Unveiled in 2007, Golfplan’s spectacular New Kuta 18-hole course occupies a stunning cliff top location on Bali’s southwest coastline, high above the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean. The front nine plays away from the water’s edge, heading inland into hilly terrain before the back nine eventually returns to the white limestone cliffs on the coast.
The most striking hole on the front nine is the 192-yard par three 6th, played to an island green that’s surrounded by one continuous bunker that encircles the entire putting surface.
On the back nine, golfers encounter their own Balinese version of “Amen Corner” at holes 14 to 16, which are laid out along the coastline above the coral reef of Balangan Bay, with the short 15th regarded as the signature hole on the card.Such is the quality of the layout at New Kuta, it hosted the Indonesia Open in 2009 (an event co-sanctioned by both the Asian and European Tour) and the Ladies Indonesia Open the following year.
Right from the start I need to correct some of the marketing waffle related to this course: it is not a links course, nor a links-style course. Unless of course you're are deliberately trying to stretch the use of the generic term links to mean any golf course. It is a 100% resort course, played through mostly tropical scrubland and with some water views on the back nine. There is no firm, yet springy turf; it is not sand based; there is little opportunity for a ground game. It is cartball resort golf, which is fine if you like such a thing. But the distinction is important.
The other point to note is that yes this course may have hosted the Indonesian Open, but that was quite a few years ago now, probably when the facilities and the course were in fairly new condition. In 2022 however, things are starting to look a little ragged around the edges.
The design is again, interesting enough, but there are only a few holes that remain memorable for design reasons: the second requires a committed drive as it is effectively blind and over the corner of a slight dogleg from the longer tees; the short par 4 4th has a gully short of the green to catch enthusiastic drives; 11 has another slightly blind tee shot over vegetation and then the turn at the coast from 14-16 has some interesting elevation change, but the holes themselves are pretty straightforward.
In Bali I think there is significant daylight between Bali National and here and in the overall Indonesian national rankings this course should be much closer to the bottom end of the list rather than position 14 in the middle where it currently sits, likely due to trading on former glories. Finally the inflated green fee for non-residents is completely unjustified by the quality of the course.
Have played this course on many occasions and it always in good condition when I have played. When you arrived at the club house the staff look after you very well, and I played a lot of the time with the members of the Raffles Golf club as a international guest as I live in Perth.
The course it self is a challenge from the back tees and you need to be on your game. Large greens, good bunkers, and fairways always in great condition, this course is a gem with great scenery to view from many holes.
Worth the drive to get there and play it? Yes it was.