TOP SA COURSE TO CLOSE
One of Bob Grimsdell’s best designs set to close at end of year, as Cape Town golf clubs merge their assets.
King David Golf Club, home to one of South Africa’s top 100 courses, is to begin winding down at the end of the year. Golfers in Cape Town will be losing one of the most characterful and enjoyable courses in the region, an original Bob Grimsdell design, which was No 75 in Golf Digest’s 2014 course rankings.
If all goes according to plan - there remains two special general meetings in October - the members at King David are to merge with Mowbray Golf Club, forming a new club, likely to be known as King David Mowbray to preserve the heritage of both these clubs. Mowbray has the bigger membership, and a history stretching back more than a century, but have agreed to combine the names when the merger happens on January 1. There was the chance of King David disbanding altogether, with their 400plus members splitting o to various clubs throughout the Western Cape, but the opportunity to keep the King David name alive in local golf has solidi ed the merger.
King David owns the land adjoining Cape Town Airport on which their golf course was built in the 1950s, and it will be put to tender next year. The course is in an industrial area – out-of-bounds on the 13th hole is a bus depot – and has considerable value either as a property venture or commercial development.
On the sale of the land, King David will make a significant charitable donation in addition to an amount of R40 million that will be made available through a trust to the new King David Mowbray Golf Club for capital expenditure over the long term.The King David members are undertaking to hand over an asset that they rst donated to the club and then maintained for many years. Conservatively, the donation could be R200 million.
The future of King David has been in doubt for several years, because of its situation and the increasing costs of maintaining the course to a high standard. The club has had meetings with more than one club regarding a merger, and have found Mowbray a willing partner, as well as a convenient location.
“Our members are excited to be moving, and I know that Mowbray feel the same way about welcoming us,” said club manager Amanda Forknall, who will probably be relocating with them. “It’s a win-win for both clubs.”