Laid out within an old sugar plantation, the Mount Edgecombe estate and its two championship golf courses is situated a short drive north of Durban into the KwaZulu-Natal hills.
The number one course (now called The Woods) was fashioned in 1935, a decade after an elementary 9-hole affair had been established and professional golfer Sid Brews – winner of the South African Open eight times between 1925 and 1952 – is credited with the design.
Back then, Hullets Country Club managed the course but, following a clubhouse fire in 1988, Mount Edgecombe County Club emerged as the new owners of the property and Hugh Baiocchi was engaged to redesign an 18-hole layout to USGA standards.
The new course opened for play in 1992 with the number two course (now called The Lakes) following five years later.
Three holes are worthy of special mention as they constitute number one's “Amen Corner” between the 14th and 16th holes. The first one of these is a par five where water protects the green then it’s followed by a par three that requires a full carry across more water. Completing this trio of testing holes, the 16th is a tough two-shotter where the tee shot has to avoid a small dam en route to the green.
In December 2013, The Woods at Mount Edgecombe staged the second Nelson Mandela Championship. An emotional Dawie van der Walt admitted to feeling overwhelmed as he held his nerve down the closing stretch to win the foreshortened 54-hole event by two shots on the Saturday before Nelson Mandela’s funeral.