Golf in Singapore took yet another hit. Raffles Country Club will be the second golf club after Jurong Country Club to make way for the KL-Singapore High Speed Railway (HSR). Just like Keppel Club, Marina Bay Golf Course and Orchid Country Club, the two westerly clubs will be wiped off the face of the Earth in the near future.
But fret not, golfers. You can always head up north to get your fix. Besides, the HSR can bring you from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in just 90 minutes, making day trips really plausible.
Calibre shortlists golf courses in and around the Malaysia capital that are worth checking out.
Glenmarie Golf & Country Club
This club has always been highly regarded in Malaysia, due to its excellent maintenance and world-class golf courses. The Valley Course, in particular, hosted the EurAsia Cup, a Ryder Cup-styled competition between top professionals from Europe and Asia. Both the Valley and the relatively easier Garden are designed by American golf architect, Max Wexler. The former is a challenging parkland golf course that goes around a giant lake. The Garden course features wider fairways; it is also a home to a plethora of flora and fauna. Matured trees line adorn the course, giving golfers a “resort” feel.
No. 3 Jalan Usahawan U1/8
40150 Shah Alam
Kinrara Golf Club
This golf club has come a really long way since we first visited it in 2008. Back then, the course was pock marked with numerous divots and the amenities as well as service were rather lacking. These days, the Ted Parslow and Roslee Muda designed course has improved so much that it was chosen to host a professional tournament, albeit one from the second-tier Asian Development Tour. Kinrara, just 20 minutes from Kuala Lumpur, is reputed as a sound training ground for aspiring golfers. Its 18th is lauded for various reasons. The risk-reward hole offers multiple methods to the hole. As you approach the green, you’ll get a panoramic view of the clubhouse that is perched on a hill.
Jalan Kinrara 6, Bandar Kinrara
47100 Puchong, Selangor
Palm Garden Golf Club
The Palm Garden Golf Club is about 20 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur, making it really convenient if you’re heading there from the city. The course underwent an extensive refurbishment in 2009 and it was opened to the public in 2012 to much aplomb. The architect, Ted Parslow, added landscaping elements and shaped the course to make it more memorable and engaging to the golfer. That same year, influential PAR Golf magazine awarded it Best New Golf Course. Typical of a Parslow-designed course, the 18th, with its peninsula green, requires plenty of skill and gumption.
IOI Resort City
Saujana Golf & Country Club
The Saujana Golf & Country Club has hosted the Malaysian Open, a co-sanctioned event between the Asian Tour and the European Tour, for many years. In other words, the club is well equipped for golf at the highest levels. And if you think you’re just as good as the professionals, then try your hand at the club’s famed Palm course. Water hazards, ravines, tight hilly fairways and tricky greens collectively make the Palm one of the most challenging courses in the region. Most recreational golfer will probably opt of the relatively friendlier Bunga Raya course, which has wider fairways and more forgiving greens.
Saujana Resort, Section U2, 40150
Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Kelab Golf Seri Selangor
Similar to the Saujana’s Palm course, the one at Kelab Golf Seri Selangor is also unapologetically difficult. Tight, tree-lined fairways with tricky dog legs as well as strategically placed hazards – you’ll need to strategise well in order to get a decent score. The Ross Watson-designed course has championship credentials, as it was a host for the Selangor Masters, a tournament on the Asian Tour. Past winners include Malaysia’s Ben Leong and Thailand’s evergreen Thaworn Wirantchant.
Persiaran Damansara Indah, Off Persiaran Tropicana
47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
TPC Kuala Lumpur
The par 5 13th tests your skill and focus with its narrow fairway and a two-tiered green that’s protected by water on the left and bunkers on the right.
This is the first club in Southeast Asia to join PGA Tour’s prestigious TPC (The Player’s Championship) network. The ‘TPC’ licensing not something that’s bestowed to just any club; it has to have impeccable service, world class facilities as well as championship golf courses that are maintained to the highest standards. Besides, the East and West courses have hosted the CIMB Classic, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and the Malaysian Open. When it comes to tournament pedigree and credentials, TPC KL is the best club in Malaysia by quite a distance.
10, Jalan 1/70D
Off Jalan Bukit Kiara
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Words: Ong Cheow Eng
Pictures: From the respective clubs