Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Facebook Twitter Instagram Website URL Club Website Reply Address Phone Number


 
 Let's celebrate the moment

This week marks the release of the Golf Digest Top 100 results, and it is with immense pride that I write this article.
 
We have moved to 29th position! My heartfelt thanks go to the committee for their support—the "dream team" of 14 (which includes our Management Team, Martin Burger our various partners: Golf Data, Andrew Small and Peter Van Coller, to mention a few who have diligently executed a plan over the past three and a half years, steadfast in their belief in what we can achieve.

This milestone serves as a reminder that our destiny is not preordained by the stars. Rather, what unfolds next—our future—is shaped by our decisions, our choices, and our actions.

Shakespeare understood this truth four centuries ago, asserting in 'Julius Caesar' that: "we are the architects of our fate; our destiny lies not in the stars, but within ourselves."
 
De Zalze had been languishing between 30 and 40 in the rankings for the last 10 years, and its rise to No. 29 is the course’s highest position since it was No. 29 in 2014. This rise is certainly due to the various projects completed in recent years, which have helped raise not only the playability and conditioning standards but also the general aesthetics of our layout.  Since the 2021 Golf Digest Top 100 rankings, De Zalze’s overall mark has climbed from 71.4 to 74.8, which is a substantial improvement. An excellent comparison is, three years ago, De Zalze was four points and 17 places behind one of the Fancourt courses, Outeniqua. The latest rankings show De Zalze just one point and four places behind Outeniqua.



 
 The numbers speak for themselves

  • Playability of De Zalze has gone from a mark of 14.2 in 2021 to 15.3 (out of 20) this year.
  • Aesthetics up from 12.5 to 12.9 (out of 15).
  • Conditioning up from 13.7 to 14.7 (out of 20).
  • Memorability up from 9.5 to 10.2 (out of 15).
  • Those are the four criteria where the biggest gains have been made.
  • Design Variety and Shot Values have stayed the same.
  • In the Conditioning breakdown, our Greens improved from 7.16 out of 10 in 2023 to 7.4. They now rank No. 73 in SA, up from last year’s position of 86.
  • Bunkers are up from 2.03 to 2.12 out of 3 (No 19 in SA), Tees and Fairways from 2.8 to 2.88 out of 4 (Tees No. 41, Fairways No 34), and Presentation from 2.27 to 2.29 out of 3 (No. 32 in SA).
  • In terms of overall conditioning, De Zalze is No. 34 in SA and No. 10 in the Western Cape if we include the Garden Route. In the Cape Peninsula and Winelands area, De Zalze is No. 5 behind Arabella, Pearl Valley, Erinvale, and Hermanus.
These might all seem like incremental improvements, but there are historic ratings still in there, which all courses must maintain for three years. It helps going forward to have a steady number of raters evaluating throughout the best periods of the year. In the past year, De Zalze has moved past four Gauteng courses, Bryanston, Houghton, Kyalami, and Randpark Firethorn. De Zalze did benefit from the absence of Durban CC in this year’s rankings following their course renovation. If DCC had remained, then De Zalze would have been No 30. This provides a perspective of why we must remain agile and have a vision of what we should be. We will regroup as a team, analyse our position, and plan the next phases.



 
 In conclusion
 A comment on the course by one of the Top 100 senior raters

“On the course, so much detail is given literally to every plant, tree, bush, etc. Everything is so well manicured and maintained. The Golf Lodge project left of the first fairway looks magnificent, especially from the clubhouse. The areas left of the first fairway have been cleared out with a grass bank merging with the lodges. One could not fault any part of the course. Greens were spectacular. The only blemish if one could find fault, and by De Zalze’s own admission too, are the 2 ‘weak’ holes they have, 7 and 11. Nothing frames these holes, and they recognise changes that need to be made.”
 
I want to thank all our members for their support and trust in us during this journey of transition… Who can forget having to play 9 holes twice in a competition day?

Warm regards,
Roy Braxton
Chairman (very proud)
De Zalze Golf Club


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