Durban Country Club was officially opened on December 9, 1922. After the Mayor had formally declared the golf course open, course designer George Waterman had the privilege of driving the first ball down the fairway of what is now one of the most famous golf courses in the world.
The members were so delighted with the magnificent course which Waterman had designed that they subscribed together to buy a golf trophy which was named after him. The Waterman Cup, played over 36 holes medal play, was first competed for in 1924 and has been proudly hosted annually ever since.
Much of the history of the game in South Africa has been enacted at Durban Country Club, and most of the great players have made their pilgrimage to it. Sid Brews, Bobby Locke and Gary Player have had some of their greatest moments at the Country Club.
Hole 1: Par 4, 354 metres
A challenging opening hole with out of bounds along the right and dense bush along the left. The fairway slopes right to left and the approach is played slightly uphill to a plateau green which slopes off severely left and right.
Hole 2: Par 3, 172 metres
An elevated tee shot with good views of the Indian Ocean on the right. The green is surrounded by bunkers and the tee shot needs to carry onto the green. Anything short will fall away down the slope. Be sure to commit to your shot as the wind can be a telling factor at any time of the day.
Hole 3: Par 5, 468 metres
Regarded as one of the best par 5Âs in golf. An elevated tee shot is required to a very narrow fairway with bush along the entire length on both sides. Some longer hitters may go for the green in two but a strategically placed second shot will leave a short iron to a long narrow green with very subtle slopes. A truly great hole in all conditions.
Hole 4: Par 3, 165 metres
Another elevated tee shot to a green well-protected by trees and bunkers. Golfers are often caught out by wind direction here, as the green is very well sheltered. Club selection is all-important.
Hole 5: Par 4, 420 metres
The toughest par 4 on the course. An extremely demanding tee shot with bush and out of bounds to distract the golfer. The fairway is undulating and an uneven stance is common. The approach will need a fairway wood or long iron to a well-guarded green. If you have a shot here, it could be wise to play this one as a par 5.
Hole 6: Par 4, 322 metres
A shortish par 4. If played wisely with a fairway wood or long iron tee shot, only a short iron is left to set up a birdie chance. However, make sure you are accurate with your tee shot as a cleverly-placed fairway bunker at the end of the landing zone makes for a far more difficult second shot than necessary.
Hole 7: Par 4, 340 metres
The fairway narrows quite considerably at about 250 metres from the tee, so a fairway wood is a good play. The large overhanging tree on the left edge of the fairway is your target; however avoid going left and long of this. The approach is slightly blind to a green bunkered on both sides.
Hole 8: Par 5, 458 metres
A beautiful par 5 which, in most conditions, will need three good well planned shots to reach. The hole doglegs to the left, and a decision has to be made whether to lay up short of the big bunker or try to carry it with the second shot. The green is not bunkered but trouble is still close on both sides. A par is a good score.
Hole 9: Par 4, 397 metres
An elevated tee shot to a wide fairway doglegging to the right. A fairway bunker to the left of the dogleg sits 250 metres from the back tee and must be avoided at all costs. A long or medium iron will be needed for your approach to a long green bunkered right to back left.
Hole 10: Par 5, 512 metres
You can open your shoulders on this par 5, although the green is out of reach in two to all except the longest hitters. Care needs to be taken with the second shot, as dense bush is very close on both sides of the green. The green is not bunkered and very big, so club selection is very important with the approach.
Hole 11: Par 4, 439 metres
A long, difficult par 4 that will need your two best shots to get home. The fairway is generous but the green is well protected. The prudent play is to be long with the approach rather than short. You will be very happy with par here.
Hole 12: Par 3, 143 metres
This par 3 is a real classic. Not a long hole, but it will get your attention. The green has steep banks on both sides so anything left or right will leave a very difficult chip shot. Club selection is paramount and very high scores are not unusual.
Hole 13: Par 4, 310 metres
A straightforward tee shot from an elevated tee. The fairway is generous and a medium to short iron should set up a birdie opportunity. Long hitters can find this green off the tee so look out for excitement here come the final round.
Hole 14: Par 5, 482 metres
This hole presents an easy birdie opportunity for most players. You should have very little trouble off the tee, although the fairway narrows towards the green. The green is big and protected by a bunker on the right.
Hole 15: Par 3, 177 metres
This hole always plays a little longer as the distance is deceptive. The green is protected by sand bunkers but is a fairly large target.
Hole 16: Par 4, 381 metres
Another one of the really good par 4Âs. A tee shot shaped left to right, away from the fairway bunkers, should leave a long to medium iron onto a large green. The approach plays slightly uphill so allow for extra club.
Hole 17: Par 4, 367 metres
This is a friendly hole, with the ground sloping towards the fairway from both sides. The green is elevated and flat at the end of a very undulating fairway. A deep bunker protects the left side of the green.
Hole 18: Par 4, 250 metres
A great finishing hole to a championship course, where anything can happen and eagles and double drops are not uncommon. The left side is favoured with a tee shot as the fairway slopes to the right. A very simple but exciting hole.