The Malaysian Open has been staged since 1962 and seven of ten Opens [staged between 1997 and 2007] have been held at Saujana Golf & Country Club… The Malaysian Open has a reputation for deep fields and international winners. Thongchai Jaidee, Vijay Singh, Arjun Atwal and Alastair Forsyth have all prevailed here.
The Palm course at Saujana Golf & Country Club has a just reputation for being an exacting test. For one the weather is normally scorching and has seen off a few inadequately acclimatised Northern Europeans over the years. Fittingly, as he is something of a hot weather specialist, Thongchai Jaidee has won here. Years of time spent on hot Thai fairways have prepared him well. Secondly the grasses used offer a beguiling mix of springy Bermuda on the fairways and slicked Tiffdwarf on the greens.
The greens are small surfaces and elaborately contoured. During one visit John Daly commented “there are some holes out there that I would rather hit a 30-footer uphill than a six-footer downhill.” The hole routings have some twists and turns as the land was formerly used as oil palm and rubber plantations. Add to these features a sprinkling of water and plenty of palm trees lining the fairways and you have all the ingredients for a taxing day out in the sun...
The Palm course is a stern test of patience. Skew-whiff hitting is a sure recipe for a miserable day out in the unrelenting tropical heat. Length is less of an advantage here than at most courses. The first time the Malaysian Open was held here the winner, Tray Tyner, commented that the Palm was “the hardest and most demanding golf course I have ever seen or played”.
Reproduced with kind permission from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia by James Spence.
The Palm Course, nicknamed “The Cobra,” was
renovated by Ron Fream in 2015 adding further length, new green complexes and
replacing the original holes 6 and 7 with two new holes at 8 and 9. These
changes undoubtedly helped Saujana return to the professional stage when, in 2017, the club hosted the Maybank Championship, which Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti won in sensational
style by eagling the 72nd hole, beating American David Lipsky by one shot.