Palm Garden Golf Resort


Palm Garden.

If there were 10 courses in West Malaysia we always wanted to play, this would definitely be there. Kota Permai, Mines, Saujana, Sungai Long and Bukit Jambul in the top 5. Clearwater, Templer’s Park, Datai Bay, A Famosa would be the others.

Well, at least we’ve got 2 from that list.

Actually I’ve played in Palm Garden before and shot an 86 with 8 pars, one of the best rounds I’ve played. So I’m naturally excited to be back there after 3 years and as I remembered, the course is really forgiving. Undergoing some major swing changes, that forces me to fade on the good shots and push on the bad, a course like Palm Garden is a welcomed sight after playing OB happy courses like Nilai and Monterez. I have nearly eliminated by dreaded duck hook, but was still in the midst of the changes, which I hope would help me play more consistently. Hey, even hackers want to play some dignified golf you know.

Travel (3/5)

You can take a few ways to Putrajaya. Whatever the case is, whenever someone mentions Putrajaya or Cyberjaya, the natural reaction is a gag and subsequent fake death/fake vomit stunt. Everyone thinks it’s located in the next galaxy which simply isn’t true. I know, since I have the pleasure of driving to Cyberjaya every weekday for work. It’s located 35.5 km away from where I stay in PJ, and it flows against the traffic so the drive is only about 30 minutes; same time as those poor souls who must brave the jam to go to KL. Hey, we’re all in the same boat!

You can either take the LDP to Putrajaya, i.e passing through Puchong heading towards Cyberjaya. However, the best route is via the North South Highway, and turn off at our favourite interchange, Kajang. There we meet the famous forks: Right to Cyberjaya/Putrajaya; middle to Bangi, left to Kajang. Take the right this time and you’ll be on the SPRINT highway. I think. Actually I have no idea what highway it is; I’m just guessing.

Anyways, keep going and you will soon see IOI Resort and take a left. They’ve got pretty good directions here:

Easy drive, good accessibility!


Price (4/5)

It’s unfortunate that for most of the top tier golf courses, the price often sets them back early. I mean I guess you get what you pay for and for a good golf course like Palm Garden, you’d expect them to chop you up and leave you to dry, much like how we paid 350RM for Datai Bay. Darn, I could have bought a new second hand driver off ebay!

The pleasant surprise, which enabled me to organize two flights of AGN member and non AGN member, was that Palm Garden had a brilliant promotion of just RM100 all in for walk in. That’s for weekdays but it’s a ridiculously good price for such a course. With AGN, we paid about RM70, a heck of a deal. Sure it’s weekday, but it doesn’t get better than this. A top tier course for RM100!

First thoughts

Our first concern there was that we didn’t hold up the queue. This was important. Playing in Palm Garden is like meeting Diane Lane in person. You want to leave a good impression with her so she gets to remember you when you bump into her again. Likewise, we’re all a little more polite with our thank yous, a little more gracious with your pleases and a little more lower in our bowing. Palm Garden is like golf royalty, one of the top courses in the country, so respect must be given.

We broke up our AGN flight; and paired two beginners with the other two walk in beginners. We put that flight in front of us to ensure they don’t get too pressured by strangers. Also, it’s a little more fun playing with players within our standard; the wager becomes more fair, the game gets a little more exciting.

We teed up on the 10th and predictably pushed my tee shot to the right. Ah, Palm Garden, the sanctuary for recovery. Having a good shot over the trees, I shot an approach that stuck 4 feet from the pin. Birdie? Nope, missed, settled for a bad par and boom, we’re off.

Service (3/5)

The registration took a little longer than it was supposed to. The lady was a little busy with too many requests and didn’t seem to handle stress well. However, it was very sweet of her to provide us with 3 sleeves of balls for the walk ins and a bottle of water. Another good experience with the service was that on the 1st tee, when we made the turn, the marshal came up to us with face towels for a wipe down. This is strange to us, as we mainly experience marshals being mad at us instead. On the 9th hole, our last, we saw as many as 4 maintenance workers with mowers working on the course. The maintenance is absolutely tip top.

The only incidences we had was when our buggy broke down on the Par 3 5th. We had to let another group pass us and we called the club house.

When our replacement buggy didn’t come, we had to pack our bags and two from our flight walked to the green. I called the clubhouse, urging them to hurry and that it has been 10 minutes since we called, and the lady on the other line snapped back, No, it’s only 5 minutes, and its on the way!

Jeez, take it easy, you grinch.

She obviously is not a golfer. To a golfer, every minute is twice as long waiting. This is because we are waiting most of the time. Waiting to tee up; waiting for the green to clear; waiting for the other guy to putt; waiting for the darn buggy to be delivered. She was clearly correct; but the delivery was unnecessary. I’m here for a golf game, woman, not to pick a fight. It’s your fault anyway the stupid buggy broke and we lost our flight slot. The correct response? “Yes sir, it’s on the way. Sorry to keep you waiting.” There’s no need to argue with me that I was mistaken in the minutes. Customer is always right. Live with it, you strange woman on the other line.

Because of broken buggy and Grouchy Woman, Palm Garden loses a little in terms of service. Still it’s a heck of a club.

Fairways (5/5)

As mentioned, the amount of mowers on the course was amazing. It seems like every hole was being manicured to perfection. The fairway was excellent condition. Ball sits up, divots taken we immediately replaced; and there was a harmonious co-existence between the golfers and nature, finally. The fairways were generally wide; but hookers and slicers as usual might find it a little tough. I was blasting the ball well though, and constantly had approach or pitching wedge into greens.

Greens (3/5)

Like Datai, the only let down in Palm were the greens. I suppose that is why they gave the RM100 promotion. Most of the greens had traces of sanding, although some already recovered. But definitely, the green was under maintenance and it showed and played that way. The sand made the roll a little inconsistent and wasn’t soft enough to land on. Greens here are generally a joy to putt, aside from that. There’s not much undulation and after some trials here and there, I managed to putt from the fringe and even on the fairway just off the green to save some pars.

Rough (4/5)

I would like to proudly add that I hit 8 out of 14 fairways and 7 of 18 greens in regulation. The fairways I missed was just off in the primary cut so it sat up nicely. Only a few times I found myself in difficult positions, on the 1st, 6th and the 16th. All inside trees, sparse enough to recover but like the monkey I am I couldn’t. I double bogeyed all of it, so it was quite challenging despite it’s appearances. I like the rough here because it gives you a chance to play the risky shot; like on the Par 5 4th when another push cause me to hit my second on a root, squeezing between trees to the fairway. Unlike Nilai or Monterez, the rough here suggests recovery and persuades you to take the risk.

And the bunkers were top class. Despite the rain they still managed to make it that fluffy sandy condition that allows you to blast out with satisfaction.

Aesthetics (4/5)

I’d like to have given it top score, but I’m afraid Palm Garden, while pretty, just isn’t in the same class as Datai Bay. In fact, Impian looks slightly better too, simply due to the variety. Palm Garden offers brilliant elevation pictures, like the 9th, or 12th, with the signature bunker in the middle of the fairway. The par 4 16th offers a generous run of fairway. A guy from my group blasted the ball 270 m on that hole. The fairways generally rewards the drive that runs and draws. So for me, I played it longer since my drive tends to balloon high and fade.

The Par 3s have so many opportunities to look good but they generally play the same; a carry over water, all playing 150m and longer. Without hills or tropical forests; it would have been tough for Palm to score a 5 here, Impian does it; but Palm falls just short. It’s still an awfully good looking course, but not exceptionally breath taking.

Fun Factor (5/5)

Here’s the stats for the day in our flight.

24 pars between four of us; 10 coming from myself, a record of sorts. How can you not have fun on this course? On the 12th, the elevation was drastic from the fairway to the green. At 140 meters, I was hitting an approach wedge and still flew the green. The course demanded a lot of good precise shots, but allowed the recovery to happen as well. I know that the beginner group in front of us was also having a truckload of fun judging by the yells and laughter. I’ve had some agonizing putts shave the sides for par saves and birdie chances.

We played sixers, i.e partnership with everyone in the foursome; and we were just going back and forth like pros. I would par, and the other guy would par to square. I bogeyed, my partner parred, but the other group saved par. Par, par, par. They were just falling from the sky. At the end, our scores of 84,89,93 and 94 were probably the best foursome score I’ve had in ages.

At the clubhouse, everyone was raving about the club. Fun factor was just over the roof. An easy 5/5.


It’s rare that we can get to play on a course as great as Palm Garden and for a price of a middle tier club. Face it, the promotion might not last, but we’ve got the pics, we’ve got the memories. It’s not an extremely challenging course; neither do I think it is championship material, as suggested by the website. I think it’s a nice, not too tough course, built for people who wants to have fun and who are hackers like me. It’s excellent to bring your boss to, or business partners or customers for a nice, stress free round of golf, just make sure you don’t get the grouch girl at the counter to spoil your day.

What a great end to 2007! Here’s to a better 2008 filled with pars, birdies and eagles; and perhaps a sub 80 round!

The good: So many things, great course maintenance; easy accessibility next to the highway; superb promotion pricing; memorable holes and a guaranteed fun experience for all level of hackers.

The bad: Service of buggies not up to par; Grouchy Woman must be removed at all cost, preferably with a tranquilizer dart; sanded greens took some fun away

The skinny: 31 of 40 divots (77.5%). If you haven’t played this course yet, with the current promotion, please stuff your 7 iron inside your nose as punishment. And if you have read this much without strapping on your bags and jumping over to your car to head out to Palm Garden, then that 7 iron should be stuffed up some place else. GO GO GO!!

Palm Garden Score Card


Palm Garden Information

IOI Resort Batu 7,
Jalan Kajang Puchong,
62502 Selangor.

Contact: +603-89487160

Fax: +603-89422844


Bukit Unggul Country Club


Ok, this is one of the reasons why gilagolf site was setup. We find most golf reviews just extremely polite and untruthful about the course being reviewed. Face it, we are mediocre golfers, cursed to the very last breath to work on our swing, and fixing a slice and donating thousands of balls into the lakes and jungles in hundreds of courses. We’re never going to be in the PGA tour. We’re never going to beat Tiger unless he is 99 years old, half-blind and can paralysed from neck down. And by then I doubt any of us will even be alive. We’re never ever going to wear the green jacket in Augusta. Those are kid’s fantasies. Many people will say I give up my dreams too easily. Actually reality makes it easier to play golf and more enjoyable. I used to get really angry about my swing until this new philosophy settled in. Hey, you suck, anyway. The good shots are bonuses. Let’s all get along and have a good round of golf. And wouldn’t you know it: I got a whole lot better after that.

Anyways, back to Bukit Unggul. Here’s what the website says:

“Very few golf courses in Malaysia leave a lasting memory… Bukit Unggul Country Club is one of them. Craved into a 65-hectare valley, the par 71 5,858-metre long 18-hole course is a natural wonder created by renowned American architect, Ronald Fream. Golfers who play here for the first time instantly fall in love with each hole of varying character and challenge.”

This is like going up to a girl at a bar and saying: “Hi, I am so and so. I am very impressive, I have a good job, six figure salary and every girl says how wonderful I am and sing my praises. They instantly fall in love with me, I also have a 15 inch dongle. Please sleep with me.”

Seriously. Self promotion is no promotion. Actually, some girls might go for it; but you know, it ain’t the kind you want to get married to and live with. Your mom will disapprove.

More of it:

“Playing he (sic) hilly course demands patience and precise club selection. Here, a comprehensive fairway and green maintenance programme by the management ensures a satisfying round for golfers of all levels. Its undulating Bermuda Tifways fairways and tees, and true-rolling Tifdwarf greens exist harmoniously among a luch, majestic tropical rainforest to make play a true test of accuracy.

Bukit Unggul Country Club is simply an unforgettable experience.”

What the heck is luch? Rich you mean? Or lunch? What’s the key word here?

Spelling errors are sure signs of amateurish wrks. Who wold pozt ip something thjat dosent get run though the spll chcker frst?

We generally dislike courses that blow their own trumpet and cannot spell correctly. Please, let us be the judge of your so called unforgettable experience. Tsk.

Travel (1/5)

I’ve played more than 5 times at this place and each time I have no idea how to get there. It’s one of those courses that’s like a twilight zone experience. You’ve been there, you did something but it doesn’t leave any impression on you and you leave with absolutely nothing in your mind. Unforgettable experience? I can’t even remember the location of this dang place!

Easiest way is to take the North South Highway to Seremban and turn off at Bangi. You’ll immediately hit a big roundabout, so take a 3 from there. Follow the road and take a left at the T junction, a mosque would be in front of you. Now you’re on a little road with loads of holes so drive carefully. You’ll hit another T junction eventually, so take a right. Now you’re in a small road heading to Bangi. It’s quite windy and there are loads of trucks here. Look out for a right turning after the Nuclear Institute. It’s funny since there is a Nuclear and Atomic institute there, and these look like secondary school dormitories, that’s how advanced they look to me.

Anyway keep on that tiny road and eventually you’ll see Bukit Unggul on the left, after the driving school. From the Bangi toll, it took us about 15-20 minutes further into the rural area to get to the club. It’s like Kundang Lakes. Why do you need to make it so dang difficult to access??!


Price (4/5)

If there’s one thing Bukit Unggul does right, it’s the price. With AGN, we’re paying only about RM50 and that includes RM10 voucher for food (which sucks, and is really expensive, so don’t ever eat at Bukit Unggul!!). Even walk ins pay around RM70. The price for Saturday morning is steep though, but that’s prime time, so we expect to pay about RM150. They also don’t throw any caddies at you, which is very positive and why we like such golf clubs. As mentioned, the food is probably leftovers used to feed monkeys and giant lizards; but aside from that, pricing is almost as good as Bangi.

First thoughts

For some obscure reason (please refer to twilight zone experience mentioned above), I always thought Bukit Unggul played easy since it was a short course, on paper. Sitting at the clubhouse, the course is seen built inside a valley; not a mountain, or hill, as the name Bukit implies. It should be called Unggul Valley.

We teed up on the 10th, a scary looking par 5. As usual, I pushed the ball way out into the 18th fairway, played back onto the fairway and struggled to the green in 3. Surrounded by lush rainforest (LUSH! So that’s the key word! Well, that part of the advertisement is true!), any ball that hooks, slices is headed to an early death.

Now I know why this course plays so tough, despite its meager 5858m appearances. Many of the greens are elevated, or located far below the fairways; so judging the distance is a cracker. Also, this course delights in giving you doglegs after doglegs, so a solid drive, like the one I had on the 1st, will be sent into oblivion (in my case, almost killing the guys teeing off at the 3rd hole)

Service (2/5)

The F&B service was just massively slow. We ordered drinks and it took them aeons to deliver it. In fact, I think the waiter started a family and had kids and forced one of his kids to finally deliver the coconuts to us. Maintenance of the course was also non existent. No marshals were in sight and I was almost killed at the 5th, a drivable par 4. Balls were raining down from the 4th tee box, where slicers sliced OB into the green on the 5th. No amount of shouting helped. To cap it all, I was leaning on the sign depicting the 14th hole design and the whole thing tumbled down, nearly taking me with it.

Fairways (1/5)

Sorry, this gets a resounding 1 from gilagolf. Even on the first hole, we have evidence of golf’s eternal nemesis, the wild boar. I think that’s the whole problem with having a course built around the jungle. If there’s a lack of maintenance (a problem that Datai Bay did NOT have), generally you’ll face some holes that you just gotta let go. Berjaya Hills had that problem. Frasers Hill had that problem and now Bukit Unggul has the problem. That’s a given. What we cannot excuse is plain neglect on the fairways and bad drainage. It didn’t rain the day before but the ground was still soggy and on some holes, casual water was still there. I don’t want to know how it would be if it faced the rain Tiara Melaka faced. The fairway was also patchy, with just mud, in some instances, the grass was dead. It wasn’t all bad, at least the ball didn’t plug in like Berjaya Hills, but still, for a course that sees so much traffic, I’d think more effort should be involved in upkeeping this course.

Greens (2/5)

The greens are playable. Undulating, as expected for a course that dubs itself Bukit, meaning hills. Elevated greens makes it awesomely difficult to judge the distance. On the 8th, for instance, a solid drive found me about 140m away from the green, judging by the distance markers. A flush 7 iron should have gotten me there, but left me short. Seeing how stupid I am in chipping, I ended up with a bogey. Many more holes played different from the yardage and just confused the dickens out of me. The greens don’t hold, and was generally patchy but at least they were playable.

Rough (0/5)

Wayward balls are dead. I can’t say anything that would save it. From hole one to 18, slicers and hookers will be in for a hard time. The par 5 15th was butchered when I sent my tee shot into the woods. Forget the doglegs, don’t play it; it’s too risky to carve your ball around the hazards unless you are Tiger, which you are obviously not. If you are, hey Tiger, you rock. Why the heck are you reading all these stuff?

My other triple came on my final hole. I was playing solid golf for 8 holes then and was only 2 over. Darn, I pushed my ball into oblivion, and my second ball as well but managed to recover it, I was 5 on after that, and two putted. I thought I couldn’t break 90 but found out later it was a par 35 on the front, and that gave me a respectable 89. Hey Michelle Wie can shoot that number, so can I. Yes, I like to challenge 18 year old girls in golf. No, I don’t feel emasculated at all. Any more questions?

I don’t really have that much complains against the rough, my major grief is on the bunkers. This is by far, the worst bunker maintenance I have seen ever. Worse than Frasers, worse than Berjaya. Not only was the sand hard packed like your pavement, it was filled with stones and rocks. Not the small type, but the type that scratches and chips your wedges. Seriously, what the heck are they intending to do? Make us claim insurance for broken clubs? Some bunkers still had water, so obviously it wasn’t maintained at all. But rocky bunkers get an automatic 0 from us.

Aesthetics (4/5)

Like Berjaya, this is a bimbo course. Looks good on the outside, but crap from within. Anything built around tropical forests will look good. Any course sporting monkeys and giant lizards for wildlife will generally be appreciated. Bukit Unggul is pretty, although not mind blowing as Datai Bay. The lousy fairways detracts the looks abit but if you stood high up on the 4th hole and take a picture, it really really looks nice.

But as the old adage from your mother goes: “Looks ain’t everything, boy.” It certainly applied at Berjaya Hills, it certainly applies here. Listen to your mother, she is always right.

Fun Factor (2/5)

Even though I ran into a hot streak and started bombing my drives and getting to 2 over through 8 holes, it wasn’t as fun as I thought. This is a course that DEMANDS accurate tee shots. And it plays pretty long too. Don’t ask why. I don’t know how 5858m extended itself but looking down on the 8th hole valley that plays on paper 375, I drove as well as I could and still had 150m to go. I think the distance is screwed up. I don’t think I am so lousy in my drives, right? My flight mates were all struggling in the back nine as well, and there wasn’t much talking going on. I think we were all embroiled in our own internal frustrations.

So, let’s rewrite for these clueless marketing people at Bukit Unggul:

“Very few golf courses in Malaysia leave a lasting memory… Bukit Unggul Country Club is NOT one of them. Craved into a 65-hectare valley, the par 71 5,858-metre long 18-hole course is an unnatural piece of crap mutated by renowned American architect, Ronald Fream, who is also a suspect in the latest crime of defacing golf courses around the world. Golfers who play here for the first time instantly realize how screwed they are with each hole of wrong yardage and sadistic treelines that eat your balls. Golfballs, that is..”

“Playing he (sic) sadistic course demands a beretta 9mm and a precise shot to the head to end all misery. Here, a non existent fairway and green maintenance programme by the management ensures a muddy, dirty experience for all golfers, and especially for beginners, remind them just how lousy and useless they are and that they should stay home and curse the day they took up a golf club. Its un-maintained Bermuda Tifways fairways and tees, and bouncy Tifdwarf (do we actually give a darn what Tif actually is??!) greens exist harmoniously among a luch, majestic tropical rainforest, filled with wild boars and monkeys who will not hesitate to attack and kill golfers, simply to make play a true test of agony, like middle age torture, or wearing a corset at your crotch.

Bukit Unggul Country Club is simply an forgettable experience. However it will often return randomly as a nightmare that will revisit you night after night until your dying day.”

There, now that is what I call truthful advertising.

Butchering the last wasn’t fun, but the general consensus of the group is that it would be a long time before any of us come here again.

By which time, I would have completely forgotten any experience of this course. Or the way to it.


Given the price, it seems like a good candidate to be at least a middle tier golf course, but instead it scratches the very bottom of the middle class courses, where Gunung Raya and Cameron highlands congregate. It should be placed in the class of Monterez and Nilai but the looks couldn’t save it. Unggul could have played a lot better, but lousy fairways and greens and the worst bunkers in Malaysia turned out to be its undoing.

The good: It’s like a poor man’s Datai Bay in terms of looks; pricing is as good as it gets in prime spots in Malaysia; good place to hone your 3-wood tee off to manipulate doglegs.

The bad: Journey is like to the center of the earth, i.e it sucks; service for food is bad; rotting signs can kill golfers; so-so greens and bad fairways; possibly the worst maintained bunkers in Malaysia. If you’re in it, God bless your clubs. And balls.

The skinny: 16 of 40 divots (40%). It’s hard to put a ‘never’ at a club offering such a good price, but it is offsetted by the course and travel. Play only if you got nowhere else to go or forced to visit your mother-in-law, but trust me, it’s nothing like what the website writes it out to be. Go somewhere else if possible.

Bukit Unggul Score Card


Bukit Unggul Information


Lot PT 2180, 2181 Mukim,
Dengkil Daerah Sepang,

Contact: +603-89202888/2188

Fax: +603-89267870/79


Bangi Golf Resort


If we had a home course for our group, Bangi Golf Resort would probably be the best candidate. Every golfer has what I call the orientation course. This is the course where as beginners, we would play most of our rounds. These courses are usually either very far away or very lousy; so as to minimize traffic and to save the embarrassment of a whiff or the ignominy of not crossing the ladies tee box on our drive. Mine was Bukit Beruntung, I hear that it completely sucks now. Most of my flight mates learned how to fly in Bukit Utama, the 9 hole course that nobody likes to play but everyone is forced to because of its location.

Then we have the hunting course. This is the course where we truly play golf. Where we learn how to read the greens, the doglegs, the course management. And for many of us, this is Bangi. Due to the reasonable location but more for the kick ass pricing, this course has given us some of the best memories of our otherwise tragic golf careers.

Travel (3/5)


Usually courses out of town is really a challenge in terms of accessibility. But around the Kajang district, we have a slew of courses that are top class: Impian, Kajang Hills, Palm Garden and Sungai Long. We know them as the four heavenly courses. Their little cousin is Bangi Golf Resort, a 27 hole golf course built around Equatorial Bangi. To get there, take the North South Highway headed to Seremban. Exit at Kajang, and after the toll, it forks three ways: Right to Cyberjaya, Middle to Bandar Baru Bangi and Left to Kajang. Take the middle and straight all the way. You will eventually reach a T junction at the end of the road and take a right. At the second lights, right after the petrol station, take a left, and a second to the right. There will be signs to point you in case you get lost. From PJ to the course is about 20 minutes, on a nice Sunday morning traffic.

Price (4/5)

This is really the main reason why many of us made Bangi our home course. For walk in for Sunday afternoons (non members), we paid about RM90 each. It used to be the same for mornings as well, in fact, cheaper at RM85 but I think there was a recent change. Before AGN, this was the most affordable course for us during the weekends. We spent many Sunday afternoons here, honing our drives, improving our putts and just progressing in terms of golf. With AGN, it gets better. We only pay RM70 for Sunday afternoons. In this region of good courses, Bangi can’t really measure up to the four heavenly courses, but as a cheap alternative with equally impressive maintenance, it’s a perfect course for intermediate players who are without clubs.

First thoughts

Seasoned golfers-you know you are seasoned when your skin color has 6 different tones-have the same impression on Bangi.


Well it really depends how you play it. There are actually 5 tee boxes in Bangi: Gold, Black, Blue, White and Red so it really caters to all kinds of level. We usually play off Blue, mainly because for the other courses, Blue is typically the second toughest aside from tournament tees. However in Bangi, Blue actually plays as White and Black as Blue, in terms of difficulty and distance. Golfers being golfers, we are unable to adjust to the changes, and our preset minds cannot handle the sudden change in paradigm. That is why you see most golfers are really anal about their game: you have to wear certain colours, have a ball in the right pocket, must waggle twice, must have silence, must not have their shadows over the ball etc etc. Basically, golfers are just a bunch of mentally paralysed nutcases unable to operate outside of their comfort zone. Tee off at black tips? What, are you freaking nuts?!? I don’t care if that is really blue, it’s coloured black!!

At blue, Bangi plays the shortest: 5465m for the 1st and 2nd.

Important note: Playing Bangi, always play the first and second. It is the most scenic and nicest. The third is quite crappy aesthetically, although it does play ok if you don’t have a choice. For now, we will review our preferred 1st and 2nd nine.

This is by far, the shortest of all courses we have played on. In fact, from the black, it plays almost 500 meters longer. This has a 68.5 course rating, the lowest we find and a 122 slope, which plays tougher than Palm Garden. Actually, we have very little idea how those figures relate to our game, but we just want to make this review sound professional, see.

We also call this an asterix course. This means all great achievements in Bangi (and we will have them for sure) comes with an asterix. You birdied the 4th? Well, now, that’s great! Where? Bangi? Hmmm. I take it back. Eagle in Bangi? Meeh…You made out with a caddie on the 4th green? In Bangi? Caddie’s probably a dude…

It’s not truly a championship course, after all, it’s just a hunting ground for most aspiring golfers. The tutorial level before we head out into the big bad world.

Service (3/5)

As many times as we have played in Bangi, we have never really experienced the caddies. But check in is quite simple, as long as there is no queue, and the buggies are reasonably cared for. The plus point is really the food. It’s one of the better club food we have and by saying club food, we are comparing it with other golf clubs that usually serve ground nuts mixed with wild boar crap for sauce. It’s not superb, but at least, it’s edible and reasonably quick on the service.

The minus points are the guys at the locker rooms who would rush out to grab your shoes to wash and shine. Now, the first few times, I thought this was a great service, until I realize that when they returned the shoes to me, they weren’t expecting a thank you, which I would generously give them. Part of the service right? I was wondering why they threw me this dirty look. I realized after a few times, that those outstretched palms weren’t a foreign sign of gratitude or a request for high five.

As I said, we are not in a culture of tipping. If you wanna wash my stinking shoes, do it with dignity and not have something attached to it. I already paid. It’s called a golf fee at the counter. I don’t understand why I need to tip you to wash something I can wash at home. Will you zip my fly and ask me for a buck after that?

So after the game, walk straight to the locker and ignore all pleas, hand grabbing for your attention. Pretend to be either mute, or fake cardiac arrest. Whatever it is, don’t pass them your shoes. Well, ok, if you do and wish to be labeled the second most hated customer next to me, go ahead.

Fairways (4/5)

I like them. For a cheap course like Bangi, I always wonder how they could get the cash to maintain it as well as they do. Although my home course is Rahman Putra, my preferred turf is Bermuda, not cowgrass. It sits up, ready for you to blast the ball high into the green. I’ve played Bangi in all conditions available: soggy, damp, flooded, dry, baked, perfect; and so far, it has withstood the test. Sure, there are some drainage failures here and there but overall, the fairways are in great conditions.

Greens (3/5)

The greens are generally well contoured, with subtle breaks and consistent roll. It’s not tip top shape like Impian on its best days and your balls will probably not land and stick, as it plays harder, but it still adds a different challenge to the game. A well placed second shot to the front of the green can sometimes offer a more advantageous chip than a regulation with a lengthy putt. You can roll it pretty well on the fringe but the rough surrounding the fringe is pretty nasty and your balls can really get buried there if you’re not careful.

Rough (3/5)

The rough in Bangi comes in play a bit but from it, we still have a hope for recovery. Unlike courses built around a limited space like Monterez and Nilai, Bangi offers a good mixture of wide fairways and holes designed to punish wayward shots. Bunkers are generally well kept, if a little hard, so if there’s rain, dig it in with less bounce on your wedges.

Aesthetics (2/5)

Bangi has the misfortune of competing with the four heavenly courses: Sungai Long distinguishes itself by being a Nicklaus-designed course; Impian has top class greens and maintenance; Palm Garden is a hacker’s dream in terms of forgiveness and Kajang Hill is simply beautiful in its serenity. For Bangi, it had to find its own character and in that sense, it failed. The par 3s weren’t anything special; crossing lakes or hazards. The par 5s were simply too short; and it made us into heroes by attempting to two on from the blue tees. I’m not complaining obviously, but in terms of overall looks, it was simply quite normal and in this region of golf courses, normal ain’t gonna cut it.

Fun Factor (4/5)

Bangi is a fun course. Fun because the first nine has 3 par 5s. The first is a reachable one with a sharp dogleg almost 90 degree to the left. In one mighty stroke, you can cut the entire dogleg over the trees and land with an 8 – 9 iron distance for eagle. The second par 5 is also reachable with a good drive and roll; and a wood or long iron into the green guarded by two front bunkers. Finally the par 5 9th plays the easiest. An easy cut of the dog leg left will catch the hill and roll down. I was hitting a 9 iron into the green way below and hit a chip in for my first eagle there.

The second and third nine were more traditional, in a sense of regulation golf.

Possibly the most memorable par 4 is the 13th. It’s 260m to cross the pond onto the green, or you could go for a safer route to the left fairway where a long iron or wood would be enough.I took out my driver and blasted one of the best drive of my life, that floated high with little spin and landed on the green, one on, 12 feet away from a historical eagle.

In fact it was the most disappointing birdie I ever had. Why don’t we ever hit putts firm enough I will never know.


Bangi is like an old friend. There is already familiarity there since this was where we honed our skills (or lack thereof).We can always depend on how the fairways will be dry or how the greens will roll. Bangi always welcomes us with open arms and you’ll appreciate the shortness of the course if you are playing with beginners. It’s the perfect course to break in newbies to the game.

The good: Many challenging holes and opportunities for eagles; great price; generally good maintenance on fairways and greens, good balance between risk and reward.

The bad: Asterix course so my first eagle, my birdies and eventually my sub 80 round will be asterixed. Par 5s might play slightly too easy, even from the black tees; locker room boys haunting you for tips.

The skinny: 26 of 40 divots (65%). Bangi is easy to recommend to everyone, of any level. It’s a course that allows semi-newbies to have a taste of course life. Welcome to your lifelong prison called golf.

Bangi Score Card


Bangi Information

Address: No 1, Persiaran Bandar,
Bandar Baru Bangi,
43650 Selangor.

Contact: +603-89253728

Fax: +60389253726


Bukit Kemuning GCC


This is a little known course located in Bukit Kemuning, often overshadowed by its more illustrious brother, Kota Permai. In fact, if it wasn’t listed in the AGN clubs, I wouldn’t know of its existence. I’ve played in Kota Permai before (the course they have the Volvo Masters for the Asian PGA tour), but it was just too darn expensive to try out a whacky swing. With a whole day free, we decided to head towards Bukit Kemuning Golf and Country Resort, with little expectations on how it would be.

Travel (4/5)

We have no idea that Kemuning was so close. I mean it wasn’t so close that you could cycle over from KL or PJ, but we were settling in for a long drive, and before you know it, bam, you’re at the club. We’ve concluded that all clubs that are located near the highways are easy to access, but there are some that requires additional traveling inside, like Bangi and Kajang Hills; and some that requires a whole lot of driving before we can reach it, like Bukit Unggul.

The best way is to use the Kesas Highway to Kemuning, via LDP. Instead of turning at the Kemuning interchange, go further and turn off at Bukit Rimau. First roundabout, take a 12 and the second roundabout take a 3 and voila you’re there. In fact, the trip to return home only took us 17 minutes flat.

Here’s the map for easier reference:


Price (3/5)

We paid a reasonable RM50 ++ on a weekday, using out AGN cards. It does shoot up over the weekend to more than a 100 RM, and we were a little surprised at the pricing package. Honestly, we expected something like Kundang Lakes or something, but instead we got quite a nice course, and with the condition and maintenance, the price was fair, unlike the ridiculous sum of money we have to fork out to play in Berjaya Hills.

First thoughts

Honestly, we thought Bukit Kemuning was a poor pretender to Kota Permai. You usually have these so called inferiority complex courses; whenever you find a course next to a big name, they tend to be really crappy: case in point, Kundang Lakes: Crap; Rahman Putra: Good. Perangsang: Crap; Templers Park: Good. So there was a pleasant surprise when we drove up to the front of the club house and found it quite classy. Any clubhouse with a working fountain at the front is classy to us.

The surprise extended over to the easy registration, the clean lockers and once on the first tee, faced with a large tract of land for a fairway, we knew that this course would be fun to play on.

Service (1/5)

Here’s the golden rule. If there’s anything wrong with the course, or if it is in maintenance, you need to inform the customer. I mean it’s like renting a car and not telling them their indicator isn’t working. Or the front tyre is punctured, or you have a leak in the carburetor. I mean, wouldn’t the customer eventually find out? What’s the point of hiding?

No information about temporary greens was provided to us. That’s a minus.

Cramming 5 – 6 golf bags into a single cart like Tiara Melaka is not only stupid, it’s dangerous for the clubs and the driver. Come on, don’t be so darn lazy and make multiple trips to get our bags. Not taking out our bags for us shows us that this looks like a first class club with third class service.

Fairways (3/5)

First impressions go a long way. After the bad service encounter, we were pretty much in a ghoulish mood as we stepped onto the first tee. And then we smiled. Nothing is more welcoming than a huge fairway looking at you in your first tee shot. Well, waking up to French toast breakfast in bed is a close second. But broad fairways are first. Especially on the first tee off of the day. Predictably, I started the day with a big push into the next fairway, but this wasn’t Monterez or Berjaya Hills, so a second shot pitching wedge over the palm trees found me near the green for a bogey start.

We played in a slight drizzle but the fairways held up quite well, hardly any casual water. But mainly we liked the whole open concept golf course. It feels a lot better than courses that narrows everything down and have OB stakes all over the place; as if golf wasn’t so hard already. This course plays more like Palm Garden without the looks, in direct opposition to narrow courses that we have reviewed; aptly named the Terrible Trio: Nilai, Nameless Course in Seremban 3 and Monterez.

Greens (2/5)

I hate temp greens. In Tasik Puteri, we were given two holes with temporary greens but at least the club informed us at the registration. In Bukit Kemuning, they didn’t even bother telling us. They just sent us on our way to the first and second tee where we were hit with temp greens, and on top of that, the 10th also had temporary greens. Eventhough I birdied the 10th, it was an asterix birdie, as a solid drive found me just 20 meters away from the ‘green’. Obviously there is no roll on these greens. Even the real greens weren’t remarkable, but we were already put off by the three unannounced temporary greens, so obviously we are already biased against the greens. All the points this course got from the fairways, they offset it with their greens.

Rough (3/5)

Getting it into the rough isn’t punishable in this course. In fact, I had a lot of drives trickle out of the fairway to the rough and still managed to shoot regulation. There are a few holes bordered with OB but overall, it wasn’t challenging enough in a lot of holes where our drives couldn’t find the fairway. The sand was reasonably maintained but due to the rain, everything was typically hard packed.

Aesthetics (3/5)

Charming. That would be how we would describe it. Of course, we had the best weather possible for golf. Slight drizzle in the morning and an absolutely fantastic weather after that. Breezy, wasn’t too humid, I don’t know what people do if they don’t play golf in this weather. It’s not a beautiful course, but the wide fairways and slight elevation makes it a course you want to walk on, it makes you look forward to the holes that are about to come. It’s something in between the boringness and wideness of Tuanku Jaafar; and the sheer prettiness of Palm Garden. A little of both.

Memorable holes? The 10th forces you to hit a dogleg you can fly over the trees; and land less than 100 meters from the hole. Unfortunately, this hole was screwed up with the darn temporary greens.

Most of the holes sport runway fairways, named such that a 747 can land with space to spare. For some mystical reason, that small little white ball can’t seem to find it!!

I got a feeling the course plays really hot if we get caught in the sun, something like Gunung Raya or the Nameless course in Seremban.

Fun Factor (4/5)

After slogging through a series of misses in our golf tour, like Monterez, Nilai and Berjaya, coming back to open areas like Bukit Kemuning was like water in the desert. Don’t get me wrong, Bukit Kemuning isn’t superb or anything; there are a lot of things that could be wrong with the course, but we just caught it on a good weather day. The greens took away a bit of fun, but overall, any golfer of any level would find this course fun. It’s not sadistic, realizing that weekend hackers are not very comfortable playing championship material course; so it sort of dials down the hazards and the toughness. Don’t you love courses that condescends you?


It’s a course, when done, we all had something to talk about. Different levels of golfers can recall one or two or more memorable shots that we managed to pull off. This is why I think golfers are generally delusional and optimistic. Both characteristics go together. Delusion in their own skills and how they execute shots; and optimistic when the shot is NOT executed, that it would definitely be, in the next attempt. With the wide fairways and generous rough, and the course playing shorter due to the temp greens, Bukit Kemuning is definitely a course we want to come back again for another visit.
The good: Generous and well maintained fairways; easy accessibility, near to highway; course that doesn’t beat down the golfers too much; caters to golfers of all levels; reasonable pricing and aesthetics make it a course to return to.

The bad: Bad bad management doesn’t inform us of the temp greens; unchallenging rough; terrain is flat and mainly the same style; bad service, bad handling of our golf sets!

The skinny: 23 of 40 divots (57.5%). Recommended course to all levels. It plays easier than most courses, Bangi included, because of the flat terrain and vast fairways. Easy drive will definitely put you in a good mood before and after the game.

Bukit Kemuning Score Card


Bukit Kemuning Information


Lot 6031, Batu 7, Bukit Kemuning
42450, Shah Alam, Selangor.

Contact: +603-51217188

Fax: +603-51216416


Berjaya Hills GCC


I’ll be the first to admit that the only downside to Malaysia golf is the weather. I mean, we’ve got some A grade courses but when it comes to the weather, we’re cooked beyond recognition by the time we’re done at 18. Many PGA pros come here and they are completely drenched in sweat and play like 18 handicappers. A few people can handle the heat as well as Malaysian golfers can, so we’re a different breed.

Still, the weather really sucks sometimes. Hence, the only way we can escape that is to find a course in the highlands and play it. So far, the experience in the highland courses have been sadly disappointing. Frasers has officially become the WORST COURSE IN MALAYSIA. Camerons have been so-so but there’s nothing really much to shout about.

When I saw Berjaya Hills (it was formerly known as Bukit Tinggi) on the AGN list of clubs, I’ll tell you, I was pretty excited. I never played in here before but the previous times that I came (non golf purpose, please don’t do it, as it will bore the dickens out of you), I saw a lot of Japanese and a reasonable looking course.

Now we all know Japs and Koreans are golf crazy and if they play at a course, it ain’t so bad. So we all had a certain expectation of Berjaya Hills and was hoping (since we couldn’t get to play in Awana Genting) that it would be the best highland course experience we have.

Travel (2/5)


The thing about highland courses that puts it immediately to a disadvantage is the traveling. Unless for some reason you’re staying at the foothills of Genting or hanging around at Selesa homes, city rats like us expect a long windy drive up to the course. Camerons and Frasers are massively crappy in terms of traveling ratings, but Bukit Tinggi drive is a lot easier. We used the Kepong way to get out of town, heading towards Batu Caves. From there, we followed signs to Genting Highlands. Bukit Tinggi is about the next stop from Genting, so it’s mainly highways, and once we turn off, it’s about 15-20 minutes drive up a gradual ascent with not too many sharp corners.

You can stop by Janda Baik for some good durians and food to fuel up for a game of golf.

Price (3/5)

We paid RM48 for AGN members. The reason it gets a middle rating is that for non members, on a weekday, they need to fork out RM160. WHAT?!!? After traveling all the way up here and you get extorted that amount to play on a course like this? Unless this is St Andrews or Pebble Beach, it’s daylight robbery to charge so much. Even Palm Garden or Saujana doesn’t charge this much and those courses are about a million times better than this. AGN members get almost RM120 off. That’s a 75% discount, so obviously we’re happy. But imagine if we had a non AGN member. Sorry, bro, please wait in the car or go sit on the horses till we are done with our round.

First thoughts

With high expectations, we headed to the first tee. There were two things we can be certain of: The weather would be good; and we would lose a lot of balls. The latter prophecy was given to us by a guy we bumped into at Impian. We were at the locker room just washing up after the game and upon hearing our discussion on Berjaya Hills golof, he ominously declared, like a crazed sharman: “Bring lots of balls, you will lose ‘em”. I’m not sure if he hexed us that way but one of the guys in our flight sliced his tee shot into the rough and it was gone.

I was lucky to find mine in the rough.

And also found 3 other lost balls.

Service (1/5)

Based primarily on the course maintenance, we were in for a long game. The course was a mess. Not only was the rough a jungle, the fairways wasn’t cut and was filled with long grass as well. The check in was quick enough though but the basic course maintenance was simply absent. Even the bad courses like Tuanku Jaafar had some dignity in upkeeping their course (let’s not go into the heretical course in Frasers), so some semblance of activity from the maintenance workers, who sat around with a finger up their nose most of the time, would go a long way in convincing us that, yes, don’t worry, we’re fixing up this mess you just paid RM160 for. For non AGN members that is.

It’s really annoying and disappointing because with the type of people here (Japanese and Koreans) who play, you’d expect a little class in the course. But like all Berjaya projects, it’s simply a mess that someone needs to clean up. Bravo, Berjaya for being so consistent!

Fairways (0/5)

It’s a resounding 0. When I step out of the buggy into the fairway, I went, “What on earth is this??!” You know those long irritating wisp of grass that sticks to your socks and is a devil to get out? The whole fairway was littered with these grass, along with mud, and water. True, it is the rainy season, but it was like stepping into a combat zone, with absolutely zero drainage available. You can’t play golf like this. It’s unreasonable. It’s also unfair that on the fairway, your ball is resting between these long grasses that when you address, you need to press them down, only for them to spring up again on your backswing. Do you know how irritating it is to a golfer to have that? We golfers are so easily annoyed with anything. I have a golfer friend who simply cannot swing if he sees his shadow. He claims his shadow is annoying him. Can you imagine what the wisp of grass would do to his entire mental faculty?

Drainage was so bad that on more that one occasion we had a lost ball on a fairway. We all saw it hit the fairway. And then it was gone. Vamoose. Vanished into the depths of the earth.

Greens (2/5)

Strangely, as bad as the fairways were, the greens were in a reasonable condition. Reasonable meaning, no, not consistent, but quite well kept. I’m sure all of them were not pressed yet, because it played excruciatingly slow, but somehow, it wasn’t overgrown like Frasers. Perhaps it’s the type of grass used to grow it. Generally, they rolled slower than normal but there were some that were unpredictable. Undulation is expected on a highland course, so overall, it was a pleasant surprise compared to the fairway mess we just trudge through.

Rough (-1/5)

As soon as we thought everything was looking up, we’re slammed rudely back to earth. Ah, the rough. You though Frasers was bad? At least in Frasers, we didn’t expect any sort of recovery. When the ball went it, we were, well, ok, we’re screwed, play another. Here in Berjaya Hills, it deceives and disappoints. You see the ball going in. You see the long grass – the lalang – rustling and you go into the thick rough looking for it. And look and look and look. It’s just painful. We spent 6 hours in total on a nearly empty golf course and I can safely say, 2 hours or more spent looking for the bloody golf balls. We found a lot more lost golf balls but somehow ours always eluded us. Hey, no golf course should be like this. I hit one shot that was just a little off line, bounced off the fringe of the green into the primary rough. And it was GONE! Unless there’s some kind of hairy green creature tracking us down and stealing our balls, I don’t know how a course can be so devilishly evil. Wild boar activities littered the whole course. No GUR signs posted up so we had to devise our own rules on it. And on one hole, the drivable 247 meters par 4 7th hole, I swear, wild boar shit was set up as integral part of the course. I tripled bogey that one. I drove into the greenside bunker, blasted out into a tree. Two out of the rough where the wild boar shit was and one chip two putted. That hole really really stinks.

Aesthetics (4/5)

While the course wasn’t so appealing to my sense of smell, it was a lot better to the eyes. This is the ONE saving grace of Berjaya Hills. It has the looks. It’s another classic case of Good from Far, Far from Good. I’ll admit, standing up on elevated tee box on the 12th hole, seeing the green 290 meters way down where we are, and recognizing the thin air might help the carry, we were excited. We wanted to fly the ball to the green. We wanted to feel the invincibility of “One On” for a par 4. We wanted our names to be written by bards and put into the lore of golf. We wanted to become legends. Suffice to say, none of us made it, but I was close, hitting with just 30 meters to go.

Aside from that, another memorable hole were the ending 17th and 18th. Both are devilishly difficult, the 17th require a carry of over 220 meters over a river and an uphill approach while the 18th is just ridiculous. A narrow fairway with bunkers littering the sides, and approach to the green that’s protected by water and bunkers and rough all around. It plays to a 14 index, so imagine, how difficult the other holes are on this course.

Berjaya Hills is a pretty good looking course, don’t get me wrong. It entices you to play, and once it has you in its grips, it shreds you to pieces. Merciless.

Fun Factor (1/5)

I did achieve a record of sorts for me. I didn’t shoot par or better on any holes. I can’t recall a time where I didn’t manage to get at least one par or birdie in a round. Berjaya Hills completely debunked that myth and will give me something to remember by. It’s one course that I will never forget, in terms of how frightful it is, and how agonizingly unfair it is set up.

Did we have fun? Well, probably in the first few holes. Once it dawned on us that the course wasn’t getting any easier, we were in for a long day. 6 hours of golf, and this is on an empty course, is not fun. It’s humiliating. We spent more time in the jungle than amazon natives. We even took one of the bunker rakes and used it as our hacksaw to clear the grass and lalangs in the rough.

The eerie thing about it? When the last putt finally dropped in the final hole and we turned to go, we saw a maintenance worker start up his mower and with a faint twinkle in his impish eyes, he started mowing the rough to playable condition. You can almost hear the background Twillight Zone music and a fade out of the narrator saying: “Perhaps with a mowed down rough, there is a slight chance for the weary golfers to return to redeem themselves on this course….”

Perhaps. We’re not counting that out yet.


It was a monumental disappointment. We expected so much more out of Berjaya Hills Golf Course, something that would vindicate tragic highland courses like Frasers and Camerons, but instead of redemption, we find more or less the same utter nonsense that we found in the other courses: lousy maintenance, lousy drainage and overall, lousy experience. We have about two more highland courses to go; Selesa Hills and Awana but so far the hit rate for Malaysian Highland Courses has been a despondent 0 of 3.

The good: The weather; the elevation that makes your ball go farther, the memorable aesthetics that does justice to a highland course.

The bad: Disastrous rough and fairways; horrible drainage; absolutely unplayable conditions in some holes, with wild boar markings and crap all over the place; ridiculous pricing that cuts your throat and leaves you gasping for air.

The skinny: 12 of 40 divots (30%). It’s slightly better than Frasers, but it’s still a mess to play. The shorter travel time is offset by the astronomical pricing catered to foreigners. Unless you have an AGN or plan to hold the club hostage; give Berjaya a big miss. It’s an RM20 course pretending to be a premier RM160 course, and failing miserably.

Berjaya Hills Scorecard


Berjaya Hills Information


KM48, Persimpangan Bertingkat,
Lebuhraya Karak, 28750 Bukit Tinggi,
Bentong, Pahang Darul Makmur

Contact: +609-2888890

Fax: +609-2888832

Impian GCC


Two main reasons why we joined AGN was the fact that we could play on Impian Golf and Country Club and Palm Garden. Well, OK, throw in Staffield and you got a heck of a deal: 3 premium courses for an attractive package. My previous encounter with Impian had been a positive one; and I couldn’t wait to get back to the course. I just recall that it was a beautiful course with superb greens that made your ball stick like glue.

It was in the middle of rainy season when we revisited Impian and it would be a true test on how the course hold up against megatonnes of water deposited into the Klang Valley over the period of a few weeks.

Travel (3/5)


Travel wasn’t very near, but it wasn’t difficult to figure out where the course was. Simply get to the north south highway heading to Seremban. Turn off at Kajang will probably be the safest bet. After the toll, the road forks out to three roads: on the right, it heads to Cyberjaya (NO), the middle goes to Bandar Baru Bangi (NO) and the left goes to Kajang. Take the Kajang fork and once you’re there, you can see plenty of signs pointing to Saujana Impian. There’s where you are headed. It’s a township with plenty of signs, not only on the boards, but on the road. Any township with directions on the road is going to be important. So unless you are riding a blind elephant, you ain’t going to miss it. It’s not very deep in but still the distance makes Impian less appealing in terms of travel time. An update: Just keep following the green Saujana Impian signboards. Don’t ever turn off at the Saujana Impian ‘turnoff’. Don’t ask. It’s one of those Malaysian things where the sign board makers are basically semi literate chimpanzees.

Price (2/5)

Ah, the beauty of AGN Cards. With the card, we ended paying only RM90 for the game on a weekday. Yes, it’s quite pricey, but for a premium course, its actually cheap, and that’s inclusive of the food vouchers and the compulsory caddy (more on that later) Non AGN members have to fork out RM140, and that’s for a weekday! So unless you have an AGN card, it’s just a tad bit expensive to play, and with RM140 weekday, you can look at other courses that are nearer, possibly with better experience.

First thoughts

As mentioned, Impian left a lasting impression on me the last time I played there. I shot an 84 with 5 pars and 2 birdies, 9 birdies and only one double and one triple. It’s actually a darn good score, considering how wild I am off the tee and how crappy a putter I am. But the greens in Impian are the ones that are famous, and the previous time I played, the greens were truly an awesome sight to behold. It was like carpet; but fast, yet soft enough to hold the ball.

A wild first tee off started our round on a soggy morning and with rain slightly falling, we began our Impian experience.

Service (2/5)

Impian doesn’t score that well in this regard. For a course and for this kind of money, the facilities and equipments and maintenance are pretty good. But the caddy truly sucks. I don’t know if it’s fair to judge the club service by the caddy, but hey, it’s unforgivable. We got this lanky chap, young fellow, and us being cheapskates only decided to have one caddy per flight. Well, we are all paying for him, so he is OUR caddy right?

In our flight, we usually play with a friend of mine we refer to as ‘Dato’, in other words, a title given to someone of significance in Malaysia. It’s like ‘Sir’ as in Sir Anthony Hopkins or ‘Lord’ as in Lord Jeffery Archer or ‘Baron’ as in Sascha Baron Cohen. When you call someone ‘Dato’, it’s someone that’s more important socially than the normal golfing scum who likes to write reviews and take pictures.

As soon as we called him by his title, you can literally see the caddy’s eyes light up and he completely attached himself to my friend. So much so that when there are two balls on the green, he would pick up my friend’s ball and wipe it and leave ours there, muddied, rejected and alone. When we teed off, we were left to find our own balls while they happily moved on. I understand that yes, it’s tough to caddy for 4 people at one, but hey, punk, we’re all pitching in to pay for your miserable service, so at least, help out the others abit. When we asked him where our balls went, he would give a nonchalant response. At one hole, an easy dogleg right, I hit a flush shot that rounded the bend, and the caddy assured me it was ok. Well, we couldn’t find the darn ball and I ended up escaping with a bogey with 4 on and 1 putt.

Now, shouldn’t caddies be moving ahead of us at the bend to make sure they can view the landing area? What kind of idiot did we pay for?

It came to a point where we had to request Dato to get his caddy to help us look and clean our darn balls. Seriously, we’ve been discriminated at work enough, you know, without having the caddy play favouritism. What are we, cattle class citizens?

Oh, and caddies who smoke immediately gets the ban where I used to play. This one goes around with a ciggy in his mouth.

Fairways (3/5)

It’s slightly unfair to judge the course at this juncture, during the rainy season, but we don’t have much of a choice in giving out the fairways ratings for Impian: it’s pretty normal. Not exceptionally good, drainage was passable but still patches of water could be discerned. The fairways of Impian is a mixture of narrow ones with OB stakes and broader ones, with doglegs and elevation to confuse you even more.

Greens (5/5)

I really expected the greens to be in superb condition for some reason. Perhaps it was a little too much expectation, too much rain. Don’t get me wrong, the greens were a million times better than say Tuanku Jaafar or other B-grade courses, but in terms of a premium course with the greens as its main selling point? It’s like a movie starring Tom Cruise and you find that he really wasn’t that involved in the character. He’s still good, he’s still Tom, but he’s not up to par. Your expectations are naturally higher than if you watch a show with Dolph Lundgren playing the role of Romeo in a Romeo and Juliet B-flick remake. I mean we all know how Lundgren is Oscar material right? So, the greens were like Tom Cruise not on his best day.

It still gets a 4 because it was slick like glass. We three putted so many times I lost count. The breaks were deceiving and subtle. Many straight putts verred away at the last moment…and kept going and going and going. Tricky but on this occasion, too many pitchmarks. It looked like it was halfway undergoing maintenance.

Update: I played Impian again and this time, the greens were back to it’s excellent best. Although most of the other parts of the course aren’t spectacular, I must say, Impian greens are probably the best I’ve played on. Shots were back spinning, checking on the green, and the putts rolled true. This is what I remember from Impian! Upgrade to a 5!

Rough (3/5)

Impian rough was pretty normal; except on some holes, wayward balls were lost in a pile of leaves but I think most courses are facing this problem due to the season. We could still get out of the rough well enough. Bermuda grass are a lot easier to play on compared to my normal cowgrass experience in Rahman Putra, so on occasions, it did sit up nicely (only for me to skull the shot into oblivion).

Aesthetics (5/5)

Aside from the greens, the main reason why many people play in Impian is the beauty of it. And on this occasion, it certainly more than lived up to its name. Who can forget the treacherous par 3 12th, with carry over water? And then the stretch of holes starting from 15th to the 17th, based around the lake in Impian with the par 5 17th reachable for eagle. The course looks wide open and in some vantage points, you could see the vibrant colours of different trees and plants, and animals breaking out into songs while a rainbow shines overhead. Ok, that’s a little extreme but if you want a course that’s pretty looking, then Impian is the one for you. It’s not just all beauty either because the course packs a punch too and doesn’t play that easy. It’s a little beast if you can’t fix your wayward shots or putt like a nut. But it’s a pretty looking beast at least.

Tom Cruise, while not performing, is still quite a good looking chap. And this is what Impian is. While the greens and fairways are clearly far from their best days, the aesthetics remain one of the best in the Klang Valley.

Of course, an idiot as I am, I forgot to bring our Gilagolf official camera and ended up using a phone camera for the shots, which basically sucks. It’s ironic that on one of the prettiest courses we play, we forget to bring a proper camera. It’s like taking a photo with Catherine Zeta Jones and finding out that you only have a stupid phone camera to capture the immortal moment. ARGH!

I hope to update these pictures one day if we play again, but for now, grainy shots is what you have. Trust me, it looks a lot better than it does in these pictures.

I played Impian again and updated with proper pictures! Shot 90 on a day where I struggled with my putts.

Fun Factor (4/5)

We definitely found the course fun and entertaining. It offered some good challenges, some selection off the tee to keep it on the fairway. The rough wasn’t punishable, true, but due to the course designs, some wayward shots were blocked entrance into the green and we had to punch out for a three on or four on or 5,6,7 on or whatever. It’s a smart course that deserves some thinking, unlike Tuanku Jaafar or Bukit Kemuning where you can just blast your balls to smithereens and not worry too much about being OB or blocked. Of course, the great looking course contributed to our fun factor. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera and had to rely on a phone camera for the shots, so I think most likely we will be revisiting this course again, and perhaps review the review if the course plays better.

The only downside was the caddy, whom we wanted to throw into the lake, cigarettes and all. The worse of it was we still had to tip him. In reference to the stupidity of tipping caddy, I think this one should pay me back for not finding my balls and making us feel like cattle class citizens. In fact, he should grab himself and jump into the lake directly.


Impian was a good experience. Not great. Honestly we expected slightly more and we were ready to award it an upper tier golf course review. But somehow, likely due to the weather and the fact we had the worst caddy in the world, it falls back into the middle-uppper strata courses in the company of Meru, Tiara, Bangi and KGNS. It certainly wasn’t as bad a letdown as Clearwater was, but still, we all thought it could be played better.

The good: One of the best looking course in the Klang Valley; challenging holes that are not just long, but requires smart shots off the tee; good greens that will improve to become even better once the weather gets better.

The bad: Worst caddy in the world is here; high price, traveling is quite long; fairways were not up to par.

The skinny: 27 of 40 divots (67.5%). It’s one of those courses where you know it can be better than it is, and deserves better than rated middle-upper echelon. We will definitely return again to play on better conditions (and with a better camera), so Impian is recommended if you’re willing to fork our some $$ or join AGN.

Impian Score Card


Impian Information


Bt. 14, Jalan Cheras,
43000 Kajang, Selangor


Fax: +603-87348133


Kundang Lakes Country Club


When the name Kundang Lakes Country Club is thrown to you, you really can’t help but wonder if the marketing director was fired. Say it with me: Kundang. Seriously, I don’t know what is it about that pronunciation or that name, but it just kinda makes you feel like, man, that’s a small village way out in the palm oil estates. It doesn’t roll off your lips the way Hartamas, or Kiara, or Bangsar does, you know.

But giving that it promises to be a Country Club, and having ‘Lakes’ prominently attached to its name, I suppose it was worth the try, and try to make as much use as possible my AGN privileges.

Travel (2/5)

It was quite a tough time finding a map or directions and happened to bump into a map somewhere on the net using the ever faithful google. It’s a map to the fish farm next to the golf course called Tow Foo, giving credence to the fact that the golf course is more useful as a landmark than a destination: it’s always a bad thing if a fish farm is more popular than your golf course. Especially a fish farm called Tow Foo.


It’s actually quite easy to find, although accessing it is another story. You can turn off at Sungai Buloh from the north south highway and head to Kuala Selangor. It’s the same road you take to Rahman Putra, so from PJ side, you can access it using the Bandar Utama->Kepong road and turn off left to the spanking new highway going direct to Rahman Putra.

The easiest way is to turn off to Rahman Putra (using the flyover) and pass Rahman Putra golf club and go all the way to the end till a T junction. Take a left and follow the road. It’s a windy road, mind you and narrow as heck, so if you’re behind a truck, be prepared for a slow one. The roads aren’t good as well! It’s about 8-10 KM from Rahman Putra, going through a lot of kampung areas.

Kampung areas are perhaps the most dangerous. You knock anyone, anything, any animal and you have a whole bunch of people hunting you down. The idea is, DO NOT SPEED in a kampung area unless you have a death wish. Kampung people are very communal so if you mess with their chickens, cats or family, they will likely surround your vehicle and overthrow you. From there, you only have your 7 iron left to defend and let’s see how many you can take out before you’re overwhelmed. Your life will disappear and no one will ever hear of you again.


Price (3/5)

Well, with a price tag of RM35 for weekday under AGN, it’s about the same as Tuanku Jaafar. There’s not much to expect here but at any time a round of 18 cost only RM35 (roughly about USD10), it can’t be too bad, unless they force you to play in that heretical course called Frasers Hill. It has officially become a curse word in our vocabulary, as in, “Man, what kind of Frasers Hill course is this?” or “That hole is such a Frasers Hill, dude.” Or, “Are you Frasers Hilling kidding me?” Or, “Dang, that hole Frasers Hilled me!”.

Yeah, we can’t really get over the bad stuff, you know.

First thoughts

The clubhouse looked as if it was doubling up as somebody’s hut, so dilapidated it was. Certainly not a very good sign to begin with but we like to give clubs the benefit of the doubt. Sure you can have a crappy club house, but I imagined all the money was invested into the golf course.

Incidentally, I was wondering why it was called a Country Club when the only facilities were the golf course, a lousy range and a small terrace, presumably for food. It’s a nitpick I know but there’s a difference between a Country Club and a Golf Club. I’d expect other facilities like massage parlours to be present in a so called Country Club. Just call it Golf Club. No shame in not having anything else but golf there, you know.

Service (1/5)

The counter lady was nice enough and was quite efficient in getting you out on course. She just receives your money and in 5 minutes, you’re ready to go. Nothing much after that, except nobody will help you out in anything. You’ll look for your own turfmate (they don’t have buggies).

Turfmates are actually very cool contraptions that allows a golfer to stand while biking around the golf course. It’s like a chariot, only powered by motor instead of horses. The problem with turfmates is that it destroys the course. That was why my home club did away with turfmates completely and made only buggy strictly on track. So anytime you see a club offering turfmates, you know it’s going to struggle abit on maintenance.

The guy in charge of the turfmate was on his mobile and when inquired which turfmate, he angrily waved away, as if swatting flies. Hey, I guess they don’t really see many people in this part of the world and still revert back to their primitive, monkey gestures to get their point across.

Great service, ain’t it?

Fairways (2/5)

Kundang Lakes have cowgrass fairways; or at least, that’s what I’d like to think. It’s basically muddy and dirty due to the rain and drainage ain’t that good either. It’s a scrappy course, scrappy here designating a course that’s somewhat functional but lacks any proper wow factor in any aspects of the course. The fairways are narrow, but the first nine (creatively named Kundang), has parallel fairways so wild hitters like me are able to recover. After going through such torture from Nilai Springs and Monterez, the friendly first nine was a welcomed sight.

It gets pretty much offset by the second nine, where the fairways are narrow also, but in addition, water and other hazards litter the course, making the 2nd nine a far more difficult experience.

Greens (1/5)

The greens really suck. There’s really no other way to describe it. It’s not nearly as bad as Frasers, but patch of sand, uneven turf and bad maintenance barely squeak a 1/5 rating. Some greens are quick, others barely move the ball and the general lack of consistency makes putting slightly a bit more appealing than connecting to a live socket and have electric current pass through your body.

Rough (1/5)

If the greens are bad, the rough is definitely one of the worst I’ve ever experience. It’s not nearly as bad as Frasers in a sense that it’s not overgrown and have anacondas lurking around. But like Tuanku Jaafar, it’s a course that’s blanketed with leaves. I just missed the green on the 3rd hole and couldn’t find my ball anywhere. I also yanked a few into the rough and riding up there, found nothing but leaves, leaves and more leaves. It’s frustrating especially if you didn’t hit that bad a shot!

Aesthetics (1/5)

The thing about Kundang Lakes is that you do expect to see water as part of the feature. Say what you like about the first name, but you put a Lakes in there, we expect lakes. Instead not one drop of water was seen in the first nine (apparently named Kundang Nine) and the second nine only featured three or four holes with water (named Lakes Nine). Here’s the part I don’t get: If you name Kundang Lakes as a combination of two nines, there is no meaning to kundang, but there is meaning to lakes. Also, what if the decide to open another nine? Adopting the same naming mentality, wouldn’t they need to change their club name?!

That aside, Kundang Lakes plays very flat. Keep it on the fairway and you can pretty much cruise through this course. There’s absolutely no holes that make you go, WOW! There is almost no change in elevation. It’s like playing golf in a football field. In fact, I think it used to be a big field for cattle grazing. With no water, no elevation, nothing that really makes it stand out, Kundang Lakes comes in a generous 1/5 for beauty.

Fun Factor (1/5)

I was tempted to give it a 0. You could play yourself into a coma in this course. Excitement is kept to a bare minimum. Bad greens and fairways spoil any positive experience to be derived from it. The only fun factor you can have is crossing from the first nine to the second nine. For some extremely stupid reason, the course was built with the main road in between the two nines. When I say main road, I’m not talking about a small path ways with bumps and an occasional trishaw on it. A main road is basically the road I was speeding on. The road where a 16 wheel trailer would come barreling down without a regard for your pathetic life; the road with the blind corner and no speed bumps and cars whizzing by. You wait at the road side with your turfmate and when the coast is clear, you slam the accelerator handlebar and hope you get through before disaster strikes.

I mean, is this course seriously worth dying for?

We had low expectations of the course, and boy were the expectations met. The greens were in a terrible shape and the rough was a mess. What we didn’t like was the name Kundang Lakes; it just isn’t right to manipulate your name and make it sound like something you are not. This is basically a characterless course that we might possibly never return again, unless all the other golf courses are bombed out.

The good: Reasonable pricing for AGN Members, flat and featureless might be good for beginners, coupled with complete disregard to the course maintenance.

The bad: Bad fairways, roughs and greens; bad drainage; absolutely confusing naming convention, and worst of all, golfers have to negotiate death and destruction to play on the second nine.

The skinny: 13 of 40 divots (32.5%). If you are around that area, a much better place to play would be Rahman Putra. Unless you are an absolute beginner who wants to risk his neck to play here, go ahead. Otherwise, forget about Kundang Lakes.

Kundang Lakes Score Card


Kundang Lakes Information


KM 28, Jalan Kundang,
48020 Rawang, Selangor

Contact: +603-60342725

Fax: +603-60342729

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





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 (

Monterez GCC


When you say Monterez, the most likely response you will get is a grimace on the face, followed by, “Short and narrow,” before the said person goes back to doing whatever he was doing. I haven’t found a person who actually liked the course a lot, and I have played a few times on that course, without much memory of it. So armed with a camera and a flaky swing, I decided to give it a try and see how it goes. I had an initial feeling that it was one of those courses that do not offend, yet do not provide the fun we deserve, taking Sunday afternoon off to play.

Travel (3/5)


Now that the whole stretch of road at Bukit Jelutong is built up, the easiest way is to take the NKVE and head towards the Jelutong Exit. After the toll, take the second left turning. You will pass a short par 3 course on your left. Keep going straight, stay on the left lane as there will be a sign that directs you to Monterez. Take the left turn, you will hit a traffic light and from there, a right and left will put you in the old Sungai Buloh road. You will pass a petrol station and at the traffic light, take a left and you are there. Travelling was fast. It took us only 15 minutes from the Damansara toll to the front gate of the club. It used to require a 4×4 to get through to it, but these days, the word Sungai Buloh no longer evokes memories of cannibals living off the palm oil trees and preying on the estate workers. Malaysia, at long last, is taking baby steps to civilization!

Price (3/5)

With AGN, we paid just RM77, which could have been cheaper if we had a fourth ball. As it was, it’s a pretty reasonably price to pay for a weekend round. Without AGN, we probably need to pay about RM120 or somewhere in that region. There were no extras as well, unlike some clubs where they force you to take caddies. Especially talkative ones who can’t shut up.

First thoughts

Monterez is probably familiar to most golfers in the klang valley area, it being one of the more accessible golf courses around and relatively short, hence quite playable. It’s a narrow course, so it’s not the best course to bring a crooky swing into, like the one I was bringing in when we played it. I knew I would struggle massively as I’m trying to hit straight shots.

Monterez derives the name from the ancient Maya civilization. I read this from their website:

“Monterez Golf & Country Club adopted the concept of Maya civilisation, renowned as one of the most advanced civilisations the world has ever seen.

The essence of these ancient traditions is reflected in Monterez’s architecture, lifestyle and culture. The traditions of an ancient world are rediscovered to create an unforgettable experience in modern leisure living.”

Actually, to a certain degree, ancient traditions of Mayans include human sacrifices via decapitation, and the removal of the heart. After that, the corpse is thrown from the pyramid where it will be skinned and worn by the priest. At the end, that poor guy would be chopped up and eaten by the spectators. I mean, I think that was how it was, according to Apocalypto. Unforgettable experience in modern leisure living? Come on, seriously. It’s marketing babble. Lifestyle? What lifestyle? It’s a golf club for crying out loud!

Nothing on the course resembles the Mayan culture. Maybe the tight fairways do make you (the ones who are extremely violent and sadistic) want to rip out the hearts of your partners, but if you expect something Mayan in Monterez, it ain’t got nothing, except for the clubhouse that looks like a wedding cake. Otherwise this is just another course, with no visible beauty and a very bad naming choice.

Frankly, if I was given a chance, I’d put some skulls (well not human, silly, I mean goats skull) on the stakes surrounding the green, and have the course marshal randomly throw a spear at us at the tee box as part of the course obstacle. Maya culture? I’ll show you Maya culture, darn it!

Service (4/5)

I must admit, the service was excellent. I went to register and it took me like 5 minutes. After that, in another 3 minutes we were already on the 10th tee, ready to go. No fuss, no red tape, their idea is to simply get you out onto the course and play golf. It loses a bit of points as it allows people to randomly tee off anywhere they choose. The marshals don’t seem to practice any sort of rules here.

For instance, we were about to tee up our back nine on the first when this Chinese uncle just barges in and announce they are teeing off first, since they started at the 4th. Really, who gives a darn? Chinese uncles who play golf are the worse lots. They are usually either contractors, hawkers, construction workers or retired/jobless elders who doesn’t have anything better to do than to smoke and attempt to whip a golf ball. And talk loudly. And be rude.

Chinese uncles should be tranquilize on sight or better, as the ancient Mayan culture should dictate, be decapitated and thrown into a ditch. I doubt anyone will want to cannibalise them though.

Fairways (2/5)

Ah, the fairways.

Monterez is build with space issues, so much like the Nameless Course in Seremban 3, so the fairways are tight, narrow and full of OBs. I honestly hate courses that have OBs all over the place. I for one, was already struggling with my drive, so if we could resort to a 5 wood it’d be good, but no, the course has to put in so many holes with 170 – 180 to clear water from the tee, forcing us to go for driver. I understand that’s the course challenge, and I can hit my 5 wood about 190 m, but still a mishit will land it in the drink. I understand the course wants us to manage it, to think our way around, but seriously, most men are wired with one thought, take out the One and hit it. I’m quite smart I think in general, but when it comes to golf, I’m an imbecile. Like Curly, I’ll keep doing the one thing that gets me into trouble over and over and over and over….

I won’t mind that much if the fairway was at least reasonably maintained, but Monterez is supposed to be a Bermuda course. Instead on the fairway, large patches of cowgrass was growing, showing a lack of maintenance on the course. It also has patches that should be marked GUR due to the mud and lack of grass but instead just left there. Definitely not up to mark.

Greens (3/5)

The greens have two things here: bad maintenance and good contours. It kinda offsets the other. GUR should be marked in bald patches on the fringe (and we have plenty) but the large greens are a challenge to putt. It wasn’t well maintained, the grass was too long, too uneven to recognize the speed properly. The good challenge was that the greens were large, so regulation play might also mean 3 putting, thanks to the hilly contours the greens are built on.

Rough (1/5)

Not much to say here. With the amount of OBs around this course, it’s tough to navigate for people wanting to take out their big Dog. As in the driver. Also, sand and water plays a big part on this course. Most of my holes either bombed into the sand or flirted with disaster. The bunkers were also uneven, some were wet and hard, others just kinda wispy. We’ve already decided we’re not into courses that are stingy on their spaces, and Monterez is definitely one course that’s absolutely, the epitome of stinginess.

Aesthetics (2/5)

Elevated tee boxes do give the course a reasonably nice view of things. Also, the trees and plants surrounding the course adds to its geniality. Is it pretty? No, not really. On close up, you’ll find that the water stinks. Perhaps that’s where the Mayan tradition of body dumping comes in.

Some holes do stand out a little; but too many holes play too similar, as if the designers have run out of ideas. In fact, the 9th and 18th plays exactly the same, except that there is OB on both sides, so you can’t borrow fairways. I borrowed twice, so I OBed both holes! It’s parallel and everything is just too similar. The par 3s are reasonably short, but the par 5s can be reached in two. In fact, the first par 5 I met, I used driver and a 6 iron and I was already next to the green. Kinda like Bangi isn’t it?

Fun Factor (2/5)

It’s hard not to have fun when I’m with my normal group; we did play quite well. I struggled predictably with my crooked swing, but at least I scored reasonably and did get an escalation par on the first nine. The weather was great so I don’t exactly know why we didn’t have fun. I think likely, every hole lacked character. If we play Datai Bay or KGNS or Meru, there are holes you know and will remember for this and that. In Monterez, all the par 4s are like twin brothers to each other. We didn’t get any, “Wow, check this hole out!”. I know space is an issue with this course, but seriously, we didn’t find much to have the wow factor going.

Also, I was stressed with my swing. I kept hitting into the other flights and once nearly killed the group taking their tee off on the next hole. There are hardly any borrowed fairways here, so we just got to keep it straight and long.


The good: Good accessibility, great service from registration to the 1st tee off, reasonably priced golf course; challenging for accuracy and recovery; putting and bunker play must be sharpened for this course

The bad: Narrow, narrow course; loads of bunkers all over the place; stinking water harboring disease; fairways and greens are not properly maintained, OB is a constant feature and holes are basically similar to each other in design. Also, a lousy name.

The skinny: 20 of 40 divots (50%). It’s not the best choice out there, but if you’re in a hurry to finish the round on an afternoon, it’s a course to improve your accuracy golf, not your bombing. It’s a boring course, no ‘WOW’ factor, and we recommend a miss on Monterez. Unless they bring in the goat skulls on the green.

Monterez Score Card


Monterez Information


No 1, Jalan Merah Kesumba U9/18,
Seksyen U9,
40000 Shah Alam, Selangor.

Contact: +603-78465989

Fax: +603-78467881