A 9 hole Course set in the Wildest Corner of South Africa
An Ideal Destination...
With its dramatic river frontage Kambaku golf course in Mpumalanga is the ideal golfing destination. To all those avid golfers and non-golfers alike, you must play Kambaku.
Elephant, buffalo and hippopotamus are often seen in the river during the course of play. If you are keen on “birdies” bring binoculars with your clubs. Birdlife is prolific and the resident, woodlands kingfisher, fish eagle, white fronted bee-eaters to mention a few, make bird watching a must. A few years back one of our resident impalas was taken by a leopard on the second green. This does not happen too often but adds to the uniqueness of this little-known golf course.
The Golf course “Kambaku” is named after the great tusker from the adjacent Kruger National Park. The word “Kambaku” translated from Shangaan means “Exceptionally Big Elephant Bull”. Kambaku was one of the magnificent seven great tuskers of the Kruger National Park. Kambaku was an imposing animal fully deserving of the title bestowed upon him. The length the curve and the weight of his ivory were impressive.
Left tusk 259,5cm weighing 63 kg his Right tusk 265,0cm weighting 64kg.
Kambaku had unique features. His tusks were almost identical, he had no “paint –brush” on the tip of his tail, had three horizontal creases or folds at the base of his trunk and a perfectly round hole in his left ear. These features made Kambaku recognisable from a distance. During the dry season Kambaku spent most of his time along the banks of the Crocodile River which today forms part of Kambaku golf course border.
Recognised as one of the Top 5 Nine-hole Golf Courses in South Africa...
Facilities, Services & Programs at Competitive Prices...
The property includes a Pro Shop, a refurbished Clubhouse and outdoor deck from which elephants and hippos can be viewed…
Not just a Golfing Experience, a Unique Tourist Destination...
KAMBAKU GOLF CLUB
A Community Project
The Komatipoort community is unique in all aspects. The foundation of this unique community lay in the fact that they are far from everything that lays west of them. For anything you want to do, you have to drive. Most recreation and sport events lay in the west.
Following the political changes in 1994 the Mozambique border opened to the East and the Komatipoort community could again enjoy the beautiful beaches and fishing in Mozambique once. Due to the many drives to participate in Sport in Malelane the golfing community of 34 members decided during a Founder’s meeting on the 17th February 1997 to build their own golf course.
This was an extraordinary brave decision. They had to obtain the ground and funds had to be raised to build the golf course. Not an easy task and the gossip among many profits of doom at the bolts and nuts division of the local Co-operative was that the idea was dead before born!
These profits of doom had no impact on this unique Komatipoort community. The community were determined and the process was started to acquire the land. Several options were considered. Eventually the ground between the confluence of the Crocodile and the Komatiriver was identified as the ideal place to build the Golf Course. This ground belonged to the Department of Public works and the municipality. Oom Phillip van Coller (Chairman of the Founder’s committee) instructed Attorney Piet van Dyk to obtain the land.
The opinion was that Komatipoort was situated so far East it did not attract much interest. With the necessary determination and passion from the committee, the Municipality and the Department of Public Works, permission around the use of the ground was obtained. To make this possible Oom Flippie and the Mayor of Komatipoort Margareth Shimbeni assisted enormously. In 1999 the Komatipoort Golf Club took ownership of 49 hectare of land which was consolidated in the farm Phillip and the land Title Deeds were obtained in 2002. Construction of the golf course had started in September 1998.
The construction of the course had it’s own challenges. They had no experience in the laying out of courses and with a fundraising project, money was generated to appoint an architect to plan and design the course.
Immediately the community dug their hands deep in their pockets and Oom Piet Maritz donated ref number 682 in Komatipoort and Piet Maritz (know by many as “Boet”) donated a hunting package on their farm Groot Draai as an auction prize which assisted to pay for the architect’s costs. The Van Dyk’s of Novasun also donated golf clubs as a prize. With this Auction R140 000 was raised and the architect could design and have the plans approved for the golf course to be laid out on the acquired land.
Once the layout was completed the next challenge was to raise the funds to finance the construction of the course. This was also during the time Leopard Creek was being completed and the contractor, Peet Bezuidenhout of Wonder Gardens quoted to build the course. With a R4,5 million quote it was quickly realised they could not finance the building of the course. Many plans were discussed, but no one showed any interest in a Golf Course development in Komatipoort. This resulting in the Komatipoort community making the decision to develop and build the golf course themselves.
On a very hot day in October 1998, Oom Piet van Coller and Douw van der Merwe (the course design by Van Dayson, de Villiers and Van der Merwe) and Prok Piet van Dyk the first hole was measured out. This hole is known today as the fourth hole, was measured and the other holes then followed. After the pegs were set out, the trees were marked that needed to be removed and the EIA report approved, Oom Phillip called Piet Prok and confirmed his earthmoving equipment would be on site the next day to start construction. There was no money to buy diesel and the committee had to make a plan. Once more the committee could just phone and ask for diesel from the local farming and business community and diesel was delivered in a diesel tank onto the site. In this way the de-forestation was done and moving of soil by Oom Flippie’s as well as Feddy Techlenburg’s earthmoving equipment. Oom Piet van Dyk also arrived one day with 5 tractors and graders to help with the earthworks and the building the dam wall on the Number 4 hole. As long as there was diesel in the tank, ground was being moved for the laying out of the new course.
Harry van Dyk offered great input with the layout and changes that were required and Oom van Dyk Kruger had to supervise all the construction works. As the open land starting taking shape it soon became evident that grass could not be planted without the installation of an irrigation system. The irrigation layout was designed and once again the costs were just too high and no funds were available. The committee was advised through the farming community that TSB promised that if they acquired the milling license for Komati Mill, they would support the community to develop a sports facility.
Immediately, the committee approached Dr Willem Bekker, the TSB Managing Director, and after several discussions a loan of R700 000 was awarded the Club. With this money the irrigation system was purchased. Immediately the pipes and pumps were delivered Chris Basson (known as Oupa Chris to all) provided labour every day for a period of two years to install the irrigation for the course. The last preparation of the open land was completed as each hole’s irrigation installation was done.
The sand was donated by Nico Engels to finish off all the holes. With the development of the greens, on the good advice of the construction team, all the greens were built in accordance with USGA specifications and standards.
The costs to build according to the standards was very high but despite this, the community once again contributed. As the community assisted in the layout of the holes on the course, so they contributed to building of the greens too. When the first three greens were established and playable, the community couldn’t wait to start playing and every Wednesday they had a three hole competition. Immediately the course was established and as the greens were ready they started playing.
Before they could wipe their eyes out nine holes were completed and officially could be played in 2006.
Naturally, almost immediately a clubhouse was needed.
On a beautiful summer day Louis du Preez arrived with his team of builders and built a thatch canopy. Shortly before the “old Bulbar” was changed into a kitchen under the canopy where food was prepared.
Oom Flippie van Coller built the bar and in weeks the clubhouse was a reality. Many big dreams were dreamed of and great sponsored golf days were held. In a short time the clubhouse and facilities became too small and not up to standard and ‘the dream of a big clubhouse was born’.
After several plans and submissions for Mandie Basson’s wedding, her dad, Chris Basson turned the first sod for the building of the clubhouse. With the help of his loan, the club with a large thatch roof and deck could be built. After this the club grew very quickly and the loan paid back. Further bank loans were obtained to complete the rest of the structure. The clubhouse and golf course may never be totally completed. As the community needs change and growth, so too will requirements.
There are big dreams that the future generations can realise, for the furthering of the development of both course and clubhouse facilities.