Set in the Puncak foothills, an hour’s drive from Jakarta’s business centre, the Gunung Geulis Country Club sits around 500 metres above sea level, where the air somehow seems to be cleaner and cooler than many of the other Jabodetabek courses.
There are 36 holes of golf on offer here as the original 18-hole par 71 West course, which opened in 1992, was followed two years later by the “buggy only” par 72 East course. The reputable design company of Thomson, Wolveridge and Perrett set out both layouts.
Green fees cover the cost of a buggy, female caddy, personal and accident insurance as well as the normal value added and local taxes. What’s also included is a “hole in one jackpot” so presumably the club will stand (at least) a round of drinks at the bar on your behalf if you manage to ace one of the par three holes.
The opening hole on the West course at Gunung Geulis – which translates as “beautiful mountain” – is a spectacular short par four that drops over a hundred feet in elevation down to the fairway. The temptation is to smash the ball off the tee with a driver but, with danger lurking on either side of a tight landing area, it’s best to adopt a slightly more conservative approach with a three wood or even a hybrid club.