Ballito, KZN North Coast - KwaZulu-Natal

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General manager: Derick Reinke
Sports manager : Brendan Erasmus
Greenkeeper: Robin Naicker
Club captain: Alvin Els
Chairman: Mike O’Donovan
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 66.7 out of 100
Conditioning12.1 / 20
Playability13.5 / 20
Aesthetics11.2 / 15
Design Variety10.8 / 15
Shot Values9.3 / 15
Memorability9.8 / 15

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 71

Yellow 5943 metres, CR72.3/141
White 5640 metres, CR70.6/137
Blue 5313 metres, CR68.7/130
Red 4862 metres, CR66.2/124
Women’s blue, CR74.9/137
Women’s red, CR71.9/130

Visitor green fee

R400 weekday;
R500 weekend

Course designer

Peter Matkovich 1980


032 947 1181

Previous ranking


Umhlali CC & Golf Estate is the most popular golf course in KwaZulu-Natal in terms of rounds played every year. This busy and enterprising North Coast sports club caters for more than a thousand members in a variety of leisure pursuits.

The Club Management Association of SA (CMASA) recently announced Umhlali as the 2019 Club of the Year. It achieved a remarkable score of 96.5% in seven different pillars.

The club has humble origins, having started life in 1961 with a rural 9-holer serving local farmers. Today it sits on the quiet inland side of the N2 highway adjoining the booming coastal town of Ballito, which boasts three residential golf estates.

Course designer Peter Matkovich was the greenkeeper at Umhlali in the early 1980s and rebuilt the 9-holer into an attractive modern layout during that decade. He has always lived in the Ballito area, and over the years has made numerous improvements to the course which has seen it grow in stature and popularity. It’s jam-packed in the December/January holidays.

The beauty of Umhlali lies in its magnificent trees framing the fairways, and rolling terrain which has helped create some outstanding golf holes. The back nine flows through a beautiful indigenous forest. It’s under 6 000 metres from the back tees, an easy walk, yet the sloping ground, smallish greens, and occasional water hazards make it both a fun and challenging test. It has a high Slope rating. The paspalum greens have an excellent reputation.

A major transformation of the club came in 2015 when the clubhouse was revamped and modernised, enhancing the entrance, reception area and pro shop. MammaG’s handle food and beverage.

Additional Course Facts

Course Record

64 by Wesley Worster in 2007 medal

Feature Holes

The par-3 fourth is one of the most exciting and challenging short holes in KZN, played from an elevated hillside tee to a green fronted by a large water hazard. It’s 181 metres from the back tee. The par 3s are all memorable, and the round ends with the 182m 18th, again from a high tee to a green in front of the clubhouse. Matkovich created a superb risk-and-reward 280m par 4 at 14 which brings water, trees and sand into play from the tee. The 489m tenth is a terrific par 5, from a high tee into a curving fairway, with water on the right.

Practice Facility

Excellent wide and spacious range next to the tenth tee, playing downhill, with a short-game area. Open to visitors. Putting greens at clubhouse.

Did You Know

1/ Umhlali is a busy country club, with 1400 members, also home to bowls (two greens), tennis (five courts) and squash (two).

2/ Caring for the environment is important at Umhlali. The club received the John Collier Award for good governance and environmental compliance in both 2016 and 2019, plus a special mention in 2017. It’s the only KZN club to have been honoured.

3/ Part of the course, mostly on the front nine, is devoted to estate living, with 302 homes.

4/ Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini won the SA Women’s Strokeplay title at Umhlali in 2012, and the club hosted the 2014 SA Boys Championship, with Tristen Strydom (strokeplay) and Paul Boshoff (matchplay) the champions.

5/ General manager Derick Reinke, a Class AAA PGA pro, was KZN PGA Pro of the Year in 2016 and 2018, plus PGA Manager of the Year in 2017.

Club Champions

2020 Thabiso Magwaza & Jemima Ullyett
2019 Kyle Kistensamy & Jemima Ullyett

Course and Facilities Rating
Conditioning Ratings
Overall Conditioning
Facility Ratings
Pace of Play
Practice Range
Halfway House
Pro Shop
Locker Room
19th Hole
Course Etiquette
Course Reviews
An aesthetically pleasing layout on which the average golfer has a good chance to play to his handicap. That said, the course must not be underestimated as off-line tee shots can lead to trouble, the fairways not being as wide as most modern layouts. The only negative is the housing development between the 17th green and 18th tee that spoils the natural flow of play.
Jaco Ackermann
21 December 2020
This is an interesting, fun and quirky course, with a strange hole to start, a sharp dogleg left par 4 requiring a lay-up with an iron off the tee. There are a few other unusual risk-reward holes. Umhlali, a friendly club, has beautiful tropical vegetation, decent greens and some challenging shots.
Ivan Palframan
20 February 2020
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