Saujana GCC – Bunga Raya


Every golfer, whether hacker or professional, would have the ‘Top 3′ courses he/she wants to play in before dying. It’s natural. Of all instincts in the animal kingdom, two instincts rise above all: the instinct to mate, and the instinct to choose the top 3 courses to play. For me, it’s Augusta, St Andrews and Pebble Beach. But since those are currently out of reach (both geographically and budget-wise), I have to scale down to the Malaysian standards to the following 3: Saujana, Kota Permai, Mines. Of course, you can talk about Sungai Long, Bukit Jambul etc but why these 3 are so attractive is simply because Saujana and Kota Permai have hosted numerous high profile tournaments and Mines have had the pleasure of Tiger Woods’ footprints, spits and curses over 4 rounds of the Malaysian Open years ago (did I mention that his appearance fee is possibly more than the winner’s prize money?).

So when the opportunity came to play in Saujana, it was like an invitation to the Masters. We had 3 flights and those who never played the course before were highly strung up because we didn’t want to screw it up and look like idiots. So lots of planning, training went into the week before we were supposed to tee it up.

Which brings back to one of Gilagolf’s theory: No matter how much hackers practice on the range, there is no difference. They will suck, regardless.

Obviously my confidence level wasn’t very high, having trudge through a pair of 95s in Tasik Puteri and KRTU, and developed a horrendous duck hook along the way.

Travel (5/5)

We like courses that are nearby, i.e not too far from where we stay, and not too inaccessible, i.e too deep inside housing estates like Tasik Puteri, Nilai Springs, The Nameless Course in Seremban 3. We gravitate a lot to courses who are smart enough to be built next to a highway like KGNS or KGPA. Or in some cases like Saujana and Seri Selangor and Tropicana, we have the highway built next to the course.

It’s very simple to get the Saujana, even a blind cow can eventually find its way there. Remember the old airport, Subang airport? Well, head towards it, either from the federal highway (in which case, head past the Motorola (now Freescale) LDP bridge and stay left and follow the cute aeroplane symbol. If you’re coming from the NKVE, turn off at Subang, and right after the toll, stay right. You’ll make a big turn and end up on the road to Subang airport.

From there, stay left, looking at the signs that says Saujana and Ara Damansara. Turn off to Saujana and take a 9 at the small roundabout. The club is on the right.

As you drive up the road, revel in its history, like how other lucky golfers get to drive up Magnolia Lane in Augusta. This is the closest you can get to the local version of Augusta.

Here’s the official map from Saujana’s website.

I know, it doesn’t say much does it? In fact, for a premier golf course, I wish they would spend a little more on their website. I mean, if you compare it to Augusta’s website, this looks as if it was created by a bunch of college nerds out to make a quick buck.

Price (2/5)

According to the website, non members pay RM353 for an 18 hole round. That’s just green fees and insurance, mind you. Buggies are – get this – RM82 for twin sharing. RM82??! What the heck kind of buggy are they giving us, one attached with a freaking robot chauffer? We find out later that it was equipped with GPS for to track you distance. After fiddling with glee on the first hole, we all forgot about the GPS and just played golf like how we play.

Golfer: (To caddie) “Eh, how far-ah-the hole?”

Caddie: “150, boss. Take 6 iron la.”

Golfer: “150? Looks nearer one? No la, I strong hitter, 7 iron.”

Caddie: “But boss, ada wind la…don’t believe, check GPS la.”

Golfer: “7 iron!!! ”

Proceed to hit short into the bunker.

Golfer: “AIYAA! Wind laaaa!!!” (Tomahawk the 7 iron into the ground)

Caddies cost 40 bucks each, so it’s 20 per buggy. So here’s the overall price you are expected to pay (kaching!):

353 + 41 + 20 + 25 (minimum tip is 50 to caddie per buggy). = RM439.

Instead of giving it a -100 for price, we understand this is a premium course, so we’re bumping it up to a 2. Come on, Augusta comparisons are just for fun. No way in a zillion years will Saujana be even mentioned together with Augusta.

First thoughts

As I said, it was a nervous affair to come into Saujana. I was hoping we would get championship course, called the Palm Course, but more glamourously as “The Cobra”, but obviously, we’re still considered second class citizens in our little tournament and got bumped to their secondary course, The Bunga Raya course, otherwise known as “The Crocodile”. There is absolutely no reason why it should be named the crocodile, because we expected to see some reptilian obstructions along the fairway, which we did not. Neither is it a watery course, with water only in play towards the end. Perhaps it’s the fact that once the rough catches your balls, it’s like how a crocodile locks its jaws when it grabs hold of your balls, never letting it go until it crunches your balls into a million pieces. We’re talking about golf balls here, by the way.

Because this is Saujana, we’re willing to separate the two courses (Bunga Raya and Cobra) into different reviews (that is, if we ever find ourselves playing on the Cobra in this lifetime).

Service (3/5)

This was a game serviced by one of our generous vendors, so check in, registration was a breeze. I just turned up and we were ready to go. As mentioned, there is a GPS unit attached to each buggy but that’s about it. We hardly use it except for a few holes where we distrust our caddies (who for some reason, get offended when we do that).

The caddies were good. They know the course, they know the greens and you will need them to read these greens. Saujana is diabolical in the greens. What I didn’t quite like was how arrogant some of them were. We had a guy who was probably a 4 handicaper but he wasn’t my caddie. He seems like a nice fellow, someone like Nan, from Air Keroh, and he was constantly teaching my friend in the other buggy, how to release his drives.

My caddie was a girl, whom I thought was Indonesian (by default) but turned out to be a local Chinese. So it was the first time that I actually conversed with my caddy in Cantonese! But she wasn’t that great. Some of the reads she gave was way off, but some were good. But when I didn’t pull it off, she would go off in a huff saying I didn’t listen to her. What? Excuse me, how the heck am I supposed to be good enough to hit that chip exactly where you pointed? You think I am pro or what? One time I blasted out of a bunker and she says, “Why you hit so hard? Now long putt to hole.” I shot back that with our skill, anything out of the bloody bunker is good enough. It was a good thing she was a girl and my natural gentleman instinct overcame by barbaric instinct to wring her neck after 13 holes and plant a hundred balls into her thick skull.

It’s annoying when you hit a long putt and she goes, “See, I give correct read.” And when you miss, she goes, “Why never listen to me?”. Gosh, how about I drive your RM80 buggy into one of the lakes with you strapped behind it?

Fairways (3/5)

I was a little surprised to find the fairways in such a mediocre condition. Now all this is relative. The fairways are nice, with the ball sitting up like a carpet. But if I were to fork out nearly RM500 for a course, you need to give me something more than ‘nice’. It has to be Tropicana nice, as in, pristine. Hole 11’s fairways was mushed up and muddy near the buggy track. Hole 2 had tracks on the fairway and I had to take free drop. Hole 3 area near the green was so soft, my ball disappeared. A couple of holes, it didn’t hold up to the previous day’s downpour as well as I expected it to. So, relatively speaking, the fairways weren’t too special I’m afraid.

Greens (4/5)

Here’s where the madness begins. Saujana’s greens are absolutely crazy. They told us it was 10 on the stimp but I putted so badly, at one point 3 putted 3 holes in a row and ready to whack the putter to my head like Woody Austin. Putting is a snowball effect. You putt like a clown for the first few holes, you start second guessing. And I’ll tell you this, Saujana Greens are harder than KRTU. In KRTU, you can at least see those crazy undulations. You know your ball will break, but you’re not sure how much. Again, we reiterate we are speaking of golf balls. In Saujana, a straight putt could have a left break, an uphill putt could be a downhill. A regulation on could turn into a double bogey when you four putt. I mean, it’s not in your face like KRTU. This is deceptive. It’s subversive. It’s main intention is to trick you and you just watch in despair as your ball rolls…and rolls…and rolls and rolls. I putted like a man possessed, sinking in critical 5 – 6 footers to avoid 3 putting almost every hole. I don’t even have a tap in on any occasion!

And to prove yet again that Gilagolf’s review is in no way affected by how badly we play, we’re giving it a 4/5. The breaks and trickery were great. The maintenance wasn’t super though. Again, this is with the RM500 per round pricetag hanging over everything.

Rough (5/5)

Ah, if the greens were crazy, the rough was probably the best lesson I ever had in golf so far. I think it’s Bermuda, but you will likely enjoy hitting your balls out of lumps of cowdung more than trying to get out of these stuff. It’s gnarly, for the lack of better word. You think your ball is ok because you can see it and it’s not too deep inside. But this grass is strong, you can’t just whack it because it grabs your clubs and twist it any which way, which usually results in your ball being badly topped or bottomed and advancing 20 – 30 meters in pure ignominy. And here’s the difference between pro players and hackers.

For hackers, our learning ability is seriously malfunctioned. In fact, if I may, I can say I am golfically retarded. A pro player, after 1 or 2 holes experiencing the rough, would adjust his game to suit the conditions. For me, I usually chip around the green with my 48 degrees. I like to bump and run the ball, bounce once or twice off the green before releasing it on. I might sound like I know what I’m doing but most of time, it’s because I am really crap with my 60 degree and often end up skulling it. A wise guy might suggest to use my sand or approach wedge, but I will reject it simply because I like how my 48 degrees look at my chipping address. Anyways, so there I was throughout my front nine, trying to bump and run the ball on, and everytime I hit it short, the grass catches it and it gives me absolutely zero bump and zero run. I recall the par 5 8th, I was near the green in 3. My chip was short. My second chip was long and I had to struggle for a bogey.

It took me 9 holes to realize that my 48 degree will be useless and I switched to a 60 to get a higher trajectory on my chips to land on the green and avoid all the stuff between. I immediately got a par on my 10th and started recovering from my front nine 47. In fact, I was only six over when I reached the 18th and needing a par to break 90, and that was when the disaster (which I will chronicle) struck.

Aesthetics (4/5)

Saujana is a great looking course. I’m not just saying because I like groveling before the best club in Malaysia, but it’s a genuine feeling of freedom, standing over the elevated tee box at 1 and 10, and watching your drive soar down. Even the 9th hole, it was a magnificent view on top of the tee box, that sloped down into a valley and up again to the green. Some of these holes are diabolically long, like the Par 4 2nd which requires a perfect drive to hug the little dogleg left. The par 3s are not a piece of cake as well, the 13th is a scary 180 meter hole with an extreme elevation drop from tee to green. I’m surprised that they can come up with so many elevated holes in the Subang area. I always though the land was fairly flat.

It’s not a pretty little thing like Palm Garden, or a horrendously long course like Clearwater, but it’s a little in between. The generous fairways invite you with the driver, and the lack of OB gives you a fake confidence over the teebox. You yank something offline and it goes in the jungle. As the caddie said wryly when I asked if it was OB, “Here got no OB. Boleh cari, boleh main.”, i.e instead of plastering OB stakes around the course like stupid amateur courses like Nilai Springs, KRTU and all that, Saujana dares you to recover from the jungle. That’s why we call it a man’s course. It doesn’t retard the players recovery like other courses with its OB here and OB there. It lets the player decide, hey, if you wanna hit it through the jungle and risk your life, go ahead, make my day, lets see how you recover. Most of the time, we take one look at Saujana’s rough and jungle and we go, forget it.

At the end it’s still a Palm oil estate course like Rahman Putra, so we’re giving it an almost perfect 4/5 for aesthetics. Certainly enjoyable view and a great experience.

Fun Factor (4/5)

It took me a while to really get used to the greens and roughs so I was basically hacking like a turkey before Thanksgiving on my first 9. I was having a great driving day, blasting the ball a mile, that prompted the handicap 4 caddie to comment, “Do that again. I want to see your drive.”

Unfortunately, my other aspects were completely stupid. My approach shots were mediocre at best, and I pulled some nasty shots into the jungle. I was especially struggling with my 23 degree taylormade rescue (which is now back in the store room for punishment), yanking it left all day. My chipping, as mentioned, was like a man with epilepsy. My putting was Jekyl and Hyde, 3 putting at times, and dropping some crazy bombs at others.

Did I have fun overall? Sure, how is it not possible to have fun in Saujana? I would have gone home a happy and satisfied man if only I didn’t screw up the 18th. Like the show “Seconds from Disaster”, here’s a breakdown of the disaster of 18th.

  1. Approach the tee shot, a scary looking one with a peninsular on the left running along a huge lake on this Par 5. You need to aim left and depending on your carry, look for a target in that peninsular. It’s actually a great great hole to end.
  2. My drive hooked a little with a topspin but safely carried the water and into the primary rough.
  3. About 230 meters away to an elevated green, and here was the crucial decision. A 6 iron or my rescue wood? I already faced this dilemma in the 12th hole when I yanked my rescue wood into the jungle and barely escaped with a double thanks to a 20 feet putt over a 10 feet break.
  4. I don’t know why, but this is how insane people operate; I thought I could pull it off again. The exact same thought process came in: Come on, you can do this. But it’s deep rough. Maybe a 6 iron to just play it safe. Nah, what the heck, I want to go far. Far!!
  5. And with that, the devil on my left shoulder triumphed over the angel voice of reason on my right shoulder and I took my hybrid.
  6. I came down so steep, the ball got popped up by my rescue wood’s top and it sent the ball short, high and right. This is by far my crap shot.
  7. Every golfer has a crap shot. Shots that cannot be analysed, cannot be simulated on the range no matter how hard you try, shots that come once or twice in a round, often with disastrous results. Some struggle with the duck hook, some with the sh*kns, mine is exceptionally embarrassing because it just pops up 20 meters and go far right. In this case, yep, into the dang water.
  8. So lying 4 about 220 to the hole uphill, you reckon I would learn my lesson by now and try to five on and save bogey. Instead, I used the same bloody club and hooked it left.
  9. I was lucky there was a bunker there to catch it, else it would have dribbled off into God knows where. From the bunker, I hit perhaps my best 8 iron ever for the day, straight, lofted landing just off the green with a severe downhill for my bogey chip.
  10. I chipped using my 60 degree, saw it land, saw it track. My best chip of the day. It looked to be in the hole but last minute turned, careen off the lip and settling 4 feet away from the cup.
  11. I needed to hit a measly 4 footer to salvage some pride and I’ve been hitting this all day with my eyes closed.
  12. As the case for nearly every hacker in a similar position of a must make putt: I came up tentative and short, settling for a humiliating triple on the final hole, and a 92 overall. Bah.


So ends the Saujana experience. I was hoping this would enter the mythical Gilagolf status of DAGTH (Died and Gone to Heaven) category, but it falls short due to several reasons as stated. Still, it was a good round of golf overall, which could have been better. The course obviously has a lot of things going for it. If someone pays for you or you have extra money to spare, then Saujana – Bunga Raya course is a great place to go. The wide fairways are super friendly to a crazy driver like me. It doesn’t limit your game with stupid OB stakes like Nilai Springs or KRTU or Seremban 3. It’s a man’s course, so you’re gonna make sure your driver is working well, or you’re not gonna regulation a lot of holes. The course, with its contour changes is also superbly designed with a few holes requiring placement and thinking and not just smashing. Definitely a must play!

The good: Travel is great and fast; the greens will test your resolve not to smash your putter to pieces; the rough is a heck of an experience; overall aesthetics is very attractive, with contours and elevations for a different experience every hole; last hole on both 9s a great experience.

The bad: Crazy pricing designed to force you to mortgage your home; fairways are not exactly up to par (pun intended obviously); caddies are a little annoying if you get the wrong ones; GPS is aesthetically nice but functionally too advanced for stone age hackers like us.

The skinny: 30 of 40 divots (75%). Anything with the name Saujana in front would be a good experience. Even with the fairways far from perfect, Saujana – Bunga Raya course manages to come in third in the Gila Meter behind Palm and Datai. A definite “play” for this course!

Saujana – Bunga Raya Score Card

Saujana GCC Information


Saujana Golf And Country Club
P.O. Box 8148, Kelana Jaya,
46783 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Contact: +603-78461466

Fax: +603-78467818



Augusta Masters 2008 Review

Ok, so our Gilagolf Prediction Theory was a little off. We predicted Brandt Snedeker to win. Instead he went the other way, posting 77. We thought we tracked him after that eagle on 2 but he derailed instead. Our other prediction was partly correct, Ian Poulter making a brief run after the second before killing himself with 3 double bogeys in three holes. Paul Casey playing like a chipmunk drunk with tequilla. Cink and Flesch wishing they had more hair to win this dang thing.

We also predicted Tiger Woods wouldn’t come close to challenging the masters and we were correct. Trevor Immelman played the 16th like your weekend hacker and still could afford a double on the 18th to win it. Nope, Tiger was no where close.

Since you can read in 100,000 other articles on the net on how Trevor won, and the full Masters analysis, Gilagolf is just going to offer one perspective:

How Tiger Lost

Many will say Tiger lost it in the final round, where he missed putts like how I miss putts. On the 15th, he had like less than 5 feet to start a major run, and he screwed up the birdie.

But his chances really ended months ago, after he made this statement, when asked if he can complete the Grand Slam this year:

“I think it’s easily within reason.”

For the uninitiated, the Grand Slam is winning all 4 majors in a calendar year, a feat only achieved by Bobby Jones, who sounds like your neighbourhood garbage man but who is actually one of the greatest golfers ever lived (well, he’s dead now). Mr Jones did it before the modern definition of majors; i.e The Masters, The US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. Nobody has ever won these 4 tournaments in one year.

And Tiger says: “It is EASILY WITHIN REASON.”

Note the innuendo of the world Number 1. In these 5 choice words, he has conveyed the following messages:

1) I am good, way better than all the other losers on this PGA tour.

2) All of y’all suck, especially that idiot Rory, whom I will have the joy of pounding my 7 iron into his mouth one of these days.

3) I have a hot wife.

Tiger definitely has a way with words.

Every golfer, from pro to hacker, knows the golden rule of golf:


This is so easy to do. You sometimes do it without realising it. For instance, take my KRTU experience. I was saying to myself breaking 80 is ‘easily within reason’ and then blew up for a 95 on a windswept day. Another time, I shot 40 on my front nine in Nilai Springs, then said to myself: “Maybe today…”. I didn’t even tell anyone! Next thing I knew, I started hacking like a pregnant hippo and shot 47 on the back. How many times I was poised to shoot a low round record when my entire game would decide to take a break and destroy any semblance of pride I have left?

That’s how Tiger lost. He jinxed himself. His recovery shots and putting left him. True he made a ridiculous par on the 18th on Friday (or Thursday?) but it didn’t matter. He lost, because of his big mouth. And hence, he tried to recover from it, saying in the post round interview:

“I learned my lesson there with the press. I’m not going to say anything,”

Welcome Tiger, to the world of hackers.

Augusta Masters 2008 Champion

Gilagolf, aside from hacking unfortunate golf courses to pieces both literally and literaturely, will now include random ramblings of any golf subjects that crosses our minds (which is quite often), and can be written down without causing too much offence (which is quite often, the offence part, we mean), and that can be published without banning us from any golf courses (which is quite rare, the publishing part, we mean).

This is being written about 3 hours before the final group tees off in Augusta for the final round of the Masters 2008. For days, we’ve been running through our time tested Gila Prediction Theory (GPT) and with each round, we’re getting more and more excited about the results. Finally, we’re about the prove that the GPT is accurate and this is how we are going to prove it.

We first start by taking in past champions for five years. We believe any data older than that is not helpful, since equipment changes, diet changes, course changes and the general aging of the earth have caused such data to be obsoleted. The past five winners are as follows:

2003 – Mike Weir
2004 – Phil Mickelson
2005 – Tiger Woods
2006 – Phil Mickelson
2007 – Zach Johnson

I know there are some prediction techniques out there that calculate stats like GIR, Fairway hits, low score average, plane of attack, trajectory of ball flight, momentum of quantum weight shift and all that baloney. Forget ’em. They confuse everyone and has proven that they are too confusing even for the statisticians who devised them. GPT is simply based on one criteria of the past winners:


If you notice from the mugshots above, starting from 2003, there is a distinctive pattern to be predicted in the Augusta Champions. Mike Wier kicked it all up when he won. This guy is really bald under that cap. He’s quite a good looking chap with the cap on though. Then in 2004, we all remembered Phil’s celebratory jump, that probably looked as if he was attempting to leap over a sheet of paper and failing. Look at Phil’s hair. Dang, that’s a lot of hair! 2005 was Tiger time, and we all know Tiger has been losing hair since he first picked up the club and sold his hair to the devil for giving him a mad, mad game.

You see the trend? Each year alternates between a hairy and a bald champion.

The very next year, Mr Lots of Hair came through and won again in 2006, since it was the year that a Hairy Champion would wear the green jacket. In 2007, this was a ‘bald’ year and I tell you, Zach Johnson’s hair is receding as fast as the beach water before a tsunami hits. This mug shot was probably taken in his school days when he was 12, but I assure you, his hair is gone, as much as Jim Furyk’s hair is gone.

So what does that leave us? A prediction of a Hairy Champion in 2008!

And here’s where we got excited, because while there were buzz about Furyk, Singh and of course Tiger winning in Augusta, we pshawed it, because they didn’t fit the GPT prediction! Instead we predicted Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Adam Scott. All three are of course toast bread by now. So we rescanned the GPT for predictions and expectedly, here’s how our final 2 pairing looks like:

It’s painfully obvious the third guy, Steve Flesch is NOT gonna win it. He has a head like an egg, and we predict by the first 9 before amen corner, he’s going to be scratching whatever hair remaining out.

Forget about Tiger or Cink. I mean look at Cink. Look at him. You cannot possibly tell me, with this new information you have, you’re gonna bet of a dude who looks like that. I like Poulter’s chances since he’s got a head full of hair. But he wears tight pants, which is bad, since that means he chokes a lot.

GPT predicts IAN POULTER to be the dark horse to play well in the last day but fall short due to his tight pants.

So that leaves us Immelman, Snedeker and Casey.

Immelman’s hair hasn’t been that great and with a balky putter, and the fact that he looks a little like Lorena Ochoa after he hits the ball, we’re not going to go for him.

Casey is a firebrand. He hates Americans and he intimidates everyone. He has game to back it up, not like Sergio, the mama’s boy. But unfortunately GPT does not select him because it would give Europe too much to gloat for (Ryder champs and Augusta Champs??! COME ON!!). It’s ok to balance the power, but if Europe wins too much, everyone will become like Colin Montgomerie and golf will likely be banned in Asian countries, since Doubtfire has a personal grudge against Asians like myself. So, sorry Paul, nothing personal, we just don’t like that fat white guy who picks on little Asians.

Which leaves us with Brandt Snedeker. With a mop like that on his head, he’s on track to win the Masters outright. Plus, we like his boy band face, and we like the way he putts, since he doesn’t delay over the ball (If God was playing behind Jim Furyk, He would probably have fried Furyk with a million thunderbolts for slow play). Snedeker reminds us of Aaron Baddeley, our all time favourite since he putts very quickly as well. Also, Snedeker sounds like Snead, which is good. And finally, most importantly, we like comical names that we don’t see elsewhere. Sne Dek Er sounds like a chinese name, obviously a major advantage to have. With such overwhelming evidence set before us, Gilagolf is therefore predicting:


Kelab Rekreasi Tentera Udara (KRTU)


In Malaysia, golf has apparently become so popular that universities have their own golf clubs (UPM, UniTen, UKM). We understand the need for this, since students, being naturally attention deficient, require as much distractions as possible from turning into rioters and revolutionaries who organize protests in the streets. Trust me, I know. I was a student before and I fantasize about marching down the street with a band of hooligans shouting slogans we don’t understand. It’s cool to be part of a revolution.

The peculiarity of golf also extends to our police and air force, the former having Titwangsa Golf Club and the royal air force having KRTU, which stands for Kelab Rekreasi Tentera Udara; i.e Air Force Recreational Club.

It kinda reminded me of when Golf was banned in England when it was being too much of a distraction for the queen’s army. Our Malaysian army is definitely not impressing anyone and will probably lose even to the Micapulga Pygmies of Southern Papua New Guinea in a face to face battle; but I’ll bet the farm that our air force can kick those pygmies’ butt when it comes to golf. Bring it on!!

Travel (1/5)

Any traveling that requires transiting through a trunk road through two kampungs on a single lane into a military base gets a 0 for us. Sure it’s not that far away, but trust me, when the jam starts, you feel like chewing your steering wheel into pieces. The road is riddled with potholes and when you do find yourself in the air base, you need to leave your IC at the checkpoint. After all, this is an air base, even though the only things I see flying here were a bunch of crows at the first tee. You can also employ the ‘ACCESS HAND METHOD’. When you come near the checkpoint, go faster and raise your hand as if to acknowledge that you are a member of the air force. I did just that and they raised the barricade and gave me back the ‘ACCESS HAND METHOD RESPONSE’, no matter that I was dressed in my golf attire and looked every bit the chinaman I am. This method is a failsafe way to get into any place in Malaysia, including the prime minister’s office (I haven’t tried that yet, but go ahead and it will work). Aside from that, traveling is a fat 0 for us because more than the distance, we hate, absolutely hate pothole filled, one lane trunk roads with traffic jam.

If you insist, here’s the directions and map. The map is not even specific, it’s to another company. But you get the idea: TUDM is where KRTU is, so head to TUDM!

To get to KRTU, head to the old Subang Airport, also known as Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, but nobody cares anyway. It’s just Subang airport to everyone. If you don’t know how to get to Subang airport, you can either use the federal highway and head to Subang, Shah Alam and follow the nice airport sign (it has an aeroplane symbol on it). If coming from NKVE, turn off at the Subang toll, stay right and follow the aeroplance symbol sign.

You’ll hit the big subang airport roundabout. Take a 12 and now drive all the way, following signs to Kampung Baru Subang, Monterez. You’ll be on that accursed trunk road, with the runway on the left. At the Traffic lights, turn left, following the blue TUDM sign and you will be in Kampung Seri Subang. You will hit a T junction where right will lead you to Monterez, and left will lead you to TUDM. Go for TUDM (although after this review, you’ll wish you went right instead). Go all the way to the end of the road you you will be in the air force base. Once inside (either by giving your IC or hand access method), drive following the road and you’ll soon see KRTU in front of you.

Price (1/5)

On a weekday, I forked out RM88 to play in KRTU. I was walk in, while others paid about RM35. RM88 is only RM2 shy of playing in Palm garden using AGN. Why am I subjecting myself to such humiliation to pay so much on a course that looks like my grandma’s backyard?

RM88 is overpriced for a weekday walkin. I mean, I know they need to upgrade their planes, but what in heavens name do you think you can achieve charging citizens of this beloved country (whose taxes pays for this course anyway) RM88? I don’t agree with the pricing, they should slash it to RM60 or below, like UPM. Face it, ain’t nobody is going to dream of playing in KRTU if they had a chance.

First thoughts

The moment I drove up, one thought came to my mind. It looks an awful lot like UPM. And KRPM. Both these courses are crap hard to play on. These are courses that are not pretty, like a 200 pound woman with moustache who is bent on pounding you into submission. UPM’s saving grace was the green; KRPM saving grace was the maintenance and the layout. We have yet to see what saves KRTU.

I was actually pretty confident coming into this game. I just blistered Kinrara with an 83 (which could have been a whole lot better if I didn’t screw up a couple of putts), and I thought I should be able to navigate fairly well around this KRTU course, although I know about its OB palm oil trees and undulating greens. I was hitting my irons good enough to clock in 87 in my previous 3 rounds. I’ve finally got golf all figured out. It’s an easy game. Time to break 80 and turn pro.

Ah, the demise of illusions. Golf mercilessly annihilates these wonderful, beautiful illusions.

Service (2/5)

The ladies at the counters took so long to sort our 3 flights out, I mentioned to her that I was going to grow a beard. Which took considerable time, since it’s faster for a snail to learn how to dance cha-cha than for a Chinese to grow a beard.We were getting a little peeved at the service, but everything was forgiven when I ate the nasi lemak at the cafeteria. It’s one of the best nasi lemak in the world. They gave us salted fish, a big one and you can add sambal as well. Mama mia!

Surprisingly, I expected the club house to be some kind of patched hut made out of cow dung, but these air force boys apparently has a whole lot more class than those fellows at UPM, Selesa Hills and Kundang Lakes. The shower room was quite nice and well kept, and the club house definitely was like a normal golf club house…which makes me wonder what these fly boys are doing with our tax money…

Officer: Shall we spend our 2008 budget on the newly developed guided missile for our air craft?

Commanding Officer: Nah, let’s go with a larger pro shop and more shower units for our golfers, hey?

Officer & Commanding Officer: Malaysia Boleh! (which translates, Malaysia Can!)

Fairways (1/5)

We caught KRTU after a heavy downpour and man, it shows. You know some clubs can really hold well to rain (Tiara Melaka comes to mind) and some just completely fails the GilaGolf Rain Test, which consist of having God pour out tons and tons of rain down on the tested course. This is the difference between KRPM and KRTU. While KRPM retained some semblance of pride, KRTU is degenerated into one big mushy piece of crap. The fairways were completely submerged and in one hole, where thankfully my drive landed on dry land, the grass was so bare I thought I was playing off a gigantic divot. I rarely want to blame the course for playing like a dingbat drunk with JDs, but when the rain came beating down on us on hole 15th, I kinda knew this wasn’t going to be the day I turn pro.

Greens (3/5)

One of the features of KRTU are the extreme undulation of the greens. They make putting akin to pulling out your fingernails with a clamp. And chipping is like sitting on top of a thousand rusted nails heated with acid. One hole, I was just off the green and, level with the pin, and chipped almost 90 degrees from the pin. Not enough. It caught the slope and rolled down, down and off the green.

We kinda liked it. Not that we’re sadists, but it makes reading the greens a lot of fun, a lot of challenge. Plus, watching Augusta this weekend, we can kinda pretend we’re putting on Augusta a bit. However, as one of my flightmate put simply: The closest resemblance to Augusta we can play at our level is AlorStar…and that too requires an inhuman drive up north.

The greens weren’t in super shape; the rain has softened it considerably and it wasn’t very well kept. But you can’t beat the undulations, right, so if there’s EVER going to be a chance we ever come back here, it would be for the greens.

Rough (2/5)

The rough is definitely not easy. And it’s a killer. My playing partner drove well on the 10th, then hit a good second shot that veered just slightly to the right. Bye bye. It landed inside a giant bush. I completely made a mess out of my par 4s and par 5s, escalating my strokes more and more, trying to muscle my way out of the rough. Forget it. Once in the rough, pick a spot and take your medicine. The narrow alleyways they call fairways don’t help either. I avoided water mostly and just hit the bunker once, but it was enough to know it wasn’t well maintained. Long grass also swallowed up our balls, and once your ball is plugged in the rough, it’s plugged. Your balls are mashed potatoes. Golfballs, that is. I almost snapped my 9 iron a’la Tiger in last year’s Augusta when I hit my second on the 9th and my shaft collided with a coconut tree. What’s a coconut tree doing there? Also I strained my back when I leapt across a stream searching for my ball. I gotta remind myself my bones ain’t young anymore. I blame it on the rough for that.

Aesthetics (3/5)

Strange as it may sound, KRTU is actually quite a picturesque course. Sure, we’ve got like a million palm oil trees all round the course, but I’ll grant it one thing. They make par 3s very well, especially the picturesque 7th, playing to an island green like TPC Sawgrass 17th. I think you probably know by now that we make random references to famous courses and holes as if we’ve played them before. Of course we have, in our mind. I also beat Tiger 3 and 1 in my mind and dated Diane Lane before. Any more questions?

Back to aesthetics: Especially on the second nine, the undulation provides some stunning tee shots, such as the intimidating 10th. I think in this sense it reminded me of UPM. Whether it deserves another shot, well, it would take a lot more than pretty par 3s to drag us back, I assure you.

Fun Factor (2/5)

Not to say anything about my 9-iron vs tree trunk episode, or my strained back, I don’t think we had a whole load of fun in KRTU. The putts brought some excitement back, but with the rain, and with the course conditions, especially the poor shape of the fairways, it’s difficult to remain positive. My game was affected by this, to be sure, but also, my deciding to play like a Andulician goatherd didn’t serve the cause. I had some super chances to nail my score down, but I duffed my 7, duffed my 6, duffed my 22 degrees. I’d like to think the soggy ground played a part, but my swing was just too steep and completely dug into the soft ground. I could have changed my method, but heck, who do you think I am? I’m just a hacker that keeps doing the same thing expecting a different result, otherwise known as being insane. Also, the cross wind and rain that poured down at 17th brought us an imaginary Carnoustie, another meaningless reference. And we obviously have imaginary games to go with Carnoustie.

I managed, however to par all my par 3 holes, something I haven’t done in a long while. That was the only saving grace for me.


I wish I played better than my 95, my worst score since Berjaya Hills in December, so that when I make conclusions, you wouldn’t think I’m whining like a sore loser. The plain fact is that I sucked. I made way too many mistakes on this course. I let 83 get into my head. I thought golf was tamed, figured out, but just when you think that, this game kills you off. Why do we still subject our egos to such a mauling like this??!? Golf is so demoralizing, isn’t it? It really makes a monkey out of us.

The good: The greens. KRTU greens are definitely worth trying out, not the maintenance but for the different undulations; great great Nasi Lemak; interesting looking par 3s.

The bad: Travel is an experience reserved for the mad people; fairways are muddy and wet and fails the GilaGolf rain test (conducted by God); service is very third world; course is a little repetitve after a while; not easy for the everyday hacker due to length and massive amounts of OBs.

The skinny: 15 of 40 divots (37.5%). We won’t recommend KRTU, but neither are we discounting it out forever. The greens are still good enough to visit, as are the Par 3s. But find another course if you want a fun round, this is not a course you want to bring a crooked swing to. Or a sprained back.

KRTU Score Card

KRTU Information


Pengkalan Udara TUDM, Subang, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor.

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