Tuanku Jaafar GCC


When someone mentioned Tuanku Jaafar golf course, my first reaction was Lord, where in blue blazes is this place? It sounds like it’s located in the remote ends of Papua New Guinea. I mean, there’s one thing to lie about the naming convention of your golf course (look at our writeup on the Seremban 3 course), but seriously, do you think there will ever come a time when an announcement for a big tournament starts like: “And this will be held in Tu-an-ku Ja-A-Far course!” I mean, 9/10 westerners ain’t gonna be able to pronounce that properly. Name it something easy. Name it something attractive. Name it anything except a name of a Malay guy. Or Chinese. Or Indian. Can you imagine a course called Tan Cheng Loke Golf Course or Sundramoorthy a/l Aluchelapan Golf Course?

Well, anyway, naming aside, my friends did mention that a Korean management had taken over the course, so it should be reasonably well maintained, given how crazy Koreans are about golf. Incidentally, we had a Korean in our group as well.


Travel (1/5)

Tuanku Jaafar is actually a township located in Negeri Sembilan, a state away from where we stay. To get there, hit the North South highway to Seremban. Take the exit to Senawang and after that take a right turn. Here’s where it goes down hill. Apparently Senawang is still a town with 21st century traffic in an 18th century road. There’s this stretch of road governed by a dilapidated traffic light that conjures an extremely long line of cars jammed like sardines in a can. The road is also lousy, being frequented by trucks, tractors, and the occasional Panzer Tank.

After the nightmare traffic, you need to stay left and look for signs to Samsung. Not Tuanku Jaafar golf course, because there ain’t any. Take the left flyover and you’ll find yourself in the Tuanku Jaafar (you know what, from now on, I’m just gonna refer it as TJ, the name is too darn hard to type, I keep giving it a single ‘a’). The 1st traffic lights, go straight and keep right. You will see a right turning into Samsung. Take that and take the left turning that says Pilosa Ville. There’s like a small sign saying TJ Golf Course, but it’s small, and only meant for ants to read it. If they can read, which they can’t, so I don’t know what the heck TJ Management is thinking. Maybe Koreans can navigate by the smell of cow grass or Tifdwarf greens, but us Malaysians are as dumb as cows without signs. Give us signs, man!

Anyways, here’s the primitive map that might help you locate this confounded place.


Incidentally, since TJ Golf course is located in Pilosa Ville, why not name it Pilosa Ville GC? It doesn’t mean anything, Pilosa could be a cuss word in ancient Greek, but who cares? Anything sounds better than what it is now!


Price (3/5)

OK, I admit, I paid cheap, about RM35 I think using the AGN golf membership. And they don’t force any extra baggage like Caddies, food vouchers and all that jazz on you. RM35, get your butt into a large Korean made buggy and you are off to one of the 3 nines we can play from.

Though the price is good and cheap, it always needs to represent the course, and as we will see later, there was a pretty good reason why RM35 is considered justifiable for the course we played in.

First thoughts

Nobody in TJ believes in signs. No, not even for the directions to the course. We had to wander a bit with our buggy till one of the workers pointed us to the 2nd nine. I mean, what is wrong with these people?

The buggy track itself was muddy, so before even the first tee off, we stepped out into mud and waded to the tee box. Staring at the first hole Par 5 10th, it’s running almost 500 yards. The tee area wasn’t maintained and as we looked at each other for explanation, we noticed that finally the management had at least the common sense to put the hole explanation up there on the tee area.

And it was in Korean.


Service (-1/5)

Never have we ever encountered a golf course that deserves a minus. I mean, even Frasers, the worst golf course in Malaysia, never had a negative point. Unfortunately, we are so irate with TJ service, a -1 is already a charity afforded to this mockery of a course. Firstly, we started registering. The lady at the counter says that the towels and locker keys are given at the registration. Seriously. They don’t have another counter for all the towels and plastics and stuff. It’s at the front counter. And the towel looked as if it had been used to wipe their buggies. It smells like insecticide, which I confirmed later, after seeing dead ants squashed inside the towel.

And here’s the one bit that totally made us crazy. We asked her for the locker room keys and she distinctly pointed to a box full of keys with numbers on them. Locker numbers, right? So, in front of the lady, we took the towels AND the keys from the box and walked around the clubhouse in search of the mythical male changing room. Remember, there are no signs. They believe signs are evil, and bad. All must navigate through smell.

We reached the lockers, tried all keys on all lockers and nothing fits!

We had to trek back all the way to the registration and here’s what went on, I swear this is the truth:

Conversation in Malay, translated.

Me: None of these keys fit.

Lady: (looking at the keys) For what?

Me: The lockers! We can’t lock any lockers with these keys.

Lady: Oh, these are for the buggy (i.e golf carts), not lockers.

Me: ……

Lady: See, number 43 for buggy 43 and …

Me: But we just took these keys in front of you when we asked for the locker keys. So why don’t you just tell me where is the locker keys?!

(at this point I was wondering how she derived in her brain that if a bunch of guys go off with bags and towels, they need a buggy key instead. What, we change in the buggy and take a piss in the buggy?)

Lady: Umm, most of the lockers are spoiled so we no longer have locker keys for you.

Me: (at this point, just stunned, beyond reason). So, where do we keep our things?

Lady: I think you better keep them in your car.

Serious. The locker room lockers are useless. The three aircond units are useless, because when we went there, no aircond, it was stuffy and smells like crap. No hot water, the water smells funny, and I think there’s probably a few corpse they didn’t clear overnight.

No power steering in the buggy. No rest stop or halfway huts. I feel as if I’ve just been sent to a detention camp in the holocaust. By far, Tuanku Jaafar wins the award for the WORST EVER GOLF COURSE SERVICE IN MALAYSIA. Congratz, Korean management!


Fairways (2/5)

It better improve outside on the golf course.

Things did get slightly better. I was surprised at the fairway; and was wondering is it cowgrass originally and now patches of Bermuda showing or the other way round. It’s a 50-50, which I thought was an interesting challenge. See where your fairway drive will end up: Cowgrass or Bermuda? It has the case of Golf Acne, as we call it, where the grass is neither Bermuda not cow grass, it’s like a hybrid, like how Michael is a hybrid of vampires and lycan in Underworld. Don’t know what I’m yammering about? Never mind. Drainage was bad. Ground was soggy, at times, beyond belief. And mud was just everywhere.


The saving grace for the course is probably the generosity of the fairways. And after playing in Nilai and Monterez, the lack of OBs here was a welcomed sight. In fact, I pounded the ball so far right on the 16th that I was parallel to the hole, on the other fairway. That’s how golf should be played! A Driver that we can use without fear!


Greens (1/5)

We were so tempted to give a negative as well. The greens were probably as bad as Frasers Hill. The grass were too long, so most of our putts were literally bouncing all the way to the hole. It was a good thing there weren’t too many undulations, so the putts went reasonably straight. But the speed was the killer, and not in a good way. Because of the maintenance, some greens went slow, while some were faster. It was just not a good experience with the green.

The green yardage is so way off at times that on the hole 2 par 3, it marked there as 150, while in fact, we were hitting 175. I mean, how wrong can you go?


Rough (1/5)

Horrendous. Not challenging, but horrendous. Leaves strewn around so finding the ball was quite an adventure. A ball bouncing just slightly off the fairway is as good as gone. One hole particularly, Hole 3, is an elevated green with a narrow fairway that sloped down to the right. I pounded the ball beautifully to cut the dogleg left. When I went there, the ball was gone. Vamoose. Disappeared. I searched and searched and finally had to conclude that it hit the ground so hard, it rolled 40 meters into the jungle. I mean, how else? We couldn’t find anything.

Or the Hole 16th. My pitch was just slightly off, and it took me a long time to look for a white ball in an ocean of leaves. I mean, isn’t there supposed to be a bloke who handles these darn leaves? Hello?

Sand bunkers were neither here nor there. Some were packed dirt that requires a pitching wedge, some were just soft enough to dig. The problem is we don’t know which is which, and I ended up skulling most of them. I played +8 over par 3s, most of them due to my extensive time in the bunkers.

Aesthetics (3/5)

Despite of the really crappy service, fairways, greens and rough, the course is actually quite nice to look at. It’s a classic case of “Good from Far, Far from Good”. I mean, you’ll have to give it to the Koreans. There aren’t many trees, although not as immature as Nilai or Seremban 3. Some holes do give a good impression, like the 6th, a blind dogleg right requiring a brave shot over the jungle, or a fade shot.

Simply based on looks, it’s TJ’s strongest selling point. It’s not holy cow, its beautiful! But it’s ‘hey, this is interesting.’ The golf course itself just plays straight. Not many holes with doglegs. So it’s one straight hole after another, with generous amount of leeway given for wayward shots and an opportunity to recover.

Fun Factor (2/5)

Fun is at a 2. The only reason it’s not given a one is because I managed to eagle the final hole, the par 5 9th. It’s a 480 yard tee off. I hit it slightly left, but it hit the card path and went about 280 yards, leaving me close to 200 yards to go. My hybrid 23 degrees (the same that I two on the par 5 in Tasik Puteri and nearly murdered a man) in my hand, I hit flush that settled 1 feet off the green on the left fringe. It was an elevated green and rain was coming down. Downhill left to right, I played it with less break since this green didn’t roll.

I actually mishit it a bit, I hit it too hard. If it didn’t catch the hole, it would have drifted 4 – 5 feet by down the hill. But as it were, the ball nicely went into the hole for my second eagle. The first I got it from Bangi, but that was really an asterix course, since I was hitting a 9 iron in, due to the mickey mouse nature of that course.

But here, in TJ, I finally recorded a man’s eagle, and bumped the fun factor from a 1 to a 2. I guess it made up for the miserable par 3 record I had.


Tuanku Jaafar is a course you will probably play once and not come back again. It’s not overly enjoyable, but it’s generous, so beginners will like it better. However, the travel is simply not worth it. Jam, getting lost, it’s just not a trip that you look forward to. The service is absolutely disastrous, I cannot recommend it to anyone unless I want them assassinated for some reason.

The good: Some scenic holes, generous fairways, generous to wayward shots, at RM35, it’s one of the cheapest 18 holes you can find; no need for food and caddies.

The bad: Traffic jammed roads, lack of signs and directions; bad drainage; the worst service and locker room of all time; lousy greens and lousy rough; lousy choice of name!

The skinny: 12 of 40 divots (30%).The course itself isn’t as bad as Frasers, but it would be considered maybe a third tier course you want to consider when everywhere else is packed.

Tuanku Jaafar Score Card


Tuanku Jaafar Information


Sungai Gadut, Seremban 71450 N.Sembilan

Contact: +606-6783088

Fax: +606-6782908

Nilai Springs Golf Club


Nilai Springs has always been discussed among us hackers as an ‘alternative good course’. It’s like, say you can’t get the first choice, it’s passable as a second choice. It’s like if you can’t get KFC, you go for MacDonald’s chickens or eating the public toilet seat since the experience should be the same; or you can’t get a Gibson guitar, you get an Ephiphone; or you can’t get Catherine Zeta Jones, and you’ll need to settle for Siti Norhaliza (who’s one of the very very few Malaysian celebrity I actually can remember, although my spelling might be suspect).

I guess I have very vague memories of that place, and I don’t remember getting put off by it, the way a recollection of Bukit Beruntung brings nightmares of sandy fairways, bumpy greens and lousy food. So we took off to check out the course, and to jog back any particular memory filed along with all the other golf courses in my limited brain.


Travel (3/5)

For a non Klang Valley course, it’s one of the most accessible golf course available. Take the Seremban highway down south, and make sure you stop by the Nilai rest stop, just past the Nilai Memorial Park to load up on one of the better Nasi Lemak you will taste, a perfect, fiery start to a day filled with golf.

Nasi Lemak is probably the greatest invention…the westerners will say that it is sliced bread, but they are obviously not food crazy people like the Asians, because if you put a hot nasi lemak with spicy belacan, fried egg, curry squid in front of anyone, and a choice of sliced bread, it’s like putting a Maserati and a Proton together and get people to choose. Yeah, sure, take the Proton, huh, go ahead, that’s a real intelligent decision.

It’s a little more than half hour drive from KL, depending on how fast you go; but here’s the map:


Price (2/5)

I paid in total about RM73 for a weekday game. The whole green fee + buggy package is cheap; around RM50, using the AGN card for me. However they force you to do two things. Buy a RM10 food voucher, and a caddie for a flight. We ended up with two caddies and had to pay and extra RM16 officially and to top off, pay the tips as well for the caddie.

Now I ALWAYS have a problem with clubs forcing us to take caddies. I don’t care if they are considered pretty (which they are, as I said, reasonably presentable, like how a loaf of bread is presentable), a caddie means two things. Extra cost, and….extra cost. That’s it. Why do we need to tip them? What sort of practice is this? Don’t they like get paid or something? Why not just tip the registration lady? Or the waiter? Or the maintenance worker? Heck, why not tip the guards at the gate to give you a salute and sing a song when you go off? The point is: WHY are we practicing tipping only on golf courses? Do all the kiasu, cheapskate Asian people suddenly become generous and kind westerners, like our colonial masters in the past, simply because we’re holding a stick and hitting a white ball in the hole?

No I didn’t like the pricing. You can’t force people to take the caddie. Worse, you also force people to eat your crappy food, when we can go somewhere else to eat. RM10 voucher? We ended up buying a jug of soya bean cincau and some ice cream just to make use of it.

First thoughts

I honestly expected a better experience, but on the first tee itself, we were faced with a Par 5 requiring a 7 iron tee off, since it was about 170 to the water, and 350 to cross. I’ll say one thing about this course and get it over with.

It’s like Monterez, Seri Selangor and all the other accursed courses that likes to put OB signs everywhere and gleefully goad you into the wilderness. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s narrow. Not only that, this course has fairways that run away into jungle and hazards.

Feature wise, I am reminded again of Gunung Raya. Young trees dots the landscape, barely providing enough shade for weary golfers. It was obviously originally in a wasteland, where the inhabitants of Nilai probably deposit their sewage, old furniture and dead cats. At some holes, the smell of shit was literally so overwhelming, you just have to hold your breath, tee it up and scramble into your buggy and speed off. I think they were fertilizer smell, but hey, shit’s shit, you know.


Service (3/5)

Ok, I admit, their locker room was pretty good.

Their caddies were pretty helpful as well. They don’t know how to read greens, so don’t bother (at least the ones we got). I found them very useful particularly in cleaning my clubs and making sure I don’t leave any clubs behind. They also do the little things like marking my ball and cleaning it. I suppose all caddies are like that, but it helps to have caddies that don’t comment so much on your game, or give pointers when none are needed, or don’t engage in internal caddie betting.

But points loss in terms of halfway huts being deserted. I don’t know what is the point of having a halfway hut when there’s no one there. We were fortunate the day was generally overcast. If it was a hot weather, not a lot of golfers will make it out alive. It would be the Seremban 3 experience all over again.

Fairways (2/5)


Not particularly great fairways, frankly. It has what we call complexion issues. Like the face of an adolescent, spotted with acne, the Bermuda fairways here have spots of cow grass growing here and there, and making things more than a bit uneven. That’s really not the main issue. Another issue is that for a course this exposed to the sun (and we have quite a generous amount of sun, although slightly cloudy), having puddles of water is really a testament to horrendous drainage. I mean, even on the 18th, when we are almost done and the sun was finally blazing down, casual water was still evident on the fairway. Bad drainage, bad grass maintenance really offsets the other good points on the fairway, where in some holes, the ball can be found sitting up reasonably on a mat of Bermuda. It really tips slightly from mediocre to below average on the Gila Scale of Fairways (which just officially existed 3 seconds ago).


Greens (3/5)

Like the fairway, the green is harmed with complexion issues as in being patchy with different coloured grass, some dried patches here and there. However, maintenance wise, it was reasonably average. The grass was pressed down, giving evidence that the maintenance guys were doing more than just picking their nose and poking fun at golfers. The roll wasn’t exactly true, but then again, we’re not really like expert putters. I just recall we didn’t really complain too much of the green and we did managed to hole in some long ones.


Rough (2/5)

Ok, having a challenging rough is one thing, I completely appreciate it, like what KGNS is, even though I sucked at it.

But Nilai gleefully attaches OB hole after hole after hole. I am so tired of the caddie saying, “OB kiri kanan, beyond buggy track.” – translating, OB left and right, beyond buggy track. I’m like, darn it! Yes, I know I suck at my driving direction, but give me a chance to recover! I recall Tiger Woods can push his first tee shot so far right that he had to hit from the 18th fairway in one of the majors. So, treat us like Tiger Woods and give us a chance to recover!

Nope, the rough is ok, but too little rough makes it almost negligible. If you miss the fairway, you’re 50-50 gone. Unlike Monterez which featured mainly straight holes, Nilai Springs chucks in slight doglegs with humps that causes unfriendly bounce to the ball.

Oh, yeah, lots of water too, but not as crazy as Monterez where it requires carrying water almost every other hole. Nilai Springs have a reasonable mix of dry and wet hazards. The bunkers were crap though, but the rain probably cause the hardness, but hey, it’s still crap.


Aesthetics (3/5)

Nilai Springs can be quite pretty at times. It really depends on the weather. It’s like how some girls are prettier in cold weather, they have rosier cheeks, more radiant complexion and generally a more bewitching look. I think it’s the fact that in hot weather, the T zones are more obvious. It’s really awkward when a girl’s oily areas are prominent, it makes them look shiny, like a how my clubs are shiny after a coat of WD-40 has been applied. In the clubs case, I simply can wipe it down with a dry cloth; in the other case, I cannot possibly go up to them and wipe their face and say, just getting the lubricants away. There is a guarantee slap in the face there and depending on the subject, a kick in the nuts is also a high probability.


So it was that Nilai Springs did look pretty at some holes, especially the Par 3s, and the 17th hole that requires a carry over water. But perhaps due to cloudy weather in the first nine and the fact that OB was littered all over the course, kiri kanan and all that, we didn’t appreciate the full beauty of Nila Springs. It’s not a matured course, so don’t expect the Clearwater, Datai Bay kind of scenery. It’s more of Gunung Raya, Seremban 3 style. Small trees, surrounded by low scrubs.


Fun Factor (2/5)

Whatever small fun we had was completely wiped away on the 18th, when a bunch of clowns coming down form the parallel 15th ( I think) came into our fairway and hit our balls. We know because we found their cheap ball later. I mean, seriously, why is this happening? Can’t people just identify their ball, or are they so evil that they would trade in their ball with a Newing brand for a titleist Pro-V1x? I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would have wish them reincarnated as the materials used to make the golf balls (if there’s such a thing) so I can spend the rest of my other life pounding them into smithereens.


The 18th hole is a toss in between brilliantly challenging hole or a brilliantly stupid one. It requires a draw off the tee, as there’s tree branches covering your sight about 20 meters from the tee box, and the fairway doglegs left. I hit a flush shot, the best I’ve hit, and it just sailed and sailed and sailed….

It must have hit the cart path, because it landed almost 320 meters way, in the rough and yes, on the right side of the buggy track.

Here’s the thing I don’t get it. The ball didn’t even reach the parallel hole. It was just in the rough on the right side of the buggy track, with a possibility to hit over the trees with my 60 degree and regulation on. Theoretically, I would find it a challenge but at least the course would be saying, well you suck at driving, let’s see how you get out of jail with an amazing recovery. Now, probably about 1 out of 100 times, I can recover. And why do we love Tiger so much? Not because he looks buffed, or has Malaysian blood (yeah, Tiger is Malaysian!!!), or snarls at everyone, or drives long. We love him because of the impossible, crazy, magnificent, intelligence-insulting recovery shots he conjures from places where normal golfers would break down weeping and cradling their clubs in agony. Please don’t say you love golf played from the fairway. And please don’t tell us that we should fix our drive first before commenting about the course being unfair. We are weekend hackers, missing fairway is what we do very well, so get used to it. Besides, it’s not that Nilai Springs is unfair in it’s OB mentality.

Nilai Springs is saying instead: “You suck at driving, so too bad, we don’t like to see heroics on our golf courses. OB! Take another.”

But the ball is still playable, its not interfering with another hole or whatever. It’s still playable…

OB! Take another!

Nilai Springs officially join the ever increasing courses labeled “Accursed Courses with too many OB stakes to use up”, like Monterez and Seremban 3 course.



Nilai Springs is hard to judge. At some points we liked it; but mostly derived from our intense internal competition of RM5 per hole, matchplay style. It doesn’t have the character we expect it, instead we get a typically narrow course, immatured with no shade and possibly the most OB stakes ever seen in a course throughout Malaysia.

If you want to play it proper (and I probably will), leave the big dog in the bag and negotiate with your woods. It doesn’t play extremely long, so course management is really vital here.

The good: Access is easy, nasi lemak stop in the morning, greens are reasonably maintained, aesthetics passable

The bad: Narrow like Borat’s G-string, caddie and food compulsory, OB doesn’t give much recovery chances, bad drainage and fairway, and idiots playing your ball and refusing to admit later. Please bring a shotgun to settle cases such as these.

The skinny: 20 of 40 divots (50%). If you want a quieter course outside Klang Valley to play precision golf (this experience is similar to having your toe nails pulled out by a plier), Nilai Springs is for you. Otherwise, give the course a miss but not the nasi lemak.

Nilai Springs Score Card


Nilai Springs Information


Pt. 4770, Bandar Baru Nilai,
P.O.Box 50, 71801, Nilai, N. Sembilan.

Contact: +606-8508888

Fax: +606-8503388

Website: www.nilaispringsgcc.com.my




I played at Nilai Springs on Sunday the 15th of November 2009.

Played on the Pines 9 & Mango 9
I must say i was not disappointed by the Course or the Service.


The service was reasonable although our 08:30 Tee off was during the peak hour.
Our tee off was delayed due to congestion of about 4 flights before us.

Initially they could offer only 2 caddies to our two flights, but then after requesting the Caddie Master, he did find two more for our two flights which made it perfect.

The half way huts were manned as well and the caddies were not the best but not bad either.

Fairways, Greens & Bunkers
When i saw the practice green look like a sandy beach, i remembered the Gila Golfer comments and was regretting the decision to play there, although it was not mine.

But was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Fairway and the Greens.
It has rained a fair bit over the last week, but must say that the fairways did not show it. The quality was at least the same that we expect to see in a very good club. No uneven or squishy patches.

The grass was in good shape and i didn’t see any signs of Elephant grass as in the picture above.

Some tee boxes looked like the lunar surface though, but over all it was good.

The Greens were playing slow at first and became hard once the sun started peeping through and then it became hard to stop the ball on them with anything less than a perfect shot.
The ball was rolling nicely and no signs of any bumps.

The Bunkers were in fairly good condition as well.

Also didn’t come across any undue OB’s except at the last hole of Mango, where there is no need to have an OB right of the cart path.


Overall it was not a bad experience and wouldn’t mind going back there and playing another round .

Khawar (khawarak@gmail.com)

Paradise Valley Golf Resort


I was invited to a game at Paradise Valley Golf Resort located at a township in Seremban 3. Usually when I hear about Seremban (it’s in the state next to the state I live in), I’ve got good memories of Staffield and SIGC, and some fun games I’ve had with good friends over there. With the name like Paradise Valley, images of Meru Valley obviously comes to mind and I immediately agreed to take a day off to play in a game consisting of two flights. Usually games with two flights of golfers are extremely fun, since you are able to blast a ball on the green while the front flight is still putting and not get sued or killed in the process. They will probably tee up right on the green itself and blast the ball back but come on, seriously, what are the chances of a silly white ball actually hitting a person from 200 metres out, right? It’s a thousand to one!

Travel (2/5)

Paradise is quite accessible from the North South Highway. It’s not too deep in, and quite easy to find. It’s in fact right at the new toll leading into Port Dickson town. Take the Seremban-Port Dickson turn off, turn right at the traffic light and just follow the road. You’ll eventually pass a few petrol stations and there’s Seremban 3 on the left. Turn into it, like Meru Valley, it’s a golf course that’s situated inside a township, I suppose as part of the feature. Hey, we really enjoyed Meru, right, so this is starting to look pretty promising.

The stupid thing about this is when you exit (and as you find out later, you WILL want to exit in a hurry), you can’t get back on the road you came from without U-turning. And there’s only one U-turn. At the PD toll, a small opening between the dividing poles to cut back. You miss that turning and you will need to pay for the toll to Port Dickson, and drive all the way into town and make a U-turn there. There are no signs, so it’s just really up to your observation. I mean would it kill them just to make an opening in the divider in front of Seremban 3 for cars to turn back into the main road without going to the toll? Jeez.

Price (3/5)

The price for weekdays is about 70RM all in (with buggy and insurance) but our flight had a special voucher and I only ended up paying 50RM for the day. Weekends are slightly a bit more, around 90RM. I think it’s pretty reasonable, at least they are not charging like cut throat pricing the way Datai Bay was doing.

First thoughts

Right on the first tee, images of Meru Valley were immediately replaced by images of Gunung Raya. Elevated tee box, sharp dogleg left, narrow fairway with OB right and hidden green. We looked at the course and there was just this sinking feeling (which was correctly justified later) that this was going to be a long day, filled with missing balls.

We struggled through the first hole and immediately get whacked by an Index 1 on the second. Now, I’m not too much of an advocate with bringing out the toughest hole on the second hole of the day. Obviously the designers thought it would be fun, the way how pulling out fingernails and placing your face in boiling water was considered quite fun in the middle ages; but no, I can’t say I found it very amusing at all. The second hole was a long carry over water about 180 metres, and then an elevated green (and I do mean elevated, it’s like trekking up a freaking pyramid) all for a par 4. Oh yeah, water on the right too. And OB right. Add to the fact that you haven’t even warmed up from the long journey, you really know you will screw up this hole. Which all of us did.

If you think Rahman Putra has a lot of water, Paradise is a course with patches of land in the midst of a giant mining pool. The water is not even nice to look at. At least, in KRPM we have water lilies and some plants to brighten up the golfers day after they have lost their entire cache of balls within. Paradise’s water just sits there gloomily, devoid of life, sucking the very soul of golfers who draw near. And you will hit a lot into the water. The fairways are built as if they only had space to build a nine hole course but instead wanted to suck more money out of unsuspecting golfers, so they crammed in 18.

Long day, long game and a whole lotta balls to play it.

Service (1/5)

I didn’t like the service. Ordering food was excruciatingly slow. I mean we were the only clowns in the whole club you know; why does it takes half an hour for fried rice to come? And the car park was like a 150 metres away from the entrance, so it was a long walk back to the car from the club house. Why did they do it like this? I suppose they expected like thousands of people to flock to the club and hosting the Ryder Cup or something, to make the car park so huge. Hey, it’s just our cars and the observing maintenance guy in his beat up buggy, why can’t you make the car park NEARER??! I mean, its ok if I am headed to play golf, but after 5 hours of extreme torture, under extreme heat, you want me to trek back to my car and risk dying of dehydration along the way? I don’t think so.

The guy handling our bags didn’t come till we called. And he didn’t move a muscle to drive us to our car until we insisted. Nobody was at the counter for inquiries when I wanted to get extra score card; in fact, I am so anal now that I’m peeved that they didn’t have someone salute me when I drove my car past the guard house!! What kinda service is this? Hey, a little respect here would be nice, even though we are cheapskate golfers with a voucher to get RM20 off from normal price!

Fairways (2/5)

The fairways in some holes weren’t too bad actually. Condition wise, it was maintained reasonably well. Other fairways totally sucked though, with cart grooves all muddied around it and no GUR sign or chalk to indicate a free drop. Another thing I didn’t quite like about the fairway was the occasional dog shit lying around. Ok, that’s fine, because KRPM also has that. But huge chunks of cow shit? I mean, what is this, a zoo? What am I gonna see next, a mound of triceratops crap I gotta hit from? Give me a break.

The challenge was that the fairways were tight. I didn’t think they were unfair, like Frasers, it’s just the feature and the characteristic of the course. If you like tight fairways and precision hitting with the 5 wood and wimpy irons off the tee, the same way you’d like your feet fitted into a shoe 3 sizes smaller than yours and made to run a marathon in it, hey, you know it’s your call. For me, I am supportive of huge fairways with a little leeway to land on another fairway in case my shots go awry, which of course, doesn’t happen too often, maybe 17 times out of 18 drives. But I’m a hacker and if you’re Mr Tight Fairways, you must be a PGA pro, which begs the question: Why are you even reading this? Shouldn’t you be making tons of money right now? Go away!!

Greens (3/5)

The greens in some holes were very well manicured. It has that unmistakable spongey feeling to it when you walk on it and you just know your ball is going to bite when it hits the green. However, just when you think you got it figured out, on the next hole, the roll changes and it becomes quicker and faster and more three putts are on the way. There were a LOT of 3 putts because we just didn’t know if it was going to be fast, slow or whatever. That, coupled with the undulation makes these greens less than fun to putt on. Most of the time, it’s putt and pray, that the speed was right, since we couldn’t really gauge from the previous hole. I don’t think they had a lot of control over how consistent the greens were.

Rough (2/5)

You just pray you don’t hit the rough.

Lalang, the grass that we have been introduced to in Frasers makes an unwelcomed return. As we’ve mentioned, rough that allows us to hit from but penalize us somewhat is acceptable. Rough that virtually grabs your clubs with the explicit intention to break your wrist is another story. There was a par 5 (which I thankfully found fairway, fairway, green), where one of my playing partners took 4 to get out of the rough enroute to an 8.

If this was Canoustie or St Andrews, we will readily overlook this point. But this happens to be Paradise Valley and (later we will see), it does not match up to one iota of the standard of those courses, so there has gotta be some redeeming factors in it. You make a course that’s this hard, with so little maintenance, and don’t give us eye candy for it, and you’re definitely gonna score low.

Aesthetics (0/5)

We always try to look for a signature hole.

This course has one signature hole.

Hole 19.

And it ain’t the Datai Bay type of hole 19. It’s the hole 19 where you sit under a fan and eat fried rice and drink gallons of soya bean with cincau (the de facto golf drink for Malaysian golfers to the uninitiated)


I don’t remember playing a golf course that played so difficult, so long, and so hot. This makes Gunung Raya feel like Antartica. Seriously. I don’t know why is it so hot. The course is not matured, so there’s no grow in of shade and trees, I guess, but I’m not a golf garderner. I’m just a hacker, so I don’t need a reason to call this golf course the hottest course on earth. I just need to show them my first degree burnt marks from the sun.

I see those blasted trees around, but most of them are not even remotely close to the fairways or rough. They are just sort of standing around there, the shade out of reach from us, like some kind of mirage in the desert. We are mainly left to fend for ourselves against the extreme heat with our caps, umbrellas, portable fans. The ponds, as we’ve mentioned, doesn’t make the course any cooler. In fact, it just reminds you, reflecting the glaring sun into your eyes, how nice is it to sit at home with your air condition and a huge mug of root beer in front of you.

Because the course was so narrow, with severe drop offs from the fairways into the rough, a good part of our time was spent hiking up and down the terrain, which contributed to fluid loss and an occasional heat stroke, or epilepsy. But still we had golf to play, and when someone says, “Gosh my knees are so wobbly,” on the 13th hole and it has nothing to do with the beer girls, you know it’s about time we checked out of the course.

And as we’ve pointed out, we are very anal about the name. We don’t like names that mislead us. If you call it Clearwater, I wanna see water so clear you can peer in and watch a giant crocodile feeding on a cow at the bottom of the lake, if not, it’s not gonna cut it. If you call it Paradise Valley Golf Resort, you have a few things to live up to.

Paradise: No, it’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite. Unless it connotes that after playing this course, your next destination will likely be in heaven when you die from that heat stroke or epilepsy. As for it being a Paradise, come on, let the golfers decide before you name it that way, ok? This is definitely not a paradise, with its lack of wildlife, lack of beautiful trees, lack of shade and lack of character.

Valley: No, it’s not. This is a big lie. I don’t see rolling hills like Meru, I don’t even see why is it called a valley? All I see is a characterless course with 18 holes jumbled together in a mess, with lots of brown, murky water. Where are the hills? Why the dickens is it called Valley then? It’s next to Port Dickson, the beach place in West Malaysia. Do they think we are actually stupid?

Resort: No, it’s also not. A resort means it’s a place you can stay, or have an attached hotel, like Equatorial at Bangi or IOI at Palm Garden or Mines at, well, Mines. This is not a resort, because it just has a club house that is too far away for the car park and crappy service! Unless if it means staying inside one of the garden sheds would qualify it as a resort, this is another blatant misuse of a naming convention.

So out of the 4 words about this place, only one is true: Golf. And that too is contentious because that’s also a struggle, playing in a place where the cows and buffaloes roam, depositing their crap on the fairways.

We’re so annoyed at this naming heresy that we’re going to give it a 0 for aesthetics. Take that, you Paradise Valley liars. We’re going to call you The Nameless Course in Seremban 3 from here on, or the Nameless, for short.

Fun Factor (1/5)

It almost gets a 0 for these points:

1) Course that is so hot, most of came out looking like lobsters. I’m serious, we looked like someone just magic inked us red or black and we were the same colour as the maintenance workers. They almost passed us brooms to get us to sweep the cart path.

2) Fairways so tight that we were almost killed by balls from another hole. Which happened to be also our friends. But that doesn’t matter.

3) Carpark so far away we need to hitchhike to it.

4) What the heck is cow dung doing in the course? You mean there are freaking cows hanging around here? Actual cows??!

5) Messed up fairways with cart grooves and bad drainage.

6) Murky water breeding disease. The next epidemic will happen right here. We need to contact WHO and blast this course out of the face of this planet as soon as possible.

7) Inconsistent greens and lalang rough. And reminding us of that jackal of a course in Frasers.

8) A name that misleads and woefully, absolutely woefully falls short of its lofty suggestion.

9) Thinking that us golfers are stupid. Actually the golf course can’t think, but we mean the designers, or the guys that named this course.

It gets a point just because we still had a bit of fun, with two flights. You really can’t beat a morning hanging out with golfers (even if you don’t know them at first), and having a good time jabbing each other after that.


The Nameless Course in Seremban 3 requires a lot of precision, patience and energy to play it. It saps you like a sponge, drawing away your soul with every shot until you struggle up to the last hole, devoid of life or remembrance of the past.

Did we enjoy it? The consensus was a resounding no. Will we return? We can’t wait to get the heck out of there and blot this memory forever from our lives.

And it’s not finished. We still have that long, long trek back to our cars.

The good: It’s pretty accessible, just watch the U-turn to get home; price is reasonable, very challenging to some and attractive for precision hitters who are also known as the officially insane.

The bad: Terrible choice of names, all the above points under Fun Factor.

The skinny: 14 of 40 divots (35%). Play without expecting too much and you might find it tolerable. For us, this is the first, only and last experience with the Nameless Course of Seremban 3.

Paradise Valley Score Card