For the sake of completeness, sometimes the gilagolfer has to traipse to places where no sane golfers would venture, much less play on. We’ve gone to unbelievably bad golf courses like Frasers and the god-forsaken Mordor-like Selesa Hills. Why do we do this? Because we insist on giving the Gilagolf readers the best, most accurate, most unbiased view of golf courses in Asia. It’s been some time since we set foot on a course that rates AAC (Absolutely Astoundingly Crap), and frankly, I enjoy reviewing courses of this nature more, because it’s simply ASTOUNDING how a so-called golf course can sink to the level of crappiness so bad, that it’s like taking a bath in cow dung for a week and cleaning up later with dog poo. Yep. AAC is exactly that.
Next up is Bukit Jelutong Pitch and Putt course, or better known as the Par 3 course, or Beginner’s course, or mickey mouse course, or a course with no rules. It’s really a prophecy of things to come if nobody actually knows the dang name of the course…here it is:
Guthrie Golf Academy Pitch and Putt Course.
Wow, nice. Bet none of you knew that.
Traveling to Bukit Jelutong is quite easy. I used to think it was darn far, back in the days when going through a toll to get home from work was like seeing a pink elephant dance ballet in a tutu…i.e non existent. So when Jelutong came up from the palm oil plantation like an oasis in Sahara, most of us city jakuns were like, “WHAT, have to go through toll, one ah??”
Of course, time has changed and now even the names like Puchong or Kepong or Kota Kemuning or Sri Kembangan, or Setia Alam doesn’t strike fear into the traveler’s soul anymore.
Here’s the nice map to Guthrie Golf Academy Pitch and Putt Course.
Easiest way is to hit the NKVE and head towards Jelutong exit. You can’t miss it. From Damansara toll, stay left, go past the Subang turnoff and head straight, till you eventually come to a three fork road. Forget about the road signs, since in Malaysia, we all know the government hire a team of monkeys to put the signs up behind trees or at intersections when it is too late.
Here’s a nicer view:
Red is bad. Blue is Good. Don’t turn left to KLIA, but stay on the left lain. There is a smaller lane to Jelutong in the middle. Going right will lead you to Tanjung Rambutan, the insane asylum. Literally.
After Jelutong toll, stay left and turn left. You’ll see the course on the left. You might mistake it as a rich man’s garden. It probably was. There will be a turning to the left and voila, you’re there! Welcome to Malaysia’s pitch and putt!
We paid 30 bucks per person to play 18 holes. Yes, I know, it’s illegal, because that’s for 9 holes. It’s RM40 for 18 actually, but this is one of the very few courses in the world where you can actually bargain your green fee.
Me: 18 holes please.
Guy at Counter (GAC): 40rm
Me: WHAT? That’s expensive!!
GAC: Sorry la bro…that’s the price.
Me: How many people actually play on your course?
GAC: Not many, usually they bring their children to play only (seriously, they do.)
Me: So how to charge me RM40 when nobody even playing? Why not charge me 30 instead of 0, if I decide to not play?
GAC: Yeah, man….correct. OK la, 30.
At this point I bring my fellow flight mates hiding away and all get RM30. Nice.
You can have lots of permutation of such bargaining scenario. In fact, you can take this exercise and apply it across the board to Malaysia’s public service, specifically to our incorruptible police force when they catch you for traffic offences.
OK, to be honest, I wasn’t really playing at the course. I was caddying for my wife, who is just starting to play this game with her 3 other friends. I thought I can score some brownie points by being a Steve Williams for her. And this Jelutong course is the only course where nobody cares what you do. You can tee off with your underwear and they will still allow you to do it.
So, first tee box, like a good caddy, I walked into the fairway. Squish. Squish. Squish. My FootJoys were water proof apparently but the mud was so deep that immediately my feet were wet and dirty. Note to people playing this course: Please wear Pua Chu Kang boots, not shoes!!
First tee off hits a tree to my right and drops. It’s ok right? No. We went in there with our search lights and the grass was so thick and the ground so damp, the ball was gone. At this point, I realized that this course wasn’t actually just a golf course. It was a candidate for the coveted AAC category. YES!
I’m going to give it a 2 here. Simply because of the inconsistency in how they deal with their prices, and the fact that there is absolutely NO course maintenance whatsoever. It’s simply a course left to die. Plus, we found a loose 7 iron in one of the greens and tried to return it to the clubhouse. I went to the guy behind the counter and he says, go to the pro shop and drop it there. So I went. Pro Shop guy says, look, lost and found at the other counter. Yeah, but that guy just told us to come here. No, insists Mr Pro Shop, drop it there.
Dang it! So I walk all the way back there and voila, the counter guy has gone to god knows where.
What the heck??!
So, I ended up keeping the lousy loose iron and now it’s in my room in case I need to bash a robber’s head.
By the way, one of the guys in our group—funny fellow, was wondering where the buggies were. Beginners: bring your trolleys or carry bags…we’re going to be walking for the next 2 hours, or 3 hours depending on skill, or in some cases, 5 minutes, after giving up on the first hole.
Aha, here’s where the rubber meets the road. A negative rating is only reserved for courses that resembles the rear end of a llama. What can I say? Second hole, one of the players six iron landed in the fairway…missing. This is simply due to the fact that there is no fairway. It’s like playing in mud. The ground is like quicksand. And check out this 9th hole fairway.
Yes, the entire fairway is Ground Under Repair, even the tee box.
OK, so what?
We teed off about 5 meters away from the green, with a wedge. One of them teed off with a putter. Yes. That’s nice. Why don’t we just get the heck out of here and eat some nasi lemak?
Let’s have a look at this hole again.
Holy Mackerel. This is supposedly a ‘golf course’. AY CARAMBA!
OK, to be fair, the greens were bad. But not atrocious. As in, I sometimes experience these kind of greens on courses like Bukit Unggul, The Nameless Course in Seremban, Tuanku Jaafar. But these courses are just an inch away from being AAC themselves, so these are really lousy role models to choose from. But of course, for this Jelutong course, it is left for Mother Nature to reclaim back the land, so to have a green by itself is already a miracle. The grass is long, obviously but at least there’s a difference from the fairway. Plus, a few of the beginners actually rolled in 10-15 footers, complete with fist pumps. Can’t beat the fist pumps, so we’re giving the greens a 1.
Back to crap land. The rough is…stupid. There’s a difference between being purposely challenging and being too darn lazy to upkeep the course. This is the latter. I mean, here’s a picture of the rough.
How the blue heavens are we supposed to hit from that? OK, you say that’s OB. Fair enough. But it’s like smack in the middle of the fairway! OK, fine, what about hitting balls right into the rough and not being able to find it? What about the rough being so wet and damp, you sink to your calves the moment you step in. Or what about the fact that the sand is so hard, that you require an axe to get your ball out of it??
We finally implemented the rare rule of If-It’s-in-the-rough-it’s-automatically-on-the-green. I.e if your ball lands in the rough, due to the dangers of cobras and pythons and lochness monsters, your ball magically is on the green.
Very few people uses this rule, but it’s in the USGA book. Go check it.
Aesthetics? Nothing there for you. The 13th and 14th hole (I think) offers the only holes with water. The 13th is a 130 meter carry over water to a green, or if beginner chooses, to use the ‘fairway’ to the right of the water. The 14th is a nicer looking hole with a straight carry to a large green.
I think these were the only saving grace for the whole course. If you are looking to play this course, just run all the way to these two holes and continuously hit about 20 balls. You’ll get more satisfaction than playing the whole course, because frankly, all the holes are almost alike. Boring, flat…lousy fairways, lousy roughs, lousy greens.
In fact, the most interesting I saw was a carcass of a dead cat fish. I.e seriously, it was perhaps the first discovery that may prove evolution exists. This fish decided that the course was just too crappy to take, and the pond was full of poison, thanks to millions of balls deposited into it everyday, that he just decided to get out of the water and go away.
Obviously, the fish wasn’t evolved yet, so it got about 50 meters from the pond and just kind of died. But seriously, have you ever seen a fish trying to get away from the pond before and die trying? What kind of course is this? It’s so bad that all living things are escaping it.
Here’s an extreme close up to the fish that wanted to evolve quicker than he should have.Poor Sucker.
Fun Factor (0/5)
Not fun at all. You’d think you can’t lose balls in a par 3 course, think again. Because the rough and fairway are swamplands, anywhere other than the green, your ball is 50/50 gone. Seriously. I am NOT exaggerating. The drainage is so poor, the grass is so long, there is absolutely no way to find the ball!
And ok, to serious golfers, everytime I give you a pitching wedge in hand, can you absolutely hit the green each time? No right? I mean, if you’re shooting in the 90s, sometimes, you might fly the green, you might pull it, you might push it, you might duff it…what the heck…so imagine beginners, their balls flying 10 feet forward, skirting the ground, or whacking it 20 meters past the greens etc….and one caddy looking for all these balls.
Dang! It’s exhausting!!
They all finally gave up after the 14th hole.
OK…from 15th to 18th, it’s a straight stretch. What you can do to make it more fun, is to tee off with a driver, or a wood, and play 15th to 17th as a par 4. And 18th as a par 3. That’s exactly what I did with one guy from the group (the other 3 having given up).
Was it fun? No. It was an absolutely waste of time and balls, since I lost two balls on the lalang infested fairways. Curse you, Guthrie Jelutong course or whatever you are called!!!
OK. I realize that since this is a beginner’s course, we can’t really escape the fact that in our lives, we’ll need to go through this course. But it can only break your golf spirit or make it more resolute to improve so that you will NEVER have to humiliate yourself by going into this course ever again in your life….except with your wife or kids.
The bad thing is that it could be so much better…as a par 3 course, to be really well maintained and fun to play for the family. As it is, due to zero maintenance and just a don’t care attitude from the management, this Guthrie Course has likely descended into the realms of the AAC category.
The good: Travel time; the lawlessness means you can play with your pants down; reasonable pricing where you can press down like Petaling Street.
The bad: Boy. Everything on the course basically. Look, if a fish is willing to sacrifice to get himself out of the pond to escape this course, why are we even paying to play there? Get OUT of this Guthrie course immediately!!!!
The skinny: 8 of 40 divots (20%). Wow, this course just managed to escape the AAC status. Probably due to the travel time, that saved its neck. But seriously, if you’re looking to play this course, try to search for alternative activities, like growing germaniums or putting your head into an aquarium full of piranhas. You will have more fun in doing those.
Guthrie Golf Academy Information
Guthrie Golf Academy
No 2A, Pesiaran B, Seksyen U8,
40150 Shah Alam
Contact no: +603-7846 3505