Southbroom Golf Course is ranked #1 in South Africa’s Most Fun Courses (Golf Digest December 2012).
Southbroom Golf Club boasts one of the most popular golf courses on the lower South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. As an integral part of the Southbroom village, the course is a rare South African layout and if it wasn’t for all the palm trees and tropical foliage, you’d think you were in Britain or Ireland.
Only a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean, Southbroom Golf Club affords golfers impressive views of pristine beaches and the sea; the tranquillity of playing alongside the lush indigenous vegetation of the Frederika Nature Reserve; and an opportunity to feel the pride of the Southbroom village as the course meanders past elegant coastal residences.
Each of the 18-holes has its own unique feature and ability to test the skill of even the most accomplished golfer.
The Southbroom golf course is not a breeze to play especially when you experience it on a windy day. The par-3 fourth, just 114 meters, is the most famous of the two seaside holes. On a calm day it’s a wedge, but it’s a tiger when the wind is blowing into you. Water, in the form of both dams and rivers flowing to the sea, quietly but surely come into play and golfers need a careful game plan to negotiate this charming course.
Recently adjudged by Compleat Golfer to be the most popular club in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the Southbroom golf course was established in 1938 and has consistently been improved and upgraded over the years. It always has a neat, manicured look about it and current improvements doubled the size of the green on the par-5 ninth which now sweeps towards the edge of a large water hazard that is hidden from view when playing your approach; and the relocation of the cart-path along the right-hand boundary of the par-3 fourth.
The Southbroom Pro Shop, run by Derek & Sheena James, has an old-fashioned feel about it with every nook and cranny crammed with interesting goodies and lots of the latest golf gear. It’s a place where you’re assured of a warm welcome with everyone going out of their way to help you.
The clubhouse commands impressive views of the course and the Indian Ocean, affording opportunities for frequent whale and dolphin spotting, and lives up to the early expectations of “popular amenity and social center” of the village.
PAR 4; 324M, STROKE 9 (LADIES – 304M, STROKE 7)
A simple opening hole but be careful of the water down the right side. Keep your tee shot left. There is a double-tiered green with bunkers on both sides. A nice welcoming hole.
PAR 4; 335M; STROKE 5 (LADIES – 287M; STROKE 9)
Your tee shot, sometimes even with an iron, must be kept up the right side to make the approach over the water easier. The green is bunkered on both sides. Don’t go long with your approach. Actually, left and right are not too good either!
HOLE 3 (We are situated in the Fairway)
PAR 4; 369M; STROKE 1 (LADIES – 303M; STROKE 1)
A world-class Par 4 Stroke 1. There is a lot more fairway than there appears to be from the tee but, with out of bounds on both sides, it can be quite scary into the south wind. The right side is preferable and then a demanding shot over water to a well-shaped green is quite a challenge.
PAR 3; 114M; STROKE 17 (LADIES – 109M; STROKE 17)
A very short but under-rated Par 3. Take extra time whilst on the tee to absorb the magnificent ocean view! Bunkers surround the green. Be careful not to be caught by the length of the green
PAR 4; 255M; STROKE 15 (LADIES – 232M; STROKE 15)
A very short Par 4 that can be driven but this is not always the right decision! If the length of the hole doesn’t get you, the pin position might. The tree-guarded green is double tiered and getting your tee shot into the right position is key!
PAR 5; 434M; STROKE 7 (LADIES – 379M; STROKE 13)
A short Par 5 with a fairway that slopes severely to the right, makes for a tough second. Either you lay up short of the stream in front of the well-guarded green or have a go at a small target with the stream flowing down the right-hand side. Pin position is important.
PAR 4; 358M; STROKE 3 (LADIES – 308M; STROKE 3)
A great Par 4 where getting over the road can mean decision time. Lay up or go for it? A water hazard, trees and bunkers must be carried to hit the green. A par here is a bonus.
PAR 3; 155M; STROKE 11 (LADIES – 118M; STROKE 11)
A tough Par 3 where short or left is dead. Hitting from an elevated tee to a large green with bunker right and water front and left, is not easy!
PAR 5; 413M; STROKE 13 (LADIES – 394M; STROKE 5)
One of the best golf holes you will ever play! A short Par 5 with bush left and water right. Water runs the entire length of the hole and needs to be carried in approaching the green. The fairly large green, with a wonderful water hazard to the left, needs to be well thought out.
PAR 4; 284M; STROKE 16 (LADIES – 278M; STROKE 6)
The toughness of the hole is dependent on the pin position. The greens’ three tiers make this a tough Stroke 16. The tee shot also creates choices – either tiger line over the tree or the conservative line to the left-hand bunker.
PAR 3;152M; STROKE 10 (LADIES – 112M; STROKE 18)
A superb Par 3 which always seems to have crosswinds. With waterfront and right and well-placed bunkers left, aiming back left of the green is a good choice.
PAR 4; 291M; STROKE 12 (LADIES – 267M; STROKE 8)
A short and straightforward Par 4 until you reach the well-bunkered green. There will definitely be more “woeful putting stories” emanating from this green than any other. Club selection is key!
PAR 4; 311M; STROKE 14 (LADIES – 284M; STROKE 12)
It is important to hit your tee shot into the right spot on this hole. Level with the bunker and a little right is best. The green is well defended by a bunker left and a whole lot of water right.
PAR 3; 185M; STROKE 4 (LADIES – 148M; STROKE 14)
One of the best Par 3’s ever played. The small well-bunkered green is a really tough target under any conditions. Playing conservatively for the front edge is not a bad idea.
PAR 4; 347M; STROKE 6 (LADIES – 264M; STROKE 16)
One of the toughest ‘easy’ Par 4’s you will play. It is a straight hole that feels like a dog’s leg, with a well-shaped green. Hitting the fairway is key.
PAR 4; 370M; STROKE 2 (LADIES – 328M; STROKE 2)
This is definitely a dog’s leg. A tee shot up the left is best. If you end up on the right side, my advice is play percentage golf or the trees will get you!
PAR 5; 443M; STROKE 18 (LADIES – 410M; STROKE 10)
Two par 5’s to finish, how tough can that be? Well, 17 has ruined many a scorecard! The fallen tree left opposite the fairway bunkers has narrowed the hole somewhat and with bush up the length of the hole, some good hitting is needed. When you get to the small slightly angled green, choosing the right line is not easy.
PAR 5; 424M; STROKE 8 (LADIES – 407M; STROKE 4)
From this tee you can see the Bar which is both a relief and a good line! The right side is best. The second shot is toughest as you are either having a go at a very small well-bunkered target or laying up onto a sloping fairway where everything goes right and into a bad spot behind trees! Enjoy the challenge.
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