The East course at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (or KLGCC as it is often called and recently TPC branded) is the understudy to the West course, but the park-like East is every bit as challenging and could host national tournaments with ease. Like the West, the East course was extensively remodelled in recent times by Ted Parslow and Jason Winter of Parslow & Winter Golf Design, reopening for play in 2010. Combined, the refurbished courses form a formidable golfing challenge at a rather elite sporting complex.
Golfers contend with water hazards at many of the holes on the East and that’s certainly true at three of the four short holes on the card. At the first of these, the 205-metre 7th, the multi-tiered green sits at an angle behind a lovely little pond, protected on the right flank by high visibility bunkers.
On the inward half, the daunting 128-metre 15th plays to an island green where a pot bunker positioned at the front is actually not a bad place to be off the tee. A couple of holes later, at the 172-meter 17th, the green is fronted by yet another pond and circled with half a dozen sand traps.
Jason Winter from Parslow & Winter Golf Design kindly provided us with the following comments:
The East Course routing was modified a little more than the West Course with some reversing of holes and major changes to others. The course was totally re-strategized to bring it up to date with modern playing equipment, construction and maintenance technology. Many natural features such as wetlands and native forest habitats were created on out of play areas to attract bird and fish life to the courses.
The new East Course at KLGCC is now one that requires some power, but the great emphasis is on accuracy, finesse, imagination, patience and most importantly, intelligent course management. Being a little shorter, the fairways are generally very tight and tree lined, with strategically positioned bunkers, which will penalise the slightly inaccurate tee shot.
The greens are all well protected with bunkers, hollows and water hazards and they command very careful club selection and accuracy for low scoring. The putting surfaces are very testing, with many slopes, tiers, ridges and hollows which require great imagination and skill in holing putts. Low scoring will only come from precise approach shots, to the low side of the hole.
The re-design intention was for the East Course to
host prominent local competitions and perhaps international women’s
tournaments. This vision became a reality when in 2010 the club owners created
the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament and it has now hosted the full
contingent of top LPGA players for five years. The course has had great reviews
from the players, with Stacey Lewis even commenting that the main reason she
keeps coming back is because she loves the golf course.
This course whilst doesn’t have the plaudits and fame of the West Course but it is a very very good 18 holes of golf. It’s extremely popular with its members, with many choosing to play here over the longer West Course due to the very much more social dynamic to the game of golf in the region. There are some great par 3s over water, plenty of hazards on the par 4s to make course management important and some scoring opportunities amidst the par 5s. The fairways are always in the good to excellent category, and whilst the greens aren’t always perfect and perhaps not the quickest, they are not notably slower than the West’s slightly better kept greens which for me represents the Achilles heal of East Course. It is possible that I hold and still have a soft spot for this course as it’s where I first started to play the game but that being said it’s unquestionably a fantastic course and when in Kuala Lumpur this a must, especially as a prelude to before playing the West Course. A great course, in one of the best clubs in the region. A must play.