Malaysia’s top golfing events

By Emily Lee

MALAYSIA is emerging as Southeast Asia’s latest golfing haven with almost 200 golf courses available around the country. The country offers an ideal combination of a memorable vacation and exciting golf game.

Its international-standard golf courses offer exceptional golfing experiences set amongst pure nature. In the following list are major golf tournaments taking place in Malaysia throughout the year as part of the Asian Tour.

Mines Resort and Golf Course. Pic: Mines Resort.

Mines Resort and Golf Course. Pic: Mines Resort.

Maybank Malaysian Open

When: April, 2012
About the event: The Maybank Malaysian Open, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour, is one of the most prestigious golf events in Malaysia. Held at the newly-renovated Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, it has hosted many of the best players from Malaysia and the world including Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. Louis Oosthuizen triumphed in 2012. If you missed it, watch out for the 2013 edition!

Where: Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club
The Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, which has gone through a major refurbishment, is one of the premier golf and country clubs in Malaysia. Located in Bukit Kiara, eight kilometers from the central business district of Kuala Lumpur, the Kuala Lumpur G&CC is designed as a relaxed, private golf and country club suitable for both business and leisure activities. It was host to the Maybank Malaysian Open for three years from 2010 to 2012 and to the Sime Darby LPGA from 2010-11 and has won several awards including ParGolf Magazine’s “Golf Club of the Year” award in 2011.

Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters

When: Sept. 5-8, 2012
About the event: The Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters will return for its fifth edition in September and offer a total prize of $400,000 and attract some Asian Tour stars including the title-holder Angelo Que of the Philippines and former champion Ben Leong of Malaysia. Launched in 2007, the tournament has grown immensely each year and played a big role in promoting the Selangor state and Malaysia to the world.

Where: Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, Shah Alam
Located in Kota Kemuning, suburb of Shah Alam, the club offers easy access to Kuala Lumpur’s central business district (30 minutes drive) and also to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (35 minutes drive).

Designed by the Australian golf course architect, Ross Watson, the course at Kota Permai is challenging yet fair, with playing options available for different levels of golfers.

It has hosted several well-known tournaments including the Maybank Malaysian Open (2008), the World Cup qualifying round, the Volvo Masters of Malaysia (1998-2001) and the Selangor Worldwide Masters.

Kota Permai has undergone two major renovations. From 2004-05 extensive renovations occurred to rebuild the greens to meet the United States Golf Association standards and in 2008 in preparation for the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Kota Permai Golf and Country Club. Pic: Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.

Kota Permai Golf and Country Club. Pic: Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.

CIMB Classic

When: Oct. 25-28, 2012
About the event: The CIMB Classic 2012, the PGA Tour-sanctioned event, will featuring some major starters such as Tiger Woods and former champions Bo Van Pelt and Ben Crane in its third edition. The sponsor group CIMB Group announced that the event will be upgraded to an official money event and part of the season-long FedEx Cup competition.

Where: The Mines Resort and Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur
Founded by Malaysian business entrepreneur Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, The Mines Resort and Golf Club was built upon the world’s largest open cast tin mine in 1993 and opened to the public the following year. The parkland style, par-71 course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

The Mines Resort and Golf Club has hosted several prestigious events including the World Cup in 1997 won by Tiger Woods as well as the CIMB Classic, previously known as the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia. The CIMB Classic 2012 saw the return of Tiger Woods to Malaysia in October.

Mines resort clubhouse. Pic: Mines Resort.

Mines resort clubhouse. Pic: Mines Resort.

Iskandar Johor Open

When: Dec. 13-16, 20112
About the event: Launched in 2007, the event has grown immensely in five years and is now regarded as one of the major championships on the Asian Tour. It was also honored by the Asian Tour as the “Fastest Growing Tournament” in Asia during its Gala Awards Night last year. It will be the Asian Tour’s season-ending tournament this year.

Since the inaugural event, it has attracted an impressive line-up of world-class starters including South Africa’s Retief Goosen, K.J.Choi of South Korea, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee. The event, first staged at the Royal Johor Country Club for the first three years from 2007-09, took place at Horizon Hills in 2010 and 2011.

Where: Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club
Designed by Australian golf course architect Ross Watson, who applied the “Risk Reward” design principle, the course is challenging as many holes feature dramatic changes in elevations from tee to green. The golf course at the club also has many unique features including classical bunkering with sweeping and sand faces. The club was ranked in the Top 3 Golf Courses in Malaysia by Tee Times, called the Most Memorable Golf Course by The Star newspaper, and given a five-star rating for Best Golf Development in Asia Pacific and Malaysia by CNBC Property Awards.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about travelling to Malaysia, please visit the Tourism Malaysia website

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About the author…

Emily Lee (South Korea)
Emily Lee is a writer and a blogger who writes about travel, art, architecture, fashion, and design and the hotel industry. Her blog is wylee816.tistory.com.