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Marini’s guide to the eleven most exclusive golf courses in South-East Asia

Marini’s guide to the eleven most exclusive golf courses in South-East Asia

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Marini’s guide to the eleven most exclusive golf courses in South-East Asia

The origins of golf might be deeply rooted in the cold, windswept hills of Scotland, but these days some of the best golf courses in the world are right here in Asia – and only a short flight away from Kuala Lumpur.

So if you’re here in Kuala Lumpur and are looking for a quick getaway for a few rounds of golf we’ve curated the best courses in South-East Asia, as selected by Modesto Marini and friends. They’re all within flying distance of Kuala Lumpur, so if you’re short on time, these courses are perfect.

Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Sutera Harbour Golf Resort, Kota Kinabalu

Sutera Harbour Golf Resort, Kota Kinabalu

Only a two-hour flight out of Kuala Lumpur, Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu is one of Malaysia’s best golf and vacationing spots. As well as being a beautiful city with a rich heritage and charm, especially around Sutera Harbour, it’s perfect for a quick golf getaway.

The 27-hole golf-course at Sutera Magellan was designed by Australian Tour Professional Graham Marsh – and the nearby yacht club is perfect if you’ve arrived by boat. If you’re looking for a good 19th hole we suggest taking a short walk to the harbour for your pick of some fantastic bars and restaurants.

Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore

Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore

Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore
Sentosa Golf Club is one of Singapore’s most famous golf clubs, overlooking Singapore Harbour and the South China Sea. It features two of the most beautiful but challenging golf-courses in South-East Asia, both surrounded by thick tropical rainforest and mangrove swamps, plus with flights less than one hour from Kuala Lumpur it’s easy enough to get away for a little weekend golfing trip.

Banyan Golf Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand

Banyan Golf Resort, Thailand

Banyan Golf Resort, Thailand

Banyan Golf Club opened in 2008 and it’s already one of the best golf destinations in Thailand. The location itself, although deep into the countryside, has its blessing by the crown itself, being situated nearby to the Thai Royal family’s holiday home in Hua Hin. The course is for serious golfers, so be prepared for a challenge.

After a long day’s golfing Banyan resort’s private villas are just the other side of the stunning mountainside from the course. If you’re looking for a great 19th hole look no further than the Banyan clubhouse itself – beautiful, traditional Thai decor and high levels of service are award-winning, and rightly so.

Laguna Lang Co Golf Club, Hue, Vietnam

Laguna Lang Co Golf club, Vietnam

Laguna Lang Co Golf club, Vietnam

This resort in Vietnam has everything for the perfect golf-vacation package. A 3km beach in a secret bay will give you all the privacy and relaxation you need, whilst the course designed by Sir Nick Faldo, surrounded by paddy fields and mountains will satisfy your desire to play some great golf. Private Banyan Tree Villas keep it personal and secluded, and with it only being an hour’s drive from the airport at Da Nang you can be here in a few hours from Kuala Lumpur.

Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket, Thailand

Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket, Thailand

Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket, Thailand

Tiger Woods called it one of the most memorable golf-courses he’s ever played at, and when you’ve played all over the world as he has, that has to mean something. Natural hazards, slick greens, freshwater lakes and narrow fairways complicate golfers here, but this is one course you’ll love for the challenge and the understated, beautiful backdrop.

Nirwana Bali Golf Club, Bali, Indonesia

Nirwana Bali Golf Club, Indonesia

Nirwana Bali Golf Club, Indonesia

The Nirwana Bali Golf Club is situated on the beautiful southwest coast of Indonesia, a dreamy backdrop of turquoise waters, lush jungle and fine sandy beaches. Greg Norman designed the 18 holes, keeping its look traditional to the verdant landscape and even including a rice paddy as a hazard.

The golf-course itself is pretty strenuous so you’ll want to check into one of the five-star hotels nearby in order to properly relax after a hard day’s golfing. One thing that really sets this golf-course apart is the on-green service; caddies at Nirwana take part in three full months of training in order to reach the service levels required for such a strenuous course.

Mission Hills Haikou, Hainan, China

Mission Hills Golf Club, China

Mission Hills Golf Club, China

The next few locations are a little further out from Kuala Lumpur, but if you’ve got a little more time for travelling they’re not to be missed.

This golf-resort, for example, is the epitome of luxury and relaxation, with South-East Asia’s largest natural mineral springs spa just a stone’s throw away. Keen golfers can work their way through 10 courses, and if you’ve brought the other half they can pamper themselves to their heart’s content at any of the five-star hotels nearby.

The Phoenix Seagaia Resort, Miyazaki City, Japan

Phoenix Seagaia Golf Resort, Miyazaki City, Japan

Phoenix Seagaia Golf Resort, Miyazaki City, Japan

Japan’s most famous golf destination – the Phoenix Seagaia Resort – sits on the Hitotsuba Pacific Coast, a dramatic backdrop for a course that has seen more than its fair share of competition drama through the years, including the legendary 9th hole on the Sumiyoshi Course. If we can give any advice about this selection of courses, it would be that discipline, strategy and accuracy are crucial here – as is keeping your cool.

Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, Hong Kong

Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, Hong Kong

Where would a “Best Golfing in South-East Asia” list be without Hong Kong featuring on the list?

Our favourite course has been likened to California’s Pebble Beach for its dramatic coastline views, which makes sense given its just boat-ride across the Pacific Ocean to get there (albeit a long boat-ride).

Hong Kong’s exclusive Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club is surrounded by stunning views along the coastline of Clearwater Bay. Although it’s a member’s only club you can book tee times in advance, and as long as you’re holding a pretty good handicap.

So, whether you’re here for business or pleasure, pack your clubs and prepare to play the links at some of the best championship-level courses in South-East Asia.

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