Since the mid-1990's, when the Beachwood course was acquired, Durban Country Club members have been in the fortunate position of being able to play on two great championship courses. The Gary Player Design Group and Top Turf remodeled Beachwood, substantially altering the 4th and 14th fairways, as well as installing 78 new bunkers throughout the course.
Originally designed around a mangrove swamp by Percy Gilbert Stiebel in the late 1920s, Beachwood lies to the north of Durban, some five kilometres from the Country Club, near Virginia airport. Apart from the par three 2nd hole, all fairways run parallel to each other along the Indian Ocean coastline. The first ten holes up to the half way house are tight, with trees and bush defining many of the fairways. The course then opens up and the remainder of the back nine is more forgiving.
The signature hole is the 444-yard, par four 6th which is also stroke index 1 on the scorecard. The tee is some fifty feet above the level of the fairway and from here the golfer must negotiate a tight, doglegged fairway, a stream, bushes, water hazard and greenside bunkers on the way to holing out for an intended par score- good luck!
In this brief edited extract from the book he co-authored with Jamie Thom entitled South Africa’s Greatest Golf Destinations, Stuart McLean writes:
“Beachwood is nowadays Durban Country Club’s second golf course, the two clubs having amalgamated due to common interests in 1994. Durban CC had for many years been interested in acquiring another 18 holes, and Beachwood could not have been a better fit. It was close by, and the two courses are similar in several respects, built on low-lying sandy dunes.
A stylish new clubhouse was constructed, and Gary Player was called in to upgrade the Beachwood course, which, while attractive in its sandy setting, had deteriorated in quality. Some will jhave mourned the loss of the old course’s ruggedly natural beauty but the redesign modernised the layout, bringing it up to the level of Durban CC itself.”
This course is turning a corner. A new extension onto the clubhouse, better maintenance and great management are making quite the difference to the image of the club.
It's a tricky, tight course which is often windy. Well worth a play but don't always use the driver the bush takes no prisoners.
Greens, tees and bunkers are all close to making this a vastly improved course.
Staff are amazing
This course is tight and will test your skill off the tee. This course has been through the ringer lately being neglected by DCC. Now under new ownership it seems to be well on it's way to it's former glory. I will update my review when it improves.