Malaysia is home to over 200 golf courses and remains one of the best value countries for a round of golf in Asia.
Many people are amazed when they hear Malaysia is home to over 200 golf courses and remains one of the best value countries for a round of golf in Asia.
Whether you are down on the coast, next to the South China Sea or further north, enjoying the cool air among the tea plantations, you will find a great golf course close by when in Malaysia.
In addition to the many golf courses, Malaysia is a country full of delights for travellers to enjoy. The mix of continental food, the variety of cultures, the rain forests, the modern architecture, rural villages, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and tropical climate all combine with the golf courses to make Malaysia a dream destination.
Getting to Malaysia for a golf holiday is very straight forward and most people will enter the country via the capital city, Kuala Lumpur.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport receives flights from all over the world, including direct flights from many European cities, making it just one flight away for many people. Even those in the United States and Canada can reach Malaysia with just one stop over and Hong Kong is a popular stop-over destination.
As mentioned above, Malaysia enjoys a tropical climate which can mean conditions are perfect for golf. However, much like any other Asian destinations, you must be aware of the climate when planning a golf trip to Malaysia.
Interestingly, Malaysia has an east/west split when it comes to the weather throughout the year, so you must consider where in the country you are going to be playing most of your golf. The west coast islands such as Penang, Langkawi and Pangkor are at their best between December and April, with the east coast enjoying dry weather between April and October.
However, whatever time of year you travel to Malaysia to play golf and in whichever region of the country you are based, the temperature never drops below 20 degrees on average, which is great for being out on the course.
Malaysia Golf Map
Armed with the knowledge of when is best to visit Malaysia, you can start planning your golf holiday. The big question is, where are you going to go and which golf courses will you play? Our ‘golf map of Malaysia’ will help you decide.
There is no better place to start a ‘golf map of Malaysia’ than the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. This is likely to be your first port of call when you arrive in Malaysia and coupled with a great choice of accommodation are several top-quality golf courses.
Kuala Lumpur Golf Guide
To say you are spoilt for choice when playing golf in Kuala Lumpur is an understatement
To say you are spoilt for choice when playing golf in Kuala Lumpur is an understatement and you can spend the whole of your time in this region of Malaysia and never get bored with the golf courses. One of the closest golf courses to the centre of Kuala Lumpur is the Palm Course at Saujana Golf and Country Club.
This course has played host to the Malaysia Open many times and was the first golf course in Asia to stage a joint Asia and European Tour event. With tight, palm-tree lined fairways and testing, quick greens, the Palm Course is one of the toughest tests in Malaysia. With changes in elevation, undulating fairways and sloping greens, this may not be the longest course in Malaysia but it presents a real challenge in terms of shot placement and strategy. The onsite facilities are excellent and the well-trained caddies will offer invaluable advice as you play your way around the course. The Palm Course at Saujana Golf and Country Club is the perfect place to start a golf holiday in Malaysia.
You shouldn’t leave Kuala Lumpur without visiting the site of the world’s largest open cast tin mine, the Mines Resort and Golf Club. To look at and play on this golf course, you would not believe the amount of repair which was required to make the land suitable for golf and it now looks immaculate and plays superbly.
If you have the time, you should also book a tee time at both the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, located just 20 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city centre and Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, which is close to the airport.
Leaving Kuala Lumpur and heading north, along the east coast of Malaysia you will come to Penang. Here you will find a choice of five excellent golf courses, set amongst stunning tropical scenery.
Penang Golf Guide
Great Golf - Great Food & Great Beaches
Penang Golf Club opened for play in 1984 and the course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The club is situated on Penang island and when it opened it was considered one of the top golf courses in the country and it has remained that way thanks to continued development and improvement.
Penang Golf Club hosted the Malaysian Open in 1992 and offers magnificent views of the island, the Penang Bridge and mainland Malaysia. The course itself is quite compact, with small greens and significant changes in elevation throughout the 18 holes. Many of the bunkers are cunningly disguised on this course and only come into view the closer you get to them, making them dangerous if shots are played without consulting the course map.
The opening four holes are very tight, with many undulations and by the time you reach the fourth green, you will have a good feel of what is to come for the remainder of the round. It’s impossible to predict what score you will get but you are assured of a golf course in immaculate condition, with well-designed holes and excellent views.
Coupled with Penang Golf Club, you have a choice of both strategic and long-hitting golf courses in this region of Malaysia. The Penang Golf Resort is home to two 18-hole golf courses, the East Course which is a large, expansive golf course perfect for those who want to get out the driver and the West Course, which rewards good shot placement over distance.
Continuing north in Malaysia and leaving the mainland behind, you will find a cluster of beautiful islands called Langkawi. This area of Malaysia has been designated a UNESCO Global Geopark, the first of its kind in southeast Asia.
Langkawi Golf Guide
Langkawi is home to three golf courses and The Els Club Datai Bay is regarded as being not only the finest golf course in Langkawi but one of the best in Malaysia.
As you can no doubt guess by the name of this golf course, it was designed by the legendary South African golfer, Ernie Els. It has been voted as the most scenic golf course in Malaysia and one of the best top ten golf courses in Malaysia.
The course plays through ancient rainforest and works it was down towards the Andaman Sea. The limestone peaks of the Mat Cincang Mountains loom over the golf course and add to the dramatic scenery surrounding the course. Local flora and fauna is growing in abundance throughout and you will have the opportunity to spot wildlife, such as the resident monkeys.
The Els Club Datai Bay is maintained to the highest standards, both on and off the course and you will struggle to find a better golfing experience in Malaysia.
However, if you decide to spend some time enjoying Langkawi, which is highly recommended, you can also play the Gunung Raya Golf Resort, which enjoys an envious position at the foothills of the awesome Celebration Mountain.
Johor Golf Guide
Johor boasts the most golf courses in the country, including some which are rated as the best.
From the northeast islands of Malaysia, down to the very south and close to the border with Singapore you will find the region of Johor. This is one area of Malaysia which took developing golf courses and resorts by storm in the 1990’s and now boasts the most golf courses in the country, including some which are rated as the best.
Just 30 minutes away from Johor city centre you will find the huge Palm Resort Golf and Country Club. This is home to not one but three 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Hiromasa Inagawa. This golf resort was voted as the second-best golf resort in Asia in 2002 by Asian Golf Monthly Magazine.
Each of the three championship courses have been named after native Malaysian flora and are called Allamanda, Cempaka and Melati. The former features large bunkers, water features and some of the best scenery you will see on a golf course anywhere in Malaysia. With several elevation changes and challenging doglegs, you will get full use of your clubs when playing the Allamanda Course.
That’s not to forget the Cempaka Course, which is used regularly for local tournaments and the Melati Course, which plays more like a links and has a nice, open feel with the addition of what is considered to be the largest bunker in Malaysia on the second hole.
When playing golf in Johor, you should also visit the Ronald Fream designed Ponderosa Golf and Country Club plus the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club, which is an excellent risk/reward golf course. However, thanks to the tremendous choice of golf courses in Johor, you should spend as much time as you need in this region of Malaysia and play as many courses as possible. You will not be disappointed.
Malacca Golf Guide
Malacca is home to one of the toughest golf courses in the country
Between Johor and Kuala Lumpur, on the west coast of Malaysia you will find Malacca, which is home to one of the toughest golf courses in the country.
The 27-hole Orna Golf and Country Club has played host to many professional events and is a regular feature on the Asian Tour qualifying circuit. With three, nine-hole loops, the mounded fairway and elevation changes are challenge enough but when coupled with large waste bunkers, lakes and creeks which work their way across the fairways, you have a cracking round of golf.
Some of the fairways are wide and open enough to get the driver out of the bag on the tee but the greens are well-protected and thought must go in to creating successful approach shots.
For something not as difficult but equally as enjoyable, book at tee time at Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club. In complete contrast to Orna Golf and Country Club, this golf course winds its way through dense jungle and this adds to the picturesque nature of the 27-hole course. The Woodlands and Meadow are considered the two best sets of nine holes and make for an excellent round of golf.
Malacca is also home to the Gemas Golf Resort and Ayer Keroh Country Club, which is one of Malaysia’s best in terms of conditioning plus the 27-hole A'Famosa Golf and Country Club.
Kota Kinabalu Golf Guide
Fantastic golf courses in spectacular surroundings
Our final destination on our ‘golf map of Malaysia’ is Kota Kinabalu, which can be found in the north of the island of Borneo.
The city is based on the coast, surrounded by rain forest and the region is home to several excellent golf courses. It is impossible to introduce Kota Kinabalu and not talk about Kudat Golf Club, which was established in 1906.
This golf club was once affiliated with St. Andrew's of Scotland and water plays a huge role in the design of the course. In fact, almost everywhere you look, wherever you are on the course you will see water and in addition to the bunkers, water provides the biggest hazard on this course.
If you are staying in the city and happy to drive about an hour along the Beaufort Highway, you will come across the Jack Nicklaus designed Borneo Golf and Country Club. This is a links style course on the coast of the South China Sea and features several water carries throughout the 18 holes. With strategic bunkering, fast greens and the coastal wind, Borneo Golf and Country Club provides a good test for golfers of all abilities.
There is also a hotel and other sports facilities including a swimming pool, tennis courts and fishing, in addition to the driving range and restaurant. You can opt to stay overnight at the Borneo Golf and Country Club or head back to the city and use that as a base to play other golf courses in Kota Kinabalu.
Malaysia is the perfect place to enjoy a golf holiday in Asia. With a great choice of championship golf courses, in six distinctive regions of the country, you are guaranteed a fantastic golf holiday in Malaysia.