Perak may not be a big golfing state like Selangor and Penang where the number of courses and clubs per capita is staggering. At last count there are 10 golf clubs in the state ranging in size from the tiny 9-hole to the behemoth 27-hole clubs. The 9-hole clubs are vestiges of the colonial era.
The first golf club in the country was established in Taiping in 1894. The club’s fairways, which once straddled the scenic Lake Gardens, are now defunct. Decommissioned in 1992, for reasons of safety, the course has been replaced by a newer 18-hole club at Bukit Jana, Kamunting.
Most of the bigger clubs come with very challenging 72-par courses where PGA-sanctioned tournaments are held regularly. Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort in Batu Gajah has often been regarded as the best golf course by golfing magazines. We will feature five premier golf courses in the state in this issue.
The month of May has started and ended with a bang, literally. It began with the debut Match Racing Circuit in Lumut on May 11. The circuit has been recognised as one of the four boat races in the build up to the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu in November. It will be a permanent fixture in the state sport calendar forthwith.
Another sporting event of equal significance is the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament which will end on June 3. The tournament has brought six leading hockey nations to our shores. Although Malaysia is not among the top ten teams in the world, our squad, a mixed bag of youthful and seasoned campaigners, proved itself to be worthy opponents to the delight of its adoring fans.
Insofar as Visit Perak Year 2012 is concerned, let me remind the sceptical ones that it is right on track. In the course of the month my staff and I have made efforts to keep it on course by a number of initiatives. One such attempt is to make ambassadors out of taxi drivers. It is no mean task considering the attitude of taxi drivers. But however difficult they may be they can be changed, provided a sustained effort is made. In this respect, I wish to thank the Perak Tourist Guides’ Association for walking the extra mile.
The tourism industry in Perak does not thrive on the deeds of a single individual. It is a collective effort which requires everyone in the industry. Therefore, I ask all those in the industry to lend me your hands to make VPY 2012 a success.
We are now into the sixth month of Visit Perak Year 2012. More activities are in the pipeline to ensure that the year-long programme meets its targets. Chinese tourist arrivals, incidentally, have increased. This is made possible by the emergence of an entity that offers itself in the service of these visitors. I wish to thank Mega Dynasty for making this a reality.
The emphasis in this instalment of Perak Tourism News is on golf clubs. There are 14 golf clubs in Perak, some big and some small. Golf tourism was a huge money-spinner in the 90s and the early 2000s. It is not yet a sunset industry, as the potentials are still there. This issue of the tourism newsletter looks into the services provided by five big names in Perak.
Royal Perak Golf Club
The club offers a championship18-hole golf course.
One of its signature holes the 14th hole par 4 index 2 appears friendly. However, the approach to the green is surrounded by 2 bunkers, a stream to the left and a pond to the right. Most ‘friendly’ indeed.
As you play your round take note of the surrounding limestone hills on the horizon. Walk in green fees for weekdays is RM180 and RM250 for weekends. For info call 605-5423266 or visit www.royalperak.com.my.
Meru Valley Golf and Country Club
The Meru Valley Golf and Country Club is located at the foothills of the Kledang-Saiong Mountain Range a mere 10-minute drive from Ipoh City.
The course has been meticulously sculpted alongside the natural landscape and as such its fairways feature gentle rolling terrain and winding clear water creeks along the valley lakes and trees.
Being a resort, the Club offers stay and play packages at its fully furnished serviced apartments suitable for golfers who love their early morning round of golf. For more infomation call 605-5293333 or visit www.meruvalley.com.my.
Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort
The Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort located south of Ipoh City is a 27 holes golf course created around disused mining ponds.
The three nines are appropriately named the Raintree, Lakes and Wetlands Nine as the fairways are lined with picturesque rows of shady rain trees and tranquil lakes which make for a very scenic game.
Not surprisingly then that the Resort has received an award for ‘Most Scenic Golf Course’. Stay and Play packages are available. For details call 605-3667433 or visit www.cwsgolf.com.my.
Damai Laut Golf and Country Club
The award winning 18-hole par 72 championship buggy-tracked golf course is located at Lumut against a tropical landscape with nine holes overlooking the Straits of Malacca and the other nine the estuaries of the Dinding River.
The course was designed such that every hole has an individual character while every green is designed to enhance the breathtaking view of the resort.
Coupled with descending fairways, native trees and side hill lies a golfer will need to apply a diversity of shots to complete the 6,255-metre course.
Damai Laut Golf & Country Club is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Call (605) 6843333 or visit: www.swissgarden.com. Stay and play packages are available.
Taiping Golf Resort
Taiping Golf Resort located at the foothills of Bukit Jana at Taiping is an 18 holes championship golf course which boasts 6 signature holes all of which are both interesting and challenging.
For instance their 1st hole index 1 par 5 requires the player to tee off over a 160-metre pond before the fairway. Similarly their 18th hole par 5 index 2 has a 60-metre pond to carry to a landing guarded by water and an OB line then onwards via a dog leg to the elevated green.
Alternatively their short par 4 index 13 6th hole is a straight forward drive but a player would be advised to practice course management to negotiate their 8-foot Emkay Bunker guarding the green. The Resort offers competitively priced stays and play golf packages.
For information contact Tel: 05-8836700 or www.taipinggolfresort.com.