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Selborne

Pennington, KwaZulu-Natal
Pennington, KwaZulu-Natal
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Local farmer Denis Barker acquired the Selborne estate in 1979 and within ten years, he and his son Gary had transformed a large portion of the property into an 18-hole parkland golf course, becoming the first of many South African landowners to do this in the last twenty years or so.

Situated an hour’s drive south of Durban city centre, the Selborne course is laid out within the 200-acre estate in two returning loops and most holes have water to contend with, either off the tee or around the green – in fact, only holes 1, 12 and 13 are without ponds or streams.

Fairways are relatively wide but don’t stray too far from the short cut grass as you may have trouble finding golf balls in either the foliage of the mature trees or in the thick bush lining most holes.

In this edited extract from the book South African Golf Courses: A Portrait of the Best author Stuart McLean writes: “It is the emphasis on quality that makes Selborne Country Club stand out. The entrance to the estate creates an immediate impression of opulence, with trim avenues leading to a modern clubhouse and double-storeyed lodge, which is an exclusive country guest house.

Featuring hand-hewn stone, the lodge resembles an English manor house. On entering, a glimpse of the 17th green with its modern contouring and superb putting surface, promises an exciting game of golf.

Played off the back tees, it is a strenuous test of golfing ability (with) a good mixture of long and short par-fours. The par-fives cannot be overwhelmed with power alone and the par-threes call for precise iron shots.”

The signature hole at Selborne is played early in the round at the downhill, 520-yard, par five 3rd. One of the tighter holes on the card, it doglegs gently right to left, with out of bounds down the left of the fairway and trees on the right. With a pond lurking short right of the putting surface, more water to the left and back of the green and a mahogany tree to the front, a par here will be a very satisfying score.

Selborne hosted the South African Women’s Open in 2012, when Germany’s Caroline Masson won the event by one shot from South African Lee-Anne Pace.

Local farmer Denis Barker acquired the Selborne estate in 1979 and within ten years, he and his son Gary had transformed a large portion of the property into an 18-hole parkland golf course, becoming the first of many South African landowners to do this in the last twenty years or so.

Situated an hour’s drive south of Durban city centre, the Selborne course is laid out within the 200-acre estate in two returning loops and most holes have water to contend with, either off the tee or around the green – in fact, only holes 1, 12 and 13 are without ponds or streams.

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