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SOUTH EAS T ASIA


Dalit Bay


BEST FOR ENCOUNTERS WITH NATURE


4: Dalit Bay, Malaysia Ensconced within the 400 acres of Shangri- La’s acclaimed Rasa Ria Resort, the Dalit Bay course offers an exacting challenge with water coming into play on virtually every hole. The course, however, is far from a monster and wide fairways and generous greens make it a fair test for low and high handicappers alike. Away from the golf, the Rasa Ria resort offers sumptuous luxury amid an area of outstanding natural beauty where guests can relax on a white-sand beach or play with baby orangutans in the resort’s Orangutan Education Centre. Green fees from £50. dalitbaygolf.com.my


BEST FOR FLEEING THE BIG CITY


5: Masters Course at Southwoods Golf and Country Club, Manila, The Philippines The Masters course at Southwoods Golf and Country Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature layout, is regarded as one of the best in the country and one of the toughest in the region. A straightforward par-four is a slightly misleading opener given what comes aſter. Fiſteen holes incorporate water as a hazard and the presence of plentiful bunkers alongside the lakes and streams makes the layout relentlessly intimidating. The toughest hole on the course is the dogleg 415-yard 6th which throws deep bunkers, a pond and a river in front of the green into the mix. Green fees from £50. manilasouthwoods.com


BEST FOR VISUAL MANNA


6: Ria Bintan, Bintan Island, Indonesia The Ocean Course on the island of Bintan in the Riau Archipelago near Singapore is regularly ranked among the best in the region and, for visual thrills alone, it is hard to beat. The par-five first requires a pinpoint


countrybycountry.com 175


drive and a carry over water to the green. It’s the holes around the turn, however, that Ria Bintan’s fame is deservedly built upon. The ocean reveals itself halfway down the 7th, a gorgeous downhill par-five. The undoubted star though is the short 9th where the tee shot is played over an inlet to an undulating green backed by towering trees. Greens from £50 riabintan.com


BEST FOR THOSE WHO LIKE A CHALLENGE


7: Saujana Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia The challenge presented at Saujana


Ria Bintan


is of the sternest calibre. The pick of the layouts at the club is the Palm, a regular host of the Malaysian Open and a genuine beast of a course. Indeed, its undulating fairways and small, heavily contoured greens have humbled some of the biggest names in world golf. The course, which is nicknamed ‘the Cobra’ was renovated by leading architect Ron Fream in 2015, adding further length and two completely new holes at eight and nine. More forgiving is the resort’s second course, the Bunga Raya, which is also testing but somewhat less exacting than its counterpart. Green fees from £60. saujana.com.my


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