Durban Country Club, South Africa is another top 100 course where they have hosted several tour events. I didn’t know much about the course before visiting, but was looking forward to the challenge.
I had booked an early tee time and the weather was just fantastic.
Started with some breakfast in the clubhouse and went to the driving range, which was a bit disappointing for club like this. I would say a mediocre style with classic yellow golf balls and a small short game area. Anyway, I wasnt there to practice, but to play a Top 100 course.
I had read about the course being narrow, undulated and a shot makers course. This is very apparent from the first tee. A short par 4, where you just want to hit a long iron or hybrid into the fairway. I didn’t manage that and hooked my first shot left into the trees which resulted in a drop and a double bogey.
Second hole is a good par 3 elevated with a run off in front of the green and a several bunkers around the green. The wind was into, but we could not really feel it on the tee and that resulted in taking the wrong club. A hit a flush 7 iron and came up just short, but luckily avoiding the run off area and the ball running down. A managed to get up and down for a par.
The course is set close to the ocean and near the city center, however it is on apparent on few holes as the course is mainly set amongst tall bushes and trees.
3rd hole is one of best holes on the course. A narrow fairway and again here you need to consider how aggressive you want to be from the tee. I decided to hit my driver hoping to be able to get to the green in two shots. Perfect drive down the middle, but as the wind was into I still had 235m to green. Layup with a 7 iron to leave a wedge to the green.
The course is very undulated and with some big bunkers positioned well that you want to avoid as most of them is a penalty.
This was the view I had on my 3rd shot at 95m. I pulled it a bit and missed the green right, however still managed a par.
Slightly downhill par 3 where you can barely see the green due to the hill that protects the green visually. Obviously makes the hole a bit more difficult on the eye.
I hit a good 8 iron on the green and made par.
The toughest hole on the course and a really difficult drive. A hit my first shot way left into the bushes and reloaded. Third shot into the trap – see below
That didn’t give me many options but to layup.
I finished with a 7 on that hole and that pretty much sums up what can easily happen on this course.
A short par 4 with a premium on accuracy to get a good angle to the green. I didn’t manage that and went left into the trees. Luckily that was quite open area and I found my ball which I could hit low close to the green. Up and down for a very good par.
A relatively short par 5 and I went for driver from the tee. Hit another one right, but playable.
The green is not very big, but one of my playing partners managed to hit a fantastic second shot onto the green for an eagle opportunity. He got a birdie and got a bogey.
The opening 9 holes finished with a slight dogleg right par 4. I hit my driver into the left hand fairway bunker.
I managed to hit a great 5 iron from the bunker on the green and a 2 putt for par. Front nine in 44 shots which I wasnt impressed with. Too many mistakes from the tee. My game wasnt really good and that just makes this course even more difficult. I should probably have played more save on some of the holes and avoid bringing double bogeys into play.
We had a quick-lunch in the halfway house and it was nice to sit there enjoy the weather and try to recuperate from the front nine.
Back nine starts with a long par 5, but a manageable hole without too much trouble. I opened with a par.
This is the second hardest hole on the course. The tee shot is quite easy with a wide fairway, but it is a long hole and the second shot requires accuracy.
I came up just short of the green, but manage to get a par.
As you can see from the picture there is no room for error on this tee shot. The wind was not too bad when I played, but I can imagine how difficult this would play if the wind gets up as well. I hit a solid 9 iron and was happy with a par on this hole.
A very short par 4 with a wide fairway. I hit my driver which was a bad decision. Ended up in the bushes on the left hand side and made a bogey.
16 is another difficult par 4 which I found was synonymous with Durban Country Club. I hit a good 3 wood draw that was just in the right hand rough.
Hit a poor second shot and third shot so another bogey on the card.
A very short finishing par 4. It was playing downwind, so I decided to go with a 3 wood. Hit a little draw that went into the right hand bunker.
I hit one of my best shots from the bunker to a gimmie birdie which was a really nice way to finish the round. I didnt play my best golf, but enjoyed the challenge. It is one of those course where I would like to play again and have the knowledge from the first round. Thinking back at the course it is not very long, but just demanding from the tee. You can definately shoot a good score if you can keep the ball in play from the tee.
I went for a quick shower after my round and they have nice facilities in the clubhouse.
The course condition was fine, not 100% on the greens and surrounding areas. It is not a course I would prioritize playing again, but some of the holes are very good. Having played a lot of different courses around the world my expectations increase everytime I play a Top 100 course. I was happy with my back nine in 40, but felt that 84 should have been better. Anyway, I made some poor decisions, but also some good saves – it is just golf….