NOTE: This post has so far received possibly the most number of comments, mostly in a language that resembles malay, but one that I cannot interpret even with the help of google translate. Yes, I nearly failed my Malay. That’s why this blog is in English, I suck at comprehending Malay in any form except to order food.
Anyways, one of the comments received was thankfully in comprehensible English, and in respect to Gilagolf readers (and it’s amazing there are actual readers who appreciate these nonsensical reviews, and some even take it extremely seriously!), I will try to address it, hopefully to appease any wrath incurred due to our frank (and oftentimes insulting) reviews.
Blitzer commented and gave us a very good historical background on TUDM and why their fairways, buggies, greens and rough suck as the do. However it still doesn’t change the fact that this course is in a dire need of repair and improvement. Some interesting points:
“Golfshop – how to compete with Panwest, Transview, RGT etc? It is an old school golf shop and we like the service rendered. Anyway, I think you owed an apology to the uncle. You know the number, give him a call, son.”
I actually happened to like the uncle. He was a dream collector. If you mean by calling him a weed smoking guy, it’s simpy an irreverant expression often used in this blog: calling ourselves monkeys, chimps, electrocuted tapirs and bat shit eating golfers etc doesn’t actually mean we love eating bat shit, it’s simply to say we suck. But if I offended the helpful uncle, then I’m definitely sorry for that, he’s an excellent fellow to chat with. But the proshop still smells like thinner and propanol.
“Bro, didn’t your mother teach you to ask permission before taking pictures? In the airbase – taking pictures is a punishable offence by law. You should thank god if someone is not knocking on your door at odd hours! (or erase from this blog the pic with C130 is flying, and with ATC tower and…..you know what to do).”
Boy, I get that a lot. So does my mom. The fact is that she wasn’t brought up in the army, so there’s no way momma’s gonna know all these stuff. She’s a really simple lady. All she wants is a nice house and grandkids. She did teach me to eat my vege, which I appreciate. I do thank God nobody is knocking on my doors at odd hours! It is annoying when that happens and it did happen before!
In respect to Gilagolf readers (and you are one of the few of them, it seems), I’d rather lose pictures than lose precious readers, so the offending pictures (or any pictures depicting towers and planes or structures) have been replaced, by my favourite towers of Mordor and Ortanc and the infamous fellbeast of the Winged Nazgul, the Witch King of Angmar. Sauron, RISE!!
Anyways, appreciate your comment as always, and keep hacking and reading!
End of NOTE
Thanks to maintaining this blog, I’ve been—at times—getting myself to play on courses that I otherwise would not even think of playing, but for the sake of putting courses in Malaysia – Good, bad and downright medusa ugly – on the map, over the years, this blog has gathered and reviewed more than 50 courses in and out of Malaysia.
And so, for reasons you wouldn’t be too interested in, I found myself in the middle of nowhere at this place called Bukit Gambang, which styles itself as a Resort City, when it is actually just a few blocks of apartments cobbled around a small water park about ¼ the size of Sunway Lagoon, which itself is generally about 1/100 the size of Disneyland. Malaysians generally love to make their fun things sound bigger than it actually is. Hm.
So anyways, I brought a half set with me just in case I happen to chance upon a golf course (which we did, passing Maran Hills on the way). Searching for the nearest golf course via google maps, I came across TUDM Kuantan Recreation Club, about 15 minutes drive from Gambang. Now, TUDM stands for the Malaysian Royal Air Force, which is more well known for losing jet engines to Uruguay than to have reasonably nice golf courses. But I had only 2 hours to kill, so I didn’t have too much of a choice, between mindless playing Sudoku or tee-ing it up, I half-heartedly chose the latter, with the Gilagolf.net blog in mind.
Travel ( 2/5)
Before the highway that linked West Coast Malaysia to East Coast Malaysia, we had to navigate through what we call ‘Trunk Roads’, i.e small, windy passageways with just one lane on either side, with cars zooming by the opposite direction centimeters away from you. Trunk roads are extremely hostile to the unskilled driver, and many Malaysian drivers have grown up tackling these infamous trunk roads by jamming the accelerator to zip by the 16 wheeler tanker, eating into the opposite traffic lane, and zipping back into their own lane, just as another 16 wheeler careens by the opposite direction, barely missing each other. This life and death situation repeats itself in an cycle for 200 over kilometers.
But now, with the new highway, it’s a piece of cake to travel to Kuantan. From KL, just hit the Karak Highway and join the East Coast Expressway for about 200 over KMs, and turn off at the Gambang Exit. Turn left at the main intersection and you’re on the old trunk road, and just keep going till you see the military airport. You are there, simple. From Kuantan, even easier, just take the old trunk road out of Kuantan and you’ll find the military base. Just be careful of the signs, it’s pretty dilapidated so you might miss it. It’s called ‘Kelab Rekreasi TUDM’ which is in Malay, translated to ‘We-Like-To-Lose-Big-Jet-Engines-Worth-Billions-To-Luis-Suarezs-Home-Country’. No.Of course not. Jeez.
Anyway, travel is no fuss, I like golf courses that are easy to access, and preferably next to the main road, in case it is so horrendous we need to make a quick exit before dying of self inflicted asphyxiation. So why only 2/5? Read on and prepared to be amazed.
Price ( 1/5)
At first I thought RM20 was a great price to pay for the course. I looked at the scorecard, and yes, it was 9 holes only but still, it was ok. Until she told me I was forced to take a buggy, for another RM20. I wanted to walk, having lugged a trolley with me, but she said only from 5:30 onwards. Looking out, there didn’t seem to be any living creature existing on the course, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get this lady to relent. At the end, I forked out RM40, got into the ugliest buggy in the world, a shocking pink buggy and chugged out into the course.
RM40 for this course? 9 Hole? No. After going through it, I rather spend my RM40 watching Titanic 4 times in a row non-stop. For the record, I rather be zapped by a hundred electric eels than to watch Titanic even one time. Go figure.
Have you ever had the thought when you committed yourself to something, such as bungy jumping, or base jumping, that right at the ledge,only two words form your entire thought pattern and life philosophy?
Those are the treasured words that bombarded me over and over again as I stood at the first tee box (or what I thought was the first, since there were no signs). A distant flight tower was the only feature on the first hole, and it resembled a football field, converted into a golf course. And football field here isn’t Wembley mind you, it’s like that SS2 neighbourhood football field, that is filled with rusted nails, sand patches and the itinerant flasher who will open up his coat to show you his dongs and then cackle insanely.
Service ( 2/5)
Despite my disagreement with the lady to charge me 40 bucks, she did put me out in the course extremely quickly. Take money, give change along with a photostated score card and boom, get out of my sight, take one of the 4 buggies available. Yes. 4. Got into the pink buggy and I’m off.
The pro shop is inhabited by this weed smoking old fellow, and you can only stay there 10 minutes top, because—I am not kidding—the entire room smells of thinner. I.e the poisonous liquid to take away paint. I almost died, but saw a whole lot of old clubs for sale. As in, seriously OLD. This guy is a vintage collector dream. He has old persimmon woods, hand crafted to perfection. He has Tun Razak’s (our second Prime Minister) old clubs, he has even an old Winfield mallet that was the great grandfather of the famous odyssey two ball. I spent more than 10 minutes in there, and just as I was about to pass out due to thinner poisoning, I paid for an old persimmon 3 wood and crawled out of that pro shop barely alive, but losing 5 years of my lifespan. The wood looks good though.
Ok, so to the course. The fairways are possibly—with the exception of Selesa Hills golf course—the WORST fairways you will ever see in this part of the planet. The grass was long and thick, there was no difference between fairway and rough, it was just patches of dirt, thick grass, patches of sand, thick grass etc. I have never experienced such an awful piece of crap before until TUDM Recreation Club. Pictures will say it all.
Greens (0 /5)
I was surprised that the first hole green was quite well maintained. It was very hard, very fast with not so subtle breaks. But from hole 2 onwards, it was like descending into the very heart of Crap Land. Bare greens, sometimes filled with dirt, the third hole had a standing sprinkler turned on, with no life in sight. Terrible experience.
Rough ( -1/5)
Absolutely, the worst rough you will ever find in Malaysia. Hole 3, a 190m par 3, I hooked a little, my ball nestling into the rough at the side of the green. Using my 60 degree, I chopped down on the heavy grass and what happened next was every golfer’s nightmare. No, not Christina Kim in thongs (apparently, that would be most Gilagolf Reader’s dream), but rocks and stones flying out along with the ball. The stones were underneath the dirt. Big stones! I looked at my 60 degree and let out a vampiric wail of anguish. TUDM, you are a stupid, stupid course!!!
Aside from the asinine nature of the rough in this horrific course, the sand bunkers are an automatic free drop. Why? Yes, they are filled with stones. Yes, they are ugly as Quasimodo’s rear-end. Yes, they are unplayable. But worse, all of them had holes in them. I thought these were for drainage, until, on closer exploration, they were all dugged at the side of the bunkers on the mound, and naturally made…by something long, slithering, and possibly poisonous.
Aesthetics ( 0/5)
Ok, let me try to put this in context. Let’s say, you mix these two:
And wait, after that, mix whatever comes out from those two with this:
And you have a general idea of about 10% of the ugliness of this course. This course, is by far, absolutely, horrendously hideous. At least, Frasers Hill had some saving grace in terms of looks, as did Selesa Hills. Bukit Beruntung still resembles the faeces of a skunk, but this one? This one takes the cake.
TUDM Recreation Club golf is absolutely the most horrific looking course in the known galaxy. So far. Look at it. Seriously, what sort of course is this??!? Why is it existing? If the RMAF were to accidentally drop 1500 bombs onto this place (which might be possible…as in, the ‘accident part’, I won’t be at all surprised), it would make the course look better after the bombing. Flat, uninspiring, completely awful maintenance sums up TUDM for you.
Fun Factor (0/5)
The first three holes were had slight variety. From 4,5,6,7,8,9 on wards, you feel like Ground Hog Day, repeating the same holes over and over again. I am not kidding. Every hole looks the same, because generally, they are playing parallel to each other. There’s the occasional drain here and there, resembling the marshes of Mordor, but otherwise, the same.
I stopped having fun after the course destroyed my 60 degree. Wait, actually, I stopped having fun the moment I escaped the Pro Shop of death. This course is a cruel joke. How can anyone have fun in this place? This is probably about the same experience as bathing in freezing water in the Himalayas. No wonder our RMAF guys are so depressed. Their own golf course resembles some war torn battlefield in Afghanistan.
What can I say? After the final tee off, I quickly packed my bags, saluted the guys at the gate and sped off as quickly as possible, trying to wash away all memories of this forsaken golf course. This makes Frasers Hills look like Augusta. I mean, with proper maintenance, who knows, it might be a reasonable 9 hole course for quickie games like mine, but if I were to select between playing this course, and watching Titanic for a week, followed by the god awful Australia for another week; I might select the latter, after which I will likely be warded in an asylum.
The good: The only good word I can think off that’s associated with this pile of dung is “Good Riddance.”
The bad: Every single thing about this course is bad. Well, maybe except for the poison chamber Pro Shop with all the vintage clubs and putters. Otherwise, take heed. Any club that has a gigantic golf ball with wings as its insignia is probably slightly lower than your dog’s poop in terms of prestige.
The skinny: 3 of 40 divots (7.5%). I thought it would be impossible to find a course worse than Fraser’s Hill, but here you have it. Officially, the worst golf course in Malaysia…TUDM Kuantan Recreation Club, or in Malay, for those Googling: Kelab Rekreasi TUDM Kuantan!!
TUDM Kuantan Score Card
TUDM Kuantan Information
Kelab Rekreasi TUDM Kuantan
Pengkalan TUDM Kuantan,