After the longest layoff from my trusted (and inaccurate) irons, I decided to come out of retirement and play a round of 36 with a couple of Gilagolf pen pals from Korea. These guys cold called me on the gilagolf.net website (which brings our foreign readership to an amazing total of three), and we’ve been arranging a time where I can free up my entire day to play two rounds of golf.
I learnt a few things from this: One, Koreans are good. I mean what do you expect from a country that churned out a guy like KJ and a girl like Grace Park? One of them, I nickname, Optimus Prime. Because he was like a robot. He was like the mechanized swing arms we see companies use to test their clubs…every single shot was a precise centre hit. Bam bam bam.
So we played the morning at Impiana…and I must say, the green completely sucked. Since Saujana left, the golf course has lost a bit of its luster. For the price paid, I don’t think it’s worth it.
Anyways, we’re talking about Kajang Hill, so on with it!
Travel (3 /5)
Travel is actually very straightforward. Here’s the official map from their website.
I don’t know why people insist on complicating matters so much. From now on, please, just go to maps.google.com and type in Kajang Hill and you’ll find the directions. There is NO WAY ON EARTH that golfers will ever get lost ever again, unless you are completely blind, or cannot read maps, or illiterate, or you are riding on a blind, deaf and lame donkey to the course…to which our suggestion to you would be to please find a proper job and at least get a bicycle for transportation.
Travel is pretty easy, because of its close proximity to Bangi, and the other clubs around the area.
Price ( 1/5)
Ok, here’s our first beef. Kajang Hill used to be really accessible to cheapo hackers like us. I believe we just paid like RM70 or something and we’ll be happily hacking away at Mother Nature to our own satisfaction. Right now, Kajang Hill charges: RM520 for a flight. That is RM130 per person, on a week day. It includes dinner, which is I think six course, but wait, before you get excited about it, the six course apparently includes the small plate of cut chili in soya sauce. You know, the stuff they give you when you order fried rice to be poured into your rice. That’s right. Kajang Hill considers that a dish. Now thanks to Kajang Hill, a whole generation of Koreans and Japanese will think Malaysia is a land of losers who considers cut chilies in soya sauce a main dish.
So, RM130, and what changed? Golf Course managers out there, the quickest way to make a buck and to charge higher, is to put all signs into Japanese, and change your meters to yardage. All of sudden, you are a premier course.
Sorry, Kajang Hill, you are NOT a premier course, and pricing strategy like this sucks. As a point, I didn’t pay for my game, but all the same, if I were to have paid for it, I’d think it’s a very pricey for a course of this nature.
Having played this course a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I had very little recollection. However, I did have a picture of myself a long time back hitting this shot:
And I always wondered where on earth was this place at. Now I know….Kajang Hill, during a time before the Japanese and Korean signs came up, and it was just another hacker course for us.
Service ( 3/5)
For what they lacked in common sense in pricing, Kajang Hill made up for it with reasonable service. The registration and checkin were painless and quick, and the shower facilities were top notch. The food (aside from the idiocy of putting cut chilies as a dish), was served quickly without any fuss. I think in many parts, while the golf course essentially remained mediocre, Kajang Hill has somewhat successfully glazed over their cutthroat pricing with efficient service, and as the old Japanese saying goes, “Every sin is coverable by cleanliness.”. Actually I made that up, but admit it, you think it sounds pretty cool, right?
Fairways ( 2/5)
OK, course review time! The reason why I am less satisfied with the whole experience was that the fairways didn’t really stand out as exceptionally. The idea of pricing it so high, means that, after all the good service, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the course. The mediocre fairways suffered greatly by allowing buggies on the course, and of course, in the hands of race experts like us, wheel ruts will abound a-plenty. In some areas, bald patches also appeared. It’s not to say it’s bad, but every imperfection is compounded by the fact that it costs us so much to play there….I mean, if I think I paid for a holiday in the Bahamas, will I be contented if they threw me into Pulau Redang for the same price, even if Pulau Redang is a pleasant enough stay?
We played Impian in the morning and had a bad experience with sandy greens. Back to Kajang Hill, the greens were good. While not as pristine as Saujana or other top courses, the roll was predicatable enough for us to sink some impressive bombs, and the speed consistent enough through the holes.
Rough ( 2/5)
Bunkers, rough were reasonably maintained, if not bunkers are slightly packed, so go ahead and get a little more dig into the sand to get the ball out. The rough wasn’t too challenging, while the ball would wander occasionally off the fairways, the rough allowed it to sit up for you to semi-tee the shot. The problem in Kajang Hill wasn’t so much of the rough, but more of the ominous trees surrounding the entire course.
I’m not a huge fan of forest courses. This might obviously be a little subjective, while I am sure some gilagolfers prefer forests and jungles as opposed to broad, generous fairways the same way as some people prefer to undergo unnecessary pain through middle ages torture, I’m just going to go with the majority: We do not like the feeling when our balls disappear into the forest. And if you bring a crock game into the course, like I did, you better get used to that feeling.
We played the back nine first, where I promptly opened with a double bogey in a relatively straightforward hole. The par 5 13th can bring even the most intrepid golfer sporting a crock swing to his knees, as it requires an extremely accurate tee shot, with any wandering balls rolling into the forest on the left, or disappearing into the trees on the right. Plus, you accurate shot must clear the ravine fronting the tee box. Intimidating is probably the second word that comes. The first word is censored, since this is a family-friendly golf blog. After that god forsaken opening shot, you still need to navigate through a narrow strip of land that twists as if you are running a scope through your colon, and finally opens to a grand view of water and elevated tee, two combinations that do not bode well for hackers.
The painful 15th was where I really blew up, spinning my first shot into OB and from there, it was just a matter of recovery. With trees lining either side of the fairway, it was a Return to Beruntung, except this was a more expensive lesson to learn. The 18th shares a parallel fairway with the 9th, and this is where Kajang Hill picks up points on beauty. It’s a nice ending, actually, and the peanut shaped shared green, with contours is definitely worth the hacking and chopping of several species of fauna into extinction.
Rolling into the front nine, the course opens with a languid par 5 that snakes on a turn to an elevated green, where by some miraculous sheninigans, having topped the ball just past the ladies tee, I proceeded to bogey the hole. The par 4 second is a lot more unforgiving, with bunkers covering the left side that requires a slightly precise hit to the fairway on the right. The first par 3 is an intimidating one, as forests surround an isolated green, where any retarded iron shot that pulls or pushes will be in monitor lizard territory.
The par 5 5th is interesting as it requires a clearance of a ravine, into an elevated fairway, with no visibility of the green. With so many trees surrounding me, it was as if I have magically been transported into Jumanji.
And of course, coming back to the 9th hole, I was finally able to place where the picture of me hitting out of the water was taken. Having solved the mystery, now it’s back to solving how to hit the bloody ball with any precision at all.
Fun Factor (3/5)
How fun was this? I think it was a reasonable game, seeing how deep my rut was. I kept hooking the darn ball, and toeing it, and unable to resolve the issue, it was just a complete grind for me. My partners fared a lot better, although towards the end, we were basically resembling the zombies in Resident Evil, having gone through 36 holes for the day. Or perhaps I speak for myself, since my fitness level is probably slightly higher than a 120 year old panda who is half lame and completely blind.
I did have a bit of fun watching my other partners play well, especially the Korean Optimus Prime, because he was just cracking shot after shot after shot. He parred four of the last five holes enroute to an impressive 83. Well done, SJ!
Kajang Hill, as a course is probably in the same standards as Impian or Bangi, with a few wow factor, but generally a functional enough course. The down side is of course the pricing, and simply the lack of amazing aesthetics, except for the ending holes of each nine. It plays very foresty, like Air Keroh, and perhaps that puts it in a disadvantage to hackers who enjoy a little bit of levity from the fairways.
The good: Aesthetically, a typical forest course; very nice ending holes for each nine; travel is reasonable, as well as service; and greens are generally acceptable.
The bad: Pricing is a little bit skewed to the experience of the shower rooms, as opposed to the actual course itself; fairways not up to par due to liberal use of buggies on fairway; rough is not so challenging; sadistic nature of some holes will cause recurring nightmares for hackers with a crock hook like yours truly.
The skinny: 20 of 40 divots (50%). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Kajang Hill is a bad course by any means. If you are willing to pay more than what it’s worth, and work with yards instead of meters, and think yourself as a precision surgeon who can navigate through a colon, and likewise navigate through the forests, then Kajang Hills is for you. Otherwise, it might be a course to give a miss on.
Kajang Hill Scorecard
Kajang Hill Information
Kajang Hill Golf Club
Lot 1917, Off Km 29, Jalan Semenyih,
43500 Semenyih, Selangor D.E Malaysia.
Contact: +603-8723 7777 / 3801
Fax: +603-8723 7337