The Pantai Indah Kapuk course – known locally as “The Spirit of the Sea” – lies close to the coastline of the Java Sea, some twenty-two miles to the north of Damai Indah Golf’s other 18-hole layout, the Bumi Serpong Dami course.
Developer Ir. Ciputra established both facilities in the early 1990s and they’ve hosted a number of high profile Asian and European Tour tournaments such as the Indonesia President Invitational and the Indonesia Open.
When the PIK course first opened, it was the second golf project to be unveiled in Indonesia by its designer, Robert Trent Jones Jnr, as he had previously laid out the Pondok Indah course, venue for the World Cup in 1983.
The architect’s vision for the PIK course was expressed in this quote: “Dramatic marshlands, native trees and water create scenic vistas and challenging hazards. I want the experience of golfing at Pantai Indah Kapuk to wash away the cares of all who step onto the course, so that they are free to enjoy their game.”He further added: “My course is not only by the sea, but it is like the sea. Often the sea is graceful and beautiful, but suddenly the sea can turn difficult. My course will test the best players, but will please players of all skills.”
On a humid and stormy day in Jakarta we headed to Damai Indah PIK Course via a 30-minute bus ride from the city centre. Thankfully, a police escort was provided to help us move through the heavy traffic and security check points that define road travel in Jakarta. The golf course is a peaceful green sanctuary from congested and frenetic Jakarta.
A warm welcome was waiting for us, and the caddies and facilities at PIK are faultless. Amenities are scattered throughout the 18 holes and there are plenty of shelters to protect you from the ever-passing thunderstorms.
The golf course is a typical Robert Trent Jones design which is a good thing. Every hole has strategy that is easily seen, water hazards are plentiful and there is generous bunkering, but nothing is overdone. Golfers will enjoy this course as the errant shot can usually be found, unless of course it has gone in the water.
The greens are large in size with undulations that RTJ is famous for, but they are generally subtle and fun to putt on.
Two memorable holes were the 7th hole, a par 3 water hole, and the 18th hole, a testing final hole.
The 18th has a classic risk reward challenge for you. Take on the water and get a shorter approach to the green, or play left away from the water and have the longer shot in. It is sure to make an exciting finish to many rounds.
I found the length off the ladies red tees perfect for me, a 10 handicapper, with all my clubs being used. There were plenty of challenges offered from both the men's and women's tees, and all are achievable – if you play well.
The course photographs up beautifully, but sadly the 'white sand' bordering the central lake is in fact white concrete! If your ball lands on the concrete, it will certainly 'bounce' into the drink.
This course is not a 'must play' but I guarantee it is one you will enjoy playing if you find yourself in Jakarta.
By Peter Wood’s wife Heather – Peter is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read Heather’s full review.
The second of the Damai Indah club courses about 25Km distant from the BSD course. This PIK course is located in north Jakarta and is a members course that is mostly flat and resort course style and with water present along many of the holes. For the most part the water is merely in the form of a moat around the outside of the property, but some ponds and lakes come into play on some of the holes with the risk-reward of flying the water being a much shorter hole.
Plenty of sand as well, but the over-riding impression is just a flat and formulaic layout, more dictated by the square block of land and where the expensive flanking houses could be sited. As with the other Damai Indah facility, the clubhouse is impressive as are country club facilities, but in this case, the course doesn't quite live up to the hype. Especially not the pure marketing speak from the designer on the webpage above, which has no basis in reality.
Compulsory caddies, good conditioning, but just too flat and repetitive.