It’s reckoned that Ipoh Golf Club, as Royal Perak was originally known, is one of the oldest golf clubs outside the British Isles. Formed in 1879, the club made use of a 9-hole layout at the nearby racecourse before moving to its present Tiger Lane location.
Because the golf course was used to help the war effort by cultivating tapioca during World War II, it took a fair amount of effort to restore the fairways to their pre-war condition once hostilities had ceased but golfers were back in full swing by 1947.
Since then, Royal Perak has gone on from strength to strength as its sporting facilities have been augmented down the years with squash and tennis courts, an air conditioned bowling alley and a 6-lane outdoor swimming pool.The club hosted the Malaysian Open in 1974, the first time the championship had been played away from Royal Selangor. Graham Marsh won the event, during which Sukree Onchum from Thailand carded a course record score of 65 which still stands today.
Royal Perak is not a course I can wholeheartedly recommend, but at least it resembled a golf course when I played here last January, unlike Clearwater Sanctuary. Perak was perhaps the place to be in days gone by but the course itself is rather uninspiring. It’s flat topography and didn’t get me excited and the conditioning wasn’t great. On the upside, there’s decent variety in the holes in terms of length and crossing creeks provided an element of strategy. There’s much better golf on offer around Kuala Lumpur and I personally wouldn’t make a special trip up to Perak to play golf. It’s simply not that good.