The Sultan of Johar opened the Ocean course at the Els Club Desaru Coast complex in November of 2016. It’s one of two Els Club destinations in Malaysia, with the island of Langkawi in the northwest of the country home to the rainforest course in Teluk Datai.
The Desaru Coast facility, to the southeast of peninsular Malaysia, is where two exciting, modern layouts have been developed within a 4,000-acre Johor property that's located along an incredible 17-kilometre stretch of coastline facing onto the South China Sea.
The Ocean course is an Ernie Els signature design whilst the Valley course is a co-design between the Big Easy and Vijay Singh. For the time being, access to the Desaru Coast resort takes just under two hours by road from Singapore but a new 30-minute direct ferry service is imminent.
The Ocean course boasts three 9-hole circuits, namely the par-36 Coast, par-37 Ridge and par-36 Lakes. There’s also a “Little Easy” 9-hole track which is great fun for all the family. Sited next to the Els Performance Golf Academy, holes are in the 50-150 metre range.
With two sets of tee boxes on every hole, golfers can play this little course multiple times from different starting points and its clever design allows the holes to be played in many different directions, which only adds to the fun.
On the Ocean course, the signature hole is the 575-yard 2nd on the Coast nine, which plays to a wide open landing area off the tee before the fairway then funnels towards the green, with splendid views of South China Sea. The toughest hole on the card is the 475-yard 9th on the Lakes nine, where the fairways doglegs slightly left to a raised green that requires a semi-blind approach shot to a sand-protected putting surface.