Cotswold Downs Golf Club was opened in November of 2006 and is situated 25 miles North West of Durban in South Africa.
Designed by the famous South African Golf course designer Peter Matkovich, Cotswold Downs is positioned in what is known as The Valley of a Thousand Hills in a town called Hillcrest.
Cotswold Downs has a great balance of both short and long holes. Excellent bunkering, presents of water hazards and large, sloping greens all in fantastic condition. This expansive, open and challenging course will thoroughly test your game.
Cotswold Downs Golf Course
- Dramatic inland layout.
- Spectacular elevation changes.
- Bent grass greens in immaculate condition.
Cotswold Downs is open to all golfers.
- Green fees are approximately $29 – $42 (depending on which day of the week it is as well as on currency fluctuations). This includes a shared cart with GPS (carts are compulsory), a bottle of water, and two – tee start.
- Limited weekday times for just under $29 per person including a shared cart.
- The course is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Pace Of Play
The pace of play is generally quite slow in South Africa.
Carts are compulsory, however, the pace of play is still relatively slow at approx. 4:45 hours per round.
Course Par and Overall Yardage
Cotswold Downs Golf Club, 95 Inanda Road Hillcrest, 3650, Durban, South Africa.
+27 31 762 3674
Cotswold Downs Detailed Review
This relatively new golf and lifestyle estate opened its doors in November of 2005. It faced some financial difficulties due to a recession in 2011, however, Cotswold Downs survived. As 2014 came to a close, it was rated as the fastest selling residential golf estate in Kwazulu Natal.
Cotswold Downs offers a five-star lifestyle centre as well. The centre caters for functions, conferences, exhibitions and weddings. There is a restaurant which serves up Gastro-Pub style food with a twist.
All members of staff are fantastic at what they do, making playing here always a treat.
Like much of this area of Kwazulu Natal, Cotswold Downs has been carved out of what once was sugar cane plantations. In many areas of the course wetlands have been retained and introduced so as to promote the continuing naturalness.
Cotswold Downs is a course that will test some of the very best golfers around. This is why it has hosted the World Amateur Golf Championship as well as The World Cup Pro Am.
The layout is relatively short at 6,193m (6773 yards) – Club tee. There is a good balanced combination of four par 3’s, ten par 4’s, and four par 5’s.
Beware of the wind on the 12th hole, the elevation of this hole brings the wind into play even on a calm day.
Matkovich has done a fantastic job on this layout taking full advantage of the elevation and undulation.
Each hole has something special about it. Each green challenges your ability. Due to the magnificent scenery, the 5th and the 17th holes are the standouts.
At a little over 6,000m, the course is not long, however, what it lacks in length, it makes up for in creativity and design. The shorter holes are uphill tee shots and approaches to make club selection a challenge and the longer downhill holes are difficult due to the visibility of multiple hazards.
Thus, after a round at Cotswold Downs most golfers will leave feeling satisfied, perhaps not by their score, but certainly by the course layout and the entire experience.
The quality of the conditioning at a golf course is extremely important if players are going to enjoy a round of golf where they are able to trust the surfaces they are playing on.
The fairways here are thoroughly covered with paspalum grass. The bunker edging is beautifully trimmed and the greens are laid with magnificently manicured bent grass. The ball does not bobble on the green and the speed measures at around 9.5 – 11 on the stimpmeter (USGA).
The sand used in the bunkers is silica sand, this produces a ‘fluffy lie’ which makes hitting through your bunker shot that much more pleasant.
The course will certainly wow you with its beautiful setting, and provide a challenging test for all golfers.
There are plenty of hazards on this course, however, the fairways are fairly open. Overall, Cotswold Downs has good playability for all skill levels.
Even though most fairways on the course are undulating the grass covering is thorough and firm. The greens are very true and relatively easy to read. Soft hands and a confident strike will sink you your put and the silica sand traps are relatively benign due to the fluffy composition.
Since Cotswold Downs is a comparatively short course, this does increase the playability somewhat.
Besides the magnificent 18-hole golf course Cotswold Downs has a lifestyle centre which is designed to make the estate one of the most sought after real estate in Kwazulu Natal.
There are advanced function and conferencing facilities, as well as facilities for exhibitions and weddings.
The service is certainly five star, taking everything into account this venue stands out as exceptional.
Easily accessible practice area, with all one needs to get comfortable before the first tee.
The driving range is, however, not long enough to hit your driver, this being the only aspect that perhaps could be improved upon.
The halfway house, change rooms and pro shop are all fantastic attributing factors which make Cotswold Downs a stand out venue for any local or international golfer.
There are a few signature holes at Cotswold Downs, however, the stand out for me is the par 4 Seventeenth. An elevated tee box approx. 40m above landing area provides an impressive view.
There is an open fairway, however, four bunkers protect the right fringes and there is dense forest to the left. The green is protected by a large water hazard in front. One will require a mid-iron for the approach. This green is large and forgiving.
Least Favourite Hole
There are no holes on this course that I would class as weak or unchallenging.
Hole 11 is, however, my least favourite. At only 328m this par 4 does not have as much to offer as many of the others.
It also demands an incredibly precise approach due to the run off on the green, both on the left and right hand sides.
If your approach shot is slightly off, you shall watch your ball run off the green leaving a tough up and down for par.
The scenery on the 11th doesn’t quite do the rest of the course justice.
The 18 is without doubt the toughest hole at Cotswold Downs. It is a par 5 stroke 1 and an extremely difficult hole to complete your round.
A very picturesque setting with estate houses on your left and trees on your right with a water feature ahead which you’ll need to carry off the tee.
There is a second major hazard which one needs to carry with either their 2nd or 3rd shot into the green. The green is elevated, with 3 tears and protected by 2 large bunkers to the right.