We haven’t played Kota Permai for a very, very long time. So much so that I was surprised at the new refurbished front and locker rooms, which has been done quite a long while ago. To my memory, Kota Permai has been reasonably a good scoring course, except for a few holes that I totally detests, especially those with hazard on the left, which for some reason, a lot of holes have this.
Hole 1: This is a broad and friendly par 5 to start the day with, which I promptly pulled my tee shot to the left, but it wasn’t that bad. This pulled drive will be the flavour of today – after driving so well for the past game, I thought I had my drives figured out. Well, not. Apparently. From the left trees, I carve a low punch to the rough around 150m from the pin. My 9 iron was just slightly short to the fringe and I opted to putt onto the hollow-tined greens. Bad first putt, and then two putt to start with a bogey. (+1)
Hole 2: This is a difficult hole for me, made so by the large body of water lining the left side, skinny fairways, no bailout on the right and trees in front of my tee box that prevents me from drawing in. I did hit the tree with my tee shot (again) but miraculously escaped but plopped very short distance. Faced with a 160m or so to the green guarded by water, my 7 iron failed to turn in and plopped into the water. Dropped for 4th, on the green, two putt for double. (+3)
Hole 3: A fairly difficult hole, which I hit a drive right that never drew back. Under the tree, I had to punch a five iron out to trees on the left. A poor 60 degree overshot the green for my third. Chip back wasn’t great and two putted for a really ugly double bogey (+5).
Hole 4: A long par 3 (all par 3s in Kota Permai are long), which a 7 iron almost reached, but dropped into the greenside bunker. A routine out and two-putt for bogey. (+6)
Hole 5: This should just be an easy drive and easy iron into an accessible green. But the three of us literally hit it at the same place in the fairway left bunker. Same, that we had to mark our balls because they were inches away from each other. With a high lip, there was no chance to go for green, so it was out to 100m, a sand wedge in and two putt for bogey (+7)
Hole 6: Finally, a good shot into a long par 3. Five iron right to the middle with a bit of draw, and two putted for routine par! (+7)
Hole 7: This isn’t a terribly difficult par 5 but it’s made worse if you pull your drive. Which of course, I did. Hit a tree on my second, my third out to around 120m. Fourth with a PW to the edge of the green. Fifth on, not a good putt and two putted (missing a three footer) for a really, really disgusting double. (+9)
Hole 8: The toughest hole on the course due to its length. Pulled another drive into the bunker. Again, the high lip makes it impossible to do anything but to just plop it out. My third pitching wedge from 120 was so pulled it entered into the greenside bunker. From there, out for 4 on and two putt for ANOTHER DOUBLE BOGEY (+11)
Hole 9: At this point, I knew the drive was struggling. To abbreviate the follow through helped me keep it straighter, but it also caused my drive to be very short. In this hole, it was fairway hit but a massive 150m away to a very uphill green with back pin. With a 6-iron, I finally hit one of those shots that makes you want to play golf forever. It started right, slightly drawing into the green that slopes remarkably into a valley on the left. Even landing on the front, it almost rolled off. Pin high, uphill putt, around 10 feet. Birdie time? Nope. Missed it slightly left, but at least ended the 9 on a high. (+11)
As we make the turn, my scorecard has 4 double bogeys against two pars, which wasn’t great. Except for the 2nd, all the doubles came from bad drives, which should be avoidable, but you know, it’s part of my game (or lack thereof).
Hole 10: This should be a visually appealing hole for me (one of the rare ones) as we look to shape this right to left. However I started all wrongly too far left and pulled deep into the woods. So deep that it crawled back out the adjacent hole fairway. A punched five iron actually was very good to around 10m from the green. This should technically be a routine chip but I fluffed it! Second chip got onboard and bogeyed but that fluff chip was so unexpected, after a series of very good chips in previous game. (+12)
Hole 11: This is to me the easiest hole, as all the trouble is right (which is hardly existent for me). A slightly pulled shot puts me around 90m from the green on the left on the fairway. A good sand wedge ended up pin high on the left which trickled down to around 6 feet from the cup. Birdie? YES, finally. (+11)
Hole 12: I don’t know how or why Hole 12 is Index 14. It’s notoriously difficult to hit the green because the elevated tee shot is so daunting. OB on right and jungle on left. I pulled again my drive and once more, like Hole 10, faced a tiny hole in the trees to hit out of. Managed to sneak it back to the fairway but almost 200m away to an extreme uphill green. My 5 wood left me around 50m. I was still ok to this point, because a 4 on will put me in position for a bogey. I didn’t hit a terrible shot, but the 60 degree just ballooned high, landed on the green and rolled back into the left “Valley of Death”, an enclave where a majority of the people hit from, judging by the divots existing there. I skulled my 5th chip over to the bunker, buried at the slope. Duffed my 6th, still in bunker. 7th out and holed for 8th. Horrible hole. Especially right after that birdie. (+14)
Hole 13: Finally striped a great tee shot and was left with around 120m to an uphill green. I opted for a 9-iron in, but did not hit a particulary good one. It drew too much and landed left, in a mini enclave, not as bad as Hole 12. With Hole 12 fiasco still fresh, I opted to put upwards from this valley though. It wasn’t a great result but still left me around 10 feet for par. Missed, settled for bogey (+15)
Hole 14: Love this little par 3. It’s the only par 3 on the course that you can hit with a wedge. Around 130 downhill, it was really between a muscled gap or an easy pitching. I don’t have any in between clubs. I chose the muscled gap. Because I like muscling things instead of controlling. The gap wedge hit perfect, landed just past the front bunkers but for some stupid reason didn’t release to the green. It was still an easy lag putt, and a par (+15)
Hole 15: Hate this (and the next) hole. Because water left. Index 2 and 6 side by side. These are named the Hateful Twins. I had to start my drive way right, and challenge the trees due to my retarded shot shape. Remember Hole 2 where I escaped a right block with a drive through the trees? The course takes back. Same shot, but instead now clips a branch and falls right down, before the ladies tee. A five iron sets me up to where everyone else is. Another five iron found me at the front rough of the green. A reasonable chip got me to around 5 feet and a double bogey. (+17)
Hole 16: The second of the Hateful Twins. Was switching back and forth between a five iron and the driver and just decided to heck it with the driver. It was a good choice, because, without any trees near the teebox, I managed to stripe this right to left with the best drive of the day. It left me around 100m and a sand wedge to the green. It was slightly pulled but no problem navigating for a par (+17). Not bad!
Hole 17: LOOOONG Par 3. My 5 iron was pulled slightly and ended up in the backside of the green. Not an easy shot. My second shot couldn’t clear the lip (inches away) and trickled back into the bunker, my third duffed and again rolled back into the bunker, and only 4th came out. Two putts and left with a bad tasting triple bogey (+20)
Hole 18: Feeling the pain, I pulled my final drive of the day. From the left rough, a tragic 7 iron did not draw and left me deep rough on the right. I couldn’t get any purchase on it, and my fourth shot from 90m with a gap was also duffed into the greenside bunker. Ironically, I used my gap and hit the best bunker shot of the day. a perfect shot clearing two bunkers and slipping into the green around 10 feet below the hole. I couldn’t end it with a bogey save though and settled for a double. (+22). I played +5 over my last two holes, which just about sums up my misadventures at Kota Permai.
So there you go. Plenty of doubles, plenty of triple and let’s see: hitting out of 6 different bunkers today. Not a great date with Sandy.