Published by : Stuart McLean - 21 January 2022

Such has been the huge amount of rain in Limpopo and Gauteng in recent weeks that Elements Private Reserve has seen a remarkable transformation of its water hole surrounding the eighth, ninth and 18th greens on this beautiful Waterberg bushveld golf estate.

View of the ninth and 18th greens from the elevated mountain ridge tee on 9.

Home owners, golfers and staff have been gazing in awe at the sight of all the water. The clubhouse sits high above the closing holes on a ridge, and the view has been enhanced as a result.

“It’s a rare sight,” said past golf chairman Norman Kok, a home owner since the course first opened in 2005. “I’ve only seen it this full twice before in the last 15 years. The water obviously makes the tee shot from the ninth mountain tee much more intimidating. The water hazard next to the par-5 seventh green is  also full to the brim.”

The closing holes are looking spectacular, as the images taken this week indicate. Water has been gushing into the hazard from streams as if a borehole had just been opened up. It is already more than a metre deep. That still leaves it a couple of metres below the level of the ninth green, and about a metre below the level of the 18th.

The dam filling up could not have been more timely, as Elements is due to co-host a Sunshine Tour event, the SDC Open, with neighbouring Waterberg estate Zebula, from March 24 to 27. It will be the first time the Sunshine Tour has been to Elements.

In all my visits to Elements in recent years the water hole has usually been bone dry. When I was last there in the middle of December there was some water lying on the base of the hazard, but you could still walk down into it and play a recovery shot if you missed either green.

The total rainfall measured at the clubhouse in December was 356 millimetres, and 115mm so far for January. More is forecast for early February. This easily exceeds the average summer rainfall received between October and April.

The water hole stretches some 300 metres from the lower back tees of the par-3 eighth to past the front of the adjoining par-5 18th green, and must be more than 50 metres wide in places, so filling it has always been an issue in a region of the country where water is usually scarce. The only way it can be filled is with abundant rain.

The Peter Matkovich design is ranked No 17 in SA Top 100 Courses.

Acquiring water in this dry area sometimes requires negotiations with farmers. In 2017 the Elements Body Corporate concluded arrangements with neighbouring properties to ensure they have enough water to irrigate the fairways in winter. 

Elements golf course water hole
Looking across the dam to the eighth green on the opposite bank.
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