The resort is home to River Cottages, a clubhouse, sports complex and restaurants which completes the tourist experience.
Designed on the hillside of Bognor, Thomson Wolveridge and Perret were blessed with natural terrain that was crying out to be turned in to a golf course. The West course measures some 6075 meters and requires good course management to attain a good score and was the first to open at the complex in 1992.
From the first tee you are presented with a taste of what is to come with panoramic views from the elevated tee. This par 4 is short and caution from the tee which is some 100 yards above the fairway below.
The West course has few water hazards with only 3 lakes, but the stream that meanders through the course can create problems for golfers who are not aware of the dangers that wait.
A particular delight is the par 5 6th and with the difficulty of the hole it is not a surprise that this has a handicap index of 1. From the back tee the fairway is narrow, protected by the ravine which runs up the right from the tee box. The second shot is tough with the ravine jutting back across the fairway, giving the golfer enough of a fright to warrant a cautious lay-up to what is a relatively short par 5 by today´s standards.
A general theme for the course is the rolling fairways, lush green and perfectly maintained they are framed by tall native trees and shrubbery to catch the really wayward shot. Beware of the many pot bunkers that are strategically placed around the course.
Of the par threes the third is a stunner. The stepped teeing areas sit on the hillside and are bordered by beautifully planted terraced beds and the surrounding forest creating an intimacy on this downhill hole. The green is guarded by bunkers so accuracy is needed to ensure a par on this delightful short hole.
The East Course, the newer of the two opened in 1994 and was also designed by Thomson, Wolveridge and Perret.
It measures slightly less than the West Course, but it a much tougher test, especially for the golfer that would like to walk, which is not at all recommended. Set on the hillside the front nine is often referred to as the Valley Course and is undulating as it weaves its way across the hillside.
As with The West Course the views on the front nine are breath-taking, so take your time to enjoy them. Somewhat strange the course has an almost British feel to it, with the holes playing up and down and alongside each other much like a Links style course.
The finish to the front nine is stunning with the 8th a short par 5, which offers the chance of getting home I two, but also the danger of a huge lake to the left and pot bunkers surrounding the green. For longer hitters it presents a superb chance of birdie, but the risks are high so bravery may not be the best option in many cases for this hole, which is blind on the approach shot.
Hole 9, much like the third on the West Course is a great par three. Played from an elevated tee to the green almost 50 metres below, accuracy with a long iron is an absolute must to find this tiny green.
Onto the back 9, The Hill Course. Cut out of the hilly terrain the back 9 is more forgiving with wider more generous fairways than The Valley Course, but the fairways are more undulating resulting in trickier lies.
Again it is a par three that steals the thunder of the Hill Course. The 16th is an extremely tough par three, played up the hill making the hole play a lot longer than the card suggests. The green is very well protected with a narrow entrance between bunkers that are waiting to catch anything short or off-line.
The clubhouse is unusual and was designed by renowned Australian designer Kym Hughes. The unique circular blue roof is interesting to say the least. The resort is not one of the highest quality, rather more a weekend getaway for the locals who want to get away from the hectic lifestyle of Jakarta, but don´t let that put you off.
Both courses are more than worth the trip and you will not go away disappointed. I think it is fair to say that lower handicap golfers will enjoy the courses more than a novice golfer, as the continuing change in elevation and many a side-hill lie could be too much for a beginner.
The greens and fairways are generally well presented and the quality of service cannot be mistaken.