08 June 2017
New Club on The Block
One of the most ambitious golf projects in the region, situated in Johor, Malaysia, is looking to attract golfers from around the world.
The Els Club Desaru Coast consists of the 27-hole Ocean Course and the 18-hole Valley Course, and forms part of the 3,900-acre Desaru Coast project. The development includes a waterpark, retail village, convention center, and four luxury hotels.
Designed by the ‘Big Easy’ Ernie Els himself, the Ocean Course opened for play last September. The course is split into three distinct nine-hole loops - the 3,655-yard Lakes, 3,680-yard Coast, and 3,682-yard Ridge, which all play away from and back to a well-conceived clubhouse. The first two are traditional par-36 affairs while the Ridge plays to par-37 with four par-4, two par-3, and three par-5 holes.
Those who are familiar with the original Desaru course will recognize some parts on which the Coast nine was built; for instance, the 2nd and 3rd holes which take you right next to the waters of the South China Sea. However, most of the new 27 holes have been built away from where the original Robert Trent Jones Jr. 18 holes were.
In March this year, the par-72 Valley Course completed the golfing portfolio at Desaru. Designed by Fijian great Vijay Singh, the 7,181-yard layout traverses a dramatic, tree-lined site with elevation changes, and 198 bunkers and well-guarded greens combine to provide a solid test of all-round golf.
While there’s a valley-like feel to the layout, with many holes playing through dense stands of mature trees, some of the higher spots afford great views of the Desaru area and the South China Sea. The signature par-4 11th is a good example, its hillside tees provide a perfect spot to take in the view and capture that definitive selfie. This hole can be punishing with a creek meandering along its right edge, threatening anything pushed even slightly as the fairway slopes towards it.
Three other standout holes are the bunker-riddled 5th which is a long par-5 with no less than 19 sand traps, the drivable par-4 7th and the pretty par-3 13th which sits on a ledge next to a lake with mature trees providing the backdrop.
The Els Club Desaru Coast is managed by bespoke golf management company Troon and also offers the first Els Performance Golf Academy in the region and an academy par-3 course.
The Els Club Desaru Coast
Ocean Course – 27 holes
Valley Course 18-hole
Tel: +60 (7) 878 0000