Tasik Puteri GCC

Updates on the 3rd Nine

We replayed Tasik Puteri again and was forced to play the 1st and 3rd nine. Now, we’re not going to penalise Tasik Puteri for the introduction of this nine holes of pure torture, but we’d like to make a note of it. (We’re penalising Tasik Puteri for having stupid golf marshals who doesn’t understand how to service people).

As the Gilagolf theory goes: For a golf course with 3 nines, forget about playing the 3rd.

Nothing is more true here.

If you call Tasik Puteri, ask them which nine they are forcing you to play. Apparently they are pushing everyone to play the 3rd nine (the new nine just opened). If they are, forget about playing there because, pardon my french, it’s a truly the biggest piece of crap ever invented on the face of this planet. In fact, it makes no difference if you were to dip your entire head into a burning vat of oil, than to try play this sorry excuse of a course.

It’s hot like heck, because for some strange reason, they have chopped down all the trees, so exposure to sun nearly killed all of us. In fact, I lost 15 pounds of water alone. THERE IS NO SHADE. Compounding the stupidity of chopping all trees down, they make the holes extra long (a par 4 was 430 meters). I know we are good, but with a 12 noon sun beating down on you and faced with a 200 m carry over water, I’d rather poke myself with an electric baton in a bath tub filled with electric eels.

Don’t waste your time with the 3rd nine, because it has no character, no shade and no chance we will ever come back to play it.

We especially detest articles like this found in the Star newspaper, giving us more motivation to tell the truth about sh*tty golf courses in Malaysia. Check out what is said:

“Even the most avid fan of the Rawang course will admit that it isn’t championship standard. However, the new third nine, or Tasik Nine, can certainly be considered a true golfing test.”

Sure, if a true golfing test means to trudge across something resembling the Sahara, playing one stupid hole after another that looks the same, plays the same and requires at least 250 m drive to make regulation. You know what, I paid 80 bucks to play a nice round of golf, not try to survive dehydration and halucination. To heck with you, Tasik Puteri.

“So, all in all, this third nine, designed by Australian Tim Woolbank, should prove to be a stern examination of your golfing skills,”

Now we know who to whack with our 7 irons when we go Australia. Apparently this is the guy that came up with Clearwater Sanctuary as well, which was pretty crap as well, so it’s real convenient that we go and get this guy for giving us such a lousy experience on both courses.

“The third nine is now ready, and we have opened it up to golfers. However, the thousands of trees we have planted will take a little more time to mature,” said Y.P. Tan, Tasik Puteri’s director of golf, adding that the course will be in better condition for the Asian Senior Masters in October.”

Well, Mr Y.P. why the blazes did you tear down all the trees in the first place?!? Thousands of trees?? Our last count was about 5 trees. The whole area now resembles a freaking desert. And I can’t wait for the Asian Senior Masters to be played also, because these old chaps are definitely going to drop dead before even touching the 27th tee. Trust me, go there and scavenge for their clubs, because there will be only corpses left to rot in the blazing sun.

“Golfers standing on the first tee (or hole No. 19 on your scorecard) will be treated to a sweeping vista, with views of practically all the holes.”

This is a lie. If you were to stand in the middle of a public toilet seat in Chow Kit road and we level the entire KL into rubble, you will also be treated to a ‘sweeping vista’, simply due to the non existence of any obstructions to your view. You’ve chopped down all the trees, Tasik Puteri, of course you can see all the holes. Sweeping vista my foot.

“The other par-3, No. 6 (or No. 24) features an island green that plays to about 146m from the black tee.”

This is also another lie (whats wrong with you, Star newspaper??!? Can’t you get ANY report right??) because it’s measured about 170 from the black and you should be hitting a 5 iron in. Darn, they can’t even get the blasted distance right.

“The Tasik Nine has the perfect final hole to end your golf game. It’s a par-5, 485m beauty.”

No, it’s another lie. It’s not a perfect final hole. NEVER say a hole is a perfect final hole unless you’re talking about the 18th on the Augusta. The final hole is reasonably nice, but with a teh tarik coloured stream dissecting the fairway, I would be hard pressed to find it anywhere memorable. In fact, by then, most of us are already having mirages about cold iced tea than to care much about this ‘perfect final hole’. Another outright lie about Tasik Puteri!!

““This is the best time to try the Tasik Nine because we are still offering golfers our special promotional rates.,”

Sure, they obviously need to entice unsuspecting golfers into a trap. As mentioned, we’re not penalising Tasik Puteri from the original review, the Gilagolf has put up a warning sign; if you need to play at Tasik Puteri, avoid the 3rd nine or face death under the blazing sun!!

Now on the original review:

Introduction

I’ve heard quite a fair bit about Tasik Puteri Golf Club and thought of just giving it a try, since one of my vendors wanted to buy a few of us a game. Tasik Puteri means Princess Lakes (or something to that effect) so I expect a wet affair right from the tee. From the word Lakes, not Princess, you cretin. Like some of the courses we’ve played-Meru Valley, and the more forgettable Paradise Valley-Tasik Puteri is located within a town ship as part of a feature for the residents there, bolstering up, I suppose the value of the property in that area, enticing more people to buy property that they can ill afford, and generally pushing Malaysia into a developed nation and a military powerhouse. Hey, I’m a golf hacker, not an economist.

Travel (3/5)

To get there, you need to get on the north south highway and take the Rawang turn off. From there, take a left turn at the traffic light (not heading into Rawang town) and just follow the old trunk road. There’s hardly any development on this road, so you will be traveling quite a bit and might find yourself stuck behind a huge trailer and not be able to pass. You’ll see occasional signs that point to Tasik Puteri Golf Course, but the directions aren’t very good so keep an eye out for the signs, but for heaven’s sakes, don’t crash into anything because it’s a single trunk road and you’re going to cause a massive traffic jam. You don’t want to be chased around a palm oil plantation by angry golfers wielding their 7 irons, now would you? So be careful!!

You’ll need to turn off into Bandar Tasik Puteri and from there, go quite deep into the township to finally see the resemblance of a golf course. Turn in and you’ll be greeted by a very nice club house, with friendly caddies to handle your bags for you.

Price (2/5)

Tasik Puteri is not cheap. On weekdays, its RM90 per person and RM25 for a compulsory caddie. On the weekends (which we played on), we needed to fork out RM150 per person, with caddies optional. You might want to fork out extra for the caddie, as we will soon find out. There are quite a lot of blind corners and yardage is of utmost importance. The Tasik Puteri caddies are all women, and quite popular to some golfers, I suppose for extra activities outside of golf, but I won’t speculate on that. There were some reports on how caddies would break up a family sometimes, or that husbands spend too much time on the golf course, enticed by these lady caddies.

Seriously, they are not exactly the mythical Sea Sirens you know. Most of them are so caked with make up, they resemble geishas in feudal Japan, but hot Zhang Zi Yi they ain’t. They are reasonably pleasant looking, the same way a loaf of bread is reasonably nutritious but for a man to break up his family for a girl who can speak only roughly six words of English, wears a caddie uniform and hangs at the back of a buggy for life as we drive wildly around the course: that man has to be either extremely desperate or extremely blind. Can you imagine this conversation:

Man: I want to leave you now, wife, you can have our 3 million RM home, our Mercedes and our 3 splendid kids studying to be a doctor, a pilot and a lawyer specializing in divorce settlement.

Wife: Who is it? Who is this woman?

Man: Ummm….it’s a caddie at this golf club of mine.

At this point, stunned silence by wife followed by uncontrolled laughter and the realization how much a loser her husband is. She takes everything, he becomes insolvent and lives with the caddie working at the clubhouse for 400RM a month.

Can you imagine that actually happening? At least, if you want to mess up your life, mess it up with dignity. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it sounds a little more dignified to say, “Oh, I had an affair with Ms World, and Ms Universe” as opposed to, “Umm, yeah, I had an affair with Caddie Number 42 at this club. Oh, wait, was it number 33? Darn it, they all look alike!”

Anyways, since we are all cheapskate golfers, we want to save up a bit and went on to tee up without any caddie. Or any complications attached to that.

At RM150, it’s a reasonable weekend rate, and this is one of the more attractive course we played in. What we didn’t like was the fact that they had a couple of temporary greens being done. The rule here is, if there’s sandy greens, temporary greens or any kind of maintenance to the course, hey slash your rates. You gotta be honest with your customers, you know. Gunung Raya, a relatively crap course compared to this, and Clearwater, at least had the decency to inform and to discount us before hand. We were a little surprise to face temp greens on the first and second and not at all amused that we had to fork out full rates on it. It’s like buying a bottle of coke, to find it filled up with half coke and half soy sauce, and get charged for the coke. Darn it!!

First thoughts

Weekends here are packed. You’ll need to call up in the beginning of the week to get a good tee time. Unfortunately we got caught by a tournament and nearly lost our tee time because I didn’t pick up their confirmation call. With much persuasion, they relented and gave us an 8:50 tee time. We only really teed it up at 9:15 am or so.

We teed up on the front 9 and Tasik Puteri is more like Tropicana, in terms of the layout. It’s very short if played from the Blue Tees, so for a challenge, some testosterone charged golfers might tee it up at the black tees, that plays about 300 metres longer, and good for wagering-whether on money or caddie, although the latter is not recommended.

But it was a good feeling, standing on the first tee and letting rip a drive down a spacious fairway. It’s by no means easy, even if it’s short. There are OB stakes left and right, just like Tropicana and that’s why having the eyes of a caddie would significantly help reduce the number of lost balls. Actually, that’s speculation. I have no idea how good the caddies in Tasik Puteri are; I’m assuming they are reasonably adequate since most flights have a caddie.

Service (2/5)

Right when you pull up to the shaded club house, you’ll be greeted by a host of lady caddies (this word seems to be used a lot in this review), coming to take your bags out and welcoming you with a smile. Definitely a welcomed change compared to say, Paradise Valley where a guy resembling Gholum limps up to your car with a ciggy in his mouth and demands you to pop your boot. Service also gets a thumbs up because I’ve actually lost my tee time and they were kind enough to reinstate it (admittedly after much persuasion and promises to return). They put us almost an hour later, but at least we get to tee up the ball. The food there was pretty good as well and the club house was first class. We sat at a table overlooking the range, under an archway in the open air, like some druglords in a Spanish hacienda. Other amenities were slightly lacking, like how they put us in a changing room where everyone faces each other. Admittedly we’re all guys, but come on, I admit I still get a little uncomfortable if I see another guy striding around with his dongle for all to see.

UPDATE!!

It’s quite rare that we make changes to the original ratings after playing a golf course again but Tasik Puteri gets a hit. We’re downgrading this club from a 4 to a 2 in service. We replayed this club and this time was moved to the play the 1st and 3rd nine. We are not going to rate the 3rd nine, because our theory holds true. FORGET ABOUT PLAYING THE 3rd NINES on golf courses with 3 nines.

Anyway, concerning the service, after struggling like cows in the Serengheti playing through the 3rd nine, I asked a Marshal, the tasik puteri chap who was in charge of caddy distribution for the new nine score card. This is because when we made the turn, the starter hut had no scorecards (and no starter, probably he had died of thirst) This chap rudely waved me away without even looking, while grunting something under his breath. Now, while we understand he has an extremely stressed out job thinking of which caddy to attach to which golfer, we are not quite ready to forgive the lack of respect even to golfers who had stumbled in looking like fried lobsters from the sun. We’re slapping Tasik Puteri with a 2/5 because of this lousy chap who doesn’t know how to service people properly. What an idiot!

This is a real pity, because due to one fellows disregard for service, Tasik Puteri has dropped from the Gilagolf Must Play category to the mediocre Not too Shabby category.

Fairways (3/5)

The fairways are Bermuda, and very similar to the fairways we get at Bangi. I think there was a good mixture of broad and enticing fairway, wide enough to land a plane on, and fairways requiring a tighter approach. The course favours the swing that draws, except hole one, where you can run out of fairway and land on tough hard mud. Generally, the drainage and maintenance was good, well cut grass, but still a little lacking in terms of consistency. Some holes I remember lobbing in with my Sand Wedge and just completely slided under it and went like three quarter of my predicted distance. The fairways are also generally flat until you hit the second nine, where you’ve got some elevated greens to deal with. I didn’t quite like their yardage. Somehow, some holes played nearer than what was predicted, and some holes longer than usual. I remembered hitting a 9 iron into a 130 meter par 3 at the 14th and like the par 3 nightmare at Meru, deposited 2 balls into the water, short of the green. Again, if we had the benefit of the caddie, it would have saved us much angst around the course. But then again, it would really not be us now would it?

Greens (2/5)

Green speed was a nightmare. In a good way. This just proves that we don’t rate stuff as low just because it kills us and we don’t really enjoy it. Even on the practice green we knew the putts were really rolling fast. Take away the two temporary greens, the normal greens were well maintained and manicured. The fringe looked deceptively short, but it catches the ball so you’ll need to play it with more loft and land on the green. Balls played low and running (my style) will seriously have a hard time here because it just runs away. Couple that with the undulating greens and a wager, and you have very testy putts. I three putted from 6 feet twice, and just contributed to a super frustrating afternoon on the green. It doesn’t catch your ball the way Meru or Impiana does, but it’s reasonably soft.

Mediocre putters like us (ok, ok, I’m a lousy putter!) will lose 4-5 strokes to the course all due to those short putts, due to the speed and the breaks to it.

We definitely would rate the greens higher but we still can’t get over the fact of the temporary greens situation. Apparently we found out that the ‘temporary’ has been the story of this course for a long time, and that is the major complaint. Call first and check and try to get them to charge cheaper!

Rough (3/5)

The rough in Tasik Puteri is penalizing but not cruel, like Paradise Valley or sadistic, like Frasers. I did hear the occasional rustling of snakes but did not see any, and thankfully, the course played quite wide in the fairways and OB was pretty much in play so I didn’t really spend a whole lot of time in the rough. Even if you do hit the rough, you can dig yourself out of it. Bunkers however weren’t very well maintain, with rocks in it that kills your clubs. You want to avoid greenside bunkers (as if we want to hit it in the first place) because its usually a very testy shot to pull off, and will rack up your score and make you look bad. You skull the ball and water awaits you the other side of the green. I ended up with 3 triple bogeys due to tough recovery shots!

Aesthetics (3/5)

There were quite a number of memorable holes in Tasik Puteri. 16 out of 18 holes has water features, and the one that does not have requires precision hits. It has an index 1 as a second hole (a strict no no) but due to the temporary greens, a good drive only required a 60 metre shot into the green. I played one OB, 3 off the tee, 4 on and two putted for double. Rats!

I tripled bogey 2 par 3s, mainly due to the water surrounding it. Hit one into the bunker and you better get the next shot proper. But the par 3 17th is a beautiful hole, elevated tee shot with a view of the entire golf course and a green down below, about 190 meters away. It’s highly intimidating because water awaits you on the right, which one of my partners pushed into. I hit a risky draw that landed on the front and two putted for par. It’s a hole you want to take pictures of.

Beyond the holes, the water makes the course very lively. Instead of the still and murky waters of Paradise Valley, Tasik Puteri designers were smart enough to put fountains to churn the waters and provide more live to it. I mean seriously, comparing those two courses were like comparing the current Arsenal first 11 vs the current Malaysia first 11. Malaysia’s like ranked, what? 1000th in the world in terms of football, behind the war torn nation of Zakathstan, which only have 16 people overall population, and only 2 able bodied men there? Malaysia Boleh!

Unfortunately, Tasik Puteri scores lower due to the stupidity of design at hole 14 and hole 15. We were putting at hole 14 and suddenly this red ball comes zinging from nowhere and lands on the green. At first, we wanted to snap in our shotguns to have a shootout with the flight behind but looking around we saw we were right next to the driving range. I’m serious. Anyone that hooks a little from the range will hit us. There is no NET! None! What is wrong with them? Can’t they just fence up the range instead of subjecting people putting on 14th or teeing up on 15th to the most harrowing experience of their life, by ducking incoming red balls from the sky?

And which sadistic designer would design two holes right next to the driving range? Doesn’t he realize how dangerous it is to provide 100 balls to a Malaysian and completely nothing between him and a few others teeing up on the course? If he’s on the range, he’s either

  1. Working on his game
  2. Really pissed off and wants to release some tension

For A, he’s probably struggling and will start hooking his balls and proceed in killing a few golfers at the tee box. For B, he’s probably so far gone and boiled up, the moment he sees someone enjoying themselves on the course with a good putt or drive, he’ll start realigning himself like a WWII turret and let fly as many balls as possible at the offensive golfer who just celebrated. Take that, you lucky twit who just hit a good putt/drive! <Evil Laughter>.

Come on, Tasik Puteri, have some brains in the design, please.

Fun Factor (5/5)

Did we have fun?

Heck, yeah.

I’m not too sure about the flight in front though.

It all started when one of my flight mates accidentally made off with the other flight’s golf bag, (which was the same brand) and had to be chased and called back. He also accidentally took the glove as well and had to gingerly hand it back to them with apologies.

Then we were all playing happily when I hit a drive on the par 5 4th that sailed closed to 260 meters out in the fairway. I had about 180 to go (now I realize) but at that time, from the markers, I thought it was about 210, 220 meters out. I took out my hybrid 22 degrees and let it ripped. It was hit so flushed that as it sailed through the air, zeroing into the green where the flight was just putting, only two thoughts came sequentially to mind.

1. “Wow! What a shot!”

2. “Oh, crap.”

I didn’t even call because I never expected the ball to reach. It hit the green about 3 feet from a guy in red shirt and spun about 15 feet away from the hole.

Expletives followed and I had to rush to apologise.

They weren’t too amused, to say the least and the face of that guy was as red as his shirt.

I must say, it was entirely my fault, and it was a good thing I wasn’t killed in the process but this was the first time I almost killed another golfer, so admittedly I missed my eagle and settled for a birdie.

Hole 10, my flight mate let rip a super tee shot and while it’s still up the air, who comes out of the trees at about 230 metres but the guy in red. It lands like 5 feet from him and nearly kills him. Again. Expletives followed.

I mean, at that time, even though we were having so much fun, we were thinking of just calling it a day and quitting. Not because we were scared of the flight in front, but it was seriously not fun to almost kill people twice, and the same guy!! I mean, how much insurance do you want me to buy? And why is it that our ball was zeroing on the guy in red? Does he resemble a front pin placement?

There was no shootout at the club house after the game, we all made peace and proceeded on with our individual golfing life, thank goodness.

Conclusion

Aside from the near murder incidents, Tasik Puteri is a fine course and very much recommended. It’s short, but it makes up for it with a whole lot of water, so you better hone your bunker shots and par 3s and approach shots properly. Is there repeated playability? Yes, we definitely want to come back to the course again and hopefully play it better, now that we know the course a little better. It’s not too far from the beaten track and once you’re seated at the clubhouse verandah with a coconut drink and nasi lemak to start your day, you’ll know it’s all worth it.

Avoid paying for caddies if you’re a little tight with cash, like us, but if you can afford it, caddies might help in terms of yardage and definitely in terms of putting which is diabolical at some holes.

Just make sure you play golf and don’t end up complicating things with Caddie 42. Or 33. Or whatever.

The good: Well designed holes, greens very well maintained and course has good risk-rewards interchanges. Drainage is very good, considering the amount of water. Par 3s are aesthetically beautiful and also deadly, like Elektra, the ninja woman; par 5s are reachable, just make sure you do not, I repeat, do not kill someone there.

The bad: Temporary greens should have pushed price lower or should have been informed: Tasik Puteri takes a hit for dishonesty! At 5900 meters, might be too short for some, and not so challenging. Stupid design at 14th and 15th next to range. Yardage is ridiculously off, perhaps motivating you to pay for caddie instead, some blind holes makes water really come in play, as well as the itinerant golfer dressed in red, strolling down the fairway. Aim for him and get extra points.

The skinny: 25 of 40 divots (62.5%). Due to the accessibility and aesthetics, this is a course that’s highly recommended for a relaxed round of golf, even if it plays a little easier, and have people hitting balls onto the green while you are putting.

Tasik Puteri Score Card

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