100 Greatest Courses – No 63: South Coast Charmer

Southbroom Golf Club not only exudes a special charm which makes it one of the most popular courses on the KZN South Coast, but a dynamic committee has taken it to a new level.

If we were to have a special category called charm when ranking golf courses, then Southbroom Golf Club would be up there near the top of the list. Tucked away on the Lower KZN South Coast, this is an attractive course with a unique ambience, unusual for South Africa in that it’s an integral part of the village scene.

In these days of golf courses which are fenced off from their neighbourhoods, usually for good security reasons, Southbroom is refreshingly different in an old-fashioned way. You leave the main South Coast road and drive through a quiet upmarket residential village. Down near the ocean, squeezed in among the narrow, twisting roads and the houses is the golf course, meandering around the area like a spacious public park.

It’s a bit higgledy-piggledy in places, but it all works a treat, with the golf club a visible part of community life, the pride and joy of its members who come from all over the world to be a part of this setting. Golf Digest equipment guru Frank Thomas visits from America every December to stay in his home near the course.

From the clubhouse you have to cross a road to get to either the first or the tenth tee, or to pop into the tiny pro shop where club professional Derek James and his wife Sheena add to the friendly homespun atmosphere that has always been associated with Southbroom’s laidback attraction.

James is just one of many people at Southbroom who show a singular passion and enthusiasm for the golf club. These attributes have taken Southbroom from strength to strength over the last 10 years, transforming this “holiday course” into an ever-improving challenge to play. It has become one of the favourite stops for tour groups from all over the country on South Coast excursions, being great value for money, and flattering to the handicap with all its short par 4s.

Southbroom welcomes visitors at all times. You must book times in advance. Phone 039-3166-051.