Near Newcastle, Northern KZN - KwaZulu-Natal

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Estate manager: Hansie Janse van Vuuren
Greenkeeper: Deon Louw
Operations manager: Henry van der Linde

Course Summary

Four tees / Par 72

Yellow 6629 metres, CR74.2/134
White 6155 metres, CR71.2/130
Blue 5605 metres, CR68.5/124
Red 5254 metres, CR66.6/118
Women’s blue, CR75.1/143
Women’s red, CR72.7/138

Visitor Green Fee

R230 for 18, R160 for 9
Golf cart R260
Course closed Mondays

Course designer

Peter Matkovich 2009,
DDV Design 2013


079 529 2165 pro shop
087 310 4564 hotel

Vulintaba has nine holes open for play. A new second nine has been constructed and is expected to open in March/April 2024.

This isolated country estate in an amphitheatre of the Northern Drakensberg, originally a scenically magnificent 9-holer, has expanded to 18 holes. All 18 are expected to be open for play in December 2023.

The property was first launched under the name of Dunblane in 2009 with 9 holes by Peter Matkovich. It is in a sublime pristine setting of prairie grasslands with a mountain backdrop. These holes are varied and challenging, none more so than the uphill par-5 third to the highest point of the layout. That climb set golfers up for a thrilling downhill tee shot at the superb fourth.

It is the closest Berg resort to Gauteng (300 kilometres), and this is a hidden gem with an amazing wow factor. It is situated 20 kilometres from Newcastle along a lonely tar road. There’s a 69-room hotel on site, managed by ANEW.

The course was originally designed with the intention of becoming an 18-holer, but a change of ownership in 2012 saw that scenario scrapped, as well as a change of name to Vulintaba, meaning “Open the Mountains,” from the local Zulu language. The late Douw van der Merwe of DDV Design altered some of the holes and built a variety of alternate tees so that the 9-holer played entirely differently the second time around.  It re-opened in 2013.

Owners Ni-Da Transport, based in Newcastle, then decided in 2019 to add a second nine holes, and that has been designed by Dino de Abreu, who worked with Van der Merwe.

Additional Course Facts

Practice Facility

250-metre range adjoining the first hole; short-game facility at clubhouse.

Did You Know

1/ Golf is just one of several activities available for guests and home owners. There is fishing, and trails for mountain bikers and hikers, and 4×4 enthusiasts. Vulintaba hosts cycle events.

2/ Vulintaba is one of seven courses deep in the heart of the Drakensberg, stretching over a distance of 700 kilometres. They range from Drakensberg Gardens (18) in the south to Highland Gate (18) in the north. In between are Champagne Sports Resort (18), Cathedral Peak (9), Monks Cowl (9) and Amphitheatre (9).

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Course Reviews
Vulintaba has sadly gone backwards in conditioning since re-opening after lockdown. The greens are still good, but the fairways are average at best. It hasn't helped that Vulintaba has had more than 300mm of rain in recent weeks. The course just doesn't look that well tended, but then again resources are limited with so little golfing traffic to bring in revenue. It's a lonely course during the week, I was the only person playing on an overcast Friday. Notwithstanding all that it is still worth the 20-kilometre drive from Newcastle to play there if you are in the area. On a sunny day the setting could not be more splendid.
Stuart McLean
29 November 2020

An excellent "9-hole" layout that makes use of different tees, so that it feels as if you are playing two different nines.

Trevor King
08 March 2020
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