“All “carry” to the front of the green means anything short will roll back leaving a tough up and down – so take enough club and play for the centre of the green which is the percentage approach to playing this hole successfully.”
Named after the most famous sand hill at Burnham “Majuba” which is now used for the tees of the 17th and 3rd holes on today’s course. It derives its name from the battle of Majuba Hill near Volkrust, South Africa on 27th February 1881. It was the main and decisive battle of the first Boer War and the battle is considered one of the most humiliating defeats of British Arms in history. Some notable historians (not all) regard this defeat marked the beginning of the decline of The British Empire.
In 1891 it was twenty feet higher than today and had a steep conical shape. In 1891 the 6th hole although only 160 yards in length was played directly over the top in an east-west direction to a green approximately 30 yards the other side of the sand hill (in the area between todays 2nd green and 3rd tee). When the course was extended to 18 holes in 1897 this became the 14th hole with a run of short holes between there and the 18th into land to the east (to the left) of today’s 17th and 18th holes.
In the 1901 extension, although still played as the 14th hole, the tee and green moved. Rather than playing from an east-west direction it was now played in a north-south line again directly over the top of the hill. The green was situated in what is the grass walkway halfway between today’s 17th and 18th tees. In the 1910 extension the cluster of short holes between ‘Majuba’ and the 18th were abolished and the hole now became the 17th.
It was Colt’s approach to remove all the blind shots and it was in his 1913 report his proposal to build the 17th hole with a tee on the top of “Majuba” as we know it today. The first delay in work was the First World War. Following the war work started in earnest probably supervised by Alison who was now Colt’s partner. Many of the changes were implemented. However, the new 17th stoked a reaction from some of the members concerning the need to change “Majuba”. The new 17th was eventually built in 1926 following a further more detailed report in 1925 by Colt and Alison (although the old “Majuba” hole was not finally abolished until 1935).