The Cut : The Cut - Winter 2016
166 THE CUT The female caddies, meanwhile, were universally beautiful, obviously hand-picked for their good looks, and often had their make-up mirrors out on the golf course. We experienced four climates at our four courses and none of the feared smoke from Sumatra’s forest fires. I prayed for haze at PIK and it did shield much of the equatorial sun; Merapi was Kiwi cool and at Royale Jakarta the rainclouds and dark sky were sympathetic. Bogor has hosted tour events, but you don’t need to be a touring professional to play it. Unlike most top-end layouts, it wasn’t overly scarred by bunkers. The caddies spoke the best English and knew their stuff around the course. A Robert Trent Jones Jnr design, Damai Indah Golf in PIK is set in coastal wetlands close to the Java Sea coast. It follows blackish water on almost every hole and could have done with fewer bunkers. Just in case, packs of a dozen used Pro V1s were for sale around the course for a mere $10. PIK had the best and quickest greens, a delight to putt on. The water features had unusual banking made of indigenous stone. Sadly, golf carts were optional and we were held up on every hole by a foursome walking ahead of us. Royale Jakarta was the best layout, with many magnificent holes, notably the 18th in front of the majestic clubhouse. Royale was the first course in Asia to use the Sea Isle Supreme paspalum grass and it was heaven to hit off. The club employs 320 caddies and is next door to the runway at Halim Airport, a military-civilian facility, so we had plenty of sound effects from the jets’ reverse thrust. The par-4s were long but with wide fairways and all the par-3s over water needed plenty of club to avoid the splash. That applied to Bogor and PIK, too. Lee Westwood has twice won the Indonesian Masters at Royale. We were made to feel like professionals in the locker room when a wee man asked to clean our golf shoes. All clubs’ eateries were up there with high-end restaurants anywhere. As the sirens blew at Royale to clear the course in the early afternoon, we sat under cover watching the weather put on a show. Altogether, a grand golfing diet in a very affordable country. INDONESIA GOLF Number of courses: About 150 How to get there: NZ to Sydney 31⁄2 hours; Sydney to Jakarta 7 hours. Jakarta to Yogyakarta: 50 min. When to go: All year round. Languages: Bahasa Indonesia; English spoken at all golf courses. www.golfwonderfulindonesia.com www.obgolf.co .id BOGOR CITY Klub Golf Bogor Raya HOLES: 18 DESIGNER: Graham Marsh GREEN FEE: $87 JAKARTA Pantai Indah Kapuk HOLES: 18 DESIGNER: Robert Trent Jones Jr GREEN FEE: $90 www.damaiindahgolf.com Royale Jakarta GC HOLES: 27 (3 x 9) DESIGNER: Bob Moore Jr and JMP Groups GREEN FEE: $89 (incl cart) HOSTED: Indonesian Masters 2015 www.royalejakarta.com YOGYAKARTA Merapi Golf HOLES: 18, 6,370m, par 72 DESIGNER: Thomson, Wolveridge & Perrett GREEN FEE: $70 (incl cart and caddy) Green fee rates vary and those quoted are mostly for weekday play. Caddy fees vary between $20 and $30. www.merapigolf.co .id LEFT: The clubhouse overlooking the 18th green at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
The Cut - Spring 2016