The small coastal town of Umkomaas is located immediately next to where the Umkomazi River empties into the Indian Ocean, less than an hour’s drive from Durban. Ukomaas Golf Club started out with a basic 9-hole track in 1913 but this was enlarged to an 18-hole layout thirteen years later. In 1932, Bob Grimsdell was called in for his design expertise and he fashioned the course that’s still in play today.
Our correspondent in South Africa, Stuart McLean had this to say about Umkomaas: “It has similarities with Royal Port Alfred in both terrain and a reluctance of committees over the years to change anything. It’s a rare course for South Africa where you leave the clubhouse and disappear over the hills and valleys for a relaxing few hours before returning. The 18th is on the ocean with a railway running alongside.”
The course extends to 5,848 metres, playing to a par of 72, on a property measuring no more than 105 acres. The opening two holes and closing four holes are laid out close to the coast, with the other dozen holes routed over hillier terrain further inland. Highlight holes include the long par four 3rd (rated stroke index 1), the right doglegging 10th, and the testing 18th which features the longest par four on the inward half.