When considering a holiday to Indonesia, many people think of Bali and while this is a fantastic island, there is much more to the country than one island and Indonesia is home to thousands of islands, many of which are great to explore.
However, Java is the most important of all the Indonesian islands as it is the home of the capital city, Jakarta.
If you want to get to grips with the true culture and witness the melting pot of daily Indonesian life, as experienced by millions of people daily, Jakarta is the place for you. This is a city full of people from all walks of life and you are guaranteed to see some of the friendliest people you will ever meet on your travels.
Away from the crowds, you will find Jakarta is home to several superb golf courses, each of which deserves a day of your time when staying in the city. Booking Jakarta golf packages is straightforward, until you start selecting the golf courses you want to play and then it becomes tough thanks to the tremendous choice available.
Geography and Travel
As highlighted above, Jakarta is the biggest city, not only in Indonesia but the whole of southeast Asia and this makes it a very important place.
Situated on the northwest coast of Java, at the mouth of the Ciliwung River on Jakarta Bay, the city is split into six different regions. These include South Jakarta, East Jakarta, Central Jakarta, North Jakarta, West Jakarta and Thousand Islands.
The greater Jakarta metropolitan area has an area of 6,392 square kilometres, so it is important you take note of the areas above and know where you are when booking accommodation.
All international and most domestic flights land at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, which is 20 kilometres to the northwest of the city. Not every country in America and Europe will have direct flights to Jakarta but it is easy to make a connection via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
There are three terminals in the airport, with most international flights arriving at Terminal 2 and you can travel between terminals using the free shuttle bus. To get into Jakarta from the airport, the best option is to book a taxi in advance with your accommodation, many of which provide free airport transfers.
In terms of getting around Jakarta, be prepared for an experience like no other as this is a very busy place. Your best option when using public transport is the Transjakarta Busway but for journeys to Jakarta golf courses it is recommended you hire a private car or a taxi.
Where to Stay
Deciding where to stay for a Jakarta golf holiday can be difficult as there are so many options. You could opt to stay at one of the hotels at a Jakarta golf course and while that is a good idea if you want to play early in the morning, you will be missing out on everything else Jakarta has to offer.
Menteng is a great area of Jakarta to stay and is often referred to as the Beverley Hills of Jakarta thanks to the upmarket feel of the place. The Sari Pan Pacific and Sofyan Hotel Cut Meutia are two good hotels in this region of Jakarta and Menteng is home to a wide choice of restaurants and shopping malls.
The Kemang region of Jakarta is known for being the young and trendy area of the city and is home to an excellent choice of cafes and art galleries. Here you can enjoy a stay at the Grand Kemang Jakarta and Amaris Hotel La Codefin Kemang, both of which come highly recommended.
Finally, you could opt to stay in the business district called Mega Kuningan. This is very central and enjoys a great nightlife, with many restaurants, bars and night clubs. There are many luxury hotels here including JS Luwansa, Aston Rasuna and Manhatten Hotel.
Whichever area of the city you choose to stay, you will be well based to explore the Jakarta golf courses.
Weather and Best Time to Travel
Jakarta has a tropical monsoon climate which means you should put a little thought in to when you want to travel to play golf in Jakarta.
You will find rain can come at any time between the months of October and May but this doesn’t mean you should dismiss this as a time to visit Jakarta to play golf. January and February see the most rainfall so these months are perhaps best avoided but October, November, April and May are still good times for golf, with temperatures averaging around 27 degrees, as they do for much of the year.
June through September is considered the dry season and sees the least amount of rainfall. This is considered the best time to book a golf holiday in Jakarta as the temperature remains around the average yet rain storms are much less frequent.
Things to Do Away from the Golf Course
You will want to spend as much time as possible playing the great golf courses of Jakarta but that should not stop you from enjoying everything else in the city.
If you would like to step back in time and discover the cultural diversity of the Indonesian archipelago, you should head to Taman Mini Indonesia Park. This is a theme park which presents the architecture, traditional costumes and history of various Indonesian islands and is a great way to understand how each island developed.
If you have an interest in Indonesian art, the Indonesian National Gallery, located on Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur No.14 is the perfect place to visit. There are over 1,000 pieces from local and international artists and many temporary exhibitions throughout its elaborate halls.
Jakarta Old Town cannot be missed and this is the former downtown area of the capital and headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. The old buildings here are fantastic and will take you back to a bygone age, in addition to the several museums which detail the history of the area.
To find the best gifts in Jakarta you are spoilt for choice and there is a wealth of huge modern shopping malls in addition to traditional markets. The Grand Indonesia Mall is a good place to start and you will find many sports shops allowing you to stock up on anything you need before heading to the Jakarta golf courses.
Finally, you cannot leave Jakarta without having enjoyed a boat trip to the Thousand Islands. Just a few hours ride from the city you will find yourself in a stunning coastal paradise where you can enjoy the lovely beaches and swim in the sea.
Top Golf Courses in Jakarta
The choice of top golf courses in Jakarta is amazing and its difficult to know where to begin when booking Jakarta golf packages.
Royale Jakarta Golf Club
However, arguably the best place to start is the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, which is located just 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of the city. Royale Jakarta Golf Club is home to a world class 27-hole championship course and has won many Asian golf course awards plus hosted the Indonesian Masters golf tournament.
The 27 holes consist of three nine-hole courses, the North, South, and West and each feature rolling fairways and manicured greens. The mountains provide a nice backdrop to the course and with many water hazards featured throughout, any combination of the nine holes makes for a great round of golf.
Interestingly, there are no permanent members at Royale Jakarta Golf Club and when you book you are treated as a member for the day, which is a nice touch.
Imperial Klub Golf
If you are looking for a challenging round of golf in Jakarta, you must book a tee time at Imperial Klub Golf.
As with many of the top Jakarta golf courses, Imperial Klub Golf is just a short 30-minute drive from the centre of the city and very easy to reach via taxi. Opened in 1997, this course was designed by British course architect Desmond Muirhead and plays to over 7,200 yards from the back tees.
Each hole is unique and Muirhead lives up to his reputation for making tough golf courses with this layout. The 4th hole is a great example and requires a 200-yard shot off the tee to reach the island fairway. A wrong move here and the results are disastrous. The second shot is no easier and requires a long iron or hybrid to reach an island green.
The finishing hole is a par-5 flanked by a lake and you cannot afford to switch off for a second at Imperial Klub Golf if you have ambitions of making a low score.
Damai Indah Golf
A golf holiday to Jakarta would not be complete without a visit to Damai Indah Golf, which is only 30 minutes away from the airport and is home to two excellent 18-hole golf courses.
The first of the two golf course at Damai Indah Golf was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr in 1983 and is called Pantai Indah Kapuk. Situated close to the Java Sea, this course is often referred to as the “The Spirit of the Sea” by the locals and comes with a big reputation having hosted the World Cup and Indonesia Open.
The wetlands around the coastal area are integrated into the course nicely and coupled with the undulating greens and variety on each hole, make for an excellent round of golf.
The second golf course at Damai Indah Golf opened in 1992 and is called Bumi Serpong Damai. This 18-hole course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and features many of the traditional aspects of a Nicklaus designed course such as waste bunkers flanking the fairways.
The greens on Bumi Serpong Damai are tough and many are two or three tiered with very quick speeds making accurate approach play essential to avoid spending too much time of the putting surface.
The clubhouse at Damai Indah Golf is very impressive and you can enjoy something to eat at one of the several restaurants which serve a range of Indonesian, Japanese and Korean dishes.
Cengkareng Golf Club
Finally, and for the perfect round of golf on arrival or prior to departure from Jakarta, you should visit Cengkareng Golf Club. This golf club is just 15 minutes from the airport and is a great way to enjoy a round of golf without having to deal with the heavy Jakarta traffic by travelling to and from the city in the same day.
This is not only a convenient golf course for when you are using the airport but it has a good reputation in Jakarta and Indonesia having hosted the Indonesian Open, which seen great winners including Colin Montgomerie.
The course is not particularly long, playing to 6,300 yards from the back tees but presents a good test of golf, especially when the wind picks up. There are many man-made mounds on the course but they blend in nicely with the surroundings and players face several blind shots to the greens.
A variety of bunker placements, hole lengths and doglegs add to the challenge of a tremendous round of golf at Cengkareng Golf Club.
While the Jakarta golf courses highlighted above are some of the best in this region of Indonesia you are not restricted to playing only these courses. You have a wide assortment of courses to choose from including Emerelda Golf Country Club, Gading Raya Padang Golf Club, Klub Golf Bogor Raya, Padang Golf Modern and Sentul Highlands Golf, the latter of which was designed by the legendary Gary Player.
So, you are spoilt for choice when booking a golf break in Jakarta and you are assured a tremendous time, both on and off the course.