While the most prestigious golf courses in KwaZulu-Natal are located along the North Coast, the most relaxing rounds in the province are played at country clubs in the Midlands.
In this area, hackers such as myself who need a little extra time to retrieve balls from the rough without pressure of holding up more established golfers, can play in comfort at any of the courses listed below. Contact details are provided.
Sakabula Golf Club: +27 (0)33 330 6751
Sakabula (pictured) is perhaps the most accessible golf club in the Midlands, just a few kilometers from the N3 highway near Merrivale.
The 18-hole course features a steep, hilly front 9 and a back 9 fraught with water hazards, providing an excellent mix of challenges.
My favourite hole on this course is the par-4 8th hole, which descends steeply toward the green. From this elevated tee box, with the wind at your back, the 350-metre drive to the green is very doable.
Bosch Hoek Golf and Country Estate: +27 (0)33 234 4234
Because of my tendency to slice drives, I am grateful for the generous freeways offered at Bosch Hoek near Balgowan, which is home to 9 beautiful holes.
Wildlife such as monkeys and antelope add to the authentic African golfing experience.
Gowrie Farm: +27 (0)33 266 6348
Just down the road from Bosch Hoek is Gowrie Farm, a recent addition to the Midlands golf scene. This course is the most demanding in the area, demanding a careful selection of irons, as well as quick adaption on the greens.
Ruan Botha, South Africa’s top ranked amateur golfer in 2008, has been quoted as saying that Gowrie is the “finest 9-hole course” he has ever played.
A round of 9 holes at all of the above courses costs less than R150 per person.