Player to Design New Course in South Africa

IFA Hotels and Resorts and partner Moreland Developments have selected Gary Player Design to craft an 18-hole signature course and Golf Academy at the new Zimbali Lakes Resort on South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal coast. The Zimbali Lakes project will be the second development at Zimbali Coastal Resort and will have its own facilities. The African-themed resort, located just north of Durban, will adhere to a "living in harmony with nature" philosophy by protecting the indigenous landscape and ecosystem.

According to James Wilson, President and CEO of IFA Hotels and Resorts, "During the golf course design selection process, it quickly became clear that Gary Player was the outstanding choice based on his exceptional multinational portfolio as well as his marketability in South Africa. Apart from the benefit to residents, guests and golfers on the estate, the new course provides another vehicle for corporate golf days, competitions and is another sign of MIFA's investment into the region on an economic level, providing a new platform for Tourism and job creation."

On August 8, Gary Player attended a contract-signing ceremony and media launch at the Zimbali Lakes Resort. While there he spoke of his fondness for KwaZulu-Natal and reminisced about visiting his grandfather's farm as a young man and fishing along the North Coast.

The new course at Zimbali Lakes will be Gary Player Designís first project on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. "This is an extremely important appointment for our company and I couldn't be more enthusiastic about designing a golf course in this part of my country and working with a world-class company like IFA."

In addition to the new golf course and golf academy, the Zimbali Lakes development is planned to provide an international five-star hotel, over 1,000 single-family villas and apartments, a tennis facility, a commercial section, and a residents-only beach facility.

A key feature of the development is the creation of a 30 hectare estuarine lake within the flood plain of the Tongaat River, which will also include the rehabilitation of the existing environmentally degraded state of the estuary.

The Gary Player Design staff will immediately begin working with the Zimbali Lakes team to layout the golf course and academy. Ground is expected to break by January 2006.