The Imperial Klub Golf is a public facility situated in the new town development of Lippo Karawaci, half an hour’s drive west of Jakarta city centre. It’s here that Desmond Muirhead, one-time associate of Jack Nicklaus, set the course out around a “lucky 8-shaped lake” that sits in the middle of the property.
The architect, who became known for his slightly eccentric course layouts, certainly pushed the boundaries of conceptual land form at Imperial. The course was, in his own words, “designed so that each hole is a separate event, an individual theatre where every golfer can give his maximum performance”.
The island green at “Temple,” the par three 5th hole is certainly not a unique idea but border the square-shaped putting surface with a low lying stone wall then fill the gap between green and water with sand and the result is pretty much a one-off hole.
Preceding that hole, the doglegged par four 4th sports a specially constructed island fairway in the middle of a lake, allowing golfers to use this route as a shorter way to the green. Whimsical to some, others will find this just too contrived to be considered sound architecture.
Then there’s the swirl-shaped bunkers by the green on the par three 7th, the volcano bunkers along the fairway at the next hole (the appropriately named “Krakatoa”) before golfers reach the saw-tooth bunker that projects into the lake beside the green at the par five 9th. And that’s just the front nine.Not everyone will appreciate, never mind understand, the geometry of the design but the course at Imperial is one of the most memorable you will ever play.