When you learn that Templer Park Country Club is owned and operated by Japanese company Kyowa Kanko Kaihatsu – which also has the likes of Shanghai Golf Club and Kuma Country Club in its portfolio – it comes as no surprise to find out that the course here was designed by Masashi (“Jumbo”) Osaki, the most prolific golfer to ever emerge from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Actually, it is more by chance than design that the Japanese built the course here at all as the company’s golf-loving President, Susumu Azuma, just happened to be driving past the spectacular Bukit Takun site when he decided it would be an ideal place for a golf course. Having played before in Malaysia and found the layouts mainly flat and uninspiring, he knew Templer Park, with its hilly terrain and unspoiled beauty, would be the perfect location for an 18-hole layout.
The front nine holes are routed over gentler terrain then the inward half starts from the highest point on the course, leading to two of the best holes on the card near the end of the round, at holes 16 and 18. The short 16th has a forced carry over water to a narrow green guarded on the front by a long bunker with a bail out area to the left for those wanting to play safe. The 18th is a fine finishing hole with another daunting tee shot over water to a fairway that leads to a heavily bunkered green complex.
Since Templer Park opened in 1991, the club has hosted the Malaysian Open three times, the last of which – in 2000 – was a co-sanctioned event. Padraig Harrington finished one shot behind that year’s winner, Taiwanese Wei-tze Yeh, who became only the third Asian golfer (after Lu Liang-Huan and Isao Aoki) to claim a European tour event.
For those too busy to play during the day, floodlights on the front nine allow golfers to squeeze in some golf in the evening!