Note: golf courses in Durban have re-opened for visitors, with social distancing and Covid-19 safety guidelines. The coastline city of Durban, South Africa’s third-largest city in the region of Kwa Zulu Natal, is often overlooked in terms of the sport, but Durban golf courses are top quality. The variety of course layouts is only exceeded by the friendly service and value for money that golf courses in Durban deliver. The fun-loving city is also arguably more consistent in terms of weather, allowing you to experience golf all year round.
Golf Durban provides a mix of parkland and links style courses in the foothills west of the city center and on the north coastline. Peter Matkovich, a stalwart South African designer, has a strong footprint of golf courses on the north coast where he is also based. Matkovich was an accomplished touring pro who has since completed twenty world-class courses and re-designed many others with a design philosophy of listening to the land.
Durban has undergone a huge makeover since the 2010 World Cup with a sleek new football stadium to go along with a more welcoming environment for inbound tourism. A new airport on the north end of the city is world class and new resorts have popped up making golf in Durban a more attractive place to spend a week or two golf vacation than its ever been.
In terms of nature, Durban golf courses are most akin with the environment, the area exuding a supernatural feel that is both wild and sophisticated. It’s unlikely that you will see more monkeys and other game on the course as in Durban. This is especially the case northeast of the city which enjoys more lush surroundings, heavier precipitation, and vast stretches of inhabited land that are perfect for golf.
The seasons to golf Durban are important to know, but the overwhelming consensus from both locals and visitors alike is that any day is good golfing weather. For the more fickle at heart who seek optimal playing conditions, February through April are the best. The rainy season is late November through December extending into January in unseasonably wet years. The windy season starts from August and can last right through to January.
The must plays when you’re visiting Durban include Zimbali Country Club that is part of the luxurious Fairmont Resort on the north coast. Cotswold Downs provides the best parkland experience of all the golf courses in Durban. If you’re looking to enjoy a great member club, head over to Durban Country Club that offers 36 holes with the best access from the city center. These courses are popular with the business crowd and provide sweeping views of the city skyline and football stadium. Weekends can sometime be difficult to find a tee time, but during the week demand is softer which can suit the business traveller or golf visitor.
Durban is also strikingly diverse both culturally and with the many expats having settled in the city to work in the thriving industries of manufacturing and logistics. From a golf perspective, that means you will often be sharing tee times at Durban golf courses with many different nationalities. You’re likely to hear many languages being spoken and varying levels of pace of play. Just relax and enjoy the striking beauty as it will yield better scores and interactions with your fellow golfer.
Overall Durban is a golf experience worth exploring and its understated reputation is something you can take advantage of. With great value for money and top quality courses, make sure you get out to play before its too late.