Yellow 6829 metres, CR74.9/134
White 6445 metres, CR72.8/131
Blue 6023 metres, CR70.4/129
Red 5287 metres, CR66.8/119
Women’s blue, CR77.8/137
Women’s red, CR73.3/126
Golf cart R350
Peter Matkovich 2003
014 734 7708
Zebula is one of the best golf resort experiences in Southern Africa. It’s a great getaway destination at any time of the year thanks to the pleasant Limpopo weather. Its multitude of facilities means that it caters for a wide diversity of visitors, from honeymoon couples to families to golfing groups. It is an ideal weekend escape.
Zebula was the first Waterberg golf resort/estate early in the new millennium and introduced the exciting concept of golf and wildlife in a malaria-free region close to Gauteng. Encountering herds of animals during a round is common, and the birdlife is bountiful. Although fairly deep in the Waterberg, a smooth tar road all the way from the town of Bela Bela to the main entrance of the resort makes it easily accessible.
Peter Matkovich’s spacious and attractive design enables golfers to enjoy the natural beauty and challenge of a uniquely African bushveld layout. The course is an interesting and varied modern design, mostly flat, shaped through the bushveld trees which add character to the landscape. Generously wide fairways and some broad greens benefit the average handicap golfer. The greens, with some challenging contours, are in good condition and provide slick putting surfaces. They have to be roped off at night to keep the animals from damaging them.
The main attraction for visitors is the variety of leisure activities within the 1600-hectare estate. You can view the animals (no predators) in every conceivable way, while playing golf, on horseback, riding a mountain bike, on walking trails with a ranger, and a quad bike.
Adults and kids have fun around the clubhouse, going on game drives, and enjoying educational interactions with wild raptors at the bird of prey rehabilitation centre. Quad bike and horse riding safaris are available for the more adventurous.
Zebula offers magnificent after-golf hospitality, either on the deck next to the massive practice putting green or on the upstairs terrace of the clubhouse.
Peter Matkovich has his usual risk-and-reward par 5 with a water hazard to finish the round on 18, and the back nine features another unusual par 5 at 15 with two separate fairways. Long hitters can venture down the left fairway to leave a shorter but riskier approach over rough bushveld to the green. The opening hole is a challenging par 4 with a sharp dogleg right around a stand of trees. The par-3 eighth is a beauty, surrounded on three sides by water.
Zebula Lodge is a Protea Hotel with a spa and adventure centre. It’s an excellent resort at which to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the bushveld, and popular as a conferencing and team-building venue. There are various accommodation options on the property, including lodges and suites close to the main resort building, rooms at the Waterberg Lodge in a quieter area, plus luxury homes to rent.
Zebula has an outstanding wide and long range next to the clubhouse, with a short-game area. There’s a 5-hole mashie course for beginners and kids. And there’s a large central putting green in front of the clubhouse. Zebula has two PGA teachers.
1/ There is an airstrip close to the main resort building for guests and home-owners who prefer to fly in.
2/ Veteran Sunshine Tour pro Darren Fichardt had a remarkable opening round in the 2015 Vodacom Origins Final at Zebula. Starting at the tenth he had six consecutive birdies from 12 to 17, and eagled the par-5 18th to turn in 28. He eagled the par-5 second, and holed out at the par-4 third for a 2, the third eagle of the round. That put him 12-under after 12. He had one more birdie, but two bogeys saw him sign for 61. He won the tournament on 14-under.
3/ Zebula offers Big 5 game drives in a neighbouring reserve. The resort’s cheetah run is a special event, in a bushveld stadium, using a lure.
4/ The practice green in front of the main building is reputed to be the largest in southern Africa. All 18 greens on the course are roped off in the evenings to prevent game running on to them.
5/ Golf manager Chris Clayton, a PGA of SA professional who has worked at Zebula for 12 years, has an albatross two to his name on the par-5 18th hole, and aces at 8 & 17.
2020 No championships
2019 Thinus Laas & Charmain Kinsella
61 by Darren Fichardt, 2015 Vodacom Origins Final
Course in good condition and some rain would make it very good. Greens are very good, bunkers need work. Overall a great experience in the bush.
The way I make the most of the Zebula experience is to stay overnight and savour the sights and sounds of the African bush at dusk and early morning. This is paradise. I rented a 4-bedroom house for the family close to the clubhouse. After golf I cooled off in a splash pool with cold beer in hand, and then lit a boma log fire. Up early to tee off again before the day visitors arrive, plus you see a greater variety of wildlife on the course.
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