Jakarta is probably one of Asia’s best golf destinations and certainly when judged from the amount of courses that can be played in and around the city, thirty eight in total. Next to fabulous golf, Jakarta also offers a thought-provoking package in “after” golf, meaning those pretty awesome things you can do once you’ve made your final putt. From night clubbing to shopping and café’s and tantalizing food places to interesting tourism spots, Jakarta has it all and is in a class all its own.
Golfers should check out the Jagorawi toll road alongside which one can find no less than 17 courses that vie for patronage of golfers from Indonesia, Asia and beyond. Starting at the top of this 45-km thoroughfare that stretches from Jakarta South all the way into the Sentul Highland and Pre-Puncak area, we find the courses of Emeralda and Riverside, two fabulous golf clubs that offer play on layouts of international standard and that were designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus & Arnold Palmer (Emeralda) and Greg Norman (Riverside).
Less than 5 miles further down the road and right at the exit of Gunung Putri, we find the entrance to the Jagorawi Golf &Country Club, Indonesia’s premier golf club that offers golfers 45 holes of championship golf. The two 18 holes layouts of The Old and The New course were designed by five-time Open winner Peter Thomson, while the 9 holes Z-Nine course was designed by owner Zakir and US course designer the late Max Wexler.
Shortly before we arrive at the city of Bogor and at the exit of Sentul Circuit on the left, we find the courses of Permata Sentul and Palm Hill, the latter is located adjacent to the international race circuit of Sentul. When we take the Sentul Selatan exit some 5 miles further down, we enter the Sentul Highlands, a modern-day self contained residential area that is home to attractive gated (residential) clusters as well as to the 18 holes course of the same name and a layout that was designed by South African golf legend Gary Player.
When we leave Sentul Highlands Golf Club and we simply follow the signs that will take us up “the mountain” to Rainbow Hills, or Bukit Pelangi, the course’s Indonesian name. This most impressive layout is situated in an equally impressive natural setting that is located some 600 meters above sea level and in a pretty rugged terrain that can only be found in the pre-Puncak mountainous district of Gadog.
From Rainbow Hills, we can actually see the two 18 holes layouts of Gunung Geulis. Located at about 900 meters above sea level, the West and the East course are testament to the extremely high quality of courses that can be found in Indonesia and that offers the seasoned and avid and well-traveled golfer something to come back for. Standing on the first tee box of the West course, golfers are offered a bird’s eye view on Bogor’s hinterland in the distant horizon. With surgical precision golfers are required to land their tee shot on a fairway that is situated some 60 meters below the tee box. Pretty daunting and certainly no small feat, I can assure you.
Leaving Gunung Geulis, we drive down the mountain towards the city of Bogor where we head for Klub Golf Bogor Raya or popularly known as KGBR. Set up as a genuine garden course, KGBR not only offers fabulous golf but it also offers golfers a most enjoyable round amidst a wide variety of botanical plants, flowers and bushes and trees that are all identifiable by small sign boards depicting the name of the respective species. It’s pretty educational, to say the least. KGBR is located in the self contained residential area of Bogor Lake Side that is also home to Novotel Bogor, a friendly family hotel that during the weekends turns into a weekend getaway for many Jakartans.
All in all, you could say that the Jagorawi toll road is “the perfect drive down golfer’s lane”. Many clubs alongside this toll road offer special weekday golf deals such as Ladies’ Days golf or Senior Citizen days or Wednesday Golf Specials. Given the fact that, generally, weekday golf green fees never set you back more than Rp.400,000, golf in this part of greater Jakarta area is most affordable. And given the fact that we just entered a brand new year, if you’re a golfer, your resolution for this coming year should be to tee it off more…
The writer is the founder of Golf Promo Indonesia, www.indogolf.com and is the publisher of the Golfer’s Guide Indonesia. For all relevant information on golf in Jakarta and/or Indonesia go to www.indogolf.com. All pictures by Dennis G. Kloeth.