ZIMBALI - KZN
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.