Analysis on Game 3: Kota Permai

Back at Kota Permai and seemingly with a good strategy to improve from my previous 93. Or so I thought.

We teed off the narrower back 9 first and I navigated well the first two holes teeing off with my five wood with a bogey – par. The par 5 12th – I used my driver and set up for a draw. Unfortunately, I blocked it so far right the ball caught the trees to the right and went into the jungle only around 50 – 60 meters. 2nd shot hit a tree, 3rd shot into the fairway, 4th shot blocked again to the right, fifth shot hit another tree, sixth shot barely crept onto the green and 2 putted for a glorious triple bogey. DAMN!

I meandered on with a few pars after that and came to my nemesis hole – the par 3 17th. I tripled this previous by going right, and now I hooked left. My punch out was too strong, went across the green and down the rough. 3rd shot duffed chip (again, damn it!), 4th shot on, two putted for triple bogey six.

My third triple for the round was the last hole, the par 4 9th. My drive found the bunker on the left, and I had no choice but to sandwedge it out to the rough and was left with a 9 iron shot into the uphill green. Unfortunately I only had my pitching wedge and was too lazy to wait for the caddie to come back with my 9, so I decided to muscle it it. Came down too steep, and shanked the shit out the ball to the right and nearly killing people in the clubhouse. OB – dropped for 5th, on it and two putted for triple bogey. This was so unnecessary – with an easy 9 I would have reached the green in 3, instead, lost the hole and lost the bet.

So in one round, I had more triple bogeys than both my other rounds put together.

The good news is that, I continued my birdie run. It was the par 5 1st hole – and almost exactly the same as the last birdie I had in 2016. Good drive, and then a 5 wood took me to around 20 metres from the green. A not so great chip forced me to putt around a 15 footer uphill. It wasn’t a terribly difficult putt, sort of straight and break a little to the left, so I sunk that in for birdie.

I suppose the other good news is that with the score of 47-45 for a 92, I played a stroke better than my last time out at Kota Permai.

Game 3: 1 Birdie, 3 Triple Bogeys.

Overall 3 games: 3 Birdies, 5 Triple Bogeys

Amverton Cove Golf and Island Resort


After what seemed like an eternity, Gilagolf is back to doing what this blog was set up for ages ago. Reviewing crappy golf courses in Malaysia, sprinkled with some really good ones. But mostly crappy, because the crappy ones are the most fun. Anyways, I’ve always heard about Carey Island Golf Course long way back. It was always described in no uncertain terms, as a 9 hole stinkbomb that makes cow dung taste like Baskin’s Ice Cream. With Oreo topping. So I never really ventured there, unless perhaps if it was the final golf course on earth, and committing suicide was no longer an option.

However, a few months back, I began to hear rumours of another world. Another golf courses, set up like ‘the links in old St Andrews’, with beautiful lakes and oceans, and the wind caressing your hair as you launch a perfect 8-iron into the air, only to see it whipped around like a mongoose going after a cobra due to the high winds. Where you have to aim to the ocean, so that the wind can blow your ball back into the fairway. Where mastery of the Stinger is key, to  keep the ball under the wind. Most of us have mastered that anyway, except our Stinger is a top ball and our ball is just under the wind, it’s also skimming along the ground to only about 20 meters. This place was called Amverton Cove. At first, I thought this was a mistake and this referred to place possibly in England or perhaps a custom golf course created in the Playstation Game Tiger Woods 2013. I mean, aside from the insidious practice of naming it a very western sounding name “Amverton” – in the same way caplang products like Bonia, Giordano, Milano sound Italian — which world does anywhere in Malaysia ever represent a ‘Cove’? A cove is like a coastal inlet (according to Wiki). The last cove I experienced was called Lulworth Cove in the Isle of Purbeck when I was doing the Thomas Hardy experience walk with my wife 2 years back. It looks something like this:

This is a cove. It’s a beautiful cove.

The Carey Island I search in Google got me this:

View of Carey Island

In terms of beauty, it’s like a comparison between this:

And This:

I know. They are not even the same species. But you get my point. Anyways. It’s a free country to name anything you deem fit. Amverton Cove it is. Armed with these precious rumours, a group of intrepid golfers took the chance on a gloomy morning to head out, where no Gilagolfer (from our group) has gone before.

Travel (3/5)

I heard of Carey Island when I was a kid, and even been there before. However, I’ve probably not gone there for close to 25 years or so, so getting there itself is an adventure. If you’ve been to Tasik Puteri before, it’s more or less the same philosophy. Create a golf course deep inside and far away from the highway. However, unlike the god-forsaken location of Tasik Puteri, Amverton has really benefited from the SKVE highway at Saujana Putra, which is a direct highway that goes straight into the heart of the forsaken lands of Banting and Carey. I don’t know exactly know why google maps doesn’t have it, and instead forces you to go through Shah Alam, but the best route is to take the NKVE out of PJ, and exit at Saujana Putra. It’s not that far, especially if you’re like a friend of mine who lives in Putra Heights, which is next door. Once there, go straight past the roundabout and you immediately end up at the SKVE toll and there, you can access it. Once you’re at the SKVE, go till the end at you’ll need to turn out into the smaller roads. From there it’s pretty straightforward. Amverton turnoff is just about 1 km or so away from the old 9 hole stinkbomb golf course.

Over all, it was a welcomed drive. Just be careful with your speeds, as the SKVE has a lot of dips and bumps and not at all flat. Otherwise, I’d say travel was surprisingly easy.



Price (3/5)

I’d say it’s pretty worth the RM120 I paid to play in Amverton. The crux of the matter here is that you need to have 2 flights in order to pay 120, or you end up forking RM138, I think. This hardly makes sense to me, because all I have to do if I had one flight, was to just go to another flight and say, can I join you guys? As in, can my flight just register with you guys? I mean, if they have one flight also, sure, they will be of course ok. Even if they had 2 flights, Malaysians being such cultured and social animals, they’d also generally say yes, so we had 3 flights, and hence ok for the promotion. It obviously is a gimmick from Amverton to get more flights, like bulk purchase or something. It’s a pretty stupid idea, and only serves to annoy the crap out of your customers, Amverton. Nobody does this. Stop it.

A good thing is that for senior citizens, you are further reduced to RM108. Yaay! 15 more years for me to go to get this privilege!



First thoughts

I’ll be honest. My first thoughts were: “I’m glad I took the day off.” I mean, it was just a welcomed sight. Some golf courses do that to you and Amverton, after the dreary drive through the rain, looked great. It was so strange, to come upon this golf course after driving through a patch of land that looked horribly desolated and boring.

The sign that it was the right thing to do to neglect all other responsibilities in life and just play golf was when we saw a full rainbow over the golf course, and the sun breaking through the morning rain. It was a promise, that although our golf will no doubt suck as usual, it would be the right choice to come to Amverton Cove. Even though it’s representation of a cove is the same as my golf skills representation of Tiger Woods.


Service (2/5)

Don’t get me wrong. The staff was friendly enough. The same way as someone who is about to take your money and your kid’s education fund is friendly about it. I mean, we though of having breakfast at Amverton Cove first before heading out to play. Amverton not only uses English names and English landscape to describe the golf course, it also uses pricing from England to describe its menu.

RM13 for fried rice? RM17 for breakfast?RM5 for a toast??!?  And the toast was basically toasted Gardenia bread with a cheap butter and no knive. I had to spread with my spoon. And it sucked. The kopi-o was also about 5. Our breakfast for 3 ended up to be RM40. And this was with two guys eating the RM5 toast and another guy eating an RM15 nasi lemak. Is this crazy, Amverton? Like your two flight promotion, this crosses the line between mildly annoying to brain-numbingly stupid. I guess they have to travel pretty far to get the bread in and all prices are jacked up like in Genting.

Skip the club food and go straight for golf.



Fairways ( 3/5)

Amverton has Bermuda grass for fairways. Which is generally good, except that maintenance is not going to be easy. As this is a new course, the conditions were still good, if not mildly runned over because of the rain and because they allowed buggies on the fairway. There were a number of spots where the Bermuda was completely balded out and sand has replaced the grass, but I will take it as a new course trying to mature itself, which would probably take some time. So, let’s give it the benefit of doubt. It’s not easy trying to maintain these fairways in a palm oil estate. Plus, with the rain, drainage was pretty darn good as we didn’t have any casual water anyway (but plenty of water otherwise!).

Greens (3/5)

We enjoyed the greens…but it narrowly misses out because a number of these greens, on 11th or 12th, was being sanded. Again, we take it as a new course, and maintenance is still ongoing, but from what we see, the greens are going to be in very good condition soon. It’s fast, and enough undulation to give us the yips—generally, anything with 1 cm of undulation or break gives us the yips, but you get what I’m saying. I think Amverton got this right.

Rough (4/5)

There was not much rough to contend with. Basically if you’re spraying your tee shots like morning piss like me, miss it on the side of the rough instead of water. I know it sounds like a stupid advice, but say, you know your miss is a hook. Instead of aiming it on the fairway, where a hook will bounce off to the left water, aim it way to the rough, so even if you flush it, you end up in the rough with plenty of recovery options. The grass isn’t thick, and the bunkers are very well maintained, even after a solid splashing from the rain. Actually, the bunkers are great. But of course, not while you’re in it, but if you saw the rainfall, you’d think other courses like that stupid Beruntung course, the bunkers would have become swimming pools.


Aesthetics (3/5)

OK. Amverton Cove is nicer than we thought. I liked it, but it depends on your type of course. Calling it a links course shows how little people know about links. It’s NOT links. It’s just a flat course that is immature, hence you have little shade and trees, and not much wind and it’s flat as Kate Moss. In fact, the advantage here is that it gives a feel like RSGC, where you can just see the course and everyone playing on it. It’s like a big playing field, where you can shout “Hi!” to your pal on the 1st tee while playing on the 15th tee. Unlike ‘sandboxed holes’ in courses like Ayer Keroh, where each hole feels like you’re completely isolated from the other hole, there is a relatable sense in Amverton, where flights can interact with each other easily. I think having a tournament here is going to be F-U-N. On the other hand however, because there is literally NO elevation, the aesthetics, after a while becomes somewhat of a downer. Every hole plays almost similar with dogleg here and there, water on the left or right, some hidden lake in the middle of nowhere, and basically no sense of awe that you get like if you played in Johor’s Legends course or Saujana Cobra. Elevation makes the course more beautiful, and in Amverton’s case, this is a minus. Overall, it depends on the type of golfer you are. I personally like the hilly types of terrains you find in Rahman Putra, but it still doesn’t detract the fact that Amverton is a nice looking golf course.

The surrounding environment isn’t so good looking however, but these are all being constructed, so it’s not so fair to make a judgement until the resort gets fully operational. I might be able to trick my wife to come here for a ‘family outing’ with a couple of Gilagolfers and their similarly tricked family….



Fun Factor ( 3/5)

We really enjoyed Amverton. It’s been a while since we had a lot of fun, but basically, we had two of the noisiest flights on the course. Because it was so flat, our yells and laughter was heard all over, which makes it, I guess, quite unethical but ah well. I didn’t have my best game, but I didn’t think I messed up so bad. We teed off at 10. The par 5s here are delectable. You can reach both in 2 on the back nine. But they punish wayward shots. On hole 10, I had only 180 left after a long drive. I sliced it, and boom, it goes into the river on the right. I didn’t even know there was a river because the course was so darn flat. Double.

The 11th was bad for me because of water on the left. I topped my drive and with another 180 to go, I proceeded to pull my 3 wood into water. Stupid 3 wood now has cost me two holes. Triple. Hole 12, par 3, what can go wrong right? Over-drew my 8 iron and it bounced on the fairway and trickled to the left. I didn’t even realize the water ate into the fairway near the green…and you will get this a lot because you can’t see crap at the tee box due to the flatness—if you can get a caddy, well go for it maybe they can help. So my first three holes, I was +8. After that, I played much better, including the par 5 14th, where even if I OB-ed my 3 wood from the fairway second shot, I still put my next 3 wood shot onto the green from 190 out and two putted for bogey. I like the par 5s.

The signature hole is the par 4 18th, where you can challenge the lake to carry about 220 – 230 to cross. We played safe, but all attempted mulligans to see if we could cross and all failed miserably. From the fairway I don’t know how I messed up so badly to double bogey it but ah well.

The second nine was way better. The only letdown was the index 1 hole, which is a 289meter par 4 6th. The only problem was right water, but landing space on the left was plenty so 3 out of 4 guys from our flight parred that easily. I think they need to change that index 1 a little, it’s too easy.

Every hole has water. But unlike Rahman where you need to cross them, most of these are not fronting the teebox but lay to the left and right, treacherously eating up your wayward shots. There’s even a hole where you have to go onto a wooden walkway to walk across a swamp to the teebox, I think hole 6.

Out of 18 holes, 12 holes have water to the left, and potentially terrible for hookers like me. In fact hole 10 – 18 features 7 of 9 holes with bad news for hookers. Ironically, the only two times I ever sliced my tee shot all day ended up in the lake, when water was on the right. It. Was. Retarded.





We’ll definitely make another trip here. The travel wasn’t half as bad as we thought. And the course itself was worth the trip and the fun we had. It’s one of those courses where you just know that the second time you play here, you’ll play better because you know the courses slightly better. You know where to miss, whether to go for it or not. And of course, who doesn’t want to come back to a course with a rainbow over it?

The good:

Huge potential for Amverton Cove. Of course, if I could, I’d change the name because it ain’t a cove. But let’s give it a break. It’s a good course in Carey Island and recommended to go. The greens are well maintain, the fairways hold up to rain, the rough is also good and if you like water, hey, this is as watery as it gets. Every hole has water!


The bad:

The pricing is still a little steep for a course that is not elite. It’s in the middling range like tasik puteri, just above dog crap courses like Kinrara and Holy-Crap-This-Is-Awful-Sh*t courses like Beruntung, but at RM120 on a weekday? It’s high. And why is the food pricing like eating in Ben’s in Bangsar? Also, aesthetics is a hit and miss…the lack of elevation, immature trees, flat features is a minus. It’s like a girl who will be considered pretty but never beautiful.

The skinny: 24 of 40 divots (60%).

Of course, recommended to give it a try. Most of you will probably enjoy this course like we did, and once it starts maturing, it will get better. Give the food here a miss though. Down the road, there is a very good seafood restaurant (halal) called Kang Guan (I think) seems to be very popular. Play golf only and don’t stay a minute longer than you need to.

Amverton Cove Score Card

Amverton Cove Information


PT673, Jalan Pulau Carey, Mukim Jugra,

42960 Pulau Carey,

Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Contact: +6019-3382233/ +6019-3832233

Fax: NA



Horizon Hills GCC


Very few courses actually make it into our most anticipated list of courses to play in. Tropicana. Glenmarie. Templers. RSGC. Saujana. KLGCC of course. In the southern state of Johor, there is one course that’s supposed to rule them all:

Horizon Hills.

I mean the name already evokes awe. The premise of consecutive Iskandar Opens, the place where it’s supposed to be so pristine, that LPGA and PGA golfers would reroute their journeys to come by this little peninsular called Malaysia. Aside from KLGCC, Horizon Hills, near Nusajaya and in turn near the Tuas exit, captures the imagination as the country’s top tiered golf destination.

So, ten of us woke up at 5 am from various locations, to meet the tee off time at 7:22 am, with all other later tee times ‘Taken up’ according to the friendly neighbourhood reception (do note the sarcasm a little).

Travel (2/5)

You’d think that being such an internationally acclaimed golf course, there would be some sense in direction. We came up from Singapore to play and no where near the exit or along the highway exiting Tuas into Johor did we see a sign to Horizon Hills. We had to depend completely on Google Maps. And that turned out wrong, so we had to depend entirely on Garmin, which led us to such a long and circuitious route that our 30 minutes drive turned into a near 1 hour, and we nearly missed the cursed tee time.

More signs would be nice, Horizon Hills, really.

Price (1/5)

Again, I understand the prestige, and the need to draw more money from our Singaporean brethrens of clubs; so we were willing to fork out RM146 per person to play on the course. Never mind it’s a weekday, off peak. Never mind that we had the Top Premier voucher discounts. Never mind that we were forced to take up caddies whom we did not want. It was all worth it, since this was KLGCC of the south, was it not? This was the Pearl of Johor, right?

With that premise, you would straight away have a forebiding feeling that Horizon Hills, instead of soaring to greater heights and exceed all our lofty and admittedly at times, unrealistic expectations—oh how I wish I could have stated it—Horizon Hills instead descends into one of the most inglorious, most ignominious and most underwhelming experience that we ever had in a long long time. If you are in a hurry and you are not interested to read further, here’s our verdict: Is Horizon Hills worth the money you pay for?

Yes it is, just like how it’s worth every penny to pay RM1 million to eat dried cow shit bred specifically to ingest every sort of parasitical worms into your body, which will destroy your intestines through the most painful and excruciating death possible.

That’s sarcasm. Truth is, simply: No.

First thoughts

It didn’t start out too badly actually. From the second nine, when you stare out from an elevated tee with water on the right and a thin strip of fairway, you could just feel the stirring in your veins that you’re going to have a good game. ‘Could’ being the key word, because I didn’t, and proceeded to hack my drive way out into the water right before collapsing into a triple bogey start. I hate those starts. But I don’t blame the course, it’s simply my inability to get to any kind of comfortable start in golf.

The first impression of Horizon Hills was good, because like Bukit Jawi, from the club house, it offers a great vista of the journey you will undertake in the next four hours. Plus, the clubhouse looked as it it belonged to a James Bond flick, with expensive fittings and a state of the art design. It’s a pity we are not reviewing golf clubhouse architecture, Horizon Hills, I’m sure you would be in the DAGTH status if so. Which makes me wonder, why in blue blazes was so much money spent on the club house? Why not put more into maintaining the golf course instead? It must have been a non-golfing senior management idiot that made that decision.

Service (3/5)

I am quite tempted to give it lower since the caddies we had were practically useless. I mean we ask for reads and they didn’t get it right. They were friendly, yes, but unfortunately woefully underequipped for the price we paid for them. We didn’t pay them to converse. And why oh why do caddies insist on flirting?? Are we that awesome looking with our six pack abs and bulging muscles? We paid them so they make us into golfing machines that would go all out to secure the testy win that will win us RM2!! Maybe we just didn’t get the A grade caddies. Maybe we just looked like cheap Malaysians instead of high class Singaporeans who would tip them SGD40 instead of RM40.

However, the reception lady, although somewhat grumpy, was quick and the lady was friendly, and got us course bound in no time. Plus, the golf bag handling guy was also understanding when we had a mix up with our bags at the end. So a mediocre 3/5.

Fairways (0/5)

And here’s what the trouble starts. Horizon Hills, if you are going to look like a high class course, price like a high class course; why on earth does your fairway resemble the rearend of an African Babboon?? One word for Horizon Hills fairway on December 2011:


2nd hole for instance, we saw track marks and mud all across the fairway so much so that we had to implement lift and clean…and it didn’t even freaking rain the day before! Come on! I mean it’s not all bad, as in Selesa Hills bad; but for a five-star course to have this kind of fairway is simply unacceptable. The maintenance guy should be dried out for this. It’s like, if I was backpacking and stayed at a Rm10 per night hostel next to a whorehouse, I wouldn’t complain too much about the bed bugs, the rats, the lizards on the ceiling and the occasional corpse in the closet: but imagine you went and paid for the Mandarin, or Hilton, and you get a bed that’s only slightly more comfortable than a coffin; you’d sure to go barnacles, right? You’d complain! You’d not tolerate that you have cockroaches running around the bathroom!

So why isn’t anyone screaming foulplay over Horizon Hills? Charging the way they did and giving us an experience that we could as soon find in the football field behind my house, where the occasional rusted nails and used underwear can be found near the goal post?? And the gall of it all, was when the grumpy registration lady (to do her justice, I believe she was just completely clueless) proudly declared, when I gave my customary complain of ‘wah, so expensive’: “We are increasing all prices next year for Horizon Hills!”

You’d think this is based on actual studies of product development, but no, it’s probably on the whim of some higher ups, who completes the above sentence with “Because I want to drive a new Audi A7 next year also!”

Huge huge, utter disappointment for Horizon Hills fairway and maintenance. They should have given a discount, an I-am-sorry voucher for having a course that has muddy fairways, thank you, come again.

Greens (3/5)

The greens were thankfully in a reasonable shape. The speed was about 9 on the stimp but strangely played slower than that. But overall the roll was quite pure and the challenging contours and largeness of the greens created some good challenges reminiscent of KRTU. In fact, it boiled down to the final green for my team, when my team mate’s game exploded into undetectable pieces and I struggled to a bogey. With all the stakes on the line, my two opponents were already 3 on. Both lag putted their 4th to 3 and 4 feet respectively and I was about to throw in the towel.

But the blessed contours of Horizon Hills green first made the initial putt veer right, and the 3 footer knee knocker molested the edge of the cup before turning away…giving my team the win! Due to unforced errors. But the green was quite demanding, with lots of precision lags, and 3-4 footers of non-gimmes. Lots of par opportunities slip by but we were generally pleased with the development of the greens.

Rough (3/5)

One of the greatest challenges and aspects of Horizon Hills isn’t the greens or the cowdung fairway; it would be the rough and bunkers. It was just a torture to play on. I was driving the ball as well as I could ever drive, but very often, I either run through the fairway or it lands just off the fairway. There’s no first, second cut. Just fairway, and deep deep rough. I had to literally play the ball off the heel of my right, and power a hook to get it out of the stuff. It was no joke, really, I nearly snapped my wrist at one point to muscle the ball throught the thick stuff. This was the pitbull grass, so much feared and revered through Saujana, that has somehow ended up here.

And that wasn’t even the end of it: Bunkers. EVERYWHRE. This course had more bunkers than the Omaha Beach did on D-Day. Believe me, these were not the nampy pampy bunkers we get back at KL areas, where you could put of it. These were SARLAC bunkers, where once you get in, you ain’t ever going to get out without luck and skill. My triple bogeys aside from the first hole were bunker experiences. At one hole, my drive again flew the fairway and into squishy rough next to the buggy track. I powered my 9 iron through on line and fell literally 1 meter short in flight and rolled back into one of the hungry SARLAC bunkers. Third shot into the edge. Fourth shot didn’t come out. Shot five came out only a little. It was crazy to see a guy hacking dirt into the green but no ball, it was that difficult.

The reason why the score isn’t high is the lack of maintenance on the rough. At some parts they were muddy beyond belief. They were unplayable and we had to take free drops in dry areas. Again, it’s such a pity because Horizon Hills could  have offered an amazing and memorable experience, but instead fizzled out like a moon traveler firework.

Aesthetics (2/5)

Again, I would love to say Horizon Hills is an exciting, beautiful golf course and that everyone that comes here would be overawed. I am a firm believer that the golfing experience must take golfers out of the current mundane world we all live in, and transport them into 4 hours of forgetful bliss from work or any reminder of work. That’s why Datai, not just being a jungle course, but a course that provides that escapism, can score so high.

Horizon Hills tries. The first nine (back nine) was reasonable enough with good mixture of nature and functional golf. But from hole 12 onwards, we could just sense the construction going around the course. Make the turn and all the illusions of escapism is gone. The sky line of Horizon Hills is reprehensible. Houses being built by the course, in hole 1, the constant banging and shouting of workers and machinery at work as you putt on the first green. And from there, every hole, almost, houses staring vigil at us hacking up the beloved game of golf. It descended from a KLGCC wannabe to a Bukit Jalil replica. And we don’t like it one bit. Especially since it exthorted money from us the way it did.

Disappointing backdrop to an otherwise reasonable looking course. But really, the house development simply takes away the experience of golfing. It’s just not great to survey the hole from the tee box and have the caddie say, “Target the crane.” As in construction crane, not the nature bird-crane, you know.

Fun Factor (3/5)

Horizon Hills do have some fun holes. Be on your A-Game to tackle the par 5s, expecially the closing and snaking 18th. It has to be the grandest and toughest hole in the entire course. There are islands of landing spots meandering across the lake. The first one on the left, and the second landing spot to the right has a rivulet cutting across, requiring a 230 meter carry, according to the caddy. I borrowed my friend’s R11, and whiplash it across, as did my other friend. Unfortunately, those were our test balls, having already played safe to tee off at the nearest landing spot. We all proceeded to completely unwind in this par 5, and everyone ended up in the water somehow or another.

The fun factor is always there when you have two or more flights and friends just jabbing at each other. There’s a lot of thrash talking going on which I like, and even though the stakes weren’t big, our pride was more than enough for us to become ultra competitive.

Horizon Hills is very contoured,  with the water easier to navigate compared to the awesome Legends Golf Course with all the mass of water around the course. Horizon’s main defence lies in the Sarlac Bunkers. Every bunker is a freaking adventure, and many of our challenges today and assault on the greens were rudely halted by one of the sarlac bunkers dotting the entire course and messing around with our minds. I tried my SW, my Approach wedge, my 60 degree, my chipping 40 degree and still struggled to get anything out of these bunkers. Thankfully I didn’t spend a lot of time in it…the time I spent in there was severely penalized, unfortunately. Some of my other friends had a better time however, including one guy who had a miracle bunker out to 1 feet on a crucial hole.

It was a fun time indeed, and the weather held up it’s end of the bargain by only raining after our game. The only drawback was just the fairway condition, which is absolutely inexcusable for a course of this magnitude.


I will struggle to outright recommend this course to Gilagolfers. Simply due to the price. If you can tag this down to RM100 or below for an offpeak rate, then it would be reasonable. But at RM150 almost, adding the caddie tips, and with no food voucher? You can play Orchard 5 times for this amount and you’re likely going to have more fun there! So unless they discount their prices, or give pristine fairways and not the cowdung they have pieced together so far, I’d say stay away from Horizon Hills, it ain’t worth your money or time. Better go over to Johor Premium Outlet to shop than to waste your hard-earned money on a course that is obviously living off its reputation, but doing nothing to fulfil the same reputation.

The good:Famed golf course, challenging rough and bunkers; countours on greens and fairways offers a very unique gameplay; good looking clubhouse and reasonable service.

The bad: Completely overpriced; the fairways are one of the worst I’ve seen, and this includes fairways on UPM, which doubles up for cows to eat from and shit in; caddie services have no value other than looking like they think they are pretty (they are NOT); travel remains a drag; aestethically more of a Bukit Jalil than a KLGCC.

The skinny: 17 of 40 divots (42.5%). It’s unbelievable that Horizon Hills can only muster up a sorry score the same as these hall of famers: UPM, Kulim, Harvard, Cameron Highlands. Like Glenmarie, Horizon Hills fails to impress and is one of this years’ most disappointing golf course and golf experience. In fact, Daiman, Palm Resort, Palm Villa are all more recommended than this orverpriced and overhype piece of…course. It’s a no-go as far as I’m concerned, but the potential is there if they buck up on their service and maintenance. Maybe try again in dry season next year and don’t expect so much. Don’t expect caviar and lobster termidor, just burger and fries, and you’ll be ok then.

Horizon Hills GCC ScoreCard

Horizon Hills Details

Address: No. 1 Jalan Eka, Horizon Hills, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor Darul Takzim

Contact: +607-2323166

Fax: +607-2323919



Gilanalysis 24: Rahman Putra Lakes


Gross: 93

Net: 73

Verdict: Finally, a good round at KRPM!

What Happened

The new swing has been coming together over the weeks…I’m a lot more confident hitting my 3 wood off the deck and hitting my driver. I now carry 2 drivers: my S9-1 Cobra for accuracy, and my old Hi Bore when I need to blast it. Kinda works. Kinda. But better to get a driver that does both, right? Great excuse to go shopping.

Anyways, remember those times when we see Tiger play horribly with his new swing and yet he keeps saying, “I am almost there, I feel good etc” and we think he’s on weed or something since he keeps shanking the ball? Now I get it…you can have a not so good score (like today) but yet know that you’ve played well and except for a few brain farts or stupid stunts you wanted to pull because no wager was on the table.

First nine was pretty controlled. Double bogey on 2nd was with a way ward pull, and on the 4th, I drove the ball and it reached the water again by bouncing off the cart path! So I 3 to the fringe, four on and two putted. The other double bogey was on the tough index 1 when I hooked into the woods.

Back nine, again, I drove the ravine and failed to clear. But after 3 pars straight, the game kinda collapsed a little with triple on the tough 14th–I pushed into the trees and couldn’t escape alive–and the easy 15th, after dunking my ball into the water and 3 putting like an idiot.

The last 3 holes were the toughest, and I hit a drive that again hit the cart path but this time ended up 110 metres from the hole, which I proceeded to fat my pitching and waste a good chance to par the tough hole. 17th was just a stupid mess, because lying 220m I just tried my luck with my 3 wood to clear the water, about 190 – 200 to clear. I can do that about 1 out of 300 times probably….and today wasn’t the time. Normally I would have laid up but what the heck, I only play so often without a wager, so lets try the impossible. I still escaped with a double so it was ok I guess.

Last hole, I actually lost my first ball with a slice with my Hi Bore. Bye Bye HiBore, no more use for you then! My third off the tee with my cobra was fine, then hit a pure 3 wood to 80 metres from the hole. And a so-so sand wedge to about 25 feet, on one of the toughest contoured greens in KRPM. From the top tier, I watch my putt roll, hit the hump and curled all the way in for the one of the finest feeling in life….a long, curling putt on a multi tiered green. Ah.

Why I Sucked

Probably I was half-serious but that’s a bad excuse. If I hadn’t tried some stupid stunts, I would have probably scored better. But the driver was working fine…my KPI these days is to hit 50% fairways and 5 or more GIRs. My putter was hot, so the only issues were my iron plays again that sucked. Definitely not Iron Man.

Not So Sucked

Putter hot. Driver S9-1 was hot. Hi Bore was unfortunately crap. Time to get the One Driver to rule them all.

What to Work On

Waiting for the new driver to arrive. Should be fun!

Gilanalysis 22: Tiara Melaka – Woodlands + Lake


Gross: 90

Net: 70

Verdict: Finally, a good round put together!

What Happened

Tiara Melaka has always been somewhat of a good hunting ground. There are just certain golf courses that ‘fits’ the eye, and this particular one is. We teed off from the Lakes and immediately, the comfort level was evident. While in Orna I was hitting 10 of 14 fairways, but still found hybrids and long irons into the green, the shorter holes in Tiara Melaka allowed a lot of mid to short irons into the greens, and made a huge difference. I hit half the fairways, but those I missed, were generally still ok, as evidenced by 9 of 18 GIRs, possibly my highest ever. Unfortunately, I three putted two of the GIRs, if not, it would have been an even better score.

Possibly the best shot I’ve hit is at the Index 4 Par 4 11th, to a highly inaccessible tabletop green, elevated from the fairway. I carved a six iron that drew in, and stuffed to 8 feet of the cup. I missed the birdie but that was the best shot I’ve hit in a long long while. Please allow me to brag as I will probably never get another chance to do so. Thanks.

Does anyone notice the par 3 16th at lakes is a carbon copy of the famous par 3 12th at the Augusta? It’s almost the same, with flowerbeds past the green, and a sloping bunker behind, water in front, two towering trees standing guard to the side. I just noticed it. I think it’s cool that Tiara has a little Augusta in it and Orna has a little TPC Sawgrass in it’s par 3 12th. Good work, Melaka Golf!

The only mistake on the front was when I deposited my tee shot into the drink on the 17th. I couldn’t scramble and collapsed to a triple, and lost the game wager there.

Back nine, on the much more difficult Woodlands, I started with a Birdie-Par to give me visions of breaking 80 for the first time. But the horrendous third did me in as I OB-ed my drive, dunked my third into the water, stuffed in my fifth and two putted for triple. After that, it was simply survival mode golf again and my pars all ran out. Woodlands is a lot tougher and reminiscent to the Ayer Keroh holes, surrounded by scary jungle and ball eating roughs. The awesome par 5 4th , index 1, at 506m seemed never ending, as it played uphill all the way, adding at least 50m to it’s difficulty.

Still, pretty promising results to recent swing changes, at least hitting a lot more fairways now.

Why I Sucked

I think it’s one of the better games I’ve played, despite not breaking 90. The back nine was just a few mistakes here and there, bad putting, but overall, the 3-wood and driver came together. Chipping remains an issue, as I’m actually waiting for the return of my beloved 48 degree and 60 degree which I left behind in Permaipura, and I’m currently using a heavy 60 degree Cleveland and my normal PW for chipping. I’m not very good at the first place, and now suck even worse.

Short irons was way better now…the birdie on the 1st came from a SW from the rough, stuffed to 5 feet of the hole.

Not So Sucked

Driver and 3-wood. Wish my hybrid was working as well, but no complaints. Also, sorted my short irons a little, but long irons remain a problem. The strange thing about golf is that on the front nine when I played so well, my partner and I actually lost the game wager and we won on the back nine. Go figure.

What to Work On

I’m still not confident that the driver and 3-wood are good enough, it will probably revert back to its crap status the next game; but slowly the game is coming together. Work on chips and long irons next.

Gilanalysis 20: Seri Selangor


Gross: 98

Net: 78

Verdict: Darn, this course is tough!

What Happened

After a long absence from the most constipated course in history, I came back to hack Seri Selangor and got bloodied and bruised all over again. I started well enough, after a crap drive on the 10th, a hybrid, and stuffed my approach 5 feet from the hole and putted in.

11th hole, I drove amazing, and left me about 3o meters to the green. I proceeded to duff my pitch, three putted for bogey. Same as 12th hole, edge of green, but messed up my chip. Could have started par-par-par. From there, all downhill. Hazard off the tee on the 13th. Lost balls on 14th and 15th. Duffed approach on the 18th into bunker from 90 meters.

The first nine is supposed to be easier, and again I started well on the 1st. From there, crapland. Even in par 5 hole 5, I drove so well I had a six iron into the green. Hit an ok shot to the fringe, and proceeded to mess my chip and two putted!

The rest of the way was cases of lost ball, duffed shots and missed opportunities. Ah, Seri Selangor, how I miss thee.

Why I Sucked

I am migrating back to my old school driver with a stiff shaft. I decided the new regular shaft is really not my type (thanks so much to MST for such a STUPID recommendation. That MST “pro” in the UOA building in KL really really suck, I think he’s actually the ball picker from a driving range and knows crap about golf…and I am even stupider to listen to him! Argh!) With the stiff driver, I was pounding it 10-20 meters longer than normal. It just wouldn’t fly exactly straight and I had quite a fair bit of OBs. So kinda defeat the purpose….but man, pounding a perfect drive on the par 5 5th and the 1st, and the 11th…those are what you live for in golf.

So, direction of driver definitely sucked, but mainly, I was a huge failure in my irons…again.

Not So Sucked

Driver was long today. Except it’s not so good news in Seri Selangor when you go a bit off line, it’s welcome to the jungle. Putter was also doing ok, and Seri Selangor greens are in great condition…meaning…SUPER FAST!

What to Work On

Migrating back to driver for distance. Now, just to get the ball on the fairway!

Palm Resort GCC – Allamanda


So far Johor, the golfing state of Malaysia has yielded one pretty good course in Legends, one mediocre one in Daiman 18 and one simply unrecommended in Royal Johor. So we were looking forward to add another good golf course into our Gilagolf bag of reviews, and we were pretty certain Johor would be able to cough up the majority of good courses for this country, it being so close to Singapore, the capital of robotic efficiency. The reasoning would be that Johor courses would cater to Singaporeans as well, so it does bear some weight that they would be slightly better than most courses if they want to capture a market as fussy as our brethrens in Kiasuland.

If you look at google maps, you’ll find one huge sprawling mass of golf course near Senai airport, called Palm Resort Golf and Country Club, and this was where we were headed for one night stay and golfing in the morning.

Travel (3/5)

The travel is very straight forward from Singapore at least. Take the Tuas exit and just go straight, follow the destination Senai all the way. The key is that you exit Singapore from Tuas, which is about 100x better than  going through the torturous Woodlands/JB Causeway (see the previous post on Daiman). The Palm Resort is right next to the airport, which technically doesn’t make it very peaceful, but in reality, with the amount of planes flying into Johor everyday—probably just 2—it didn’t make much of a difference. We did see the airport for the first time though and it was a state of the art facility.Too bad no one flies to Johor. Here’s the map from the website:

There is a slight confusion however at the entrance, stating that Palm Resort is straight on, while Palm Villa Golf Course requires you to turn right. It’s two different courses. It’s annoying in a sense, I don’t get why two courses would want to confuse the dickens out of golfers by naming themselves so close to each other. In utter confusion, we thought Palm Villa (Voucher from Top Premier Voucher Book, free green fee) and Palm Resort were one and the same course! Because in google maps, it looks like they are in the same vicinity.

This confusion carried over to the next day when we headed over to Palm Resort Golf Course with the resort buggy. One of our guys forgot to bring the voucher book so he had to rush back and ran back all the way, about 300 metres to the club house. Only to find that Palm Villa and Palm Resort were two different courses, and the discount did not apply to Palm Resort. What? Annoyed, we were already prepared to play so we just paid the special guest rate in Palm Resort and muttered our way to the buggy station.

So: Palm Villa NOT EQUALS to Palm Resort. Both are at the same vicinity but different course!

Price (3/5)

We ended up paying RM99 per person for all in package for golf, plus RM5 food voucher for each person. So it’s around RM94 for a weekday rate on a resort golf course, which is slightly high, but then again, a price we gladly pay to experience what was considered as a good course in this area. For walk in customers (non hotel guest), you might need to pay more. But (you didn’t hear it from us), there was no verification done on whether you were the hotel guest or not…so….hmmmmm.

The website was impressive enough, with an offering of 3 18 hole courses for the delight of golfers. And these are really 3 courses, not some fake advertising course like Legends, which had Nicklaus 18, Palmer 9 and an advertised Gary Player course which in reality is non-existent. At least Palm Resort is honest about it. These courses actually exist. Take that, Legends course, you liars.

The problem with courses like this is like the problem with buffet. You don’t know which one to select. The lady gave us two choices, since the championship Cempaka course was closed for maintenance, so it was a toss up between Allamanda and Melati course. Allamanda was recommended as an intermediate course, and also, more people seem to like it, as there were 14 flights already there. Melati had only 2 flights and was considered not as picturesque as Allamanda. But Melati had the Par 3 Hole No 2 with the largest bunker in Malaysia, as well as the longest hole in Malaysia at no. 15, measuring a ridiculous 684 yards from the tip. That puts Air Keroh’s last hole in the pocket.

But we decided on Allamanda as we wanted a relaxing round, and with a beginner on board, it seems like a better choice for now. We can always come back again to tackle the monster courses in Melati and Cempaka.

First thoughts

We teed off from the back nine to avoid some traffic at Allamanda, and we joined a local member to make it a four ball. She was a very nice lady, and complimented our beginner, who was also a lady, and we merrily made our acquaintance. She was also quite chatty and seem to appreciate having a younger group with her, especially us who seem to make fun of everything and laugh at every lousy shot we make. She turned out to be an invaluable resource as time went on, as she found our lost balls, gave us putting tips, gave us some good advice on nearly all the holes on yardage etc. This was key, as we sometimes would get lost converting yards to meters and completely stuff up our sense of distance.

Under the morning sun, we watch our first drives sail delightfully into a big, receptive fairway, that is almost a carbon copy of the first hole in Legends. Ah. Ginnifer courses. How we love ‘em.

Service (4/5)

The service was excellent; the lady behind the counter gave us very good description of all the courses, how many flights were there, and what was recommended. The marshal ensured that everyone moved along as quickly as possible and made sure to distribute the flights evenly on the back and front nines. In fact, we didn’t even get jammed up once, and we allowed a bunch of Koreans to go past us on our third hole. Buggy was in excellent condition as well. This is typical of the service found in resort courses: very good, very efficient, and very much catered to our fussy brethrens across the causeway. For us more relaxed Malaysians, this was a huge bonus compared to some of the service atrocities reminiscent to concentration camps we are so used to in the courses we play on.

Fairways ( 1/5)

And just like that, the entire perception of Palm Resort fell in a resounding thud. Once we teed up and went onto the fairway, I was in shock at the condition. Divots chunked up, not replaced, balding patches all over, skid marks from previous buggies, uneven groups of grass….it was shocking because it looked good from far, but now it’s far from good. It’s like seeing a girl from a distance sitting at a bar, dressed nicely, beautiful hair, nicely shaped face, great body…and when you get closer, you see, wait a minute, there’s some zits on her face and her arms and legs are too skinny…and when you get even closer, you see she has extremely thick eyebrows, lazy eyes, buck teeth and a beard. And just as you try to steer away and escape, she catches you and you see hairy arms, smell foul breath and hear a voice as deep as James Earl Jones. WHAT??

We immediately asked the local what the meaning of this was and she sagely says that the maintenance contract for the course was in transition. They have not renewed the previous contractor due to pricing issue, and instead have agreed with a Singaporean contractor to take over. The new contractor would take over in about 2 weeks from now, so until then the course was literally NOT MAINTAINED. Which explained the horrendous rough and the ugly fairways, as well as the less than pristine greens. I asked how much was the previous Malaysian contractor charging and she simply said, “Too Much for such a service.” For a malaysian golf course to choose a Singaporean golf contractor and choose to pay in SGD instead of RM is a testament of the atrocious business practices we unfortunately have in this country. How much markup do you think the previous contractor is charging, for this course to opt to pay Singapore instead?? Malaysia Boleh! Mesti Boleh Markup and make a killing one!

Greens (2/5)

The greens suffer the same fate as the fairway. There are some slight maintenance, you can see some parts are pressed down, but these are done as afterthoughts and probably not regularly. And it’s such a pity, because we saw that the greens were actually in fine condition before, and in some cases still are. The greens itself were quite easy to putt on, not much undulation, and had resemblance of better days in that the roll and consistency were still there, if not barely.

Rough (0/5)

Probably the worse feature of Palm Resort Allamanda. The rough is just inexcusable. You can tell it’s been thoroughly neglected as grass was allowed to grow to deplorable lengths and thickness, causing balls to disappear completely under. It was lamentable, so much so, it reminded us of the horrors of Bukit Beruntung, the mother of all crap course. This was very much the same experience. The second hole par 5 for instance, both myself and my partner lost our balls in the rough, not because of a bad shot, but just a skittered shot into the first cut. And they were gone. My second triple bogey on the 14th was the same story: not a bad shot in the rough and boom, was gone.

Bunkers were so-so, but the kicker was really the thickness of the rough, that made it almost impossible to find, and when we did find it, impossible to hack out.

Aesthetics (4/5)

Looks wise, this was most certainly a very pretty course. If you neglect to play on the rough, you can actually see great landscaping all around the course. In better days, this would have been a much better course than Legends for instance, but unfortunately fall short due to non-existent maintenance. The 11th hole par 5 is a challenging dogleg to the right to a receptive green. Par 4 13th is an extremely challenging hole with a bail out on the right, but any hook will end up in OB jungle.

The very pretty par 4 15th is reminiscent of the A Famosa Crocodile Hole, where a 3 wood positions yourself on the right fairway and allow you to hit into a green across the water. Hole 18 is a tough one, with the fairway sloping to the right, and balls to the right will be in heavy rough, as one of us found out and lost another ball, contributing to the overall frustration.

Hole 1 is a wide open Ginnifer hole but not so easy to get up, as it hits to an elevated tee. Hole 2 is a nice looking par 3 that drops down to a green fronted by a moat, surrounded with pretty landscaping. The last two holes, 8 and 9 are probably the exciting ending holes of the course: Hole 8 is an awesome 180 m par 3 to cross the water at about 170m. It takes guts to take on the green instead of bailing out on the right. A perfect hybrid sailed into the large green and I managed to two putt par there.

The final hole actually crosses back into the resort (and unknown to me, right next to our room), where a dogleg left cut allows you an access into a receptive green. Cut it a bit too much and you might end up OB. From 100 meters, I short sighted to the front of the green, but a chip to 6 feet and a good putt gave me my fourth par of the day, on an otherwise bad score of 96.

Fun Factor (3/5)

As long as we stayed out of the rough, we were ok with the course. In fact, the course plays pretty easy, if not for all the lost balls and lost strokes when our balls are in the rough. If given proper maintenance, it’s a close resemblance to resort courses like Palm Garden or Bangi.

The course generally have wide fairways, and gives a sense of largeness to the course…no narrow navigation with the 3 wood, just take out your driver and blast it all the way down. Having a local ‘caddy’-cum-player was also key to the fun we had, as she was able to locate some crucial lost balls and also helped us in professional advisory in navigating the course. Most of all, she helped our beginner relax and we all enjoyed her company immensely.

The fun generally improved as we moved to the first nine, and we were able to drive in the buggies onto the fairway after 10 am. We spent less time in the rough, and the two ending holes on the front 9 were certainly worth playing for.


Palm Resort course is a missed opportunity. Allamanda could have been so much better than when we played it, simply because of the lack of maintenance. We came during a transition period and I think it should be fair to the course if we had another go at it, when they have recovered the conditions of the greens, fairways and for the love of God, the horrendous rough. I believe that once they get the new contractor in, Palm Resort can probably be elevated to a must play course. As it is, and as Gilagolf unbiased review would have it, this is a supposed premier course that somehow manages to shoot itself in the foot and getting ranked as Not Too Shabby, the same with the likes of Kinrara, Nilai Springs and Monterez, definitely unflattering company for a course with this much of self claimed prestige.

It’s good from far, far from good; it’s that good looking woman at the bar that turns out to be a bearded man with thick eyebrows and voice as deep as Darth Vader.

The good: Pretty pretty course, the landscaping is picturesque; holes are generously Ginnifer-like, easy for the newcomer to the game; the course set up is friendly; service is excellent; good promotion prices for those staying in the resort itself; good course marshalling, throughout the game, we didn’t have to wait too long, even if 14 plus flights are in the course.

The bad: Greens and fairways are not well maintained; rough is Bukit Beruntung style, which means it sucks sucks sucks bad; for lack of maintenance, they should have dropped price a little to commensurate for the bad experience.

The skinny: 20 of 40 divots (50%). Palm Resort Allamanda is like that promising young golfer that grew up and didn’t amount to anything, and became a ball boy. Wait, that’s Ty Tryon. Well, we are rooting for Palm Resort’s new contractor to come in and do a makeover, so by no means this course should be given up on. Instead, maybe plan elsewhere for the next two months, wait for the course to recover and come back and play one of the three 18 hole courses. As a golf facility, I have no doubt Palm Resort will improve; now it will just be the growing pains. Recommended in the future; for now, maybe try Palm Villa, the confusing golf course name next door.

Palm Resort Allamanda Score Card

Palm Resort – Allamanda Information

Address: Jalan Persiaran Golf,
Off Jalan Jumbo, 81250
Senai Johor, Malaysia

Contact: +607-5992000

Fax: +607-5991370



Permaipura GCC


I remember trying to get to Permaipura without the aid of GPS and ended up in Harvard. Not the university, but the golf course, and aside from the name does not bear any resemblance to any prestige that the hallowed name may invoke. Permaipura, on the other hand, is almost impossible to locate unless you keep your eyes peeled for the sign and you generally know where it is, or the vicinity of it. As one of the few golf courses that’s up north, and that’s under the top premier voucher book, it has been a club that I always wanted to play on, and on a particular weekday when the meetings are over, I managed to slip into the club for a very quick round of 18.

Travel (2/5)

It’s on the way to Harvard actually, so exit the north south highway at Sungai Petani North or (U) exit. After the toll, turn right and you’re at the Bandar Aman Jaya trunk road. Just go all the way till you see the sign to permaipura on your right. If you are like me, color blind and unable to see signs properly, GPS will be useful. If you’re like me, with no access to GPS, watch out for a series of orange road dividers in the middle of the road. These are to allow you to turn right into Permaipura.

Price (4/5)

Not bad, I paid RM66 for 18 holes on a weekday. This includes buggy and insurance, using the Top Premier Voucher booklet. It’s hard to find this kind of pricing, and immediately recurring nightmares of lousy courses like the TUDM Kuantan or Frasers Hill reccur involuntarily. I mean, you can call your course cheap or whatever, but I’d rather pay a little extra to make my golfing experience at least worth my time. As we’ll find out, Permaipura more than makes up for the price.

First thoughts

Like Harvard, Permaipura’s website is completely filled with marketing BS, the very same marketing BS that was started for, with the mission to banish such utter complete nonsense written by people who probably have never ever stepped into the golf course before.

“Sunrise.   Low lying clouds enveloping the foothills of Gunung Jerai.  Verdant rolling meadow of green as far as the eye can see.  Tranquil lakes setting off plays of light.  A sense of peace and quiet, broken only by the song of birds.  A spectacular setting to begin a day of challenges and excitement.  This is  Permaipura Golf & Country Club.  Kedah’s peaceful haven.”

What is this?? Broken only by the song of birds?? Verdant rolling meadow of green?? It gets worse:

“ Permaipura features wide and narrow fairways, water in play on most holes and contoured greens to baffle even the most seasoned players.  Come rain or shine.  All year round.”

This makes no sense whatsoever. Come rain or shine?? What does this even mean? If rain comes, siren sounds and you get your butt back into the club house before you get struck by one million volts of pure electricity. Contoured greens? Water in play on most holes?? They obviously have NOT played in this course before.

Obviously, whoever wrote this spent a lot of time taking out phrases from the English Country Landscape Magazines, because there is no such thing as rolling meadows of green as far as the eye can see. This brings to mind this picture:

Yes, this is the picture of your Microsoft Windows background. Permaipura looks like this:

I can definitely see the tranquil lake setting off plays of light. Can’t you?

I know this is a rant, but somehow, it’s absolutely so annoying that there would be in existence people who actually write this kind of crap. At least the crap we write in this blog has some basis of reality. And it doesn’t sound like it has been lifted straight out of a Jane Austen novel.

So, as for first thoughts, it wasn’t very good, thanks to some atrocious and useless information in their website.

Service (3/5)

Service that gets you to the course with minimum fuss is the best. The lady behind the counter was like a speed train. “You want to play golf? You got voucher? Ok, 66 plus insurance.” Count the money I pass her. “OK, go.” She passes me the tee off slip and directs me to a brand new buggy (which is a huge change compared to the cavemen vehicles in Cinta Sayang and Harvard). No fuss, quick service, excellent conditioned buggies. All equals good first impression of the course.

However, the course does get a little jammed up in the evening, as it allows walkers, but you just need to be patient. If you want to bypass them, most of them are quite courteous and would allow you to go through, I suppose.

Fairways (2/5)

The fairways were functional, but bore some grief in terms of bald patches, sandy areas, and uneven cutting of the grass. Also, the infamous buggy tracks thanks to allowing buggies onto the fairway. It wasn’t as bad as some of the hellish fairways encountered in this never ending journey to unveil the truth about golf courses behind all the fancy write ups on rolling meadows and come rain and shine drivel. The fairways definitely could be improved, starting with more grass needed in most areas. Sometimes, it’s as if every where my ball landed on the fairway (which, due to my crap driving, isn’t very often), the ball is found in a divot. Except it’s not a divot. Just bare patches sprinkled all over this rolling verdant meadow of greens that causes the birds to break out into song to interrupt the peace and the tranquility of the lakes setting off the plays of light. See how stupid it is to write in such a manner?

Greens (3/5)

The front nine greens were in a bad bad condition. Some of the greens were being sanded, but the difference is that these are under maintenance, and it isn’t the norm on other greens, so it’s unfair to judge the greens by the greens being maintained. The back nine greens were much better, and although playing a little slow, still showed that with proper care and maintenance, the greens would work out fine. There is a fair bit of variation in the greens, in terms of sizes, but contour wise and challenge wise, the greens remain a little short of it. So, whatever was written about the contoured greens baffling the most seasoned golfer is almost perfect BS. I am not a seasoned golfer and my game actually suck, but I still managed a respectable 31 putts and only 3 putted one hole.

Rough (2/5)

Compared to the well maintained Cinta Sayang, Permaipura’s rough falls short. Bunkers are not exactly well maintained, and especially the primary rough, strewn with leaves that has not been cleared since the day of Noah. It’s not too difficult to hit from the rough though, as it’s cut pretty generously. In fact half of the pars I made only came from the fairway, while the others were chunked out of the rough (or sand).

Aesthetics (2/5)

Permaipura isn’t what you’d term a very memorable or picturesque course. Landscaping is almost non existent, unless you consider golfers duffing their 8 irons and taking out tons of dirt in the process as landscaping. The course resembles a little bit of Kundang Lakes, or Kulim, where the designer, I suppose, focused more on just cutting fairways across jungles and plantation area and forgot about beautifying the whole place. Elevation wise, Permaipura is as flat as can be, without much vantage points to see the advertised meadows as far as the eye can see. I’m a little biased against the aesthetics, because from the description of the website you’d think this course is the heaven’s gift to earth, and God also would love to tee off here. Come on, seriously.

However, one thing about Permaipura: it sets up easy.

Fun Factor (4/5)

There’s a new name of this course: Par-maipura. Funky eh? Because you will be loaded with a lot a lot a lot of par opportunity, which comes to show that fun isn’t in struggling on long and challenging courses. Fun, for hackers, would be to play in courses that makes us feel better about our epileptic swings, and gives us the much needed encouragement to proceed hacking this game in the future.

Here you have it: Par-maipura is the MOTHER of all Ginnifer Courses.

If you think Bukit Kemuning has the largest fairways ever and the most generous areas of bailout ever, you ain’t seen Par-maipura yet. It doesn’t look that way from the onset. Hole 1 is a tricky little beast because a good tee shot might land you in the bunker and from there, you need to navigate through a drain fronting the green. Hole 2 opens up with a good shot on the left of the fairway while the 4th has a narrow tee shot that opens to a generous landing area.

Probably the world’s largest fairway can be found on the index 1 par 5 7th. All you need to do is navigate through a stupid tree right in front of your tee box area. Once you land on the green, you’d go wow. It’s humongous. You could land a rocket in here without any problem.

The back nine more or less plays the same. According to the website, it says it would play narrower but it doesn’t.There are loads of huge fairways staring back at you and plenty of scoring opportunities.

I think Permaipura sets up easy for the slicer. I.e if your missed shot is a slice, you can probably play this course with your eyes shut. For instance, in the back nine,4 out of 7 fairways plays to a dogleg right, meaning you can aim left and fade/slice back your ball in and not worry too much on getting it out of bounds. Only once on the easiest hole 14 that I messed up my drive en route to a triple bogey.

Otherwise, 4 pars on the front and 4 pars on the back nine really gave me additional reason to continue this wretched game of golf. I could have added one more on the easy par 5 last hole. After a great drive, I completely topped my hybrid and left myself 160 meters to the green. A big pull with my six iron and I was gone. Into the pool next to the green. From there, 5 on, two putted for a demoralizing double.

Still, any course that allows me to hit 85 is definitely worth playing again. I was putting almost unconsciously in the front nine, with five one putts. Most of it were in the 5 to 10 feet zone, so it was really something to see those saves for bogey on 6th and 8th go in. I missed a bundle on the second nine though, so like the balance of life, everything evens out at the end.


Par-maipura is a generous course, and is definitely worth playing, especially if you just had a long day at work and need to blow some steam. The big fairways are a sight for sore eyes, and although aesthetically it resembles Kundang Lakes (which is not a compliment, it’s like saying your face resembles an exhaust pipe), it makes up for it by providing a fun experience for the not so great golfer.

The good: At RM66 for 18 holes, it’s a good bargain course to play, definitely better than Harvard; good service and finally, good buggies; generous fairways to the slicer; probably a good place for the beginner to start hacking; the greens are actually quite reasonable, especially once they finish with the maintenance program.

The bad: Fairways are worn down; the rough is unkempt and bunkers are hard; aesthetically doesn’t do too much and makes you wonder the writers on their website are likely pot smoking chimps; make sure you don’t miss the small sign on the right or you’ll be heading to Harvard instead; the course traffic is quite high due to 9 hole walkers in the evening.

The skinny: 22 of 40 divots (55%). Par-maipura crawls into the middle tiered golf course, under the Not Too Shabby category. The winning factor of this course is the friendliness and the absolute Ginnifer kind of set up. It doesn’t intimidate or takes away your man hood: if you play reasonable golf, you can score here. Except for the fairway condition, and the lack of landscaping around the course, if you had to chose a club in this area that is not called Cinta Sayang, Permaipura is a good choice.

Permaipura Golf Card

Permaipura GCC Information

Address: Jln Permaipura 5, Riverside, 08100
Bedong, Kedah

Contact: +604-4594000

Fax: +604-4594500



Cinta Sayang GCR


Northern Malaysia is the home of a few possible gem of golf courses, and we’ve revealed courses like Bukit Jawi, despite having such atrocious service harking back to the service levels in the days of early neantherdals, as a picturesque and pleasant golf course to play in. Or Kulim Golf, with its neither here nor there kind of experience, but yet managing to evoke a positive review from our difficult to please, and not so talented Gila Golfers.

So this round, I’ve managed to include one of the top golf courses in this northern region into the family of Gila Golfed courses – Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort. Cinta Sayang in Malay means, Love and Affection, and although this sounds a little on the feminine side, the course by no means is a pushover. Whether it invoked Love and Affection from the affected golfer remains to be seen in this review.

Travel (3/5)

Unlike Permaipura, getting to Cinta Sayang is a snap, due to extremely large signs leading you, with an extremely generous font size to tell you exactly where to turn and how to get your itchy golfing butt to the course.


Simply, take the Sungai Petani North exit, and after the traffic light after the toll, turn left. Once you’re on that road, the signs will lead you through. Follow them like the wise men following the star to Jesus. Eventually, you’ll be led to a road where Cinta Sayang is and watch out for a right turning into Cinta Sayang Resort, and bam you’re there. It’s easy.

Price (4/5)

Initially, I called up Cinta Sayang and they said for a single golfer, having to pay for an entire buggy alone would be RM140, which to me, is simply quite expensive for a weekday golf in a region that’s so remotely up north, in a town that resembled New Zealand’s human population, which is slightly more than the number of tapirs found in the wild. I think. I might have slept through that National Geographic program on tapirs in the wild, but you get the idea.

But I called again and this time, bless her generous soul, a chirpy sounding girl on the other end said, “We have promotion today! Only RM122 for everything in!” RM122 is inclusive of the RM50 for the buggy, which generally, if you have 2 players sharing the buggy, you’d pay half of that, making the actual price about RM97, which is the price you get for Kinrara or some of the mediocre courses back in KL. In fact, even Monterez charges more expensive than that, probably with the entirely mistaken view that the course is actually worth that much. It’s not. It’s still a Mickey mouse course that will eventually cause the death of a golfer by having so many fairways adjacent to each other.

Anyway, Cinta Sayang’s pricing wasn’t extremely cheap, but still for a golf with this much reputation, it was a good price to pay.

First thoughts

Taking in the first look of the course on hole 1, you see an extremely inviting fairway just looking back up at you, with fairly matured trees lining both side of the fairway and not a single drop of dreaded water. This is a Ginnifer Starting hole. For those at loss for this sort of description, please refer to our Staffield writeup. It’s one of those holes that doesn’t cause you to buckle at your knees because you know even with the ball in the trees, it’s still sparse enough for you to navigate a little to save the hole. So with confidence, you stride up to the tee and let fly a confident 210m drive straight down the reasonably manicured fairway.

So far, it’s Love and Affection still.

Service (2/5)

I think generally the service is fair. It took some time to get to the course because there wasn’t anybody at the counter for a while, but that could be a toilet break or something. Otherwise, the marshals etc were polite and understood the general urgency to get grumpy golfers on their way to the first tee. Two gripes that really took a bite out of the service quality: The conditions of the buggy were terrible and the course management is questionable. The former: Like the excruciating experience in Harvard, I was dumped into a buggy that was as responsive as a rotting corpse of an iguana being rolled over continuously by speeding tankers. As in, it’s those old school, petrol smelling buggies that persist in not starting until you press on the accelerator for 3-5 seconds and not stopping after you jam the breaks for 3-5 metres. I exaggerate on the second point, but the point is, the buggies are old. Not as terrible as Harvard’s ridiculous buggies, but it’s like comparing a 300 kg and 270 kg guy and talking about which one is healthier. I.e they are both probably not going to live past their next birthday if they don’t improve.

The latter: Cinta Sayang has a very unique tee off area. Usually, the 1st and 10th tee can be adjacent, much like Staffield. Cinta Sayang has the 1st tee, 10th tee and sandwich in between them is the 14th tee off. Now, this is unique in some ways, but annoying in other ways. I was blazing through the course on this particular instance. As in BLAZING. I finished my 11th hole in 1 hour 45 minutes. I was on a record speed of finishing 18 holes in 2 and a half hours. The course was empty, nobody in front of me at all.

But bam, once I hit the 14th tee in just over 2 hours, as if beamed into existence by Scotty from Star Trek, I saw a full flight in front of me. With two caddies. As in out of nowhere. I caught up with them and had to wait on the 15th and on the par 3 16th as they were teeing off and I observed to the caddy politely that I didn’t think there was any flight in front of me, and the starter has already mentioned that I was the first guy teeing off that afternoon.

You know when people are guilty of wrong doing? They avoid eye contact with you entirely. The caddy muttered some nonsense about too many afternoon flights, and after the last guy of the flight shanked his ball into the water, all of these 4 fellas started talking loudly, ignored my penetrating stare into their souls, and ambled away past me as if I did not exist. And for the last 3 holes, it took me as long to complete them as I did for the first 9 holes. As in, it was almost as if they were purposely playing slow just to skewer me.

I don’t really blame the flight, but more of the course management. They allowed a flight to tee off on the 14th hole simply for convenience. I don’t know if this is a club rule or not, maybe some Love and Affection fellas can correct me, but it’s annoying. And you can’t simply just cut into a flight like that and ignore my pleas to allow me to pass like I am some kind of Martian without any clothes on. I know 4 ball is priority, but come on, I was blitzing through the course, let me pass instead of juggling golf balls waiting for you to finish shanking.

Fairways (3/5)

I never thought fairways would be super for any courses that allowed the dreaded buggies to go onto them, and Cinta Sayang suffers from that fate. The fairway over all was well maintained and manicured, but no way resembled the perfect mats found in Tropicana, the former IOI Palm Garden or many of the top notch golf courses. I am not asking them to disallow buggies on the course, because that would mean we need to finally use our legs to move, which is very annoying as well: but simply, courses with buggies on the course is not going to be very nice. But aside from that, and from occasionally tracks on the fairways, it was well kept and well maintained, a healthy firmness and sponginess and lacking the bare “botak” spots in some other courses’ fairways.

Greens (3/5)

A premier course is always identified with exampalary greens: Saujana did a remarkable job back in Impiana, in of course, Saujana and in Beringin. Sorry, Berigin is not a premier course by any stretch of imagination, just the greens are nice. Cinta Sayang greens are OK, not amazing, but expectedly well maintained for a premium golf course. Variation wise there’s not much to be found, compared to the undulation of KRTU, the massiveness of Templer or the invisible breaks of Saujana. Character wise, the greens are simply functional, pretty straight forward putting. On the other hand, the consistency is very welcoming. The greens played fast, and was more or less similar in all the holes. It was great, but at the same time, started to give me the yips, once you know if you miss, your return putt might be longer than what is generally most comfortable (which for me is a 2 inch return putt).

Rough (4/5)

The rough was tough. The primary rough had heavy grass that latches on your club face to turn it and rough that allows your golf ball to settle in: all contributes to the fact that hitting the fairway is important to have Love and Affection on this course. But the good thing was the first cut of rough was more forgivable and many, many holes I played, I played from this first cut. The 4 fairway hits is not really indicative, because I played mostly from the first cut in most of the holes. Sand was in perfect condition so much so that I could actually use my sand wedge instead of my 60 degree or pitching wedge unlike most courses when the sand was hard and the sand wedge bounce would cause me to skull the ball into oblivion. Also, even with so many matured trees, you will hardly see the rough littered by annoying leaves that hides your balls. Through out the game, I could see the maintenance crews working hard to clean the course in these small but important areas. Unlike the idle gallery in Kinrara, these guys actually do their job. Good work, Love and Affection course.

Aesthetics (4/5)

Cinta Sayang is a mix of Impiana and Staffield. Staffield for playability, Impiana for looks. The first hole was a ho hum looking hole, but once passed that, Cinta Sayang unveils herself and you go, Wow. Second hole is a pretty par 5 crossing water, and coming to the first of many white bridges. It’s a nice touch. Instead of rotting wood colour, they painted all their wood bridges white. Like in Rivendell. Which does not really exist except in Middle Earth. For those wondering what the heck am I babbling about, never mind. Hole 5 had a paddock for horses to the left of the par 3. It’s empty now, I believe the last horse was finally killed by a random hook shot from a guilty golfer, but it’s there for historical aspect and quite pretty if there were only some white horses complimenting the white paddock.

Cinta Sayang opens up herself slowly. She doesn’t expose everything at first glance, the way some courses do, but as you play each hole, you glimpse some picturesque view of the course. And it’s not easy as well, because Cinta Sayang doesn’t have too much elevation, which usually contributes to the wow factor. It plays fairly flat, but it makes good use of the meandering lakes and rivulets and the criss crossing of white bridges all over the course. I always wanted to use the words meandering and rivulets in my reviews. It makes me sound like a novelist. Or a male Enid Blyton.

Fun Factor (3/5)

The fun could have easily been higher if not the the bad wait and traffic jam on the 14th onwards. It would be acceptable if it’s in the normal course of play. But these guys cut in! Is it legal in Cinta Sayang to just start your game on the 14th??  Is it legal to ignore the poor chinaman who wants to play quickly? Is it legal to smoke pot and drink petroleum?

Anyhoos, this time brain farts were minimum but still present. After a great first drive, my approach with a PW was woeful to start off a bogey. A hook into the woods, a second still in the woods and a third out, and a bad hybrid shot on the second hole par 5 set me up for a double. The 3rd was really a very good drive, so good in fact that I plopped it into the water on the left. From there, I played bogey golf until ending with 3 straight pars, thanks to two greens in regulation on the 7th and 8th hole. The 13th hole is really tough, its an uphill par 3 that requires almost two clubs more and hitting it accurately is the key, because the up and down is tricky due to a huge knoll on the green.

Beware the par 5 14th. I drove well but due to a blind drop on the fairway I had no idea how far it was to the water fronting the green. A good hit with a six iron was too good. Water. 4 on, two putt for 6. 15th and 16th are reasonably easy holes, but I missed a two footer on the 15th and a 3 footer on the 16th and was ready to throw my Rossa into the drink. At times, the hole looks smaller than a Fijian tadpole, which is 50x smaller than your normal tadpole, according to an unrecorded and unsponsored study of Fijian wildlife…anyway,the ball just refuses to go in!!! Ending hole 18th is a tricky dogleg right where if you push it too far right, you’re blocked. I still got up and down through some luck from there for Bogey. I know, up and down means par for most of you. I suck, so up and down for bogey and I’m ready to do a pole dance. Which I won’t, for the sake of humanity’s innocence.


Cinta Sayang didn’t disappoint. It sets itself up as the premier course in this region, and although Gilagolf still hasn’t hacked many courses up north, it can be safely assured that Cinta Sayang would be a great course to find yourself in. The pricing, taking into account splitting the buggy, is really competitive with the KL prices and you get better quality here. Really, with all the good courses in KL looking to cash in foreigners and marking up their price, it’s good if Cinta Sayang remains sub 100 for a walk in golfer.

The good: Get the promotion prices and you’re safely sub 100 if there is another person to split the buggy; very pretty course, generous fairways, and good design of the course requiring a variety of shots from the tee in terms of placing, accuracy or just plain bombing the big fairways;rough is well maintained and greens are consistent in speed.

The bad: The idea of allowing a flight to cut in on the 14th is simply not good practice any way you look at it; the buggies are on life support at the moment; greens aren’t extremely challenging; course lacks elevation; fairways struggles in patches to deal with skid marks of golfers driving like F1 racers.

The skinny: 26 of 40 divots (65%). It’s easy to recommend Cinta Sayang, especially if the price maintains. It’s a Ginnifer looking course that’s inviting, that’s pretty and welcoming to the golfer that hooks, claws, slice and splices his way through his game. Love and Affection time, baby.

Cinta Sayang Golf Card

Cinta Sayang GCR information

Address: Persiaran Cinta Sayang, 08000 Sungai Petani,
Kedah Darul Aman.

Contact: +604-441 4666 (12 lines)

Fax: +604-441 5600



Cinta Sayang Golf Card

Cinta Sayang GCR information

TUDM Kuantan Recreation Club


NOTE: This post has so far received possibly the most number of comments, mostly in a language that resembles malay, but one that I cannot interpret even with the help of google translate. Yes, I nearly failed my Malay. That’s why this blog is in English, I suck at comprehending Malay in any form except to order food.

Anyways, one of the comments received was thankfully in comprehensible English, and in respect to Gilagolf readers (and it’s amazing there are actual readers who appreciate these nonsensical reviews, and some even take it extremely seriously!), I will try to address it, hopefully to appease any wrath incurred due to our frank (and oftentimes insulting) reviews.

Blitzer commented and gave us a very good historical background on TUDM and why their fairways, buggies, greens and rough suck as the do. However it still doesn’t change the fact that this course is in a dire need of repair and improvement. Some interesting points:

“Golfshop – how to compete with Panwest, Transview, RGT etc? It is an old school golf shop and we like the service rendered. Anyway, I think you owed an apology to the uncle. You know the number, give him a call, son.”

I actually happened to like the uncle. He was a dream collector. If you mean by calling him a weed smoking guy, it’s simpy an irreverant expression often used in this blog: calling ourselves monkeys, chimps, electrocuted tapirs and bat shit eating golfers etc doesn’t actually mean we love eating bat shit, it’s simply to say we suck.  But if I offended the helpful uncle, then I’m definitely sorry for that, he’s an excellent fellow to chat with. But the proshop still smells like thinner and propanol.

“Bro, didn’t your mother teach you to ask permission before taking pictures? In the airbase – taking pictures is a punishable offence by law. You should thank god if someone is not knocking on your door at odd hours! (or erase from this blog the pic with C130 is flying, and with ATC tower and… know what to do).”

Boy, I get that a lot. So does my mom. The fact is that she wasn’t brought up in the army, so there’s no way momma’s gonna know all these stuff. She’s a really simple lady. All she wants is a nice house and grandkids. She did teach me to eat my vege, which I appreciate. I do thank God nobody is knocking on my doors at odd hours! It is annoying when that happens and it did happen before!

In respect to Gilagolf readers (and you are one of the few of them, it seems), I’d rather lose pictures than lose precious readers, so the offending pictures (or any pictures depicting towers and planes or structures) have been replaced, by my favourite towers of Mordor and Ortanc and the infamous fellbeast of the Winged Nazgul, the Witch King of Angmar. Sauron, RISE!!

Anyways, appreciate your comment as always, and keep hacking and reading!

End of NOTE

Thanks to maintaining this blog, I’ve been—at times—getting myself to play on courses that I otherwise would not even think of playing, but for the sake of putting courses in Malaysia – Good, bad and downright medusa ugly – on the map, over the years, this blog has gathered and reviewed more than 50 courses in and out of Malaysia.

And so, for reasons you wouldn’t be too interested in, I found myself in the middle of nowhere at this place called Bukit Gambang, which styles itself as a Resort City, when it is actually just a few blocks of apartments cobbled around a small water park about ¼ the size of Sunway Lagoon, which itself is generally about 1/100 the size of Disneyland. Malaysians generally love to make their fun things sound bigger than it actually is. Hm.

So anyways, I brought a half set with me just in case I happen to chance upon a golf course (which we did, passing Maran Hills on the way). Searching for the nearest golf course via google maps, I came across TUDM Kuantan Recreation Club, about 15 minutes drive from Gambang. Now, TUDM stands for the Malaysian Royal Air Force, which is more well known for losing jet engines to Uruguay than to have reasonably nice golf courses. But I had only 2 hours to kill, so I didn’t have too much of a choice, between mindless playing Sudoku or tee-ing it up, I half-heartedly chose the latter, with the blog in mind.

Travel ( 2/5)

Before the highway that linked West Coast Malaysia to East Coast Malaysia, we had to navigate through what we call ‘Trunk Roads’, i.e small, windy passageways with just one lane on either side, with cars zooming by the opposite direction centimeters away from you. Trunk roads are extremely hostile to the unskilled driver, and many Malaysian drivers have grown up tackling these infamous trunk roads by jamming the accelerator to zip by the 16 wheeler tanker, eating into the opposite traffic lane, and zipping back into their own lane, just as another 16 wheeler careens by the opposite direction, barely missing each other. This life and death situation repeats itself in an cycle for 200 over kilometers.

But now, with the new highway, it’s a piece of cake to travel to Kuantan. From KL, just hit the Karak Highway and join the East Coast Expressway for about 200 over KMs, and turn off at the Gambang Exit. Turn left at the main intersection and you’re on the old trunk road, and just keep going till you see the military airport. You are there, simple. From Kuantan, even easier, just take the old trunk road out of Kuantan and you’ll find the military base. Just be careful of the signs, it’s pretty dilapidated so you might miss it. It’s called ‘Kelab Rekreasi TUDM’ which is in Malay, translated to ‘We-Like-To-Lose-Big-Jet-Engines-Worth-Billions-To-Luis-Suarezs-Home-Country’. No.Of course not. Jeez.

Anyway, travel is no fuss, I like golf courses that are easy to access, and preferably next to the main road, in case it is so horrendous we need to make a quick exit before dying of self inflicted asphyxiation.  So why only 2/5? Read on and prepared to be amazed.

Price ( 1/5)

At first I thought RM20 was a great price to pay for the course. I looked at the scorecard, and yes, it was 9 holes only but still, it was ok. Until she told me I was forced to take a buggy, for another RM20. I wanted to walk, having lugged a trolley with me, but she said only from 5:30 onwards. Looking out, there didn’t seem to be any living creature existing on the course, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get this lady to relent. At the end, I forked out RM40, got into the ugliest buggy in the world, a shocking pink buggy and chugged out into the course.

RM40 for this course? 9 Hole? No. After going through it, I rather spend my RM40 watching Titanic 4 times in a row non-stop. For the record, I rather be zapped by a hundred electric eels than to watch Titanic even one time. Go figure.

First thoughts

Have you ever had the thought when you committed yourself to something, such as bungy jumping, or base jumping, that right at the ledge,only two words form your entire thought pattern and life philosophy?

“Oh Crap.”

Those are the treasured words that bombarded me over and over again as I stood at the first tee box (or what I thought was the first, since there were no signs). A distant flight tower was the only feature on the first hole, and it resembled a football field, converted into a golf course. And football field here isn’t Wembley mind you, it’s like that SS2 neighbourhood football field, that is filled with rusted nails, sand patches and the itinerant flasher who will open up his coat to show you his dongs and then cackle insanely.

Service ( 2/5)

Despite my disagreement with the lady to charge me 40 bucks, she did put me out in the course extremely quickly. Take money, give change along with a photostated score card and boom, get out of my sight, take one of the 4 buggies available. Yes. 4. Got into the pink buggy and I’m off.

The pro shop is inhabited by this weed smoking old fellow, and you can only stay there 10 minutes top, because—I am not kidding—the entire room smells of thinner. I.e the poisonous liquid to take away paint. I almost died, but saw a whole lot of old clubs for sale. As in, seriously OLD. This guy is a vintage collector dream. He has old persimmon woods, hand crafted to perfection. He has Tun Razak’s (our second Prime Minister) old clubs, he has even an old Winfield mallet that was the great grandfather of the famous odyssey two ball. I spent more than 10 minutes in there, and just as I was about to pass out due to thinner poisoning, I paid for an old persimmon 3 wood and crawled out of that pro shop barely alive, but losing 5 years of my lifespan. The wood looks good though.

Fairways (-1/5)

Ok, so to the course. The fairways are possibly—with the exception of Selesa Hills golf course—the WORST fairways you will ever see in this part of the planet. The grass was long and thick, there was no difference between fairway and rough, it was just patches of dirt, thick grass, patches of sand, thick grass etc. I have never experienced such an awful piece of crap before until TUDM Recreation Club. Pictures will say it all.

Greens (0 /5)

I was surprised that the first hole green was quite well maintained. It was very hard, very fast with not so subtle breaks. But from hole 2 onwards, it was like descending into the very heart of Crap Land. Bare greens, sometimes filled with dirt, the third hole had a standing sprinkler turned on, with no life in sight. Terrible experience.

Rough ( -1/5)

Absolutely, the worst rough you will ever find in Malaysia. Hole 3, a 190m par 3, I hooked a little, my ball nestling into the rough at the side of the green. Using my 60 degree, I chopped down on the heavy grass and what happened next was every golfer’s nightmare. No, not Christina Kim in thongs (apparently, that would be most Gilagolf Reader’s dream), but rocks and stones flying out along with the ball. The stones were underneath the dirt. Big stones! I looked at my 60 degree and let out a vampiric wail of anguish. TUDM, you are a stupid, stupid course!!!

Aside from the asinine nature of the rough in this horrific course, the sand bunkers are an automatic free drop. Why? Yes, they are filled with stones. Yes, they are ugly as Quasimodo’s rear-end. Yes, they are unplayable. But worse, all of them had holes in them. I thought these were for drainage, until, on closer exploration, they were all dugged at the side of the bunkers on the mound, and naturally made…by something long, slithering, and possibly poisonous.

Aesthetics ( 0/5)

Ok, let me try to put this in context. Let’s say, you mix these two:



And wait, after that, mix whatever comes out from those two with this:

And you have a general idea of about 10% of the ugliness of this course. This course, is by far, absolutely, horrendously hideous. At least, Frasers Hill had some saving grace in terms of looks, as did Selesa Hills. Bukit Beruntung still resembles the faeces of a skunk, but this one? This one takes the cake.

TUDM Recreation Club golf is absolutely the most horrific looking course in the known galaxy. So far. Look at it. Seriously, what sort of course is this??!? Why is it existing? If the RMAF were to accidentally drop 1500 bombs onto this place (which might be possible…as in, the ‘accident part’, I won’t be at all surprised), it would make the course look better after the bombing. Flat, uninspiring, completely awful maintenance sums up TUDM for you.

Fun Factor (0/5)

The first three holes were had slight variety. From 4,5,6,7,8,9 on wards, you feel like Ground Hog Day, repeating the same holes over and over again. I am not kidding. Every hole looks the same, because generally, they are playing parallel to each other. There’s the occasional drain here and there, resembling the marshes of Mordor, but otherwise, the same.

I stopped having fun after the course destroyed my 60 degree. Wait, actually, I stopped having fun the moment I escaped the Pro Shop of death. This course is a cruel joke. How can anyone have fun in this place? This is probably about the same experience as bathing in freezing water in the Himalayas. No wonder our RMAF guys are so depressed. Their own golf course resembles some war torn battlefield in Afghanistan.


What can I say? After the final tee off, I quickly packed my bags, saluted the guys at the gate and sped off as quickly as possible, trying to wash away all memories of this forsaken golf course. This makes Frasers Hills look like Augusta. I mean, with proper maintenance, who knows, it might be a reasonable 9 hole course for quickie games like mine, but if I were to select between playing this course, and watching Titanic for a week, followed by the god awful Australia for another week; I might select the latter, after which I will likely be warded in an asylum.

The good: The only good word I can think off that’s associated with this pile of dung is “Good Riddance.”

The bad: Every single thing about this course is bad. Well, maybe except for the poison chamber Pro Shop with all the vintage clubs and putters. Otherwise, take heed. Any club that has a gigantic golf ball with wings as its insignia is probably slightly lower than your dog’s poop in terms of prestige.

The skinny: 3 of 40 divots (7.5%). I thought it would be impossible to find a course worse than Fraser’s Hill, but here you have it. Officially, the worst golf course in Malaysia…TUDM Kuantan Recreation Club, or in Malay, for those Googling: Kelab Rekreasi TUDM Kuantan!!

TUDM Kuantan Score Card

TUDM Kuantan Information


Kelab Rekreasi TUDM Kuantan

Pengkalan TUDM Kuantan,

25990 Kuantan,


Contact: +609-5384282