Set along the northern shores of Bintan Island, overlooking the Straits of Singapore, the Laguna Golf Bintan course is a mid-1990s Greg Norman design which recently underwent phase 1 of an extensive upgrade by Paul Jansen, with Laguna Golf Ambassador Nick Faldo performing the official re-opening ceremony on 4th November 2016.
Laid out across 60 tropical hectares in two out-and-back 9-hole loops that each visit the coast, the course has been widened, allowing a greater variety of shot options off the tee. All eighteen greensites have been revamped and bunkers re-positioned or replaced with grassy hollows and mounding to enhance playing strategy and minimise maintenance.
The layout plays through more undulating terrain on the front nine, boasting sea views on holes 2 to 4 before fairways weave around a series of lagoons. The back nine is laid out on the other side of the resort, routed through dense jungle and rocky outcrops.
A prime example of the new course enhancements is found at the par three 3rd. Palm trees have been removed (along with shrubs, bushes and other unwanted vegetation), giving golfers a clear view of the full sweep of the bay that sits alongside – and just to complete the picture, new “wave effect” bunkering in front of the green emphasises the wonderful sandy location of this stellar par three hole.
Perhaps the signature hole is the spectacular par three 17th, played over the beach across natural rock formations to an exposed green.