Umdoni Park Golf Club
SAGA rating: 69
Golf Digest ranking: 86
Umdoni Park is situated in the coastal town of Pennington about an hour’s drive south of Durban. Being nearly 100 years old, Umdoni is steeped in history and tradition. General Louis Botha had a house built for him here and Botha house still stands on the property to this day and is rented out to holidaymakers. There are also walking trails throughout the golf course that make for an interesting family day out to go along with the golf.
Umdoni Park is a tale of two nines. The front nine has the ocean and the clubhouse as a backdrop to most of the holes, and the back nine has you meandering through tropical bush and vegetation. The Course doesn’t play long but it makes up for it’s relative shortness by making clever use of elevation and slopes to still provide an interesting challenge. I would recommend a cart at Umdoni as the changes in elevation provide quite a steep walk with a golf bag or push cart in tow.
My favorite holes:
The 1st is an uphill par 5 with the fairway sloping towards a big tree in the fairway as you hit off the tee. As you get over tree towards the green you look back and are greeted with the view above. The 1st isn’t a long hole at only 402M and big hitters will fancy their chances of a birdie here more often that not. The view from the 1st green is a beautiful way to start your round and is definitely my number 1 hole on the course!
The 16th is a hugely elevated par 3 that reads 185M off the card but has at least 20-30M of elevation.The lovely view with the ocean in the background makes this the highlight of the back nine for me. A large green and some large bunkers either side of the green makes getting par here a more than adequate score!
Umdoni Park won’t be the most neatly manicured course you have played but it provides one of the more fun days out on a golf course. The layout is quirky and does just enough to keep you interested on every hole. Some of the views are truly spectacular and even though it lacks in certain areas, it makes up for it in others. Umdoni Park should definitely be on your list of courses to play when you are in the area!