The Mines Resort just outside Kuala Lumpur was once the largest open-cast tin mine in the world and the topography is dominated by the lake that was created to in-fill the deepest part of the mine.
A sequence of lakeside holes begins with the 10th. Two protecting fairway bunkers push you toward the water on this short par four. The water hazard is brought more into play at the par five 11th. This hole is typical of the Trent Jones Jnr canon. It appears quite forbidding but there is more room to the right, away from the water, than appears from the tee. The attacking golfer though will have to take his ball more out over the water.
At the 12th you play toward the remarkable Palace of the Golden Horses, billed as Asia’s most extraordinary hotel. The giant edifice – whose architectural influences somehow span both the Taj Mahal and Las Vegas – looms behind the green as you play the longest par four on the course.
The par five 17th is a strong hole that Tiger Woods made to look laughably easy in the 1999 World Cup. A plaque commemorates Tiger’s eagle three.
The golf course at the Mines course offers plenty of variation to make it an interesting course. The design and landscaping manages to avoid the trap of too much ornamentation that so many high profile golf projects in Asia seem to fall into. While the massive lake is the course’s single largest feature and its most dangerous hazard, it is not the only feature. The series of holes on the front nine that work their way around the property’s hinterland work well as a counterpoint.
Reproduced with kind permission from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia by James Spence.
I played The Mines whilst traveling on business in Malaysia & it didn't disappoint. I could remember watching on TV The World Cup of Golf when Tiger & Mark O won at a canter, and some of the hole memories came flooding back (albeit my 2nd shot was from much further back).
From the moment you arrive at the club (unfortunately the entrance looks like its an industrial estate), you are treated like royalty. The range is a little disappointing, as the turf was more rough-like than the manicured fairways you would expect at TPC KL.
My caddy for the day suggested we start on the 12th, thus avoiding the slower groups from nearby countries, which was a stroke of genius, as we managed to fly around the back 9 before running into the slower groups going off the 1st.
Regarding said caddy, they really do earn their money, his green reading was superb, although his clubbing was questionable (I didn't take his advice after the 2nd short wedge). He had caddies for Sergio Garcia earlier in the year, maybe he thought I hit the ball like Sergio (which I very much don't!).
The course is a good Trent Jones Jnr design, good bunkering, fast & firm greens, playing its full length as the grass is brushed back to the tee, and the surrounds are also brushed into the ball making chipping very different to the links turf I'm used to.
Overall I would recommend anyone with a day to kill in KL play this course, maybe its not as famous as the TPC KL, but still offers a challenge from the tee, where length is not as important as accuracy. If you can putt well you should score well around this track, as the greens are the main defence, miss them the wrong side & you will struggle to turn 3 shots into 2.
I would suggest phoning the course & then checking if your Hotel can get a cheaper rate, as the difference can be massive!
Overall, an enjoyable course which offers a good challenge.
I played the Mines on a rather grey day but nevertheless enjoyed it thoroughly. The clubhouse is huge and the car park is full of Rolls and Ferraris etc. I had marvelous caddy called Jumbo who seemed to be able to club me before I had even hit a ball. This is an interesting course with a great variety of holes but I would not say that it was very difficult. It is a course surrounded by house ( and these house are huge palaces) Play the Mines if you can get reasonable price.