Golf in Borneo
The island of Borneo is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the South China Sea and includes the East Malaysian state of Sabah. We have selected three top quality resorts, all of which boast excellent golf courses and a full holiday can be spent at any. Your golf travel to Borneo can be arranged by our golf experts here at Chaka Travel. Contact us today to arrange your luxury Malaysia golf holiday.
You can combine these with Kuala Lumpur or any other regions featured. Kota Kinabalu is the regional capital and for those who want a bit of nightlife we suggest the Magellan Sutera Harbour resort. The other two properties are superb beach and golf resorts suiting those seeking nature and luxurious seclusion. Only a two-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur.
Golf courses in Borneo
A beautiful links-style championship course with especially impressive greens; it’s pricey, but on balance worth the money.,p>Designed by Jack Nicklaus and set within 900 acres of beautiful coastal terrain, the Borneo Golf & Country Club is a links-style championship course ideally suited for those looking for a stop on a high end golf holiday.
It’s reputed to have the best maintained Bermuda Tifdwarf greens in the country, and while this is a difficult claim to verify there is no denying the beauty and speed of the putting surfaces here, which are a test for the world’s best let alone a part-timer on holiday. The course is in generally immaculate condition, the state of the fairways matching that of the greens, and the course is dotted with the Golden Bear’s trademark waste bunkers (84 of them in all) which sprawl menacingly alongside fairways. There are plenty of water hazards to make you nervous on the tees, with forced carries on several holes, and the stiff ocean breeze can prove mightily awkward on the unprotected holes by the South China Sea.
The signature hole is the 14th, a long par-3 that requires a daunting tee shot across a cove that would be tricky enough without having to cope with some very strong crosswinds. It’s undoubtedly exhilarating sending your ball out over the ocean and trusting the wind to bring it back to safety. While weekend hackers will probably drop shots here, the difficulty of this hole is not entirely indicative of the rest of the course, which is tough enough to challenge the low-handicappers without condemning the less skilled to three figure scoring.
That’s not to say that everything is perfect – the number of bunkers does not seem to be matched by the number of rakes, meaning that ending up in a bunker can be a far worse outcome that it ought to be, and the locker rooms aren’t quite up to scratch for a course that is marketed and priced at the high end. That aside, the clubhouse facilities are generally excellent, and there is a driving range and practice putting green that you are well advised to take advantage of before stepping out on the course. Overall, Borneo Golf & Country Club is a course that lives up to the reputation of its illustrious designer.
Water water everywhere, a course that makes you think. A tough but scenic challenge that will have you coming back for more.
What was once a mangrove swamp bordered by the Tambalang and Mengkabong rivers is now Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club, 18 championship holes set over 400 acres of the Shangri-La Resort. The legacy of the mangrove swamp lives on in the form of a plethora of water hazards that feature on nearly every hole, meaning that this is a course not to be taken lightly.
After a fairly sedate opening hole, the course starts asking some tough questions: the approach into the narrow 2nd green will need to avoid water front left and bunkers all around, water runs all the way down the right of the par-5 3rd, and the par-3 4th has an island green surrounded on all sides by deep bunkers. The opening nine closes with a picturesque hole ranked the hardest on the course, with dense trees, wetland lakes, massive waste bunkers and a severely undulating putting surface mean that you’ll celebrate a par here as if you’d won the Masters.
The signature hole is the 185 yard par-3 11th, rated the easiest on the course despite having the South China Sea surrounding the tee. You must cut across the Tambaland River Mouth to reach the gentle contours of the heavily protected green, the imposing Mount Kinabalu looking on in the distance. The 13th requires a forced carry of 200 yards over the Tambalung river, to get to the 17th green you must cross a lake and a host of bunkers and the water that runs all the way down the right hand side of the 18th fairway means you can’t relax until you’ve sunk your final putt.
As you can probably gather from the above, this is a pretty challenging course, and water is in play on nearly every hole. Thankfully it doesn’t play too long, so while the long-hitters will still be at an advantage it’s a more level playing field as far as driving distance is concerned, with accuracy being more important, especially given the small Tifdwarf greens.
It may be by the beach, but it’s the amount of water and sand on the course itself that will concern you as you attempt to master this tricky, high quality course.
Host of the Malaysian Amateur Open in 2007 and winner of numerous awards including Best Resort Golf Course in Malaysia and Third Most Memorable Golf Course in Malaysia, Nexus Golf Resort is located by the sea, just a short drive from Kota Kinabalu City. Set against a lush rainforest backdrop to the south and sound of the waves on Karambunai Beach just to the north, the course meanders over undulating terrain peppered with lakes and waterways cunningly placed by architect Ronald Fream to catch you out.
You tee off amongst the jungle foothills with a fairly straightforward par-4, before things get a little trickier thanks to water on seven of the next eight holes. Slices on the par-4 2nd and anything short on the memorable par-3 3rd will result in a wet ball. You can take the water hazard that guards the green of the par-5 4th by playing conservatively around it, but long hitters will struggle to resist the temptation to go for the well protected green in search of an eagle. The 5th and 6th both dog-leg around water, meaning that while a fade is an advantage, a slice can be terminal.
The back nine, which heads down towards the coast, opens with more water, the long par-5 10th requiring crossing one waterway to a patch of fairway then crossing back over again en route to a green. The direct line to the putting surface is blocked by a series of bunkers so only the very confident need attempt to get there in two. The par-3 14th memorably requires a carry over water that stretched from tee to green, and if the water that intrudes upon the 17th fairway catches you out you can be sure you weren’t the first to befall such a fate.
Overall, there’s plenty to test even the promising amateurs who compete in the prestigious tournaments held here. Complicating matters beyond the large amounts of water and sand, the numerous and judiciously placed bunkers and the deep rough are the strong winds coming in off the coast, which often require you to send your ball out over a water hazard and have faith it will be brought back to safety. It all adds up to a high quality and enjoyable challenge, and on that basis a round at Nexus Golf Resort comes highly recommended.
Three diverse and enjoyable nines on this attractive seaside course.
Part of the Sutera Harbour Resort Complex, the three Graham Marsh-designed nines of the Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club (Lake, Heritage and Garden) have played host to several major tournaments en route to being named the 2nd Best Golf Resort in Malaysia 2008. Set by the South China Sea with great views of several of the nearby islands, there are a variety of challenges on offer.
The Lake Nine is not misnamed, thanks to the long series of natural and man-made water hazards you will encounter on every hole bar one. The lake just short and right of the green on the par-3 2nd lurks ominously and makes for a nervy tee shot, especially as the wind tends to be against you. A similarly located lake on third causes similar problems, with the added pressure of being located directly next to the clubhouse with it’s onlookers. The very long par-5 6th offers an opportunity to cut the dog-leg over water and sand that many will find hard to resist, although given it measures around 600 yards, even if successful you’ll need to be a very long-hitter to stand a chance of reaching the green in two so it’s a better bet to play conservatively.
Although water will only really be in play if you hit a disastrous hook off the tee on the short par-3 7th, you can’t relax thanks to the five large jigsaw piece-shaped bunkers protecting a green that is pretty hard to find in the usual stiff breeze. There’s water on both sides of the dog-legging par-4 9th, which offers up a geniune risk/reward equation for those thinking of cutting the corner, and the nine ends with an interesting par-4 with a split fairway, the choice of which should be influenced by the pin position relative to the three greenside bunkers.
The Heritage Nine, despite the great backdrop of Kota Kinabalu City, has a tranquil feel, despite not letting up in terms of the challenges thrown at you. The opening couple of holes are fairly sedate, with water unlikely to trouble you. The ocean to the right of the 11th fairway will only be found by the heaviest slice, so it is probably the wind that will cause you most difficulty as you try to avoid the numerous bunkers along this longish par-5. The 14th is a long par-4 where the landing zone off the tee is narrowed drastically by a large bunker either side of the fairway; pot bunkers and a lake by the green mean you’ve got to be accurate, or lucky, with your approach.
At over 200 yards and with stiff ocean breezes to contend with, the par-3 15th, whose green is protected by three large bunkers, can prove a tough test, despite the generously-sized green. The 17th is also a par-3, shorter but no less tricky thanks to the pot bunkers that punish anything short or long. Get through all this unscathed, and the 18th offers up a birdie opportunty, being a par-5 that is make-able in two. You’ll have to flirt with water and sand to get there, but the bold play can pay off here.
While it’s a generally good rule of thumb to avoid the third nine on any resort offering 27 holes, that doesn’t apply here as the Garden Nine, depsite being a little easier than the others, holds its own. The 20th is a spectacular par-3 over water with a sprawling bunker punishing anything short and deep foliage making going too long not an option. The 23th is a short par-4 on which, with the wind behind, you could probably get pretty close to the green off the tee were it not for the massive bunker that cuts across the hole fairway around 50 yards short of the green. As it is, lay up on the generous fairway for a full short iron into a green that should offer up a birdie opportunity.
The signature par-4 24th plays along the coast to a green perilously close to the sea, requiring a nervy tee shot and a cautious approach to an undulating green that will make you work for par, while the round ends with the par-4 27th, featuring a very narrow fairway lined with casuarina pine trees that are best avoided.
Overall, it’s a great course with some memorable holes. It’s beautifully landscaped, the Bermuda grass is in generally good condition, and the ocean breezes, despite adding to the difficulty, are gloriously cooling. You can even avoid the sun entirely by playing a night, thanks to the newly installed floodlights. Aside from golf, there are extensive recreational facilities available on the attached resort, together with 14 restaurants, a high quality spa and a marina, meaning that as a package a golf holiday that takes in Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club is recommended.
Golf in Borneo
Top Hotels in Borneo
Top Golf Courses in Borneo