Tom Weiskopf has designed more than 40 courses worldwide since he stopped playing competitively, which is not a prodigious number compared to other top-end golf course architects. However, Tom is in the business of providing quality, not quantity and Zimbali (which he designed in 1998) is certainly a top-drawer golf development.
Constructed as an integral part of a residential development belonging to IFA Hotels and Resorts, Zimbali’s 18 holes are laid out within a coastal forest reserve on the north coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the course is routed through wetlands and woodland with substantial changes in elevation throughout.
Zimbali (meaning “place of flowers”) has certainly matured over the years and its playability has improved with the widening of landing areas and improved definition from some tee positions. The only downside here is that walking is not permitted on the course as the use of golf carts is compulsory.
This is one of my favourite golf courses on the east coast. Zimbali means "valley of flowers" in Zulu and is truly a beautiful setting offering some stunning views of the ocean and surrounding hills.
The resort nature of the course means that fairways tend to be a bit wider but conditions were fantastic and the golf course still provides a great challenge. So many tee boxes are elevated allowing for stunning tee shots.
My favourite hole is the 5th, a downhill long Par-3 which offers a beautiful view of the ocean.
I really liked the layout of the course. Unfortunately the greens were still suffering from spring renovation works and were extremely slow and uneven.
I would have given higher rating if they had been in better condition.