Petronas Towers - Kuala LumpurDESTINATION GUIDE

Destination Guide: Golf and travel in Malaysia

By Brandon Tucker,
Senior Writer

This may surprise some golfers, but Malaysia is a country with a very developed golf product, home to more than 200 golf courses. The historic Royal Selangor Golf Club in the center of Kuala Lumpur dates back to the 19th century.

Today, golf courses are in just about every part of the country, especially around Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. To the north, the Genting Highlands, home to the country's only casino resort, has several golf courses. Some of Malaysia's most exotic clubs can also be found off the mainland, on the island of Borneo in the Sabah and Sarawak regions.

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Most of Malaysia's golf courses are open to the public, and night play is common. Green fees are relatively cheap for westerners, as top courses range between 75-175 RM (plus golf cart). Caddies are available at all clubs and sometimes mandatory, though they only cost 10-25 RM. Gratuity is customary.

Many of the country's courses are cut through thick, rolling jungle. Older courses use a native "cow grass" that is thick and grainy. Newer courses, however, primarily use various Bermuda strains, Zoysia or Seashore Paspalum. Golf course architects who have built in Malaysia include Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

Tourism in Malaysia

A'Famosa Resort in MalaysiaBordered by Thailand to the north, Singapore to the south and Indonesia to the west, Malaysia is a dynamic and diverse Muslim country that prides itself on its religious and social tolerance. As a result, it's a little stricter than Thailand, but all the fruits of the western world and other Asian nations are still available (just don't mess with drugs, or you could face the death penalty).

Kuala Lumpur is modern, evidenced by the Petronas Towers, though traffic can be horrible. K.L. is also home to a new, very efficient and easy-to-use airport, one of Asia's larger hubs.

The World Amateur Inter-team Golf Championships

Saujana Golf & Country Club - No. 5Apart from hosting the European Tour's Maybank Malaysian Open each year, the country's most reputable golf event is the World Amateur Inter-Team Golf Championships.

Winners from each preliminary round are invited back all-expenses-paid for the multi-round final competition. If you have a team interested in competing, visit TourismMalaysia.gov.my.

June 29, 2009

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.


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