Batam is a short ferry ride from Singapore and a great low-cost alternative
Situated in the South China Sea and part of Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago, Batam is a small island, which can easily be reached from Singapore. Despite its size, Batam is a busy island and is home to close to one million people. Due to its location, Batam can be reached via a short boat ride from both Singapore, which is 20 kilometres away and Johor, Malaysia, which is 25 kilometres away. Many visitors from Singapore and Johor come for the discount shopping and lively night life and there are a wide number of operational ports on the island. Other attractions on the island include water sports, fishing, swimming, snorkelling and playing golf. In fact, there is a nice selection of five golf courses on the island, which makes golfing in Batam a real pleasure.
Palm Springs Golf and Country Club
Numerous shots over water and a par-3, which is arguably the most beautiful on the course
Palm Springs Golf and Country Club, started life as a 9-hole golf course in 1989 and was known as Talvas Golf and Country Club. This was completely renovated in 2002 and a new, 27-hole golf course was created and the name of Palm Springs Golf and Country Club was adopted. The views from the golf course are tremendous, with the lovely beach of Nongsa and the modern skyscrapers of Singapore, providing a great backdrop to a round of golf. The 27-hole course was designed by Larry Nelson and the International Management Group and is split into three different sets of nine, the Island Course, Resort Course and Palm Course. The most noticeable feature around these courses is the water, with several man-made lakes and ponds coming into play throughout the 27 holes. The Island Course boasts many natural features, such as mangroves and palm trees, whereas the Resort Course is more undulating and can rise to more than 35 metres above sea level. Perhaps the most challenging of the three, is the Palm Course, with numerous shots over water and a par-3, which is arguably the most beautiful on the course, with the green close to the coast and offering excellent sea views. Facilities include a club house and residents club, locker rooms, pro shop, restaurant and driving range. Palm Springs Golf and Country Club should be at the top of the list when golfing in Batam.
Padang Golf Sukajadi
Rated as the second-best golf course in Batam in 2014 by Golf Digest Singapore
Padang Golf Sukajadi is an 18-hole championship course and another on the island of Batam which has been redeveloped in recent years, to ensure visitors a top-quality golfing experience. This Batam golf course is part of a larger complex, the Radisson Golf and Convention Center Batam, which offers a choice of 240 rooms and suites and makes for an ideal place to stay when playing golf. Padang Golf Sukajadi is in the centre of Batam city and can be reached within 15 minutes from Hang Nadim Batam international airport, 10 minutes from Batam Center international ferry terminal and 10 minutes from downtown Batam. The course was originally designed by Thomson, Wolveridge and Perrett and was redeveloped by PT. Flora Tjipta Sarana, Jakarta. Having opened in 2009, this is another course where water comes heavily into play and it is a feature on 13 of the 18 holes, so be prepared to take on water hazards several times during the round. There are four tee locations to choose from, making Padang Golf Sukajadi ideal for beginners and the quality of the course is such that it could easily hosts a professional golf event. Having been rated as the second-best golf course in Batam in 2014 by Golf Digest Singapore, Padang Golf Sukajadi played host to the first Indonesia Golf Association Amateur Open Golf Championship in 2014 and more recently, the Ladies Amateur Open Golf Championship. Padang Golf Sukajadi comes with a big reputation and with great onsite facilities, such as a hotel, driving range, pro shop and restaurant, it’s easy to see why it’s classed as a must play when golfing in Batam.
South Links Country Club
This is a course which is popular with locals and visitors alike
South Links Country Club is located on elevated ground and has a very tropical feel. Being only 20 kilometres Southeast of Singapore, it’s easy to see why this is a course which is popular with locals and visitors alike. The golf course was originally designed by Japanese golf course architect, H. Ohnishi, who wanted to create something which would be accessible to amateurs but also provide a good challenge to professionals. With that concept in mind, James Wee has since re-shaped the course and improved the overall playability, to make South Links Country Club an undulating course, with natural streams and lakes, blended seamlessly into the fairways. The fairways and greens are quite undulating throughout the 18 holes and being set within 213 hectares of lush rolling countryside, adjacent to the Sei Ladi Reservoir, the views are fantastic. There is plenty of variety between each of the holes, something James Wee was striving for when he changed the layout of the course and more than enough to keep golfers returning for more. Book a round of golf at South Links Country Club when golfing in Batam and you will not be disappointed.
Tering Bay Golf and Country Club
This course was designed by legendary golfer and designer, Greg Norman
Another Batam golf course which can be found close to the coast, is Tering Bay Golf and Country Club. This course was designed by legendary golfer and designer, Greg Norman and it looks tremendous, with great views over Batam’s north bay. Water has a large part to play on this course, being the centrepiece to many of the holes and the course itself stretches out across rolling hills and lush tropical scenery. Due to water coming into play, several of the holes are very much ‘risk/reward’ and you will find yourself tempted by taking on a shot over water, when perhaps your mind is telling you to lay up and play safe. That’s all part of the experience when playing at Tering Bay Golf and Country Club and when attacking shots come off, it’s a great feeling. To the naked eye, the course can look deceptively easy but with the water and large bunkers, do not be fooled by the task at hand. Low scores are achievable but 100% concentration is a must.
Tamarin Santana Golf Club
The first golf course in the region to be designed by Jack Nicklaus
The fifth and final golf course you should play when golfing in Batam, can be found at Tamarin Santana Golf Club. This course is located just behind Nongsa Point Marina and is the first in the region to be designed by Jack Nicklaus. Reachable in 35 minutes from Singapore, the course has been strategically designed and features contoured greens and sculpted bunkers on the 9-holes which have been completed and opened to the public. The second 9-hole course, which is under development will be open soon and will offer a championship standard level of golf. The golf course is part of Nongsa Resorts and therefore, staying at the resort villas, which are nearby, makes for a lovely golf break. There is a great choice of accommodation and the Turi Beach Resort is a good place to relax and enjoy the idyllic surroundings, after a round of golf at Tamarin Santana Golf Club.
Golfing in Batam is the perfect way to not only enjoy a few rounds of golf but also the various other activities and accommodation on the island. Being so close to Singapore, most golf courses in Batam can be played in a day, as part of a package from the city. However, the best choice when golfing in Batam is to stay on the island and sample the local atmosphere and hospitality.