Located just south of the Valley of 1,000 Hills, the fairways at Cotswold Downs Golf & Country Estate are routed in a figure of eight round a former sugar cane plantation where a number of wetland areas have been retained or introduced to enhance the natural landscape.
Characterised by a number of spectacular elevation changes, none more so than at the par three 5th where the tee shot plunges 250 feet from a cliff top to a water-fronted green, the layout is yet another from the prolific Peter Matkovich design practice, opening in 2006.
The stretch of holes from the par five 13th to the par three 16th is played on the highest portion of the property and it precedes two of the toughest holes on the card. The long par four 17th is rated stroke index 1, playing downhill to a green sitting behind water and the 523-yard 18th is a brute of a closing hole with the fairway set next to the largest dam on the estate.
In this brief extract from the book South Africa’s Greatest Golf Destinations, co-author Stuart McLean writes:
“The wonders of modern golf course construction methods, and the versatility of the golf cart, made it possible to build this expansive estate layout on the rolling terrain of Hillcrest outside Durban. Cotwold Downs covers a vast area of land, many of its holes situated on two separate hilltops, and others in the surrounding valleys.”
Fantastic course to play. Very tricky but that was the idea behind the design. If people judge the course for what it is and not measure it against their skill this course will rank higher. This course is not for the faint of heart but there are courses out there way more difficult. No1 in KZN but this is just my opinion.