Produced by the PT Karabha Digdaya development company, the Arnold Palmer-designed River and Lake nines at Emeralda Golf Club were originally billed as the 18-hole South course when they were first unveiled in 1994.
Nicklaus Design’s Plantation nine followed shortly after – the first of two loops intended to form the North course – but the fourth and final 9-hole circuit at Emeralda has so far never left the Golden Bear’s drawing board.
The 27-hole complex first hosted the Indonesia Open in 2006 (when England’s Simon Dyson won the tournament) then it held the competition again in 2012, when, for the first time, the event was co-sanctioned by the OneAsia Tour and the Japan Golf Tour as part of a three-year deal.
Built on an old plantation on the outskirts of Jakarta, the Emeralda GC was originally conceived to be a 36 hole complex with a course each designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
In 1994 Arnold Palmer unveiled his course which comprises the River And Lake nines at Emeralda.
A year later the Plantation nine designed by Jack Nicklaus opened, but the final nine holes never eventuated.
We had the pleasure of playing the River and Lake nines designed by Palmer. The course was beautifully manicured and maintained interest throughout the round. The routing used the local topography to advantage and the combination of old plantation and jungle vegetation with splashes of garden bed colour, ever present water hazards in the form of rivers and lakes, and nice elevation changes throughout all added to the experience. The garden beds are alive with bougainvillea, white & violet cameras, and pink mosaendas.
Emeralda was built on a large scale. The magnificent clubhouse and surrounding infrastructure leave you in no doubt that this club was built to host national events.
Strategically the course is very good with the placement of both fairway and green side bunkering dictating the preferred lines of play. And the greens have plenty of movement!
Although normally a good putter I really struggled and the combination of grain, slope, and strong winds got the better of me.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
RIVER/LAKE COURSE: This is a resort course of 27 holes about 30Km south of Jakarta amongst a number of other golf courses and resorts in the Depok and Bogor area.
Regular ponds, sometimes in play and bunkers on fairways and green surrounds. OK condition, decent greens and enough turns and undulations to keep interest, but not really memorable. Also, 3 of the par 3s are almost identical and I had a useless compulsory caddie.
An interesting point about Emerelda is that the Slope rating of the further back tees is very high, but I'm not sure why as it doesn't appear that difficult. From the back (Gold) tees the slope is 153 and from the second back (Black) it's still 148.
I've played 8 of the Indonesian 30 rated on this website and personally I don't rate this course as being as high as 15th.