My goal this Ramadhan was to play in at least one premier golf course that I have not played before. Which leaves KLGCC, Sungai Long, IOI Palm (the new, expensive one) and Kota Permai. After calling, and finding out that promotion values in the first three were still exorbitant and in nowhere near the budget of our normal cheapskate mentality, we grudgingly agreed to fork out RM185 to play Kota Permai on a Ramadhan promotion. The person on the other end of the phone, probably sensing that I was Gilagolf and would crucify the course the first opportunity given, hurriedly added, “Sir, we are hollowtining the green, OK?”
“So why not cheaper?”
“Sir, very cheap already!”
Obviously have not heard of Gilagolf cheapness definition.
But you know, this is probably the last game I’ll be playing this year during Ramadhan, so what the heck, might as well splurge. So away we went!
Travel is honestly a breeze here. If you know how to go Shah Alam and Kota Kemuning, it is as simple as ABC. In fact, just turn into Kota Kemuning turnoff from the Shah Alam highway and at the first roundabout take a right and follow the road all the way. It would take a complete idiot to get lost here.
The great thing about Kota Permai is that it is built literally right next to the commercial areas, meaning after golf, good food is just a doorstep away. Unlike the god forsaken Amverton or the travel crazy Tasik Puteri, Kota Permai accessibility is legendary. It’s like those easy courses like Tropicana or Saujana or KGNS which is built so people can find it easy and will come, unlike crap courses like Bukit Unggul, that forces you to travel so far only to serve you with a piece of turd-ball.
I know I am going to sound very unfair here, but I still think Kota Permai is not worth RM185 on a promo price in Ramadhan. I mean, that would mean, I have to literally fork out almost RM300 on a normal day?? For Kota Permai? I mean, what so great here? Is it because it has hosted a few tournaments and boom, that makes it a great course? Don’t get me wrong. I like the course, but it compares itself to Saujana a lot, but the history of Kota Permai is lacking. So what if you have had some PGA pros hack your course? Have you earned the tradition that RSGC, KGNS etc have? OK, you argue, what about KLGCC? Good point. I don’t know because I’ve never played there. But does Kota Permai inspire absolute awe and fascination? Not really. It’s a very, very nice course, but it doesn’t cut to charge RM300++ on green fee. If we had to pay around RM130 or even sub RM150, it might cut it, but at RM185, plus caddy tips, another RM210, it’s borderline difficult to recommend the pricing on a Ramadhan promo.
Teeing off at the first tee, the inviting par 5, you are greeted with a large expanse of fairway. It is a GREAT first hole to tee off with. The condition of the course was sub-par based on its obviously high standards, but my first thought was: Gee, it’s like a Saujana twin. A lot of tee off has elevated status, allowing you to see the course at the tee and giving you a wide view of all the bad stuff that’s going to happen to you. Compared this to the extremely flat Kota Kemuning next door, it is simply not a fair fight. It’s like Manny Pacquiao vs Steven Tyler on the boxing floor. It’s like a pitbull terrier vs a Chihuahua, which is lamed, blind and possibly bleeding on the floor. It’s simply a ridiculous comparison, because Kota Kemuning Golf Course would be like a pile of crap. That is sitting INSIDE another pile of crap, that’s on top of a huge dung hill of crap. You get the idea.
The only service we had were the caddies. And the caddies were meh. I could do without. They couldn’t give me any read on the greens, which was annoying, because the greens were like sh*t. They absolutely refused to comment or give me a break, instead giving nonchalant response like, “Break sikit.” Or the world famous, “Aim Straight” at the tee box. I don’t know why caddy schools have to teach the Aim Straight strategy because isn’t that what we are freakingly trying to do all the time? Would you advise a man dying of thirst to drink? Or a dog to bark? Or my stupid crazy neighbor to act like a stupid crazy neighbor? No! Because it’s natural! They offered some reasonable service in terms of ball searching, so it’s not all bad.
Kota Permai fairways are generally well kept. Broad fairways will greet you mainly, but there are some deceptive bunkers laid in the most diabolically strategic places that eats our balls, especially the fairway ones. The fairways are not as undulating as, say, Rahman, but it gives enough variation to keep things interesting. However, my biggest dislike is that at some fairways, tyre tracks completely spoilt it for me. On a RM130 course, it’s fine. On a premier course? Geez come on. And I haven’t got to the greens.
Again, is this a fair assessment? No. It’s like taking a snapshot of Scarlett Johannsson without her makeup. She still looks hot. Ok, not Scarlett, maybe this one. I believe it’s Khloe Kardashian, who is famous for doing absolutely nothing in her life other than banging basketball players. Oops, I don’t know, I mix all of those Kardashians up actually. So anyway, fine, the greens were hollowtining and we have been warned. But the greens still suck. For RM185. If we take the maintenance away, I do recall it’s an excellent, excellent green, but I guess not today. Nada enjoyment.
Rough ( 3/5)
Ohh. The bunkers. You are going to spend a good while in them. There is the index 2 15th which plays relatively easy, but for one humongous Sarlac bunker smack in the middle, which a 210 – 220 drive would find easily. I was going on one of my hot streaks of pars, narrowly missing a 4 foot birdie putt on the previous hole and looking to take the game away…until the Sarlac got me. From there, it was sort of a downer. My hook came back and that was it. The idea is, though I hate that bunker so much, it was a very nice bunker. The rough itself was challenging, but you could still get out of it, not like the Saujana pit bull grass where it bites and won’t let go your (golf) balls.
Kota Permai is typically similar to Saujana or even Tropicana. It’s not extremely breath taking, but it’s a very nice looking course. Mainly because of its usage of elevation of the tee, smart doglegs and usage of water. I also liked the way they put wooden boards on some of the edge of their bunkers. In fact, my playing partner used one of these boards to rebound his crap shot into the green. There is slight maturity in it, but not so many trees as to actually lose your ball, unless you get an unlucky bounce like I did on my third hole, or you shank your ball so badly. I really like the broad fairways though. These are the ones where you just take out your driver and take a mighty swing at it. One of my favourite holes is hole 10. It has a blind dogleg left,and a two tiered fairway. It drops significantly about halfway through, giving you a great view of the green if you are at the top tier.
Another nice hole is the 9th, to end the front 9. A mighty swing with your driver to the right helps avoid the Sarlac bunkers, but yet put you in an awkward stance due to it’s undulation. Overall, if you like Saujana, or Trops, Kota Permai will suit your eye very much.
First hole is a beauty. You love it immediately as it opens up a slight dogleg left. Second hole is what I fear the most, water on the left. Thank goodness I avoided that but in turn sent my drive into the trees. I punched my second out and navigated a bogey on a green surrounded with water on right.
My two blown holes has very similar stories. 3rd hole, I drove well, but horribly misaligned and sailed into the trees on left, and wicked bounced through the fence into another house for unplayable. CIS!! My other 7 is the 16th. Nemesis type of hole with water left. As usual I hooked mine into the water promptly.
Other than those, I actually played well but due to some awful decision making, my scores unfortunately didn’t reflect it. Which I guess is why we often want to come back and play golf…the belief that we don’t suck as much as you think.
Fun Factor ( 4/5)
Kota Permai doesn’t play difficult. Or maybe because we were having so much laughter that it loosened my swing considerably. It’s a huge difference who you play with. I play with my brother’s group on Saturday at KGNS: and they are all so freaking serious. It’s like I am attending someone’s wake. Or a funeral of my golf swing. My brother himself is a fun chap, but you just sense the entire joy of playing golf ebbing away into a sludge of despondency. It’s because they are good. They are so darn good, it bores the crap out of me, who in turn, did not play good because there was no chatter, no ribbing someone, no making fun of someone’s shank, no screaming because you miss a two footer for RM2…it’s just…golf and goodness, it’s so hopelessly bland. My normal group however consist of clowns who are often the noisiest flers in the course, constantly surfing of waves of joy, elation and sudden depression in the game. I don’t know, everyone prefers something to his or her own taste, but for me, bet a little, wager a little, but everyone should have fun.
The course itself had its nuances. Like the 5th. After a great drive, I was 130 away. I took out a pitching wedge and completely sailed my shot into the river behind the green. Without course knowledge, there was no way I could have judged correctly. And the caddie were useless in given any sort of help in yardage, frankly.
The par 5 12th had some major fairway problems, which shouldn’t be for a course like this.
I like the par 3 14th. It looks easy, but it’s not, because you have surrounding bunkers and a creek. My partner landed his ball inside the creek and guess what, he played from there! Inside the stream! Obvioulsy I wish he found success but he blasted over the green and then went on to a triple. Mine was a 4 footer for birdie which I retardedly missed.
The ending hole is one of the more enjoyable ones on the course. Again, elevated tee, the fairway is deceptively difficult, with bunkers hugging the left and water on the right. Amazingly I hit the water on my first drive that sliced the whole day…and hit a three wood from the drop to about 80 meters from the green and stuffed it to 4 feet and again missed my stupid par with some ridiculously bad putting!
It’s difficult to say no to Kota Permai. Like Glenmarie, we do think it’s a little overpriced for a middling experience….but it’s Kota Permai. Once the greens start getting better, I have no doubt the experience will increase exponentially. The fairways are already nice, the holes all have different characters, but it’s just the awful expensive pricing. If you have spare change to kill, go ahead. And don’t forget the food around Kota Kemuning. Plenty to eat, even the Bidor Duck Noodle, which is really nice.
Broad fairways are forgiving to the crooked swing; great location and travel; nice bunkers and well kept; different characters for each hole; it’s not a tough course, so hackers can look to score if you play reasonable.
Mainly overpriced; hollowtining greens make it an awful experience; ‘Meh’ caddies and I am not relating to how they look, which is an even lower ‘Meh’; some parts of the fairways were not great, not at this price!
The skinny: 25 of 40 divots (62.5%).
I wish they’d make it an easier decision and just move down their price bracket to around RM150 on promotion. Unfortunately it is the range of Tropicana and Glenmarie and often times play similar to it as well. Is this a good deal? Frankly the hollow tining makes a great deal of difference, so if possible avoid playing under maintenance. Then again, this is when cheapos like us start hacking the course!
Kota Permai Score Card
Kota Permai Information
No 1, Jalan 31/100A, Kota Kemuning, Section 31
40460 Shah Alam,