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Top 40 Golf Courses of Malaysia 2017

17 January, 2017
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Top 40 Golf Courses of Malaysia 2017

TPC Kuala Lumpur (West) fends off two Els Club courses to retain its No.1 ranking

This is the fourth revision of the Malaysian national listings that we first established in 2009. Back then, we began with a rather limited Top 10 chart which was eventually expanded to a Top 30 when we last re-ranked two years ago. Largely due to valuable input from a few reputable regional correspondents, we’re now in the position where we can confidently extend the standings to a Top 40.

The big news is the West course at the renamed TPC Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club has held off a very strong challenge from two new Els Club courses at Teluk Datai and Desaru Coast to retain its status as Malaysia’s number 1 track. Host venue for six editions of the Malaysian Open up until 2015, the West course is an early 1990s Nelson & Haworth design which was extensively upgraded by Ted Parslow and Jason Winter almost a decade ago.

Licensed in August 2016 to become the first golf facility in southeast Asia to join the PGA Tour’s Tournament Players Club network, TPC Kuala Lumpur now joins a rather exclusive list of thirty-four public and private clubs (including the likes of TPC Sawgrass in Florida and TPC Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico) that currently enjoy the benefits of TPC branding.

When we published our last Malaysian chart two years ago, the Els Club Teluk Datai course was a spectacular new entry in the runner-up spot at number 2 and that’s the position it’s still at. Its newer stablemate, the 27-hole Ocean course at Els Club Desaru Coast makes a similar eye-catching entrance into our listings this time around, debuting at number 5. Set out as three returning 9-hole circuits, the layout only opened a couple of months ago but it’s already causing quite a stir in Malaysian golfing circles.

There are eight climbers in our updated chart for 2017, with the Raintree and Lakes nines at the Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort the highest placed of these, rising four positions to number 3. Located halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, this mid-1990s layout from Tim Woolbank lies inside a massive 1,000-acre property, with fairways routed around wetland areas and small lakes.

Further down the listings, the biggest upward move comes from Dalit Bay (one of only five East Malaysian courses to feature in our new chart) and it soars ten places to number 19. Laid out by Ted Parslow in the mid-1990s, just around the time Jason Winter joined Ted’s design company, the Mengkabong and Tambalang nines occupy a ravishing coastal site on the north shores of Borneo where water comes into play at sixteen holes.

The inaugural Maybank Championship event was held at Royal Selangor Golf Club last year on a composite course comprising holes 1-9 on the Old course and 10-18 on the New. Proponents of this club will no doubt be dismayed to discover that both layouts have suffered falls in the latest rankings shake-up (the Old is down three to number 13 and the New plummets fourteen spots to 25), despite a very recent renovation carried out by Neil Haworth and Brett Mogg.

The second edition of the Maybank Championship moves twenty-five kilometres northeast to Saujana Golf & Country Club next month, where the club’s Palm course will host this year’s event. Renowned as a tough tournament track, the Ron Fream-designed Palm course (no change in our new chart) has been used many times for the Malaysian Open so it’s well equipped to cope with the imminent arrival of professionals from the European and Asian Tours.

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To view further details of the Top 40 Golf Courses of Malaysia click the link.

As always, we’d like to know what you think of this updated national chart. If you have any strong views then why not get in touch via the “respond to this article” link at the top or bottom of this page to tell us what your opinion is? We’d also love to see some more reviews for our Malaysian courses so if you’ve played any of these Top 40 tracks we’d be happy for you to post a few lines to tell us about your playing experience.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses

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