Kloof Country Club

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The Kloof Country Club is a private club located on one side of Kloof, a leafy suburb of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

It has an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, squash courts, a cricket oval, swimming pool and conference facilities.

History[edit]

The idea originated by Tom Field, who owned the land on which the course would be built. More than 50 enthusiastic golfers formed the Kloof and District Golf Club in 1926 and entered into a lease agreement with Field. This involved the club paying a modest rental to the owner of the 50 acres (200,000 m2), on which he had ploughed out 9 holes, and he retained the right to graze his cattle on the course. Field's Hotel served as the meeting place, watering hole and function venue of the club in the early years, and the club's membership swelled to 223 by early 1928. (134 of these members were Country members - those that lived beyond a 10-mile (16 km) radius of the course.)

In 1929, the famous Stafford Vere Hotchkin was contracted to prepare a proposal to extend the course to 18 holes. Hotchkin, a retired colonel, had teamed up with Major Hutchinson and Sir Guy Campbell to form one of the great triumvirates of golf course architecture five years before, and their work is still held in the highest regard today. Their best-known creation is probably Woodhall Spa, home of the English Golf Union and a course that is consistently ranked in the top 10 in England and in the top 50 in the world. Hotchkin, during his visits to South Africa, also left his mark on such courses as East London, Humewood and Mowbray.

During 1940, the club was told by the National Roads Board that a new road was proposed that would run through the course, lopping off at least three of the holes. The proposed plan for the road was shelved during the War years, but soon after the hostilities had ended, the construction of the road went ahead despite vehement protests from the club. The problem of losing holes was solved by more of Mr. Field's land being made available, and indeed it was soon after the "road issue" that Kloof Country Club came into being, with tennis courts, a cricket oval and squash courts. A redesign of the course was needed, and this task was entrusted to Bob Grimsdell, which he completed in 1951. We are unsure of how much of Hotchkin's work was left unchanged, but it must be assumed that Grimsdell didn't rework the holes that formed part of the original layout. Since then, Peter Matkovich was commissioned to make further improvements where necessary, which included the reconstruction of the greens and their surrounds, planting them with bent grass. This was completed in 1995. Kloof and Champagne Sports Resort are in fact the only courses in KwaZulu-Natal to have bent greens, (soon to be joined by Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest).

Part of Matkovich's brief was to create space for a driving range.

External links[edit]