Golf Course Review… Bela Bela


Fact File

Address – Farm 534 KQ, D1000, Bela Bela, Limpopo, South Africa
Par- 72
Rating – 72 (club tees)
Length – 6445m (club tees)
Best Time to Play – January to May


The course was designed by Peter Matkovich and opened for play on 1 November 2003. The Zebula course created quite an impression in its first year and received South Africa’s Best New Course award from Golf Digest magazine in 2004.

The Course

Zebula is set in the open grassy plains of a game reserve, with game roaming freely on the estate. The course is relatively flat and inviting to play, with generous fairways and clusters of trees that act as hazards. Matkovich designed the course on the premise that it would be playable for all levels of golfers, together with offering a bushveld experience. So, playability and the natural bush are it’s main features and one can often be joined by the likes of zebra during a round, as I found (see pic). “As you step onto the first tee, you can see the beautiful surroundings and animals roaming freely”, says golf director Danie Geldenhuys. “You just know that you are in for a treat”. The course is usually in very good condition and the generous fairways mean that a good drive should set you up for a fairly straightforward approach to the green. I was impressed by both the condition of the fairways and the putting surfaces, which definitely distinguishes Zebula from your standard resort courses. That being said, the adjacent thick rough, just off the first cut, is deadly, and should you hit your ball in there, you’ll struggle to find it. The straight hitters will prosper at Zebula.

Signature Hole

The 8th is a par-three and plays 124 metres from the club tees. “Walking onto the 8th tee, you will be mesmerised by its beauty”, says Geldenhuys. There’s an elevated tee and water surrounding the green, with three bunkers well positioned on the right, back and front. “An accurate shot is the key”, says Geldenhuys, “and club selection is critical, with anything from a nine iron to a lob wedge, depending on the level of golfer. The middle of the green is your target and you’ll be happy to walk away with a safe par”.


Affiliated Visitor – R300
Non-Affiliated Visitor – R400
Cart Hire – R250
Club Hire – R200
No Caddies


Driving from Johannesburg, take the N1 highway to Pretoria. Follow the N1 signs towards Polokwane (Pietersburg). Take the R516 to Warmbaths turn-off and turn left towards Bela Bela (Warmbaths). At the T-junction, turn right, go over the bridge, and turn left at the first traffic light. Follow the road around a sharp right bend and at the next road turn left. At the circle, turn left and drive for approximately 35 kilometres. Turn right at the sign ‘Rooiberg’, with large Zebula sign on the corner.  Drive approximately four kilometres and turn right into Zebula. The drive from Johannesburg is approximately two hours.


Tel: +27 14 734 7708,

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