Aussie professional Tim Woolbank designed the 27 holes at Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort and the Raintree and Lakes nines are the main attraction, supplemented by a par three course called the Wetlands. Located in the old Kinta Valley tin-mining region, the three returning loops are set around 350 acres of sparkling lakes which provide a habitat for a multitude of wild bird species.
It can feel a little claustrophobic at times on the Raintree nine, especially at holes 3 to 5 where trees lining either side of the fairways really narrow the playing corridors. Water only ever threatens on the sharply doglegged 5th before the routing returns holes 6 to 9 (which can be floodlit) back to the clubhouse.
The Lakes nine is altogether more open, with holes following a clockwise routing around the Club, East, South and West lakes. Because water is in play down the left side of every fairway, golfers can be forgiven for growing weary of the same hazard appearing at every hole on this nine.
This is an impressive layout in a wonderful setting but when I played here in early January 2017 it was one step away from reverting back to jungle. Perhaps the course was being maintained properly a month or so before we played but it was in appalling condition in January. Tee boxes hadn’t been mown for weeks, fairways were long and shaggy where we spent ages simply looking for our balls, the greens were slightly better but each putt needed a full shoulder turn to get to the hole and you had to hope the bumps didn’t knock the ball sideways. The bunkers were absolutely dreadful and hadn’t been maintained for weeks, they were simply unplayable sand pits with holes and mounds of sand throughout with no sign of any rakes – the bunker edges and surrounds were truly shocking with virtually impenetrable rough. Once upon a time this may have been a great course and perhaps one of the best in Malaysia, but now it’s a mere shadow of its former self. I’d try and check out the situation before planning to play here, there are plenty of much better golfing options available in Malaysia. This was the worst conditioned golf course I’ve ever played.
Very true indeed... Bunkers are not maintained for months... the weeds are growing in most of the bunkers...