Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life Passings -

Zimbali is among the top three cour­ses in KZN, a lay­out which has im­proved in qual­ity, pre­sen­ta­tion and con­di­tion­ing in re­cent years. On the North Coast, im­me­di­ately south of Bal­lito, the es­tate is also one of the most de­sir­able res­i­den­tial ad­dresses in South Africa. It is home to the lux­ury Fair­mont Ho­tel, on the seafront, while the bou­tique Zimbali Lodge neigh­bours the golf club­house.

This is an un­du­lat­ing prop­erty, the es­tate be­ing built on rolling hills next to the In­dian Ocean, and while that gives you mag­nif­i­cent vis­tas, golf carts are used ex­clu­sively by golfers to get around in ease and com­fort. There are some size­able dis­tances from green to the next tee, and sev­eral hills to ne­go­ti­ate. The last seven holes, from the par-5 12th on­wards, ven­ture into the Zimbali Coastal For­est, a beau­ti­ful sec­tion of the es­tate, which you can ad­mire from the el­e­vated 13th tee, look­ing down into a val­ley.

The course, ranked No 22 in the last Golf Digest Top 100, is an ex­cel­lent chal­lenge, with a great mix of dif­fer­ent holes, but has sel­dom been used for tour­na­ment play. The most re­cent im­prove­ment to the lay­out has been the re­build­ing of the slop­ing 15th green. It is now much fairer in re­ceiv­ing ap­proach shots on this stroke one par 4. Mem­o­rable hole: The 18th is one of the best fin­ish­ing holes in South Africa, a long dog­leg left par-4 with bunkers guard­ing the left of the fair­way. The line you take de­pends on how far you can carry the tee shot to avoid the sand. Gen­eral man­ager: Gavin Woodroffe.

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