Top 30 Golf Courses of Indonesia 2018
We continue our reappraisal of Asian national rankings with the revision of our Top 30 for Indonesia. The former national number 1 course at Nirwana Bali Golf Club closed last year for a major overhaul by Phil Mickelson’s design firm and it looks like the redesigned layout might not re-open until next year sometime. It’s part of a redevelopment plan to replace the 5-star Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali hotel with a 6-star Trump Tower hotel and so we await with bated breath the unveiling of the new golf resort.
Meanwhile, the temporary omission of the Nirwana Bali course from our chart allows most of the others already occupying top ten positions to move up at least one place, including the late-1990s Jack Nicklaus Signature design at Taman Dayu Golf Club & Resort, which advances from the runner-up spot to become our new number 1 in Indonesia. Described last month by a reviewer as “an excellent resort course” with “sweeping elevation changes (and) plenty of interesting hazards,” this highly regarded course is open for casual green fee play with just a few days of advance notice.
The Forest and Mountain nines at Rainbow Hills Golf Club move into our Top 10 for the first time, rising three places to number 10. Situated an hour’s drive south of Jakarta in the majestic highlands of East Bogor, this 27-hole facility was laid out by Bob Moore of JMP Design, with the original Forest and Mountain nines first to appear in the mid-1990s, followed twenty years later by the Stone Hills nine. Mountain golf’s the name of the game at Rainbow Hills, where length off the tee isn’t nearly as important as accuracy on the fairways.
In the middle section of our new listings, three courses make modest upward moves.
The first of these is the 18-hole-layout at Imperial Klub Golf (up four to number 12), a public facility that lies to the west of Jakarta at Lippo Karawachi, where one-time Jack Nicklaus design associate Desmond Muirhead set out another of his highly idiosyncratic designs in the late 1990s, featuring swirl-shaped, volcano-shaped and sawtooth-shaped bunkers plus a variety of island and peninsula greens. Highly contrived, it’s a course that golfers either love or hate but, for the time being at least, it has found favour with our panel of Asian correspondents.
Rising three places to number 15, the Woodlands course at the Bintan Lagoon Resort is an Ian Baker-Finch layout that comfortably outshines the Jack Nicklaus course that’s in operation at the same venue. Both 18-hole tracks opened for play in 1997, with the Golden Bear’s course offering views of the South China Sea that the Woodlands course can’t match because it’s been carved from a dense forest landscape further inland. Nonetheless, it’s the Australian ex-professional’s design that’s viewed as the better of the two courses at this resort.
Also advancing three places to number 17, the Greg Norman-designed course at Riverside Golf Club, located halfway between Jakarta and Bogor, is set within a 220-acre property close to the Cikeas River, though none of the fairways are affected by this aquatic hazard. That’s not to say water doesn’t come into play, as it does so on several holes, with tree-lined fairways crossing small ravines and streams on several occasions. The par three 14th is the best hole on the card, played across a gorge from an elevated tee position to a green perched on the edge of an escarpment.
The only new entry appears at number 28 and it might be something of a surprise to many – the thrilling 18-hole par-three executive course at Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club, which only opened at the end of 2016. Set out on the limestone cliffs that run along the south coast of Bali, overlooking the Indian Ocean, this Bob Moore design forms the centrepiece of a residential development that will in due course include several 5-stars hotels. Grassed with Pure Dynasty paspalum, the holes measure between 107 metres and 223 meters from the back markers, requiring a tee shot with just about every club in the bag during a round here.
|1||Taman Dayu||Up 1|
|2||Ria Bintan (Ocean)||Up 1|
|3||Damai Indah (Bumi Serpong Damai)||Up 1|
|4||Royale Jakarta (West & South)||Up 1|
|5||Bali National||Up 1|
|7||Pondok Indah||Up 2|
|8||Jagorawi (Old)||Down 1|
|9||Jagorawi (New)||Up 1|
|10||Rainbow Hills (Forest & Mountain)||Up 3|
|11||Damai Indah (Pantai Indah Kapuk)||No change|
|13||New Kuta||Down 1|
|15||Bintan Lagoon (Woodlands)||Up 3|
|16||Emeralda (River & Lake)||Down 1|
|19||Gunung Geulis (East)||Up 2|
|20||Gunung Geulis (West)||Up 2|
|21||Rimba Irian||Up 3|
|22||Laguna Bintan||Down 5|
|23||Palm Springs (Resort & Island)||No change|
|24||Mountain View||Up 3|
|25||Bintan Lagoon (Sea View)||Up 1|
|26||Ciputra (Valley & Lake)||Down 1|
|28||Bukit Pandawa||New entry|
|30||Sentul Highlands||Down 2|
To view further details of our Indonesia Top 30 chart click the link.
Please use the “Respond to this article” link at the top or the bottom of this page if you’d like to comment on our revised Top 30 for Indonesia. Feel free to tell us what we’ve got right or let us know what might be improved. We don’t produce “definitive” listings but we think they’re the “most informed” that you’ll find anywhere. With your help, they can also be the most accurate.
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