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.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Front Page -

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.”

PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY BARRY HAVENGA

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