and hotel urges you to return time and again.
Neville Clarke
26 January 2022
Playing Wild Coast remains an absolute joy for me. Having had a trying time in 2020 the course has recovered well, albeit the greens were slow. Our spotter caddie 'Action' was worth his weight in gold. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
warren minster
01 January 2021
The Wild Coast greens may not be in the best condition following a difficult lockdown year for the Sun International hotel (the course relies on recycled water from hotel guests), yet the layout remains one of the best coastal experiences in the country. The Wild Coast, with its wide fairways and inviting greens, is a great example of a golfer-friendly resort course. It does play longer than the card suggests though. Even a one- or two-club wind changes the nature of the holes. The uphill par-5 seventh catches many a golfer with its elevated green. Whatever club you plan to hit, take two clubs extra. The security guards on motor bikes are also comforting to have around.
Stuart McLean
11 November 2020
Wild Coast is a special course and unique in having six par 3s. I love the layout and always look forward to playing here. Unfortunately, with the drought on the KZN South Coast, and damage to the greens, the course is not up to standard. In fact, the greens are poor, but the staff are working on them. Hopefully they will soon be back to previous standards.
Philip Malan
28 September 2020
Played the Wild Coast with the Senior Pro Tour in August. The course was dry because of the time of year but still a wonderful playing experience. This tight layout is unique and you need a strategy and game plan for scoring well.
Neville Clarke
10 September 2020
One of SA's most spectacular courses and always a pleasure to play. Has to be on every avid golfer's bucket list.
Trevor King
08 March 2020
Wild Coast has several memorable holes. The elevation changes and creative use of the topography in the design make this a remarkable golf experience.
Ivan Palframan
20 February 2020
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