Batam HIlls Golf Resort on the Indonesian Batam Island, previously known as Paradise Bay has undergone a transformation since the new owners took over in 2006. The Batam Hills Golf Resort is located on the west of the island, in part of the Waterfront City development. To get the course is relatively straightforward by ferry and then a short drive across the island which offers some spectacular views.
Unfortunately to date there is no accommodation on site, but with a hotel a five-minute drive it is not the end of the world for golfers wishing to stay for a couple of nights.
The clubhouse is welcoming and the service offered is second to none, making for a wonderful first class experience. A restaurant offers a range of delicious dishes and the opportunity to unwind with a drink overlooking the golf course.
The course was previously remembered for a lack of tender loving care and many golfers are now singing the praises for this remodelled and much improved golf course.
The course itself was designed by Max Wexler and has two distinctive sets of 9 holes. The front nine weaves its way through the jungle and provides an excellent challenge to all golfers with the tree lined and undulating fairways which follow the natural path of the jungle.
The back nine is more open with less undulating terrain, but the clever design still provides a good test of golf.
This par 72 course is not especially long and with the various options for teeing grounds it is well suited to all levels of golfer.
In general, the fairways are wide and inviting, the greens are generally in superb condition and quick.
As mentioned previously the front nine which meanders through the forest are the most enjoyable holes and provide the most memories as you make your way around this course.
Buggies are obligatory and as with many courses in Asia caddies are also available to hire. Batam Hills offers a knowledgeable and well trained caddy rank and their local knowledge of the course and the greens is invaluable to golfers who are visiting for the first time.
Interestingly the course has not a single par 4 over the 400 yard mark, giving golfers the opportunity to make par regularly with straight tee shot finding the fairways and approach shots with predominantly short irons finding the greens.
The fourth a par 3 of 165 yards is a great target hole. Finding the green is an absolute must if you want to have a chance of an easy par. Miss the green and you will be sure to find one of 5 bunkers that surround the green.
The seventh a relatively short par 5 by today’s standards is a tough hole. An accurately positioned tee shot will leave a great chance of getting up in two, but miss the fairway and you will be faced with a challenge to make your par.
The course is improving each year and Batam Hills will soon become a must play golf course.