Selesa Hills Golf Resort


After undergoing the debacle in Frasers and Berjaya Hills, it was not without some nervousness we approach our second last Highland Hope: Selesa Hills. Of course, I’m not sure if we’re ever going to try Awana ( I hope we shall), but Frasers and Berjaya are in the trash can now. I thought Selesa, being priced more expensive than Berjaya would offer something slightly better.

So dragging my normal group, we headed off early into the morning to Selesa, praying that it would be a better experience that the other Highland Trash Courses we’ve tried.

Travel (2/5)

Here’s the first news: It’s easier to access than Berjaya! All we need to do is to take the highway heading to Genting (from Kepong), past Batu Caves, past the Genting Tunnel. Eventually on the left, as you head towards Bukit Tinggi, you’ll see a group of hillside homes stacked together. That’s Selesa Hills. Selesa means Comfort in Malay. It’s a promising start.

Just slow down for a left turning and once you turn into Selesa, go straight past the homes entrance and 50 meters on, you’ll see a broken down sign to the right that states Selesa Golf. So much for a promising start.


Price (1/5)

It’s RM60 for a Saturday Morning. That’s with AGN, so that’s pretty steep already, especially if you see the course that we end up at. Plus, it’s only for two turfmates. For four people. What the heck does the other two do? Apparently there was a mix up but I’m going to blast this during the review of their services. Price wise, I rather top up additional 30 RM and play somewhere in Monterez or Kinrara, that would be a lot nearer and probably a lot more worth it.

First thoughts

When I stepped out of the car, I just went like, “Oh, crap.”

You can tell a lot about the course just from the club house. The club house is like a dress. Now a classy girl always knows how to dress right. She might not be beautiful, but with a good dress sense, she can be pretty. The pretty can be bewitching. A clubhouse, a locker room, everything are not integral to the course, but it plays a part. So its that first impression, and as they say, the first impression counts, because that’s where you set your prejudices, your biasness.

Looking at the course we are biased for: Palm, Datai, Trops: they all had great club houses and facilities.

Selesa? Let’s just say, it makes Tuanku Jaafar looks like a palace.

It’s a little more than a hut, most likely built during the Paleolithic era, with its primitive use of wood and dried cow shit to be stuffed in between the cracks. Behind the counter, a Neanthedral huffs at us for money while weighing his club in the palms of his hand. Welcome back to the past.

We looked at each other and shook our heads. Even before the tee off, the fate of Selesa has been sealed. We just have to see how bad it actually is.

Service (-1/5)

Congratulations Selesa for being the second course that rates a -1 in service, aside from Tuanku Jaafar. Now why? We’ll tell you why.

I go up to the counter and say hey, we paid RM60 and expect each a turfmate. I don’t know if this is an AGN issue or Selesa issue. They say Turfmate twin sharing.

Have you seen a turfmate before?

How in heavens name are we supposed to twin share?!?

Then the locker room. It’s about as bad as Tuanku Jaafar, but much smaller, smellier and dirtier. It seems like I’m back at my school toilet, where we create stink bombs. The lockers also don’t work so we ended up taking all our bags into the shower room, that resembles somewhat the prison shower rooms, with cold water and a funny smelling glue they disguise as soap.

We’re willing to give it a 0 after all this. But at the 9th hole Par 5, I hit a drive that forced me to hit a recovery lay up shot. I was standing about 170 to the green, and found out from my other friend that there was a lake in front of the green and a carry of 160m was needed.

The marshal, a fat guy with a moustache that makes you want to yank and tie it over a flagpole (with him still there), rides up with his turfmate and tells us there’s a pond. OK, thanks, now get out of my sight.

“Use a 3 wood.” He says in Malay.

“What? How far to cross?”


“Are you crazy?” I took out my 5 iron.

“What you using?”

“5 iron.”

“Oh, definitely cannot, you must use 3 wood.”

At this point, I was this close to stuffing my 5 iron into his eye. I mean, if you were my caddy, fine. But this daft person rides up to me, never seen me swing and he tells me to use a 3 wood to carry 160 meters? And he says my 5 iron can’t carry? Is he just joking, or certified insane? Just because he has never seen any golfers that can do that (tells you about the class of crappy golfers at Selesa if I can be considered the best), doesn’t mean I can’t.

I ignored him and lets fly a 5 iron that sailed perfectly.

“Oh, that swing, sure can.” He says and rides off.

“Hey,” I shouted, “You never seen anyone who can play golf before, right?! You suck!”

I didn’t actually say the last word since I don’t know how to say it in Malay, but you get the point.

Selesa gets -1 for a stupid marshal who discourages people and gives wrong advice, then rides off in embarrassment when someone does well. How I wish I stuffed my 5 iron into his eye!!

Fairways (-1/5)

Congratulations, Selesa, you’re the first course that gets two negatives in one review.

The worst fairway in the whole world can be found here, in Selesa Hills Golf Course. Seriously. You allow turfmates to ride into a highland course, you’re just asking to be doomed. No other way. At one point, our turfmates got stuck in the mud in the fairway and we had to push while accelerating, creating deeper ruts in the fairway. Oh, the horror!

There’s really no difference between fairway and rough. The only difference is the fairway is harder. It’s filled with mud. It stinks. It’s damp. It’s just worse than a mess. It’s impossible to play it. In fact, I’m just going to put the pictures up and offer a moment of silence in light of HOW HORRENDOUS it is. Words cannot describe it.

Greens (0/5)

After going through the fairway, the greens improved to become a big fat ZERO. Why? Because the greens suck, that’s why. They are sanding it I think, or they are using the bunker as a temporary green, I don’t know. I just know that the amount of sand on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd hole was so bad, we concede any putts within 2 driver lengths. In fact, as long as you hit the green we’ll just give you one putt. Great job, Selesa!

Not all the greens were like that of course, some were at least in playable conditions. But come on, I know this is a cheap course that nobody sane should play again, but you still get a zero. We have no sympathy for clubs who has marshals who poke fun at players.

Rough (2/5)

Things started looking up finally. The rough is actually quite well kept and mowed down. In fact, the rough is better than the fairway. This is the first course in the world that rewards shots in the rough and penalize fairway hits. Imagine that. This is because it lets the ball sit up. But points are loss for the bunkers, which look like some surface from Mars or something. At this point we were just looking for something positive to say. Even if you had rats in the bunker, we’re going to say its good. We’re so numbed by lousiness that there’s nothing much to look forward to at this point.

Aesthetics (2/5)

By now, you know how much we hate this course with every beat of our heart. If it was a living organism, we would fill it with 7.62mm lead from an AK-47. Unfortunately we had to play 18 holes on it so we tried to make the best of it.

It’s really not a Highland Course. Because it’s at the foot hills of a hill. It should be called Selesa Foot Hills, or better still Selesa ‘My Foot!’ Hills, or simply Selesa ‘Crap’ Hills. They are all good names for this course. The first nine, if we ignore the greens and fairways and smell, is actually quite visually pleasing. It’s like Berjaya Hills but not as pretty. Jungle frames it and especially the par 3 fourth, it sits alone with jungle beyond, a very pretty hole for a lousy course.

Make the turn and it descends into being plain, boring and crappy again. The first nine is a like a girl before marriage. After the turn, it’s post marriage, she becomes lazy, fat and hideous. We still give it 2 because of the pre-marriage holes, and some enjoyment we had from there.

Fun Factor (1/5)

I think the body language of one of my partners say it all. At one stretch from 12th to 15th, he was just slapping his ball here and there like a nut. No life in his eyes, no response when we spoke to him, he was just out of it, like his mind was wandering in LaLa Land. He walked with a slouch and we had to poke him with an electric baton to wake him up. We were all just waiting for the ordeal called Selesa to end and release our souls.

But it still gets a point because:

1) The par 4s offers the drama of one on, which one of my friends actually achieved, on the 256m 5th hole. A perfect tee shot cut the dogleg and landed 12 feet from the hole, much like my Bangi One On achievement. He missed his eagle and birdied the hole

2) The guy who needed the electric baton, in the earlier holes was having a time of his life, when he birdied the 6th Par 3. He kind of went down hill from there.

3) The 8th is actually quite a scenic hole, with elevated tee shot into a peninsular landing area on the fairway. I recovered from the ravine for an amazing par. It was fun.

4) We got a free durian. Serious. One of the workers, probably out of pity that we were so depressed, gave us a free durian which we later opened and ate at the club house. It was pretty good.


Selesa joins in the ranks of Frasers as Absolutely, Astoundingly Crap golf courses and only the ultra desperate or the social outcasts and criminals will play again in this course. There’s no limit to how low it is; the fairways and greens are the worst in Malaysia, the whole experience makes us want to electrocute ourselves over and over again. The only plus point is that you can have lunch at Janda Baik or durians, to remove the stench this course leaves on our souls. Begone, Selesa and be banished forevermore!!

The good: The durians. If you’re a white guy, you’re out of luck. There’s nothing I can do for you except to tell you: Go with your heart, not with your nose. Durian is good…

The bad: Wow. Shall I continue my rant? No. Let’s just say EVERYTHING is bad, including the opinionated marshal.

The skinny: 6 of 40 divots (15%). Please don’t even think about this course. You’re better off standing in a driving range and have people hit their driver straight at you.

Selesa Hills Score Card


Selesa Hills Information


Pahang Darul Makmur

Contact: +609-2330039/42

Fax: +609-2330066

Berjaya Hills GCC


I’ll be the first to admit that the only downside to Malaysia golf is the weather. I mean, we’ve got some A grade courses but when it comes to the weather, we’re cooked beyond recognition by the time we’re done at 18. Many PGA pros come here and they are completely drenched in sweat and play like 18 handicappers. A few people can handle the heat as well as Malaysian golfers can, so we’re a different breed.

Still, the weather really sucks sometimes. Hence, the only way we can escape that is to find a course in the highlands and play it. So far, the experience in the highland courses have been sadly disappointing. Frasers has officially become the WORST COURSE IN MALAYSIA. Camerons have been so-so but there’s nothing really much to shout about.

When I saw Berjaya Hills (it was formerly known as Bukit Tinggi) on the AGN list of clubs, I’ll tell you, I was pretty excited. I never played in here before but the previous times that I came (non golf purpose, please don’t do it, as it will bore the dickens out of you), I saw a lot of Japanese and a reasonable looking course.

Now we all know Japs and Koreans are golf crazy and if they play at a course, it ain’t so bad. So we all had a certain expectation of Berjaya Hills and was hoping (since we couldn’t get to play in Awana Genting) that it would be the best highland course experience we have.

Travel (2/5)


The thing about highland courses that puts it immediately to a disadvantage is the traveling. Unless for some reason you’re staying at the foothills of Genting or hanging around at Selesa homes, city rats like us expect a long windy drive up to the course. Camerons and Frasers are massively crappy in terms of traveling ratings, but Bukit Tinggi drive is a lot easier. We used the Kepong way to get out of town, heading towards Batu Caves. From there, we followed signs to Genting Highlands. Bukit Tinggi is about the next stop from Genting, so it’s mainly highways, and once we turn off, it’s about 15-20 minutes drive up a gradual ascent with not too many sharp corners.

You can stop by Janda Baik for some good durians and food to fuel up for a game of golf.

Price (3/5)

We paid RM48 for AGN members. The reason it gets a middle rating is that for non members, on a weekday, they need to fork out RM160. WHAT?!!? After traveling all the way up here and you get extorted that amount to play on a course like this? Unless this is St Andrews or Pebble Beach, it’s daylight robbery to charge so much. Even Palm Garden or Saujana doesn’t charge this much and those courses are about a million times better than this. AGN members get almost RM120 off. That’s a 75% discount, so obviously we’re happy. But imagine if we had a non AGN member. Sorry, bro, please wait in the car or go sit on the horses till we are done with our round.

First thoughts

With high expectations, we headed to the first tee. There were two things we can be certain of: The weather would be good; and we would lose a lot of balls. The latter prophecy was given to us by a guy we bumped into at Impian. We were at the locker room just washing up after the game and upon hearing our discussion on Berjaya Hills golof, he ominously declared, like a crazed sharman: “Bring lots of balls, you will lose ‘em”. I’m not sure if he hexed us that way but one of the guys in our flight sliced his tee shot into the rough and it was gone.

I was lucky to find mine in the rough.

And also found 3 other lost balls.

Service (1/5)

Based primarily on the course maintenance, we were in for a long game. The course was a mess. Not only was the rough a jungle, the fairways wasn’t cut and was filled with long grass as well. The check in was quick enough though but the basic course maintenance was simply absent. Even the bad courses like Tuanku Jaafar had some dignity in upkeeping their course (let’s not go into the heretical course in Frasers), so some semblance of activity from the maintenance workers, who sat around with a finger up their nose most of the time, would go a long way in convincing us that, yes, don’t worry, we’re fixing up this mess you just paid RM160 for. For non AGN members that is.

It’s really annoying and disappointing because with the type of people here (Japanese and Koreans) who play, you’d expect a little class in the course. But like all Berjaya projects, it’s simply a mess that someone needs to clean up. Bravo, Berjaya for being so consistent!

Fairways (0/5)

It’s a resounding 0. When I step out of the buggy into the fairway, I went, “What on earth is this??!” You know those long irritating wisp of grass that sticks to your socks and is a devil to get out? The whole fairway was littered with these grass, along with mud, and water. True, it is the rainy season, but it was like stepping into a combat zone, with absolutely zero drainage available. You can’t play golf like this. It’s unreasonable. It’s also unfair that on the fairway, your ball is resting between these long grasses that when you address, you need to press them down, only for them to spring up again on your backswing. Do you know how irritating it is to a golfer to have that? We golfers are so easily annoyed with anything. I have a golfer friend who simply cannot swing if he sees his shadow. He claims his shadow is annoying him. Can you imagine what the wisp of grass would do to his entire mental faculty?

Drainage was so bad that on more that one occasion we had a lost ball on a fairway. We all saw it hit the fairway. And then it was gone. Vamoose. Vanished into the depths of the earth.

Greens (2/5)

Strangely, as bad as the fairways were, the greens were in a reasonable condition. Reasonable meaning, no, not consistent, but quite well kept. I’m sure all of them were not pressed yet, because it played excruciatingly slow, but somehow, it wasn’t overgrown like Frasers. Perhaps it’s the type of grass used to grow it. Generally, they rolled slower than normal but there were some that were unpredictable. Undulation is expected on a highland course, so overall, it was a pleasant surprise compared to the fairway mess we just trudge through.

Rough (-1/5)

As soon as we thought everything was looking up, we’re slammed rudely back to earth. Ah, the rough. You though Frasers was bad? At least in Frasers, we didn’t expect any sort of recovery. When the ball went it, we were, well, ok, we’re screwed, play another. Here in Berjaya Hills, it deceives and disappoints. You see the ball going in. You see the long grass – the lalang – rustling and you go into the thick rough looking for it. And look and look and look. It’s just painful. We spent 6 hours in total on a nearly empty golf course and I can safely say, 2 hours or more spent looking for the bloody golf balls. We found a lot more lost golf balls but somehow ours always eluded us. Hey, no golf course should be like this. I hit one shot that was just a little off line, bounced off the fringe of the green into the primary rough. And it was GONE! Unless there’s some kind of hairy green creature tracking us down and stealing our balls, I don’t know how a course can be so devilishly evil. Wild boar activities littered the whole course. No GUR signs posted up so we had to devise our own rules on it. And on one hole, the drivable 247 meters par 4 7th hole, I swear, wild boar shit was set up as integral part of the course. I tripled bogey that one. I drove into the greenside bunker, blasted out into a tree. Two out of the rough where the wild boar shit was and one chip two putted. That hole really really stinks.

Aesthetics (4/5)

While the course wasn’t so appealing to my sense of smell, it was a lot better to the eyes. This is the ONE saving grace of Berjaya Hills. It has the looks. It’s another classic case of Good from Far, Far from Good. I’ll admit, standing up on elevated tee box on the 12th hole, seeing the green 290 meters way down where we are, and recognizing the thin air might help the carry, we were excited. We wanted to fly the ball to the green. We wanted to feel the invincibility of “One On” for a par 4. We wanted our names to be written by bards and put into the lore of golf. We wanted to become legends. Suffice to say, none of us made it, but I was close, hitting with just 30 meters to go.

Aside from that, another memorable hole were the ending 17th and 18th. Both are devilishly difficult, the 17th require a carry of over 220 meters over a river and an uphill approach while the 18th is just ridiculous. A narrow fairway with bunkers littering the sides, and approach to the green that’s protected by water and bunkers and rough all around. It plays to a 14 index, so imagine, how difficult the other holes are on this course.

Berjaya Hills is a pretty good looking course, don’t get me wrong. It entices you to play, and once it has you in its grips, it shreds you to pieces. Merciless.

Fun Factor (1/5)

I did achieve a record of sorts for me. I didn’t shoot par or better on any holes. I can’t recall a time where I didn’t manage to get at least one par or birdie in a round. Berjaya Hills completely debunked that myth and will give me something to remember by. It’s one course that I will never forget, in terms of how frightful it is, and how agonizingly unfair it is set up.

Did we have fun? Well, probably in the first few holes. Once it dawned on us that the course wasn’t getting any easier, we were in for a long day. 6 hours of golf, and this is on an empty course, is not fun. It’s humiliating. We spent more time in the jungle than amazon natives. We even took one of the bunker rakes and used it as our hacksaw to clear the grass and lalangs in the rough.

The eerie thing about it? When the last putt finally dropped in the final hole and we turned to go, we saw a maintenance worker start up his mower and with a faint twinkle in his impish eyes, he started mowing the rough to playable condition. You can almost hear the background Twillight Zone music and a fade out of the narrator saying: “Perhaps with a mowed down rough, there is a slight chance for the weary golfers to return to redeem themselves on this course….”

Perhaps. We’re not counting that out yet.


It was a monumental disappointment. We expected so much more out of Berjaya Hills Golf Course, something that would vindicate tragic highland courses like Frasers and Camerons, but instead of redemption, we find more or less the same utter nonsense that we found in the other courses: lousy maintenance, lousy drainage and overall, lousy experience. We have about two more highland courses to go; Selesa Hills and Awana but so far the hit rate for Malaysian Highland Courses has been a despondent 0 of 3.

The good: The weather; the elevation that makes your ball go farther, the memorable aesthetics that does justice to a highland course.

The bad: Disastrous rough and fairways; horrible drainage; absolutely unplayable conditions in some holes, with wild boar markings and crap all over the place; ridiculous pricing that cuts your throat and leaves you gasping for air.

The skinny: 12 of 40 divots (30%). It’s slightly better than Frasers, but it’s still a mess to play. The shorter travel time is offset by the astronomical pricing catered to foreigners. Unless you have an AGN or plan to hold the club hostage; give Berjaya a big miss. It’s an RM20 course pretending to be a premier RM160 course, and failing miserably.

Berjaya Hills Scorecard


Berjaya Hills Information


KM48, Persimpangan Bertingkat,
Lebuhraya Karak, 28750 Bukit Tinggi,
Bentong, Pahang Darul Makmur

Contact: +609-2888890

Fax: +609-2888832