Two excellent and very challenging championship courses that somehow don't quite justify the green fees.
A half hour drive from Kuala Lumpur Airport lies Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, two championship courses often talked about as amongst the ten best in Malaysia. You certainly get a good impression driving up the huge driveway towards the impressive clubhouse.
The Garden course, generally thought of as the easier of the two despite being longer has benefitted from a 2010 renovation which has improved bunkers, tee boxes and fairways. Home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the black and white swans that dominate the lakes, the open feel of the bowl-like terrain is undeniably pleasant.
The opening couple of holes involve avoiding lots of water, but it's not really par for the course (as it were) as there are only two further holes after this opening salvo where you have to worry about your ball getting wet. The main challenge comes from the elevation changes that make judging your approach shots to the large greens pretty tricky. If you can avoid the abundant green-side bunkers (there really are a lot of bunkers here), the lightning quick and undulating greens mean getting down in two tough.
The Valley course is the more challenging of the two and danger lurks at every hole. Even the inviting looking drive from the 1st tee must be wary of the OB that creeps in from the right. The par-5 4th requires you to avoid a creek off the tee and then approach an island green, not the last time that you will encounter water hazards. Yet again it is the elevation changes that cause the most difficulty, as they lead to blind shots over ridges which you can get really wrong if you haven't played the course before. This puts you somewhat at the mercy of the caddies who sadly, in our experience, weren't up to scratch. We've heard reports that our experience wasn't an isolated one, so you are maybe best off following your instincts off the tee and on the green.
Unfortunately, this isn't the only niggle. Golf carts are compulsory and as overpriced as the on-course refreshments. While the fairways and greens are in decent shape, given the green fee you can't help but feel that it should be a cut above. If you enjoy a challenge and budget it no issue, then a round of golf at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club will be an enjoyably challenging day out. You won't shoot to your handicap first time round, and there is pleasure in coming back a second time with a better idea of how to play the blind shots.
Like the sound of this course? Secure a tee time and take advantage of the discounted green fees on offer by adding Glenmarie Golf & Country Club to your Kuala Lumpur golf holiday.
If you are travelling to other parts of Malaysia ask us to help you to organise a Malaysia Golf Package which features tee times at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club.