Part of a housing estate on Durban’s north coast, Zimbali is a Tom Weiskopf design that features a mix of dramatic landscapes and fairly harsh manufactured resort golf. Built for residents and cart traffic, there are long drives between some holes and severe elevation changes which along with the stifling heat and humidity can make golf an uncomfortable experience.
The design itself here is decent, although it’s not Loch Lomond in terms of visual appeal or the fairway bunkering, which is oddly underwhelming. Other problems include the lack of real quality in the short holes and the fact that, despite some good golf undulation, mostly the holes accept only an aerial approach. There are also several ponds, creeks and marsh areas that don’t really add any strategic interest, instead of complicating decision-making the hazards fail to tempt and actually help dictate where to hit. Hitting short and away from the pond on the 2nd, for instance, is always the best play, likewise away from the reeds on the 13th.
Zimbali isn’t a bad course, but it’s probably not worth a detour from Durban for seasoned golfers looking for something special. The sticky fairway and fringe grass here will also frustrate.