Situated between Sumatra to the west and Bali to the east, Java – with an estimated 140 million residents – is the most populated island in the world. It was heavily involved in the struggle for independence against British and Dutch forces after World War II, with the country finally overcoming colonial rule from the Netherlands in 1949. The capital city of Jakarta lies on the northwest coast of the island and the Big Durian, as it’s sometimes called, is at the cultural, political and economic heart of the nation.
Golf in Jakarta can be traced back to 1872 when British businessmen (involved in building the railways) formed Batavia GC and this club was subsequently named Jakarta Golf Club when it was reconstituted sixty years later. The course at Jakarta Golf Club, lying right in the heart of the city centre, has contracted somewhat in the modern era due to the encroachment of other building developments but membership of the club itself is still highly desired.
There are around 35 golf courses in and around Jakarta with all the top tracks located inside an hour’s drive from the city centre. To the south, there’s the “Grand Old Lady” of Indonesian golf, the Old course at Jagorawi Golf & Country Club which debuted in 1979. To the north west, lies the 36-hole charms of Damai Indah Golf, where the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bumi Serpong Dami course and Robert Trent Jones Snr’s Pantai Indah Kapuk layout were unveiled in 1992 but located some 20 miles apart. Back close to downtown Jakarta, the modern 27-hole complex at Royale Jakarta has made a big impression since it arrived in 2008 with the West & South nines hosting the Indonesian Masters in 2011 and 2012.