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Despite lacking the wow factor, its a privilege to play on such a historic and exclusive course, and the greens are out of this world. Getting a round here isn’t easy, but if can it will be a traditional treat. Dating back to 1893 and laying claim to be the founding father of golf in Malaysia, the Royal Selangor Golf Club remains today one of the premier golfing destinations in Malaysia. Its historic old course, which hosted the inaugural Malaysian Open and has undergone some impressive and extensive remodeling recently, is almost a cultural institution in itself. This most prestigious of Malaysian courses is a beautifully landscaped parkland affair that benefits hugely from the mature trees that you won’t find on the more recent additions to the KL golfing circuit. It’s pretty flat, and plays like a traditional course – parallel fairways, bail out areas left and right and an absence of OB stakes that mean there is a certain amount of leeway off the tee. While the Seashore Paspalum fairways are nothing particularly special, suffering from the odd bald patch, they do hold up well in the face of rain thanks to an excellent drainage system. The greens are amongst the best in the land, running very very fast and true. Most are table-top greens, meaning your approaches have got to be spot on if you want to be putting in regulation. The sheer speed of the putting surface can easily unnerve you, and once you’ve missed a couple of short ones it can be hard to recover your confidence. This is where the advice of the caddies comes into play – they are excellent, and very experienced, some having been at the club for over 40 years. You are well advised to listen to their advice. While its the excellent bunkering that causes most problems, the back nine introduces a series of water hazards over the closing holes to add an extra layer of difficulty, particularly on the signature 17th, a great short hole where you play over water to a raised green characterised by some maddeningly subtle undulations, and on the 18th where you must carry a substantial lake to reach the fairway. Overall, it feels a lot like the kind of traditional course you might find in the home counties in the UK, although the monolithic Petronas towers that look down on the course serve to remind you that you are far from the UK, and when you encounter the dozens of monkeys that call the woods next to the par-4 12th home you are left in no doubt that this is something a bit different. It’s best avoiding a slice here, as the local residents may be unwilling to return your shiny Titliest. To be honest, there aren’t that many holes that will give you that elusive ‘wow’ factor, but you genuinely have the feeling of being privileged to play on such a historic and exclusive course, part of a proper golf club with traditional golfing values. The staff are a great asset here, hundreds of them running around diligently doing their job – turn up really early and you will see them mowing the lawns in the dark with headlights on, ensuring that the course is in its usual immaculate condition. The clubhouse includes an excellent restaurant, plush locker rooms, swimming pool, gym, squash courts and snooker tables, and is a great place to spend some time being waited on hand and foot after a round. It also retains a tradition vibe – you can’t use your phone in the main lounge, which somehow adds to the old-school feel of the place. If you get the chance, a round on the Old Course at Royal Selangor Golf Club comes highly recommended. Note: this is a walking only course.

Royal Selangor Golf Club – Old Course

Despite lacking the wow factor, its a privilege to play on such a historic and exclusive course, and the greens are out of this world. Getting a round here isn’t easy, but if can it will be a traditional treat. Dating back to 1893 and laying claim to be the founding father of golf in Malaysia, the Royal Selangor Golf Club remains today one of the premier golfing destinations in Malaysia. Its historic old course, which hosted the inaugural Malaysian Open and has undergone some impressive and extensive remodeling recently, is almost a cultural institution in itself. This most prestigious of Malaysian courses is a beautifully landscaped parkland affair that benefits hugely from the mature trees that you won’t find on the more recent additions to the KL golfing circuit. It’s pretty flat, and plays like a traditional course – parallel fairways, bail out areas left and right and an absence of OB stakes that mean there is a certain amount of leeway off the tee. While the Seashore Paspalum fairways are nothing particularly special, suffering from the odd bald patch, they do hold up well in the face of rain thanks to an excellent drainage system. The greens are amongst the best in the land, running very very fast and true. Most are table-top greens, meaning your approaches have got to be spot on if you want to be putting in regulation. The sheer speed of the putting surface can easily unnerve you, and once you’ve missed a couple of short ones it can be hard to recover your confidence. This is where the advice of the caddies comes into play – they are excellent, and very experienced, some having been at the club for over 40 years. You are well advised to listen to their advice. While its the excellent bunkering that causes most problems, the back nine introduces a series of water hazards over the closing holes to add an extra layer of difficulty, particularly on the signature 17th, a great short hole where you play over water to a raised green characterised by some maddeningly subtle undulations, and on the 18th where you must carry a substantial lake to reach the fairway. Overall, it feels a lot like the kind of traditional course you might find in the home counties in the UK, although the monolithic Petronas towers that look down on the course serve to remind you that you are far from the UK, and when you encounter the dozens of monkeys that call the woods next to the par-4 12th home you are left in no doubt that this is something a bit different. It’s best avoiding a slice here, as the local residents may be unwilling to return your shiny Titliest. To be honest, there aren’t that many holes that will give you that elusive ‘wow’ factor, but you genuinely have the feeling of being privileged to play on such a historic and exclusive course, part of a proper golf club with traditional golfing values. The staff are a great asset here, hundreds of them running around diligently doing their job – turn up really early and you will see them mowing the lawns in the dark with headlights on, ensuring that the course is in its usual immaculate condition. The clubhouse includes an excellent restaurant, plush locker rooms, swimming pool, gym, squash courts and snooker tables, and is a great place to spend some time being waited on hand and foot after a round. It also retains a tradition vibe – you can’t use your phone in the main lounge, which somehow adds to the old-school feel of the place. If you get the chance, a round on the Old Course at Royal Selangor Golf Club comes highly recommended. Note: this is a walking only course.

Royal Selangor Golf Club – Old Course

Royal Selangor Golf Club – Old Course

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