The idea of a Club in Richards Bay was first mooted in 1969 when the Alusaf Smelter gave R75 000 to develop a clubhouse as a means to develop jobs in the region. The Municipality gave the land, which is the Club’s current location on the banks of the Mzingazi River, which used to be an army base in World War 2.
The initial development included groundworks, a clubhouse, four tennis courts, a bowling green, a rugby field, a cricket pitch and a hockey field.
On 1st October 1970 the clubhouse was established and the Municipality continued to subsidise the maintenance of the sports fields throughout the 1970’s as they were the only sports facilities available to residents at that time.
In 1977, after the creation of the Pioneer Fund, expansion took place which included the original ladies bar, dining room, change rooms, verandah, swimming pool and the construction of the first nine holes of the golf course. Squash courts were constructed soon afterwards.
The next development was the construction of the manager’s house in 1981 as well as the upgrading of the kitchen in 1984 with contributions received from Alusaf, RBCT, RBM and the Municipally.
A profit was achieved for the first time at the end of 1986. The Club grew rapidly. The first qualified groundsman was appointed in April 1987 when the second nine holes of the golf course were opened.
By the early 1990’s the Country Club was battling to sustain itself on bar takings and sports membership fees and realized the need for a model that should sustain it in the long term. Research showed that developing a housing estate on the golf course would be the ideal model.
Due to the environmental impacts such a development would have on the natural beauty of the area and the resident wildlife, including hippos, a feasibility study was undertaken for a proposed golf course estate and in 2001 it was resolved to advertise to potential investors.
The Golf Estate received the green light in January 2006 and with eight development proposals to work though, it was the model proposed by iNdlouvu Development Trust that most appealed to the Council. On the 11th of March 2006 the R300-million Mzingazi Golf Estate was officially launched in conjunction with a sponsored golf day.
Importantly, layout of the development was amended to accommodate the hippo movement and grazing patterns on the golf course. In keeping with the stylish, modern residential estate, the golf course was given a facelift by Matkovich & Hayes, specialist golf course designers and 60% of the course is now under automated irrigation.
The Club house was also given a revamp to bring in line with the development architecture. Change rooms have been upgraded along with the bar and restaurant area.
This is one of the most idyllic areas in which to live in terms of great security, unique location and abundant wildlife. The Golf Estate has crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, birdlife, Impala and many smaller game.
Future development plans see a small boutique hotel alongside the existing clubhouse, to make better use of the Country Clubs facilities, thus increasing the sustainability of the Country Club.