A flat course enlivened by some cleverly designed holes, with water and pot bunkers aplenty to challenges golfers of all levels. The attached resort makes this a great option for golfers traveling with the family.
On the site of a former palm oil plantation lie the twin courses of the Penang Golf Resort, currently being promoted as Malaysia's Jewel In the North. There are two championship layouts here, East and West, with the former largely preferred as host of prestigious tournaments such as the Malaysian Amateur Open.
A round on the East course starts fraught with danger, a par-4 that dog-legs left around a lake. The best position to approach the heavily guarded green is as far left of the fairway as possible, so you have to flirt with water; play to conservatively and you either have no shot into the green of end up in a fairway bunker on the other side. Water continues all along the right side of the 2nd, a short par-5 that is reachable in two. You soon leave the water hazards behind however, and it is pot bunkers that become the biggest danger, lurking greenside on the 5th and 6th holes, each of which will leave a treacherous shot to the pin.
There is the odd opportunity to decide between risk and reward - indeed, the 9th is an interesting hole to finish the opening nine, where you can be ambitious and try to clear the fairway bunkers and open up the green, or play short and leave a longer and tougher approach to a heavily bunkered green complex. Similarly, the corner of the severely dog-legging par-4 14th can be cut, and indeed it's hard to resist the temptation to try. Get it wrong and you can easily end up in the solitary pot bunker that will prove remarkably reluctant to allow your ball to escape.
While it's built on essentially flat terrain, the designers have done a pretty good job of using earth-mounding and fairway contouring to provide some interest; and although it's a relatively open course (some parallel fairways allow for a route back to safety after a wayward drive) there are enough trees to ensure that you keep your eye on the ball, both literally and figuratively. The greens generally feature more slopes than the fairways, and the marketing campaign has gone hand in hand with a maintenance programme that keeps the course is good shape.
Given it is up against some stiff competition in the form of the numerous quality courses in the Penang area, it might be too soon to start talking about the Penang Golf Resort as the 'Jewel In The North' in a purely golfing sense, but the East Course is an enjoyably challenging course, and when combined with the extensive facilities in the resort itself, it is an excellent choice for a golf holiday in Malaysia, particularly for those with a family in tow.
Like the sound of this course? Secure a tee time and take advantage of the discounted green fees on offer by adding Penang Golf Resort - East Course to your Penang 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 Penang Golf Resort - East Course.