Every golfer in Malaysia knows Seri Selangor. It doesn’t matter even if you’re not from Selangor, you just kinda know it, the same reason how a beginner golfer knows his drive will slice but have no way to figure out how to fix the dang thing. Likewise, knowing Seri Selangor is one thing. Playing it is altogether another beast.
It’s not easy. Or at least, my past recollection of it consist of bloated scores the size of a kangaroo giving birth: 96,98,100, on a course measuring about 6300 meters. The thing about Seri Selangor is this: it’s laid out like Monterez but has unforgiveness like Bukit Unggul. Really. I’ll be frank. Monterez’s experience is like driving your car in a cramp parking space, requiring lots of precision and accuracy. You go off line, and you’re in the rough, or in another fairway, or somebody’s tee. In Seri Selangor, you’re either in the jungle, in the jungle or wait, did that ball make it….nope, it’s in the jungle.
So to Seri Selangor we go, advertised as home to the homeless golfer. Or more appropriately, home to the golfers who enjoy torturing themselves and sitting in a hot stove for long periods of time.
I’m going to give it a 5 here. Nothing beats a course with easy accessibility. OK, frankly, I’ll be honest, it depends on the time. You wake up at 5 am, you go anywhere, it’s a breeze, because the entire Malaysian population gets up at 7 am and hits the road approximately at 7:15am. Also, if you’re headed during weekends, hey, it’s a breeze. I’ll warn you though: The jam can be pretty bad if you’re headed there during peak hours. Afternoon flights during weekends is dangerous, and we recommend the journey using the old Tropicana ‘tunnel’ road. I.e head towards Damansara Toll, take the left to Tropicana before the toll, follow the road all the way. You will pass Tropicana (and you will sigh, wishing you are playing there instead), head straight till you hit a traffic light. Go straight, and about 1.5 KM there is a right turning going to Seri Selangor.
An alternative is to head towards Ikea/Ikano, past One Utama. Take the Ikea turnoff and go straight all the way. You pass through Mutiara Damansara and you will soon hit a cross junction traffic lights where you turn left, and voila you are there. Unless you are a sadist who loves Traffic Jams, please avoid all attempt to use this road during Saturday or Sunday noon time. It is jammed beyond recognition.
We played on a weekday and I still ended up paying almost RM75 for Seri Selangor. It’s 60 for the game and buggy and all that; but they force you to take a caddie, so we need to split about RM30 for the caddie, plus the nonsensical culture of tipping the same caddie. I really must go to the caddie union and ask them about this tipping concept. Malaysians are stingy by nature. Malaysian Golfers are even worse. We will mentally calculate how the exchange rate, how bursa is doing, what furniture we need to buy for our homes, how much petrol cost, how much insurance premium, how much tax, how much bonus etc etc and we collectively agree that any sum more than 2 ringgit 40 sen is way too much to tip.
Yet, we still have to fake our generosity and give. Hey, I’m gonna lose a dozen balls on your course, so tell me again why do I need to give you anything?
So overall, it’s a mid range price but we forgive it a little because it’s close by, and it is very humble in advertising itself as the home for homeless golfers. Shouldn’t food be free like the Salvation Army for homeless golfers too?
We had two groups to tee off, and its automatically fun. I believe the more people you know , the more fun you derive from golf. That’s why when I play a course alone, I feel like stabbing myself with the scorecard pencil-incidentally, have you ever wondered how much money the company that produce the score card pencil makes?-but when there is a group or 2 groups, man the fun factor goes up.
So anyways, there were some slight improvement in my swing, I was coming into Seri Selangor pretty confident on the back of scores of 91,91,91,86 for my first 4 games in 2008. My first drive was a thing of splendour and rarity; a straight shot down the left side of the fairway, about 260 meters, leaving me about 90 to a 350m green. I parred the first hole and reconsidered my options. Parring the first hole generally means two things: either you’re in it for a great game, or your game decides to close shop for the day and you play like a walnut in a nutcracker. For some mysterious reasons, I NEVER take the first option. This is as mysterious as the concept of caddie tiping. I double bogeyed 5 of the next 7 holes after that. Bolocks!
Frankly, the caddie sucked. Sorry, usually even lousy caddies, like the one in Impian, give a show of interest in the games of the players. Seri Selangor caddies, for some reason, really, really are disappointing. Here’s why:
1) The one we got is flat out lazy. I don’t know whether I should poke her with a electric baton or not. Observe this in the future: A good caddie who takes care of 4 people in a flight should ALWAYS attach him/herself to the poorest player. It makes sense. If your primary job scope is to look for balls, the beginner who slices into the foliage obviously requires help. Why do you insist of staying in the buggy of the better player (I am so proud to say I am the better player…relatively speaking of course, I still suck) and make a show of cleaning his clubs?
Caddie=LOOK FOR BALLS. Cleaning clubs come later. It’s a secondary job scope. Now get into that jungle and search, darn it!!!
2) A lazy caddie also doesn’t offer any advice but concurs with everything you say. Is this uphill? Ah, betul la. Is this break left? Ah betul, la. Is this slow, fast? Ah, sikit laju la. Do you want me to strangle you with my ball towel? Ok la.
3) A lazy caddie is also the last to get out of the buggy, and it’s like we hired some molasses. Frankly I have no idea what the dickens is a molass, but it sounds like a slow creature, so like molass, these caddies drift in and out of the course in a world of their own.
4) Finally, take your tip and say thank you. My other flight was given the angry look from their caddy when they tipped her 30 RM. She refused to take the bags from the buggy and just walked off, believing she’s entitled to more. Ever watched A Few Good Men and the part where Jack Nicholson says to Tom Cruise? If it was me, I would have said this:
“Caddy, we live in a world that has courses, and those courses have to be played by men with clubs. Whose gonna do it? You? You, caddy in the other buggy? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for your tip, and you curse the golfers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That our slices and hooks into the jungle, while tragic, probably saved the fairway conditions. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves the course conditions. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at the clubhouse, you want me on that course, you need me on that course. We use words like OB, free drops, FORE. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent mishiting balls. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a caddy who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very registration fee that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a 7 iron, and play a course. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”
At this point, the caddy would ask us: “Did you give me only 30 ringgit?”
“I played the course…”
“Did you give me only 30 ringgit??!” she shrieks.
“You’re goddamn right I did!!”
And at this point the course marshals come and tells us to get off the course and never to come back to Seri Selangor again..
I give points to Seri Selangor, despite their caddies, for the quickness in which they gave me my Mee Mamak (I was in a rush). It took them only like 5 minutes, although it taste like rubber, it’s still very considerate of them to bump me up the queue.
There’s something very eerie about the fairway in Seri Selangor. From the tee box, you see a reasonably nice and green fairway enticing you to hit it. One thing about Seri Selangor that makes it the mother of all narrow courses, joining Monterez, Nilai Springs and Nameless course in Seremban as the Frightful Four (don’t you love these comic books names?). All the other courses has weaknesses to exploit, like Superman has kryptonite, Batman has Robin and Spiderman has Mary Jane. Monterez is short, the Par 3s are the frightful monsters but the par 5s can be reached for eagle; you can take a 5 wood to navigate it. Seremban 3, on a good weather, can play easier, we nearly died due to heat exhaustion and of course, Nilai Springs can be cut down with fairway hits and precise shots.
Seri Selangor, playing at 6266m is one of the longest courses we’ve played and the elevation on their par 4s don’t help much as well. The 10th hole is like threading needle to a pin and the 11th is likewise demanding. If you play safe with 3/5 wood, you have a far approach shot. If you bash it with your driver, your ball runs away into the forest as happened to me a few times.
And the fairway is sandy. The 17th played like a pile of dirt. The 18th is a dangerous Par 5 that can be reached in 2 but requires a good second shot that most likely ends up in the drink guarding the green.
For the other fairways that doesn’t look like they are sandy, they are. They have a very thin turf of grass on top, making you think you can take a nice divot. Once you hit it, your club slides under the sand and you end up lofting your silly ball 10 feet away. It’s deceiving so it’s paramount that you hit the ball first and not take a divot before. Play it like you’re playing from a sandtrap. For those of you who are thinking, “Sure, you’re supposed to do that anyway…”, well go to another review site for single handicappers and wise guys. This review is for the general hacker who struggles hitting the ball before the ground…viva le hackers!
Ok, the greens. I HATE the greens. Hate it. Speed is about 8-9 on the dry day we played and it feels like we’re playing at Augusta, minus a million times the experience. What I’m saying is, we three putted, four putted our way into infamy. The greens were like rock. Granite rock. The last straw came on a par 4, where a perfect drive, and a perfect approach was stolen from me. I saw the ball hit the green and took such an amazing bounce, I couldn’t believe it. It was like I hit the buggy track! It went into the rough and we looked and looked and couple lousy rough with lousy caddie with lousy eyesight, I lost the DARN ball! And it was my titleist pro-V1x! Curse you, Seri Selangor!
Why am I still giving a 4? Well, it doesn’t mean that I hate it, it automatically gets a 0. I’m just saying the greens are darn tough. But at least they are consistent, well maintained and played slick. It offers a new experience than the easier greens that grab your balls and holds on to it. Golf balls, that is, what are you thinking? Goodness.
The lost ball episode isn’t the fault of the greens which are played fast; the lost ball is due to the stupid rough. It’s muddy at places and leaves strewn around makes it extremely difficult to go around searching for a tiny white ball. I don’t see much maintenance on the rough, they like to advertise it as natural jungle and foliage but it’s just an excuse for them not to maintain it. Bunkers are only reasonably better.
Anyone who thinks Seri Selangor looks really good is like a village boy who never goes out to the other villages and other towns to see other girls. So he thinks the village maid in his village is the fairest of them all, even though she resembles a horse and is actually a man. No golfers in their sane mind would go, “Wow, Seri Selangor is such a beautiful course.” You most probably will get the resigned response: “Wah, damn hard la…” It’s something like UPM, not as woody though and offers some parallel fairways but with lesser elevation options. It’s just not beautiful, what can I say?
Fun Factor (3/5)
Of all review factors, I must say this one is the most subjective. I admit I was ready to destroy this course and never to step foot on it ever again when I lost my ball that landed on the green. It was that frustrating. I mean, I’m usually calm about these things but try to think of this: you hit a great shot and everyone sees you hit a great shot and when you walk up to the green, it ain’t there…you’ll flip!!
But golf is played over 18 holes. On the 9th hole, my drive flushed down the fairway almost 280 meters (well you count, it’s 390 m hole and I was a few meters way from the 100m marker). With my approach wedge, I hit to the right side of the green, opting not to challenge the bunker and the flag on the left. Actually, I have no idea about that, I just hit it, so it looks good that it looks like I intentionally hit the ‘fat’ side of the green. Cheh, wah, like real. Anyhoos, I saw the ball trickle left towards the flag but lost sight of it due to a mound that covered the hole from where I was. Another flightmate had hit on the green. As I approached the green, I saw one ball at the top of a rather steep contour that funneled down to the hole. I remember thinking, “How the heck did my ball stay up?”
I nearly marked that ball as mine then realize that it was my flight mate’s. So where the devil is my ball?!? Don’t tell me it rolled off into the blasted rough again! I was already in a tomahawk position with my wedge, and I plan to dig up the green in frustration.
Then I walked to the hole.
You know how in some par 3s you walk to the hole and you sort of tiptoe and peek into it instead of walking right up to it? It’s hope against hope that your ball is in there and it never is.
Imagine my reaction when I saw the beautiful logo of MAXFLI staring shyly back up at me from the hole. I’d imagine looking at my future baby when she comes out of my wife in the same manner (I obviously have not experience fatherhood, but please let me stay delusional). I shouted, screamed, whooped, did an Apache war dance around the green and pranced like an idiot calling down rain. It was like a ceremony. A 2 on a par 4! My third EAGLE, and my best!!
Strangely, my game improved after that and I played the back 9 at 7 over and broke 90 the first time on this course. What a difference an eagle makes.
Although it’s a course where people routinely curse and promise never to return, it has two pull factor: it’s easily accessible, and it’s a challenging course. I’ll be frank here, I don’t like Seri Selangor, never did. It never suited whatever miniscule amount of game I had. But you can’t fault the course. So if I were to detach my personal preference from the review, I’d say this is a course recommended. It has a superb location, reasonable pricing and a great , great 9th hole memory for me.
The good: Super accessibility; greens are slick and challenging; food is fast; price is reasonable; good training course for course management.
The bad: Crap rough and equally crap fairways; lousy and lazy caddies; not much of a looker; might be a wee bit long for the high handicap hacker
The skinny: 22 of 40 divots (55%). Due to its accessibility, it’s a recommended course, but make sure you bring lots of balls to tackle the toughest of the Frightful Four.
Seri Selangor Score Card
Seri Selangor Information
Persiaran Damansara Indah,
Off Persiaran Tropicana, Kota Damansara
Petaling Jaya 47410 Selangor
Contact: +603-78061111 / 1666