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30 MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN SEASON PASSES UP FOR GRABS IN OUR ONLINE CONTEST!

ISSUE 8 MARCH 2012

SMK Bukit Indah, Ampang

GRASSROOT REVOLUTION HSBC Women's Champions

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WHEN A 72 IS JUST NOT ENOUGH THE TEAM Chief Golf Writer Edward Saminathan Sub-Editors Lina Abdul Wahab, Khalidah Jamil Evelyn Gan Contributors Andrew Myles, Bradford Walterhouse , Jason Winter, Justine Moss, Mark Bates, Normas Yakin, Richard Fellner, Scott Kramer, Shaun Moulds Official Photographer T. Ravi Chitty Brand Manager B.N. Murali Art Director Siva Yoham Jalaguvalan Operations Associate Suzila Afirah Abdul Rauf

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The ClubHouse Magazine is published by

As I type this editorial note, our very own Rashid Ismail has just carded an overwhelming 10-under-par 62 during the final round of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) CCM Impian Classic. Ten birdies, a flawless score card and yet somehow, finishing runner-up, it seems almost an incurable injustice that Rashid went home with nothing more than a course record. If my memory serves me right, that would be the third 62 in as many weeks on the professional circuits, following Tiger Woods’ charging final round at the Honda Classic and Bubba Watson’s bend-it-like Beckham display during the second round of the Cadillac Championship. How many other 62s went unreported or slipped through my lenses is beyond me but a question that has been bothering me for a while has been - has golf gotten just that tad easier? Obviously, my personal answer would be - NO. Golf remains very much a maze of technical jargons and a wishful assurance that the next round would be much better. However, before I bore you with my sob tales of hacks and slices, here, I am just thinking aloud. Does golf need a new benchmark today since an even-par 72 is just not cutting it these days? The standard and competitiveness of professional golf worldwide is at an all-time high, with even secondary tours such as the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and tour qualifying schools witnessing sub-par halfway cut. A global phenomenon sparks many related questions. One, has the technological advancement of golf equipment reached a point where golf courses have become mere playgrounds for the better players? Alternatively, is it the case that the modernday tour players are just better? The answer I feel lies somewhere in the middle. While there is no doubt that the equipment on offer today far surpass their predecessors in terms of performance and distance, it is also clear that the players joining the paid ranks are getting better and better all the time, with better skill sets and stronger mental determination to make it. C

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The question that begs to be asked at this point, is whether our own players back home are progressing quickly enough to meet the new standards as expected of them at the next level? If the results from the domestic professional circuit so far this year is to be taken as a barometer, it is quite clear that the answer is no by a mile. CM

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On that account, the Maybank Malaysian Open is just around the corner. As much as I consider myself a patriot, I am not hoping that the improbable does happen and that one of our own boys can finally get their hands around the elusive Seagram Trophy. All I am hoping for come this edition of the national Open is that there would be more domestic participations over the weekend. That would mean more of our boys surviving the dreaded halfway cut, which at last count came at two-under-par. CMY

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With the average halfway cut on the European Tour hovering somewhere between three to fourunder, there’s little doubt that our players are going to have an uphill task on their hands come this April 12-15 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Edward Saminathan Chief Golf Writer news@theclubhouse.com.my

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SUNWAY KOTA DAMANSARA

ON THE COVER 6 GRASSROOT REVOLUTION 8 HSBC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS 24 GEARS SPECIAL

REGULARS 10 MALAYSIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION 13 INSIDE THE ROPES 15 MY JUNIORS 20 AROUND THE GLOBE 23 GEAR UP 26 IN THE BAG 42 TEE BOX 46 GOLF DIARY 47 WHERE TO GOLF 48 SUBSCRIBE COLUMNS 30 COVERING CARLSBAD BY SCOTT KRAMER 31 GOLF DOWN UNDER WITH RICHARD FELLNER 32 UNCHARTED COURSE WITH NORMAS YAKIN 33 GOLFING TALES FROM THE LION CITY BY JUSTINE MOSS 34 BUILDING COURSES WITH JASON WINTER 36 SHORT GAME FIXES WITH ANDREW MYLES 37 A TEACHER’S TALE BY MARK BATES

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GRASSROOT

When SMK Bukit Indah embarked on building a pitch-and-putt within its school compound two years ago, many thought it was a dream too far. Today, the sub-urban school stands tall as a shining example of what junior golf development should be all about. By Edward Saminathan

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for one believe that the phrase ‘junior golf development’ tends to be over-used in the Malaysian context. Too often, as I have learned in the course of my journey as a golf journalist, every other initiative involving our youngest players is termed as junior golf development. Few if any of these efforts ever address the issues that affect this segment of golfers. If there is one constant problem that has hindered the progress of junior golf in the country, it has been the issue of course access. Over the years, many parents I know on the junior golf circuits have lamented about the dilemma of getting clubs to open their fairways to our young golfers to pick up much needed playing experience. While this topic of interest deserves a whole article on its own, it is a fact that more children will be interested to be involved seriously in the game if they are not confined to the mats at the driving range. So, it indeed piqued my interest when a parent asked me to visit Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Indah up in Taman Kosas, Ampang some time back. I was told that the sub-urban secondary school (which is rather

strangely categorised as a rural school) has organised an active golf club for its students, that is starting to produce some budding talents at the district and state levels. Little did I know, that was not all that the school had under its sleeves. Walking into the school compound a few weeks later, I was not surprised to find a couple of flagsticks around the edge of the school’s sprawling football and rugby field. Thinking that it was nothing more that the usual corner flags, I was taken aback when on closer observations, they were actually sitting in pins of five Bermuda greens built around the perimeter of the playing field! Cutting to the chase, in 2010, the then principal of SMK Bukit Indah, Sajoli Masdor initiated a plan to build a pitch-and-putt facility to promote the game of golf to the school’s student population of 1,300. With an initial investment of RM20,000 collected from well-wishers and contributions from the school’s Parent-Teacher Association and the Gombak district education office, the school began the construction of five par-threes which still stands today.


Teacher Surianarayanan Gavarasu, who was the coordinator of the project and now heads the school’s golf club relates how the school’s workforce themselves undertook the design and construction of the pitchand-putt. “At that point, we were having serious drainage issues with the field itself and we knew that we couldn’t go about building the pitch and putt facility if we didn’t do something about that. With the help of a rented backhoe, we dug up the whole field, removed all the rocks and laid drainage pipes across the playing surface. We were lucky that our teachers here were a sporting lot, who didn’t mind getting their hands dirty. It was laborious but indeed, it was a labour of love,” he shared. With the help of the school gardener and some parents, the school began the construction of small mounts for teeing off and greens around the perimeter, so as to protect the greens as well as allow the school’s main sports such as football and rugby to continue uninterrupted.

“We had little understanding of how to actually plant the Bermuda grass seedlings but we persevered and with a little extra love and attention, we had playable greens by the end of 2010. We knew that maintaining the greens was of fundamental importance, so the school acquired a second-hand green mower for little over RM12,000. A few golf sets donated by our principal and parents got us going,” added Surianarayanan, noting that the longest hole measured 170m while the shortest was at 50m. With over 20 active members, the school’s golf club meets every Thursday afternoons for their golf rounds as well as on weekends when the field is not occupied. While some of its members have golfing background, many actually picked up the game for the first time at the school after watching their peers enjoying themselves. “It’s a blessing that we have this facility in

REVOLUTION

Principal Norlilah Ismail with golf club co-ordinator Surianarayanan Gavarasu (right)

our school. Despite coming from a family of golfers, I never really thought of picking up the game until the pitch and putt was constructed,” said 17-year-old Mohd Hafizuddin Sazali, the president of the club. Sharing his opinion, his vice-president Costner Mutang Maren, is amongst the school’s most accomplished players. “It’s great to have a place to practice when I can’t go to the course. I tend to return on weekends with my father to sharpen my game, especially in and around the greens,” explained the 16-year-old. Despite a change in leadership recently with Norlilah Ismail taking over as the school’s principal in early January, SMK Bukit Indah is not going to stop in its tracks of maintaining its status as one of Malaysia’s only school with a pitch-and-putt facility.

“I may not be a golfer myself but I’m very proud of the legacy left behind by my predecessor and I aim to continue the good work he has put in. With a supportive teaching force here, I would like to see our golf club prosper,” she said, adding that the school was already giving incentives to students who excelled in golf, just like any other sports.

Already the host of the Gombak Schools Sports Council golf meet earlier this year, Norlilah is confident of embarking on to the next level. “Funding is a problem for us and it is not easy for a school like us to invest in maintenance of the greens, which is beginning to show effects of wear and tear as well as getting more equipments, so that more of our students can actually get into the game. We hope to raise funds through some charity activities this year, which will go towards establishing a one-stop golf centre here in our school for the whole of the Gombak district,” she noted.

Schools have long been heralded as the lighthouse of society and SMK Bukit Indah may be just the light at the end of the tunnel as far as grassroot junior golf development in Malaysia is concerned.

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ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! If this was indeed the final edition of what is known as Asia’s ladies Major, the HSBC Women’s Champions 2012 scored perfect As all around

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A-class field

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ith 17 of the world’s top 20 lady golfers in presence, there was megawatts of star power to light up the event. There was also no shortage of glitter either with all 63 participants displaying over US$11 million of Tiffany & Co. jewellery at a fashion show held in conjunction with the pare-tournament gala dinner at the Raffles Hotel as well as the official Jaguar automobiles (below) lined up outside the club each day.

Atmosphere

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ith close to 30,000 spectators over four days, Tanah Merah Country Club was simply abuzz with life as fans from across the continent and even Europe braved the hot sun and then, a torrential thunderstorm to catch a piece of the action (top right).

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pen to all, the HSBC Interactive village for all the family to enjoy - with various novelty contests up on offer, a children zone and even golf professionals on-standby, just in case you were looking for a quick tip to correct that errant swing.


Arena

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osting the event for the fifth consecutive year, there was no doubt that Tanah Merah Country Club was in prime condition as the LPGA came visiting. While the Garden course provided a worthy backdrop for some world-class competition, the course proved friendly with spectators with good signage, smooth crowd dispersion as well as wide open spaces where tired fans can sit back, relax and enjoy a drink or two as well as having a bite. With regular shuttles to the nearby Tampines MRT as well as the public car park a par-five away from the club, access was never bound to be an issue.

Appeal

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f you ever wondered why LPGA events attract record crowds, there is more than what meets the eyes - and we are not talking about pretty girls and skirts here! No matter how tired they were or how hot it was out there, the LPGA stars displayed their consummate professionalism. A smile here and there, posing for photos and signing thousands of caps, merchandise, you name it, and they went out of the way to please their fans. There were also impromptu meet the fan sessions, as was the case with Suzann Pettersen (left) chatting with her Norwegian ‘entourage’.

Aspirants

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enny Shin (bottom) stepped up to the tee on 18th for the first time on Sunday with a maiden victory almost sewed up. The 19-year-old was 12-under to Angela Stanford’s 11-under and was dripping with confidence.

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However, a bad twist of fate, in this case, an hour and a half of storm delay threw a spanner into her march towards the title. When they returned finally, she made a six via the jungle on the left, opening the door for a dramatic sudden-death finish. Shanshan Feng dropped out at the first extra hole and and Na Yeon Choi (right) at the second to leave Stanford and Shin to go it alone at the third time of asking.

Angela Stanford

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rom the moment Stanford hit a screamer down the first fairway at 1009 to the moment she holed her last putt eight hours later to shake off Shin at the third play-off hole, it was clear that the Texan had just undergone a baptism in patience. A model of consistency all week, the 34-year-old carded rounds of 66, 70, 71 and 71 to earn herself a place in a fourway playoff and ground out a victory, despite having to play the difficult 18th repeatedly. It was as her caddie stated, “It was about making sure you stayed in it, about trying to be the last man - or woman standing.”


MALAYSIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION

ARETHA, ABDUL HADI RULE IN KGPA

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retha Pan completed a unique Klang Valley double when she lifted the ladies championship at the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open, which concluded on February 23 at Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam. The defending Selangor Amateur titleholder totalled a solid one-under 215 to claim a three-stroke victory over Dottie Ardina of the Philippines. Kelly Tan was a further three strokes behind in third with a three-day total of 221.

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The 18-year -old Sabahan lass also made history when she carded a course record of six-under 66 during the second round.

“I started to gain my momentum in the second round. I guess I didn’t do too well the day before as my confidence level was low. I was thinking too much on the course and that affected my game. I told myself that I had to perform much better if I wanted to be part of the squad to Queen Sirikit’s Cup next month and it worked wonders,” shared Aretha. In the men’s division, Singapore’s Abdu Hadi Uda Thith pipped fellow countryman Nicklaus Chiam and Malaysia’s Muhd Afif Mohd Razif to the title by a solitary stroke. The 17-year-old youngster shot rounds of 75, 71 and 72 for a total tournament of two-over 218.

“I am very proud and happy to win the title. I had a shaky start and didn’t do too well in the first round, so I knew I had to make up for it,” said the Singapore Sports School elite athlete. The tournament, which recorded a bumper turnout with over 170 golfers from the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, United States and Malaysia, was also the selection ground for the national ladies squad to the Queen Sirikit Cup at Tanah Merah Country Club, Singapore as well as the amateur starts at the Maybank Malaysian Open in April.

SIX AMATEURS EARN MALAYSIAN OPEN BERTHS

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he custodian of the Maybank Malaysian Open, the Malaysian Golf Association announced the six amateurs who would participate at the prestigious 51st edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open from April 12-15.

Chan Tuck Soon (top), who was the bestplaced amateur at last year’s Open will be joined by exciting young nationals Low Khai Jei, Muhammad Afif Mohd Razif, Abel Tam and US-based amateur Muhammad Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi. In an unprecedented move, the association also nominated Kluang Country Club’s George Wee (right), the winner of the recent 1Malaysia Golf Challenge, to fill the final amateur berth at the prestigious championship.

Malaysian Golf Association president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said that the amateurs were selected based on a strict set of criteria. The deciding factors included the players’ performances at highprofile international amateur events last year as well as their recent participation at the national team trials held over five rounds at Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam (KGPA) and Royal Selangor Golf Club from January 16 – 20 and Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open held at KGPA from February 21-23. “We’re pleased to announce the amateurs who will be participating at the prestigious Maybank Malaysian Open this April. It is a dream for any young Malaysian golfer to play at the Malaysian Open and the MGA is delighted to be extending this rewarding experience to our nation’s elite amateurs,” said Mohd Anwar. “These amateurs have proven that they have the guile and determination to challenge at the highest level, and we are confident that they will do their very best against the likes of the European and Asian Tours top draws,” he added.

Tuck Soon almost created history at the 2011 edition when he started with a solid 71 before succumbing under glaring pressure, adding a round of 77 to finish on four-overpar 148 and missing the halfway mark, which came at even-par 144. “It was a priceless experience to play among some of the world’s best at the Maybank Malaysian Open last year and I’m looking forward to have another crack at it. I had a great start but nerves got to me on the second day as I struggled to deal with the expectation. I know I can do better and I will be better prepared this year,” he said.


GOLF CLUB MANAGERS ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA

Bringing in the Golf Tourists Understanding the profile of golf tourists, and what tickles their fancy is crucial if the local golf tourism industry is to flourish ‘Golf tourism’ is a term used to describe trips undertaken by persons where the main purpose is to play golf. Alternatively, golf may also be the secondary activity, for example, for someone who came to watch the F1 event, the four major pro golf events or even bird watching, and then decided to play a round during the vacation. For those tourists who do not play golf, but who come to shop or enjoy the beach or the rain forests, there are many of such facilities in Malaysia.

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More research is needed in these areas and positive actions should be taken by golf club management from the findings to do the necessary. Golf club owners or managers must create their own unique brands. If the golf course does not have a brand, they had better start thinking of creating one! The brand is what people think of when they visit the golf facilities; they see the logo, the products, services and even the surroundings. Branding creates value. Some of the clubs in the Klang Valley have excellent reputations, so do the ones in Sabah. Club managers must think outside the box, they must produce innovative ideas in order to create value to golf tourists! Value for money gives personal satisfaction.

What is the profile of a typical golf tourist? Typically, they are predominantly male, middle aged and likely in their early retirement years. They also dominate the managerial and professional groups and are likely to be members of a golf club. However, this profile is changing with more females and youths entering the sport. Golf mainly attracts affluent tourists with above than average spending power. According to That attracts more participation. Golf and tourism are dynamic in the IAGTO, the average golfing tourist spends 30% more, in comparison to long term. It does not operate in a vacuum. The industry is not isolated other tourists who travel for leisure. from the rest of the economic activities. The continued growth in terms of the numbers of golfers will have a direct bearing on the industry, golf A golf tourist usually spends on average between four and seven days equipment, apparel, golf facilities, machinery and tournaments. The on a short haul golf holiday and between seven to 14 days on a long industry depends on clubs, social groups and other golf-card related haul golf holiday. He plays an average of four to six rounds of golf businesses to create new golfers. There must be serious efforts from on three to five different courses. When choosing a destination, the clubs to popularise the sport amongst the youth. They cannot depend priorities are mainly the weather, the quality of the golf course and its solely on the government or national bodies to promote the game. services, the environment followed by accessibility and price. Low cost However, there are other external factors like trends in the economic, carriers have also made travel cheaper and affordable to many golfers. political, technological and socio-demographic, which also have direct Family members and non-golfer friends tag along giving rise to other influence on the emergence of new golfers. forms of tourism, which Malaysia can readily accommodate. We lack data on numbers of golf tourist arrivals but the general perception is, Malaysia will play host to the next IAGTO convention from 22-25 April it is increasing! 2012 at The Mines Resort. Already 170 tour operators from 40 countries have confirmed their participation. It will be a great opportunity for What factors determine the level of golfers’ satisfaction? Is it the quality Malaysia to exhibit its golf facilities and organizing capabilities to attract of the golf course? Is it the environment? The service provided? The golfers from all over the world. Malaysian golf clubs, tour agents, hotels gastronomic factors, perhaps? Or, is it the shopping or the site seeing for and those involved in the golf tourism industry must perform and the family members? Each factor has its impact; some may be stronger impress the visitors if we are serious about bringing in golf tourists. than the others. The satisfaction level has a significant influence on the golfers’ word of mouth recommendations. What does the future hold for golf tourism in Malaysia? Is it sustainable for an indefinite period? Can we manage the change? Can we create The golf tourist experience is a combination of tangible element like value? I leave these to the managers and owners who are in a better the golf course and intangible elements like emotions and feelings. position to tackle them. After all, golf is a business. Active golf tourism This experience is important especially to golfers who visit the facilities appears to be a significant area of potential growth. for the first time. The good or bad experience will be the main factor in determining whether he makes recommendations to his friends and Mohd Rom Muslim is the family members, would he come back next year for a new experience, President of Golf Club Managers or he would he look for other exciting destinations. So, how do we know Association of Malaysia. whether the tourist has had a good experience? How do we measure the satisfaction level? How do we know whether he wants to come back?


INSIDE THE ROPES

SUKREE BREAKS LOCAL HEARTS IN KELANTAN

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resurgent Sukree Othman dashed the hopes of local lad Mohd Nazri Md Zain as he claimed a second Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) title at the RM125,000 Kelantan Classic today. The 35-year-old Sukree closed with a solid five-under 67 to defeat the crowd darling and 54-hole leader by two strokes with a 13-under 275 aggregate at the Kelantan Golf & Country Club. Sukree nailed three birdies on each nine with his only blemish of the day coming on the short-par 15th when he twice misjudged his approach into the green. It was a bitter blow however for Nazri, who started off the final round with a six-stroke advantage but saw his lead eaten up as he committed uncharacteristic errors on the back nine including three bogeys in four holes to hand the initiative to Sukree with a closing three-over 75. Miri-based professional Sofian Kepli took sole possession of third with a personal best finish of 67 for a 281 total while S. Sivachandhran (69) was fourth on 283. Akhmal Tarmizee Mohd Nazari settled for fifth on 284 after an error-strewn effort of 76 while PGM Order of Merit winner R. Nachimuthu was sixth with a three-under 285 total overall. An attacking approach from the start put Sukree in the right frame of mind to charge ahead, even if it was a surprise victory. “I had a hot start with three birdies in four holes but I wasn’t really thinking about the possibility of winning until the 12th when I moved ahead of Nazri. At the start of the day, I just wanted to maintain my leaderboard position and not drop too many shots like I did in Kangar [during the PGM Perlis Classic] but I guess it all fell in place,” shared Sukree, who claimed the winner’s purse of RM21,000. Leading final round scores 275 – Sukree Othman (69-68-71-67) 277 – Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain (66-70-66-75) 281 – Sofian Kepli (68-72-74-67) 283 – S. Sivachandhran (75-67-72-69) 284 – Akhmal Tarmizee (68-71-69-76) 285 – R. Nachimuthu (73-71-72-69) 286 – Redzuan Kamaruddin (71-76-72-67), Haziq Hamizan (72-72-68-74), S Murthy (70-71-71-74) 287 – Wilson Choo (76-71-67-73) 288 – Zurie Harun (73-70-74-71)

MARDAN COMES GOOD IN IMPIAN

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hat started as an opportunity to play with his old mate turned into a victory parade for Mardan Mamat as the 44-year-old Singaporean survived a strong final round surge by popular local Md Rashid Ismail, to claim the RM180,000 Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) CCM Impian Masters by one stroke. Still fresh from his victory at the ICTSI Philippines Open last month, Mardan rode on his recent hot form, closing with a round of three-under 69 at the Impian Golf & Country Club for a winning total of 18-under 270 at the Asian Development Tour season-opener. Eight strokes off the lead at the start of the round, Impian’s resident professional Rashid conjured up a magical course record of 10-under 62, nailing ten birdies including four consecutive ones from hole 13 onwards to settle for second. Two-time PGM Tour winner Danny Chia surged up the leaderboard with a six-under 66, finishing two strokes behind in third. A further shot back was halfway leader R. Nachimuthu, who carded a second consecutive 71 to round up in fourth while the trio of Filipino Jay Bayron, Senroku Isa of Japanese and American Dodge Kemmer took a share of fifth on 12-under 276. Mardan moved on level terms with Rashid, who had set the clubhouse lead at 17-under 271 after 16 holes and sealed the RM31,500 winner’s cheque with a birdie on 17th. “Thank God, I didn’t know (Rashid’s score)! I focused on what I needed to do. I didn’t know until I entered score recording and found out I defeated Rashid by one,” shared the Singaporean veteran. “I had absolutely no expectations this week. I just wanted to come and play here because it gave me an opportunity to meet an old friend (Yassin Ali) after a very long time and at the same time, get some competitive practice ahead of the Faldo Handa Cambodian Classic.” The CCM Impian Masters was the first of six PGM Tour events in the Asian Development Tour calendar this year. Leading final round scores (Malaysians unless stated) 270 – Mardan Mamat (SIN) 66-67-68-69 271 – Rashid Ismail 69-70 70-62 273 – Danny Chia 68-70-69-66 275 – R. Nachimuthu 64-69-71-71 276 – Jay Bayron (PHI) 68-70-70-68, Senroku Isa (JPN) 68-70-68-70, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 67-68-69-72 277 – Anthony Choat (AUS) 68-70-69-70, Glenn Joyner (AUS) 66-72-69-70 278 – Jani Pertilla (FIN) 70-70-72-66, Elmer Salvador (PHI) 71-71-69-67, Lim Eng Seng 65-75-69-69, Hirotaro Naito (JPN) 72-66-67-73

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INSIDE THE ROPES

MANASSERO, OOSTHUIZEN AND QUIROS CONFIRMED FOR MALAYSIAN OPEN

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efending champion Matteo Manassero (left), 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen and six-time European Tour winner Alvaro Quiros (bottom) will headline a formidable European Tour challenge at the 51st edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open. The trio will join earlier-announced players Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel for the prestigious co-sanctioned championship with the Asian Tour scheduled from April 12 -15 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. “The challenge upon us is to deliver a better Malaysian Open than the previous editions and I’m proud to say that the 156-player field will comprise some of the world’s top stars. It will be a balance of experienced and exciting young talents from both the European and Asian Tours, as well as a healthy injection of domestic players, underlining the tournament’s legacy as one of Asia’s premier golf tournaments,” said Mohamed Adam Wee, chief marketing officer of Maybank. The 18-year-old Manassero was a revelation during the prestigious national Open last year, where he displayed a brilliant mix of lethal accuracy of the tees and an impressive strike rate to claim the title by one stroke ahead of Frenchman Grégory Bourdy, with a winning total of 16-under-par 272. Oosthuizen, who is no stranger to the Malaysian Open, will be one of the must watch stars based on his current form. A former prodigy of fellow South African great Ernie Els, Oosthuizen got his 2012 campaign off to a great start when he successfully defended his Africa Open title in January, claiming his fourth European Tour title. Making his debut at the US$2.5 million tournament is lanky Quiros. He needs no further introduction to local fans, as the big-hitting Cadiz-native will definitely relish the chance to go the distance at the tournament. With two titles to his name last year including a thrilling victory at the seasonending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, the 29-yearold will look to kick-start his 2012 campaign with a bang in Kuala Lumpur.

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who finished tied for the lead with a two-day total of one-over 145 as well as the trio of Khor Kheng Hwai, Shaifubari Muda and Chong Chee Meng. The quintet will form part of the 22-strong local brigade, which will take on the best from the European and Asian Tours. After a poor opening round of 77, Haziq carded eight birdies against four bogeys to earn his maiden professional start at the prestigious national Open. “I am definitely delighted with the results and I am proud to once again earn a start at the Maybank Malaysian Open. It is a dream of any Malaysian golfer to play at their National Open and I’m going to cherish the experience,” said Haziq, who participated in the 2008 edition as an amateur.

LOCAL QUINTET EARN OPEN STARTS

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ising star Haziq Hamizan carded a brilliant final round of four-under 68 to confirm his spot at the Malaysian Open after successfully overcoming a 51-men playing field at the twoday National Qualifier, which concluded on March 6 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. The 24-year-old former national will be joined by Zurie Harun,

Zurie on the other hand was ecstatic on earning his second appearance at the Open, having started at the 2006 edition. “It is a great result for me personally and it is an honour to play at the Maybank Malaysian Open. I knew that I had a good chance today after my performance yesterday, and I was able to hit the greens consistently as well as nail my share of crucial putts to beat the mark,” shared Zurie, who added a 72 to his first round of 73. The five qualifiers will be joined by the top-ranked Malaysian in the field, Danny Chia, who qualifies automatically as well as Maybank invitees Shaaban Hussin and Nicholas Fung. PGM Tour 2011 Order of Merit winner R. Nachimuthu heads the list of GlobalOne invites, which include Md Rashid Ismail, M. Sasidaran, S. Murthy and Airil Rizman while Sukree Othman, S. Sivachandhran and Ben Leong will tee-off at the tournament on invites by the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA).


MY JUNIORS

MAYBANK UNVEIL CHAMPIONS ACADEMY TO TAKE GOLF TO SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE

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everaging on their continued support of the Malaysian Open, Maybank today reaffirmed their commitment to bolstering the nation’s junior golf talent pool and producing future champions by embarking on a landmark initiative to bring golf to schools. Under this initiative, Maybank will bring golf to schools and provide opportunities for students to be tested and trained, utilising a detailed training methodology, incorporating fundamental golf skills training and The maiden Champions Academy intake was open to all Malaysian students - male and female - between 6 to 12 years of age from physical development through golf-oriented exercises. selected schools across the country. A total of 100 participants The top-ranked junior talents will then receive continuous support and were shortlisted from each of the three preliminary selection trials tutelage to realise their true potentials through a sustainable training held at Saujana Golf & Country Club (Central Region), Bukit Jambul programme under some of the nation’s top golf professionals and fitness Country Club (Northern Region) and Palm Villa Golf & Country instructors, enabling them to move up the nation’s junior ranks and Resort (Southern Region) from March 10 - 17. compete against the existing pool of young golfing talent. During the two-day trials, attention was given to equipping the “The Champions Academy is a novel brainchild of Maybank to cultivate the juniors with the fundamental motor skills as well as essential skills growth of golf in the nation from an early age and to bolster our existing of the game. Thirty participants (ten participants from each region) bank of young Malaysian golfers. We understand that there are many will then be chosen through a stringent selection process and will obstacles to why golf does not have a wider appeal in the country and advance to the first stage of an intensive training camp scheduled one of the best ways to tackle it is by introducing the game right down for May 28 to June 1at Saujana Golf & Country Club. at the grassroots level in schools,” said Maybank’s chief marketing officer, The best ten juniors handpicked will then go through a specially Mohamed Adam Wee. tailored coaching and training program, spanning over three He added, “It is our fervent hope that the Champions Academy will provide further intensive camps throughout the course of the year, the impetus for a new generation of eager youths to take this opportunity developed by former national coach and notable junior golf to pick up the game and provide them with a sustainable route to develop professional Tony Maloney of JNG Golf Academy. These camps will themselves into potential young champions, who can proudly represent further encourage, develop and sustain the talent pool and prepare them for challenges ahead. Malaysia on the international stage “

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MY JUNIORS

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KUALA LUMPUR CROWNED MSSM OVERALL CHAMPIONS

uala Lumpur turned the tables on fourtime defending champions Selangor when they claimed the overall championship at the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) national golf championship in Perak recently. A total of 15 state contingents congregated in Ipoh for the championship, which took place simultaneously at Meru Valley Golf & Country Club (boys) and Clearwater Sanctuary Resort (girls) from March 3 -5. Twelve gold medals were on offer. Led by current national player and girls’ under-18 champion Nur Durriyah Damian, Kuala Lumpur claimed a lion share of the medals on offer, picking up five golds, three silvers and two bronzes to end their Klang Valley rivals’ dream of a fifth straight championship. Selangor settled for second with a haul of two golds and two silvers with Sabah coming in third on the back of two golds and two bronzes. Hosts Perak also finished with collection of two gold medals while Johor had one gold medal, three silvers and two bronzes to show for their efforts.


MY JUNIORS LEADING FINAL SCORES Boys’ Under-12 225 Khavish Varman Varadan (WPKL) 71-81-73 228 Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz (JOH) 75-79-74 232 Bryan Teoh Wi Yang (PEN) 79-77-76 238 Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi (SEL) 78-80-80 244 Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi (SEL) 79-82-83 246 Adam Arif Madzri (SEL) 80-90-76 Girls’ Under-12 237 Natasha Andrea Oon (WPKL) 239 Ashley Lau Jen Wen (SWK) 240 Winnie Ng Yu Xuan (WPKL) 270 Geraldine Wong Xiao Xuan (SEL) 274 Nurdiyana Aqila Khalim (JOH) 282 Ally Yee Jung Ya (PRK)

81-77-79 79-80-80 81-81-78 86-93-91 86-86-92 93-95-94

Boys’ Under-15 228 Solomon Emelio Rosidin (SBH) Sazanur Iman Salehin (WPKL) 229 Albright Chong Ming Soon (SBH) 240 Lucas Yee Jung Jin (PRK) 241 Jordan Jude Tay Kunjin (SWK) Chang Ervin (SEL)

75-78-75(ocb), 73-78-77 72-82-75 79-76-85 80-79-82 79-84-78

Girls’ Under-15 230 Loy Hee Ying (JOH) 233 Nur Eliana Ariffin (MEL) 241 Jaclyn Chen Jin Yi (SWK) 244 Siti Zulaikhaa Shaari (SEL) 247 Qistina Balwis Azhar (JOH) 252 Kimberly Nelson (SWK)

78-75-77 79-78-76 83-78-80 84-80-80 80-80-87 87-84-81

Boys’ Under-18 215 Low Khai Jei (PRK) 224 Kuhanesh Ganesan (JOH) 225 Muhd Afif Muhd Razif (PEN) 227 Malcolm Adam Tay Kunjin (SWK) Leduin Jordon Mobi John (SBH) 228 Afifudin Aziz (NSE)

70-69-76 77-73-74 75-72-78 77-76-74, 75-76-76 71-79-78

Girls’ Under-18 214 Nur Durriyah Damian (WPKL) 223 Genevieve Ling I-Rynn (SEL) 226 Sarfina Vinota Seretharan (WPKL) 234 Nur Islamiah Mohd Fuad (PRK) 244 Nur Musfirah Ilham Armalis (KED) 247 Ardilla Ali Rahman (JOH)

71-70-73 79-73-71 72-76-78 76-81-77 84-77-83 78-84-85

Boys’ Under-12 (Team) Gold - Selangor Silver - Kuala Lumpur Bronze - Johor

Girls’ Under-15 (Team) Gold - Selangor Silver - Sarawak Bronze - Johor

Girls’ Under-12 (Team) Gold - Kuala Lumpur Silver - Sarawak Bronze - Johor

Boys’ Under-18 (Team) Gold - Perak Silver - Johor Bronze -

Boys’ Under-15 (Team) Gold - Sabah Silver - Kuala Lumpur Bronze - Sarawak

Girls’ Under-18 (Team) Gold - Kuala Lumpur Silver - Selangor Bronze - Sabah

Overall Kuala Lumpur Selangor Sabah Perak Johor Sarawak Melaka Pulau Pinang

G S B 5 3 2 2 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 0 1 3 2 0 3 2 0 1 1 0 0 2

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MY JUNIORS

Respective age-group winners pose with CIMB Foundation’s chief executive Dato’ Mohd Shukri Hussin

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2012 NATIONAL JUNIOR GOLF CIRCUIT OFF TO GOOD START

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n keeping with the noble intentions to groom future champions, the CIMB Foundation - SportExcel National Junior Premier-Elite Golf Circuit will see the introduction of three-day tournaments legs as opposed to two-day events in the past. The announcement was made by SportExcel executive director Sivanandan Chinnadurai during the opening leg of the Premier-Elite circuit at Bukit Beruntung Golf & Country Club on March 5. “We are well aware that many of our top junior golfers are now actively participating in state amateur as well a growing number of international tournaments. As most of these events are played over three days, it is only timely that we introduce three-day tournaments on the Premier-Elite circuit to give these young players a good training ground to improve on their stamina as well as match fitness.” He added, ”Having had a trial run last year, the feedback from the parents has been positive and our partners are also keen on this development, so the next legs after this including the grand finals later this year will be a three-day affair.” Sivanandan also expressed his gratitude to CIMB Foundation for their continued support as the title sponsor for the Premier-Elite Golf Circuit. “We are pleased that CIMB Foundation have reiterated their commitment to junior golf development by supporting our efforts here at SportExcel. It is because of strong partners like them that we are able to continue our efforts to produce young champions, who we hope will go on to excel on the big stage and bring honour to the country,” he shared.

Results - CIMB Foundation - SportExcel National Junior Premier-Elite Golf Circuit – 1st Leg Boys’ Under-12 1st Khavish Varman Varadan 2nd Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi 3rd Yong Fat Hoe 4rd Adam Arif Madzri Boys’ Under-15 1st Park Chang Uk 2nd Alvin Hiew 3rd Aaerishna Shahshty Balakrishnan 4rd Mior Asyraf Haziq Zulkefli

152 (74-78) 162 (81-81) 164 (79-85) 180 (88-92)

154 (79-75) 157 (79-78) 164 ( 82-82) 164 (80-84)

149 (74-75) 156 (80-76) 160 (79-81) 161 (77-84)

Girls’ Under-15 1st Siti Zulaikha Shaari 2nd Kelie Kan Kah Yan 3rd Raeysha Surendran 4rd Nur Syazani Amalia Mohd Shahzan

160 (78-82) 161 (80-81) 168 (84-84) 170 (87-83)

Girls’ Under-21 1st Yong Mei Khuan 2nd Sarfina Seretharan 3rd Nyca Khaw Wen Huei 4rd Nurul Atirah Abdullah

151 (77-74) 154 (78-76) 169 (86-83) 175 (89-86)

Boys’ Under-21 1st Joshua Gibbons 2nd Muhammad Asyraf hj Rosli 3rd Danial Hj Mukti 4rd Kim Myong Kon

Mixed Under 9 1st Foo Tee Jui 2nd Sarah Madzri 3rd Jeneath Wong 4rd Feirish Nor Faizal Nor

92 (47-45) 95 (47-48) 96 (51-45) 96 (48-48)


MY JUNIORS

CHANG PREVENTS FOREIGN CLEAN SWEEP

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rvin Chang emerged the sole domestic victor in the RSGC-AmBank Junior Amateur Open as international participants claimed a lion share of the honours in the inaugural event held at Royal Selangor Golf Club from March 13-15. The 13-year-old national back-up player closed his campaign with a four-over 76 to beat fellow team mate Amir Nazrin Jailani by seven strokes in the boys’ under-15 category. Chang totalled 11-over 227 over three days to claim his first domestic title of 2012 to bury his disappointing outing at the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) national championship last week, where he only managed to a tied fifth finish. Chang was notably delighted with his victory considering that it was his first outing at the iconic course in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. “Yes, I’m very happy to have claimed the title. I felt comfortable out there today, the three-shot cushion at the start of the round didn’t affect the way I played today as I kept my rhythm intact. The greens were really challenging but I’m glad to have come out on tops,” he said.

AmBank’s managing director for retail banking, noting that the bank was a proud supporter of junior golf through its involvement in the Faldo Series Malaysia and the SportExcel National Junior Golf Circuit. A total of 91 golfers participated in the maiden threeday event. Results - RSGC-AmBank Junior Amateur Open Boys’ Under-18 1st Adam Shaw (CAN) 213 (70-75-68) 2nd Mohammed Izzad Ibrahim 230 (75-81-74) 3rd Nick Ang Xia Ee 230 (74-78-78) Girls’ Under-18 1st Dottie Ardina (PHI) 2nd Sarah Ababa (PHI) 3rd Genevieve Ling I-Ryn

214 (71-71-72) 221 (76-72-73) 230 (77-75-78)

In the other division, Ontario-based Adam Shaw totalled 213 to lift the boys’ under-18 title with a massive 13-stroke advantage while Dottie Ardina and Princess Superal made it a memorable double for the Phillipines, claiming the girls’ under-18 and under-15 categories respectively.

Boys’ Under-15 1st Ervin Chang 2nd Amir Nazrin Jailani 3rd Danial Durisic

227 (74-77-76) 234 (79-77-78) 236 (79-75-82)

“We are confident that the juniors players benefited from the high level of competition here and we are pleased to partner RSGC in offering junior golfers another platform to hone their skills,” said Datuk Mohamed Azmi Mahmood,

Girls’ Under-15 1st Princess Superal (PHI) 2nd Daniella Uy (PHI) 3rd Siti Zulaikha Shaari

221 (74-74-73) 225 (76-74-75) 233 (77-78-78)

top female junior Nur Durriyah Damian claimed an historic DURRIYAH CLAIMS FALDO Malaysia’s first for the nation when she emerged as the girls’ under-16 champion at the 6th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in Mission Hills Golf SERIES ASIA VICTORY Club in Shenzen, China. The 15-year-old braved single-digit temperatures to become the firstever Malaysian winner at the prestigious championship hosted by sixtime Major winner Sir Nick Faldo from March 14 -16. The victory came as a consolation for Durriyah, who was poised for bigger things as she led the girl’s division by five strokes after opening rounds of 75 and 74. The plucky lass’ hopes however came undone with a closing 76 and the heroics of 20-year-old Japanese Mai Aria, who posted a sterling final round 70 to pip Durriyah to the overall title by one stroke with a three-day total of eight-over 224. Also creating a record of sorts was Loy Hee Ying, who nailed a superb holein-one on the second day of the tournament, receiving an autographed Open Championship flag from Faldo himself. In the boys’ division, Masamichi Ito of Japan claimed his third Faldo Series title The 16-year-old fired a final round 67 on the Faldo Course to win by three, adding to the Asia and Europe titles he won in 2010.

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AROUND THE GLOBE

MAHAN WINS MATCHPLAY, KEEPS McILROY WAITING

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rmed with a new putter, Hunter Mahan prolonged Rory McIlroy’s wait to be coronated as the world number one by beating the Northern Irishman 2&1 to win WGC-Accenture Match Play on February 26. The 29-year-old American at one point won four out of five holes to give him a commanding 4-up lead through 10 holes. Despite a late charge by McIlroy on the back nine that cut Mahan’s lead to two at one point, Mahan held on to claim the victory at the Arizona desert.

Mahan became the first American to win the Match Play Championship since Tiger Woods in 2008. He became only the sixth player to win multiple WGC titles, joining Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Darren Clarke. McIlroy could not repeat his heroics of earlier in the day when he recovered from three down after four holes to beat Lee Westwood in the semi-final. “I played a great back nine but left too much work to do,” said McIlroy.

© Getty Images

“He’s the best player in the world right now,” Mahan said. “I knew he’d make a charge, and he did.”

The Ulsterman posted a one–under 69 for 12–under 268 total, keeping his nerve after Woods surged to the clubhouse lead with a closing eight–under 62 that eventually left the 14–time Major champion tied for second place with Tom Gillis on 10–under 270.

McILROY SOARS TO THE TOP

Woods, the former world number one delivered the lowest final round of his career, firing two eagles and four birdies in a flawless display to put the heat on McIlroy.

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© Getty Images

His birdie–eagle finish briefly moved him within one shot of McIlroy, who promptly responded with the second of his two birdies by sinking an eight–footer at the 13th hole. After a series of crucial par saves, the 22-year-old finished off with a classic textbook par on the finishing hole to claim a two-shot victory.

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ory McIlroy held off a hard–charging Tiger Woods at the Honda Classic on March 4 to claim golf’s world number one ranking.

The victory saw McIlory supplant England’s Luke Donald as the world’s top ranked professional golfer and in the process, become the second youngest player ever behind Woods, to claim the number one ranking. “It was tough today, especially seeing Tiger make a charge,” McIlroy said. “I knew par golf would probably be good enough today and that’s what I was trying to do. I was just able to get the job done.”

A

nirban Lahiri endured several heartstopping moments before he finally reigned supreme by defeating Thailand’s Prom Meesawat at the first play-off hole to win the SAIL-SBI Open on February 25.

He had to take a penalty because of an unplayable lie and played the third shot to the left of the fairway from where his fourth shot just found the green, which left him with a 40-footer putt for par.

An upset seemed to be on the cards when Prom overcame a three-shot deficit to take a share of the lead with Lahiri from the 16th hole in regulation play at the Delhi Golf Club. The Thai closed with a 70 for a 14-underpar 274 total and headed to the play-off brimming with confidence.

Lahiri meanwhile had a good tee shot and managed to reach the green in three. He came within three feet for his birdie putt, after which Prom decided to pick up his ball and concede defeat. “My commiserations go out to Scott Barr and Prom as they played brilliantly today and I’m just fortunate that I managed to pull it off,” said Lahiri, who only managed a closing 73.

But it all unravelled on the first play-off hole when Prom’s tee shot found the bushes on the right.

© PGTI

LAHIRI SAILS TO SECOND ASIAN TOUR VICTORY


AROUND THE GLOBE

© Asian Tour

QUARTET EARN BRITISH OPEN TICKETS

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Still fresh from his victory at the SAIL-SBI Open a week earlier, Lahiri led the trio of Prayad Marksaeng, who shot the best round of 64, Kodai Ichihara of Japan and Mardan Mamat of Singapore, who sealed the fourth and final ticket after winning a three-way play-off against compatriot Lam Chih Bing and Jonathan Moore of the United States at the majestic Amata Spring Country Club. “It has been a childhood dream of mine. It feels really nice. This is the third IFQ I have come for and the last couple of times I played pretty poorly. It is really nice that I have made it,” said Lahiri, who posted a nine-under-par 135. Six-time Asian Tour winner Prayad bounced back from an opening 73 courtesy of a new driver and some hot putting where he sank a monster 50-feet birdie putt from the edge of the eighth green to earn his fifth appearance in The Open. “I was very lucky today because I sank all my long putts. Everything just clicked for me from my driving to my putting. It was just one of those good days. It feels great to qualify for The Open again and this time, I’ll be aiming to make the cut for the first time in my career,” said Prayad, who shot a flawless round highlighted by six straight birdies from the sixth hole. Ichihara, who missed out on a fourth and final ticket to The Open by one shot last year, battled into third place with a flawless 69 as Asian amateur champion Hideki Matsuyama, who was in contention for the Open spot faded with a double bogey on 16, bogey on 17 and triple bogey on the last. On the other hand, Mardan had to endure an agonising three-hour wait before playing in the play-off which he triumphed with a tricky 12 feet birdie putt on the par four 18th hole. The Open Championship will be played at the Royal Lytham St Annes from July 19 to 22.

© Getty Images

ndia’s Anirban Lahiri earned his Major debut at The Open Championship after shooting a final round five-under-par 67 at the International Final Qualifying (IFQ)-Asia on March 2.

ROSE BLOOMS AS WOODS TRIGGERS ALARM BELLS

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nglishman Justin Rose claimed the WGC-Cadillac Championship on March 11 by one stroke from American Bubba Watson to claim his first WGC title and move into the world’s top ten. The composed Rose shot a final round 70 to finish at 16-under while Watson, who had led by three at the start of the day, ended at 15-under after closing with a 74. “These moments are incredible and they are few and far between as a golfer,” said Rose. “There has been a lot of work going on with my game and days like this, where it just all shows up, makes it all worthwhile.” Watson missed an opportunity to force a play-off after missing an eight-foot birdie putt on the last hole after Rose, who had been tidy all week, offered a glimmer of hope to his rival when he bogeyed the 18th after driving into the rough before overshotting his approach to the back of the green. But it was former world number one Tiger Woods who stole the attention, pulling out on the 12th hole with an Achilles tendon complaint, prompting concern about his fitness for next month’s Masters. Woods confirmed later in the week that his withdrawal was merely a “precaution” and that “he decided to be smart about it and not risk further injury” before confirming that he will warm-up for the first Major of the season by participating in the Tavistock Cup and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

KRUGER ENDS WAIT IN DELHI

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outh Africa’s Jbe Kruger finally shed his perennial bridesmaid tag when he closed with a final round three-under-par 69 to win the Avantha Masters on February 19.

© Asian Tour

Kruger, who had come close on many occasions, especially in 2010, where he had to settle for the runner-up spot three times, was clearly relieved when he lifted his maiden Asian Tour title with a winning total of 14-under-par 274 at the DLF Golf and Country Club. Spain’s Jorge Campillo signed off with a 67 to take a share of second place with Germany’s Marcel Siem on 276 while Australia’s Marcus Fraser and Spain’s Manuel Jose Lara closed

with matching 277s for a share of fourth place at the Avantha Masters, which is richest tournament staged in India, thanks to its €1.8 million prize fund. Kruger, who made his debut on the Asian Tour in 2009, was always in control from the opening tee. Despite carding a lone bogey on the par-four 17th, the South African knew that it was his title to lose and was clearly elated when he sunk his winning par putt on the closing 18th hole. “It’s a big relief now that I’ve won but I think I needed all those second –placed finishes to be able to appreciate this. There was no pressure even when I made my only bogey of the day on the 17th,” said Kruger, who picked up the winner’s prize cheque worth €300,000 and moved to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

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HOBBYIST TURN BUSINESSMAN Ong Geek Beng managed to turn his passion for golf into a sustainable retail business up North

HOW BIG IS YOUR OPERATIONS NOW? Currently, I have two staff under me. DO YOU CARRY ALL BRANDS OR YOU FOCUS ON CERTAIN BRANDS ONLY? Over the years with the experience I gained and the feedback from my customers, I tend to be very selective with the brands I stock up. I won’t shy away from saying that I am primarily a Titleist and FootJoy retailer because I have personal faith and trust in the brand and my strong partnership with them. At the same time, I am aware that our clients will like to see the latest clubs and apparel in the market, so I do work with the other brands as well.

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WHY COME INTO GOLF BUSINESS? I started playing golf in 1998, and like most unfortunate chaps, I became addicted to it! Over the years, I developed a liking to tinker around with my clubs. I tried out changing my own shafts and grips as well as doing some experimentation with different heads. Mine you, I didn’t have any formal certification in club fitting or anything; everything was pretty much trial and error from what I had read or picked up from the internet. Some time three years ago, the honorary secretary here at Royal Kedah Golf Club approached me and asked if I was interested in taking over the abandoned pro shop here. To be honest, I think the excitement got into me as my golfing mates (Ong has been a member of RKGC since the 90s) related to me how difficult it was for them to even buy simple things like tees, balls and gloves before their daily jaunts. I accepted the offer and that was how we began. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACED IN THE EARLY STAGES? I knew it was a financial risk but nonetheless I ploughed a portion of my life savings into the start-up, borrowed from friends and relatives and used up my credit card limit. I stocked up little by little - at first, it was only soft goods and the margins were small, so I just scrapped through in most months.

Luckily, I had all the time in the world; being a retiree, I was able to commit to the business 110% and didn’t need to hire extra hands in the initial stage. Because I was new to the business, most principals and distributors expected cash on delivery, so maintaining a good cash flow was important. At that point, I was running upand-down to the bank every morning just to make sure that I paid my suppliers, so that my goods would arrive on time. HOW DID YOU BUILD YOUR CONTACTS IN THE INDUSTRY? I didn’t have any contacts then but I was fortunate that I knew a salesman (Jasmi Jamil) from Ossia World of Golf and he was instrumental in helping me get going by introducing me to the right people. One fine day, Rick Chong of Acushnet Malaysia Sdn Bhd walked into my shop and introduced himself. It was the start of a very fruitful and rewarding partnership with them.

DESCRIBE YOUR CLIENTELE? Majority of my clients are actually not my fellow club members. Today, I have more walkin customers, most of them who are repeat buyers as well as new ones - Alor Setar is a small city and word does get around. I also engage with the various social golfing communities and get involved with clan associations and guilds. I have also built my networking with the various government agencies and private corporations whom I service regularly, which bring in a steady flow of corporate and tournament orders. YOUR BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? Simply hard work. I still come to work at 7.00am and I work sometimes up to midnight, if my regular clients come around to have a drink and hit some balls at the range. The other important aspect of golf retail is product knowledge - you can only be a good golf salesman if you know your wares. I still surf the internet daily to find out the latest development in the product sector. WHAT PLEASURE DO YOU DERIVE FROM BEING IN THE GOLF BUSINESS? Being able to do what I’m passionate about and make some decent income. I still play nineholes of golf each morning before I come in and sometimes again in the evening. I am proud to say that I’m learning something new each and every day. Just recently, I watched a Titleist Fitting session here at the driving range and I was amazed at the advanced technological system in place.

NTASYA MEGA ENTERPRISE

Royal Kedah Golf Club Pumpong, 05250 Alor Setar, Kedah Tel: 04-7316901


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Rocketballz Gloves

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Formation Lightweight Stand Golf Bag

http://www.cobrapumagolf.com/ • • • •

Boldly-colored bag with all the latest storage features designed to make your game easier. The bag offers numerous, specialised pockets including a hidden left side pocket with cooler lined drink pocket and a tight fit fleece lined cell phone pocket as well as a drawstring rain hood that doubles as a footwear bag. Constructed from 600 denier nylon, the bag features a unibody shoulder strap system with neoprene lined carry straps along with side-by-side strap holds and a padded neoprene handle for easier lifting. The custom molded 5-way opening is 8.5” in diameter and the two tone mesh top with full length club liners aides in organizing and protecting all fourteen of your clubs.

RRP: RM489


GEAR SPECIAL

Taking another significant step into the full line golf apparel business, FootJoy have decked out their new 2012 FJ Performance Golf Apparel Collection to complement their existing line of advanced outerwear.

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defined by a entified and id is y o tJ o Fo en wearing - the . Wh k ar m n o m com you define the mark, h it w d ct u d ro ap is committe player who a as fy f ti el en rs id u yo and e of golf to the gam golf brand ti en an auth c h it w f el rs u yo yers on the by more pla rn o w is at th ore players, tours and m y logos? e id w d rl o w pan Other com t in general. eral differen v se relate to ld k u ar co m at ey h h T k. T ot the mar . sports. But n It’s reliable c. ti en ’s auth It l. ia ec sp is . performance It thrives on . er y la P of a . The Mark more? Visit Want to know m.my/apparel co y. tjo oo www.f

range Prices 75 to M1 from R and RM288 129 $ S o t S$75 re) o p (Singa

High performance lisle fabric l Better moisture wicking qualities compared to ordinary cotton-based apparel lines while maintaining a nice smooth appearance and promoting better freedom of movement.

Sole passion for golf l Primarily focused to deliver comfort and performance on the golf course without being out of place in a work or casual setting.

Antimicrobial finish l Inhibits odor build-up when ambient moisture is present.

Available now

Cape Cod A refreshing collection featuring navy blue, ocean, yellow and white color combinations.

Available now

Savannah A vibrant collection utilising red, white and black.


GEAR SPECIAL

CONTEST Here’s your chance to be decked out in style just like FJ PGA tour professional and FJ ambassador Select your favourite collection and jot down a catchy tie-breaker slogan to be fitted with FootJoy’s new performance apparel! PRIZE

Available in stores across Malaysia and Singapore from the beginning of March, the stunning collection features a complete range of men’s golf apparel in a selection of contemporary colour stories and a variety of fashionable patterns - all utilising FootJoy’s proprietary high performance fabrics. Making Everyday Playable l Continues FootJoy’s layering system which was developed to meet the specific needs of golfers who demand comfortable performance apparel that regulates body temperature and adapts to changing weather conditions.

Two golfers will each win one (1) FJ Performance Golf Apparel and one (1) FJ Performance Golf Pants of their choice from the FJ Apparel Spring Collection. Name Address

Email Telephone Handphone Current Golf apparel brand used: Pick your favourite collection from the FJ Performance Apparel Spring Season

Easy Care Fabric l Avoids wrinkling and shrinkage despite repeated washing.

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Modern colour palettes l Perfectly complement the garment designs, allowing golfers to effortlessly coordinate their outfits throughout the range.

Athletic fit option l Ensures that those seeking a more tailored look – narrower across the chest and tighter sleeves - are spoilt for choice.

Scheduled for May 2012

Napa Valley Attractive mix of purple, charcoal, light grey and white.

Scheduled for June 2012

Newport A unique lively feel courtesy of a plethora of coral, navy, white and an accent of khaki.

Pen a slogan in not more than 20 words I CHOOSE FJ BECAUSE

Mail or fax your entries to THE MARK OF A PLAYER CONTEST c/o Inpress Media Sdn Bhd

A-3-1 Jalan PJS5/30 Pusat Perdagangan Petaling Jaya Selatan 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Fax: 603 777 222 10 TERMS & CONDITIONS l No purchases required. Making a purchase will not increase your chance of winning a prize. l Employees of Acushnet Malaysia S/B and Inpress Media Sdn Bhd and their immediate families, as well as employees of advertising agencies and suppliers of good and services to Acushnet Malaysia S/B are not eligible to participate in this contest. l To qualify for participation in this contest, complete this form and mail it to the address above or fax it to +603 777 222 10 l Incomplete entries and entries with illegible handwriting will be disqualified. l Each person is only entitled to win one prize in this contest. l The closing date date for entries is Monday April 30, 2012. l Winners will be contacted directly by Acushnet Malaysia S/B for collection of prizes. l Prize won is strictly non-transferable and non-exchangeable. l Winners release Acushnet Malaysia S/B from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the possession, use or misuse of any prizes. l In the event of any dispute, Acushnet Malaysia S/B’s decision is final and no correspondence whatsoever will be entertained. l Acushnet Malaysia S/B reserves the right to amend any part of the terms and conditions without prior notice. l The contest and terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of Malaysia.


IN THE BAG

S02 Driver

www.honmagolf.com • • • •

Designed to be more forgiving and produces a mid to higher launch with better carry and lower spin for maximum distance off the tees. All new seven-piece head design forged by Endo focuses on delivering maximum performance technology while the the variable thickness VL Titan face is designed for maximum energy transfer and repulsion. The back of the crown constructed with high-quality KS100 titanium eliminates unwanted flexing and loss of energy while a huge sweet spot produces minimal distance loss on miss hits. Features a dual fusion face with two separate points on the face which are thicker than the outer walls, promoting a slingshot effect for higher ball speeds.

RRP: Prices available upon request at all PanWest outlets

Sword Sniper V Driver www.katanagolf.eu •

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Weighing at only 286g, the Sword Sniper V is one of the lightest driver available on the market, suitable for golfers with slow to medium swing speeds. Combines a 460cc head with size with a larger sweet spot for off-centred hits with strategically-placed Tungsten Sole Weights inserts at the sole, which effectively lowers the driver’s centre of gravity for more consistent and smoother ball flight Sleek ultra-thin crown improves aerodynamics, reducing drag for for a better downswing while the bronze non-glare crown and gold-coloured clubface promotes easier alignment and use.

RRP: RM4,500

588 Wedge

www.clevelandgolf.com • • • •

Maintains the popular, tour-proven shape of its predecessor with a series of technological breakthroughs to provide even more performance. Every wedge is Precision forged from 1025 carbon steel for incredibly soft and solid feel, delivering supreme confidence and trust over every shot. Precise Laser Milling technology preserves groove edges on the Tour Zip Grooves™ for perfect groove consistency and optimal surface roughness to maximize spin. Equipped exclusively with the Tour Concept Wedge steel shaft - which with its unique stiffness profile and less active tip, promotes a more penetrating ball flight, increased spin and optimal distance control along with superior feel.

RRP: RM590


IN THE BAG

Look Better.Feel Better.Play Better Taking golf lifestyle to the next level, Cobra Puma Golf introduce a gamut of new equipment for the style-conscious yet dedicated golfer

C

obra Puma Golf’s new line-up is called AMP, which stands for Advanced Material Placement, referring to the improved manufacturing techniques that allow the company to place material (or weight) exactly where they’d like in each club. Available in a riot of bright orange and green, the clubs stand out with matching golf bags and accessories. The AMP driver, fairways, and hybrids all feature adjustability at affordable prices while the AMP irons feature a maraging steel face to help the ball pop. The irons also feature a slight cavity and are built using a multi-alloy design built on the Advance Material Placement model. The Baffler Fairways and Hybrids feature a T-Rail sole. The “T” stands for Tungsten found in the familiar rails on the sole of the baffler line, which lowers the CG of the fairways and hybrids for higher launch. The Long Tom is all about distance. At the USGA’s legal limit, the driver measures 4 feet (48”) in length but comes in at just under 269 grams. It is available in both a black finish and in a limited edition unfinished raw version In the words of Cobra Puma Golf SEA’s general manager Jeffrey Soh, the Cobra Puma Golf brand has undergone a reincarnation of sorts and it is only timely that the once notoriously famous Trusty Rusty wedges makes a welcome return. The wedge comes in three finishes, but true to the name, regardless of the finish, the face of the wedge will rust. Also unique to the design is etching around the legal grooves that increases their perceived size for increased confidence. Cobra Puma Golf Price List AMP driver = RM1690 (8°, 9° & 10°) AMP fairways = RM990 (3W & 5W) AMP hybrids = RM990 (2/H,3/H & 4H) AMP irons (4-PW, SW) = RM4290 (steel), RM3490 (graphite) Baffler T-Rail fairways = RM890 (3W,5W & 7W) Baffler T-Rail hybrids = RM890 (2/H, 3/H, 4/H,5/H, 6/H & 7/H) Trusty Rusty = RM490 (49°, 51°, 53°, 55°, 57°, 59° & 61°) # available in all good golf stores nationwide

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IN THE BAG

RAZR RE-INVENTED You saw it first here! We bring you Callaway’s latest range of top-of-the-line equipment and golf balls, hitting the market in April 2012! HEX Black Tour Golf Ball i-Core™ Technology • The combination of the soft inner core and firm outer core provides the optimal spin separation from tee to green to optimize the balance of both distance and control DuraSpin™ Cover • A proprietary formulation that yields the soft feel and exceptional short-game spin skilled players seek in a Tour golf ball New HEX Aerodynamics™ • Refined pattern provides the best aerodynamic performance ever in a Callaway golf ball, reducing drag and promoting a stable, penetrating ball flight that holds its line in the wind

RRP: RM199 HEX Chrome Golf Ball s-Tech Core ™ • With its low compression, it provides extremely soft feel off the clubface and generates low driver spin to maximize distance. DuraSpin™ Cover • A proprietary formulation that produces the soft feel and the exceptional short-game spin necessary in a high performance golf ball New HEX Aerodynamics™ • Refined pattern provides the best aerodynamic performance ever in a Callaway golf ball, reducing drag and promoting a stable, penetrating ball flight that holds its line in the wind

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RRP: RM149 RAZR X Black Driver Forged Composite™ • Revolutionary material in the crown that’s lighter, stronger than titanium while longer shaft creates faster head speed, ball speed and greater distance without compromising forgiveness Speed Frame™ Face Technology • A combination of VFT® and Hyperbolic Face™ Technology creates a larger sweet spot and increases ball speeds across the titanium face for longer, more consistent distance Distance Trajectory Weighting • Optimises the center of gravity, promoting the ideal conditions for maximum distance with a high launch, low spinning ball flight Streamlined Surface Technology • Aerodynamic contours reduce energy loss from drag during the downswing by 23% compared to the Diablo Octane™ Driver Black PVD Finish • Physical Vapor Deposition Finish comes from a high-tech process that produces a distinctive stealth look for awe-inspiring confidence

RRP: RM1390

RAZR X Black Fairway Woods Aggressive VFT® Technology • Precision shaping of the face thickness in each club increases the size of the sweet spot to generate hotter ball speeds for longer distance Tour-Inspired Styling • Traditional shape has been styled with dark, stealth graphics for bag appeal and confidence Stainless Steel Construction • Heat treated for enhanced strength, which enables the aggressive VFT pattern

RRP: RM1090


IN THE BAG RAZR X HL Hybrids

RAZR X HL Irons

Zero Roll Design • Clubface with zero roll produces a higher launch angle on shots hit low on the face, increasing distance with softer landings Aggressive VFT® Technology • Precision shaping of the face thickness in each club increases the size of the sweet spot Vertical CG Optimization • Thin crown allows for a low CG, putting it in-line with where most amateurs strike the ball on the clubface, promoting high, strong trajectories that fly farther and land softer Inertia Driven Design • Clubheads have a slightly larger footprint for a high MOI and exceptional forgiveness

RAZR Technology • Makes the sweet spot more accessible at lower impact locations, where many amateurs strike the ball for high-launch shots for longer, more consistent distance and improved accuracy Solid Impact Sole • Creates smooth turf interaction for better distance, accuracy and consistency VFT® Power System • Fully integrated clubface/undercut cavity system that enables engineers to precisely position the CG and engineer the face of each individual iron to maximize ball speed Multi-Material Medallion • Constructed of aluminum and thermoplastic polyurethane, it finetunes sound and enhances feel off the clubface

RRP: RM790

RRP: RM3550 (graphite)

RM2650(steel)

RAZR X Black Irons RAZR Technology • More shot-making from more places by providing the playability of a wide sole iron while retaining the workability of a thin sole iron VFT® Power System • Fully integrated clubface/undercut cavity system that enables our engineers to precisely position the CG and engineer the face of each individual iron to maximize ball speed Black PVD Finish • Physical Vapor Deposition Finish comes from a high-tech process that produces a distinctive stealth look for reduced glare and strong appeal in the bag Multi-Material Medallion • Constructed of aluminum and thermoplastic polyurethane, it fine-tunes sound and enhances feel off the clubface

RRP: RM3850 (graphite)

RAZR X Irons RAZR Technology • Shifts the center of gravity lower and deeper • More shot-making from more places by providing the forgiveness of a wide sole iron while retaining the playability of a thin sole iron VFT® Power System • Fully integrated clubface/undercut cavity system that enables our engineers to precisely position the CG and engineer the face of each individual iron to maximize ball speed

RRP: RM4150 (graphite) RM3650(steel)

RM3250 (steel)

RAZR X Tour Irons RAZR Technology • Shifts the center of gravity lower and deeper • Provides enhanced playability while retaining the turf interaction advantages of a thin sole iron VFT® Power System • Fully integrated clubface/undercut cavity system that enables our engineers to precisely position the CG and engineer the face of each individual iron to maximize ball speed Compact Head Shape • Smaller profile with less offset and a thinner topline for a sleeker look at address • Produces the workability and control sought by better players

RRP: RM4000 (steel)

RAZR X Forged Irons Tour CC Grooves • Provide elite-level golfers increased spin for aggressive shot-making Forged 1020 Carbon Steel • Produces soft feel and incredibly responsive feedback at impact New Tour-Inspired Head Shape • In addition to thin topline, narrow sole and short blade length, the clubhead has a higher, squared-off toe and a sharper leading edge.

RRP: RM4750 (Steel)

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COVERING CARLSBAD BY SCOTT KRAMER the greatest amount of positive media attention and exposure on television. In addition to using the clubs, companies want their logo where TV broadcasts show the most, i.e. the player’s headwear. There is also the matter of building up Tour usage numbers, or counts used in ad campaigns to show that your product is the No. 1, or most-played driver or putter or ball on Tour. All these factors inevitably trickle down to consumer demand for the products. This is a point of cutthroat contention, as some brands spiff non-contracted players extra money weekly to use their gear.

Scott Kramer is a veteran golf writer based in the golf

For players, it is mostly about getting the proper tools in their bag so that they have a shot to win tournament prize money. Some players like to keep their driver and putter out of their club contracts, so that they can switch on the fly if need be, to whatever works best in a pinch. PING and Callaway notoriously insist that players include these clubs in their contracts however. Moreover, to be honest, some players like it that way.

equipment capital of Carlsbad, California. In his 20-plus years covering the golf industry, the former senior editor of GOLF Magazine

has

lowered

his

playing index to 5.1, raised his IQ on the sophisticated technology used to make golf clubs, and stayed even keel on his propensity to miss short putts.

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But he always brings game to his columns.

Tour validation and consumer pattern

T

he last week of February, Hunter Mahan captured the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play. The television broadcast made a big deal about it and rightly so too, of how well Mahan was putting with his new PING putter.

“My equipment contract with Cobra includes a driver and I’m very happy with it,” said tour professional Ian Poulter at the Honda Classic in March. “Most manufacturers make nice drivers, but I really like the Cobra equipment and I have been for the last six years. We have worked together to help create their equipment and I am very happy about that. If you had no contract, you could jump and change all the time. Moreover, you would not be getting any consistency. You really should fill your working relationship with someone who can help you. You help them, they help you.” It is not just club brands, which can benefit from Tour usage. Oakley, a Southern California-based manufacturer of footwear, apparel and sunglasses, struck the perfect storm last year, when its poster boys came through at the most viewed of all golf events, the Majors. “Rory McIlroy stole the show at the Masters and U.S. Open, and then Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship. We never saw that coming. All of the sudden Oakley’s everywhere,” says Al Janc, the company’s sports marketing manager for golf.

Consumers reportedly started flooding the manufacturer and retailers with requests for this new putter model. Problem was, PING was not ready to come to market with the putter. It was slated to be released later this Spring. However, the company reacted quickly. Within days, the Nome putter went into production and the company began taking orders for it. Therefore, for 2012, the company introduced Cipher shoes that in lieu of cleats have thousands of what That is the power of PGA Tour usage these days. In the the company calls “nanospikes” on the sole. To the modern world of electronics, a casual golfer on one casual observer, however, these look like sheets of side of the world watches a Tour pro on television putt sandpaper stuck to the bottom of the shoe. And yes, with precision, hit a 350-yard drive continually chip in some of the company’s Tour staffers are sporting with a sand wedge, and then hit the web to find out these on Tour. all of the details about the club, long before it is sold at the golf shop. “Were not afraid to be outside the box and have That is why Tour endorsement deals are so important these days – perhaps more than ever. Players score big time. Just for showing up using their sponsor’s clubs and balls, they are already banking large sums of money. The world’s top ten players typically receive millions of dollars annually to play equipments. The next 20 generally earn up to $1 million. The rest of the pack earns slightly less. Even PGA Tour rookies get roughly $200,000 to $400,000 for club and ball contracts.

people laugh at us and ask what some of our products are because they’re so different,” says Janc. “And yet the technology works so great that I guarantee three or four years from now, a lot of shoe companies who are looking at what we’re doing now will be copying us.”

So when you see a Tour pro using a particular club or ball, wearing cool shoes or even a flashy shirt at the upcoming Masters, know that it’s no accident but rather a choreographed attempt by the manufacturer to market the latest products and by From an equipment manufacturer’s standpoint, the player to win. these contracts are all about who is going to receive


GOLF DOWN UNDER

Richard Fellner is the Group Editor of Inside Golf Magazine – Australia’s most regularly read golf publication. Hailing from the United States but now a

I

proud resident of Melbourne,

nnovation and science has played a part in golf since the inception of the game. From the original discovery of how to efficiently pack feathers into a leather pouch (to make a featherie golf ball) to today’s Computer-Aided golf club design, the game of golf is regularly undergoing massive technological changes.

swing, or when filmmakers create Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) for movies like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.

having played the game for over

Yet, for all the oversize driver heads, belly putters, softer ball covers, GPS systems and whiz-bang gadgets out there, the average golfer hasn’t statistically gotten much better over the years.

Since 2003, it has been used on TOUR to tailor clubs for PGA professionals like Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Retief Goosen, Marcus Fraser and others. And now, it’s available for the everyday golfer.

better at it.

So why is this? One of the more common suppositions these days is that golfers have all this technology, but they either A) don’t know how to use it, or B) it simply isn’t right for their particular style or swing. Fixing the first part is easy: go to a PGA Pro and get some lessons. (Sadly, many golfers prefer to get their golf tips from magazines, YouTube videos or their playing partners.)

In essence, you are fitted with a special ‘suit’ that has a bunch of little dots (“Reflective markers”) at strategic points of your body (Knees, shoulders, head, etc) as well as on the club itself. As you take a swing, a collection of high-speed cameras capture the movement of these dots, then relay it to a computer. The computer instantly crunches all the numbers and shows a true Real-time, 3D computer-generated representation of your swing from multiple angles – including your full swing plane , speed, angle of attack, impact, etc.

Surprisingly, the second part is becoming easier, thanks to high-tech clubfitting. Using launch monitors, RADAR technology and highly sophisticated computer systems, today’s clubfitter can dial in the specifics of your swing, including launch angle, ball speed, swing speed, spin and a host of other measurements. In Australia, this new technology has created a push for more high-tech, individualised clubfitting and instruction. The traditional “one size fits all” Demo Day is slowly being replaced with “By Appointment” custom fitting days, where a PGA Pro or experienced clubfitter will devise a highly-tailored set of clubs for your game. Companies like Callaway have launched “Mobile Performance Centres”, which are packed with hightech equipment that can be set up almost anywhere – at the range, on a plaza, on rooftops, etc. In one recent instance, Callaway even set up inside a course’s clubhouse as a last-minute solution to avoid a torrential rainstorm outside. Some systems, like the new TaylorMade Performance Lab in Melbourne are making use of technology once reserved for video games, moviemaking and professional golf swing analysis. TaylorMade’s Lab uses 3D motion capture technology similar to what videogame makers use when capturing Tiger Woods’

Fellner is a true golf tragic -

35 years but never getting any

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While this may sound a bit technical to the casual golfer, it is pure gold to a professional clubfitter or coach, and represents a new way of examining a golf swing. Whereas traditional launch monitors measure everything that happens AFTER impact with the ball --and then work backwards to extrapolate what might have occurred in your swing before impact - the 3D motion capture of TaylorMade’s system sees exactly what is happing in your swing BEFORE and DURING impact, which TaylorMade believe is a more accurate representation of a golfer’s swing. Armed with this knowledge, the clubfitter or pro can make recommendations for every club in your bag. They can even help you choose which golf ball is best for your game, allowing side-by-side comparisons of distance, spin, trajectory, etc. These types of systems are also a great tool for an instructor or coach. By identifying the weak areas of a player’s swing (say, an outside-to-inside swing plane) the Professional can tailor a series of drills or practice routines to alleviate the student’s fault, and begin lowering their handicap. Technology is changing the game. One can only hope that our handicaps change (downward) as well.

How videogame technology is changing Australian golf


UNCHARTED COURSE WITH NORMAS YAKIN

Normas

Yakin

considers

himself an all-rounder: a former cocoa and oil palm planter, golf course superintendent, golf club manager, director, lecturer and consultant. He believes there are only two great mavericks in Malaysia; one of them is a former Prime Minister. Modesty, however, prevents him from telling you who the other one is. In his free time, he scribbles at

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www.mynormas.com

Effects of slicer

A

famous golfer turned designer was once reported to have said, “There are three important things on a golf course - drainage, drainage and drainage” A rusted slicer

Every time I repeat that quote, I will get almost the same response, which is “That sounds similar to the oft-repeated mantra of a real-estate agent: location, location, location” A coincidence notwithstanding, drainage is still – especially in the context of Malaysia’s heavy monsoon rainfall – one of the most important aspect of golf course maintenance. And get this, almost without fail, every time I mention drainage on a golf course, what comes to mind of most people, whether golfers or golf club managers is that of a sub-soil drain. Images that pop up are those of a ‘herring-bone’ dug in the ground, sweaty and muddied workers, little pebbles, black corrugated pipes, perforated PVC pipes and a miniexcavator; all in the middle of the fairway. No? Funny, because that image is exactly what comes to my mind. I mean, all I could think of when the golf course is just too @#$% wet is adding more drains. Or, perhaps adding more drains (dear Ed, it’s not a typo).

Drainage, drainage, drainage..

Drains under the ground or as we professionals call it ‘sub-soil drains’ are useful to carry water away from one point to another where it can be discharged into a bigger drain, a river or retained temporarily in a lake or pond. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Let us start from the beginning. Water falls on the ground, whether from rain, snow, irrigation or a golfer doing small business behind a tree (Ha! You think we did not see?) and gets absorbed by the soil. We say ‘absorbed’ but in reality what happens is the water flows in between the soil particles and go down. Sandy soils have the benefit of having more gaps between particles, which helps water to percolate down faster. We talk about soils and drains, but what about the grass? It is a living thing that gets cut almost daily. Sometimes the clippings are collected; sometimes the clippings are left on the ground. These clippings then would go down between the grass and become thatch.

The thatch has its uses but if it is too thick, it then will prevent water from flowing through. Compaction is also a factor. Where there were gaps between soil particles that allow water to flow through, when compaction occurs, those gaps will narrow or even close up. What is the point of having sub-soil drains if the water does not reach it? So going back to the point of this article; one main part of drainage is allowing water to flow down through the soil profile. Whether there are sub-soil drains underneath to catch, the water is another matter. If water cannot flow down then it will flow over the ground and become surface runoff. Surface runoff works only to a certain extent to remove water. It also tends to be more damaging on open ground such as on a golf course, carrying with it topsoil, fertilizer, chemicals, seeds, grass, shrubs, golf balls heck, maybe even golfers. Now that I have amused (or shock) you enough, let me share how it can be circumvented (I love that word. I wonder what it really means…). I am sure most golfers are familiar with hollow-tines on greens. However, on fairways it is rarely done. It should, but considering the amount of debris that would have to be disposed and the amount of topdressing to be done, not many clubs could afford it. Ditto with dethatching (“Ditto with dethatching”: I am so witty…) Instead, what many golf courses can do are slicing and spiking. Slicers are like those ninja ‘shuriken’ that you see in movies. It’s non-motorized, so the machine is relatively cheap. It does not affect ball lie so it can be done often. Do you wonder if your club does it? Well, do you have a ‘drainage’ problem on your fairways after just a little bit of rain? That could be your answer. You don’t know what a shuriken is? If I show you mine, sensei may not be happy… then I might have to, you know; kill you. No hard feelings?


GOLFING TALES FROM THE LION CITY

Growing up in a golfing family with a grandmother who was an amateur champion golfer, Justine Moss developed a love of golf at an early age. After Shanshan Feng claimed the inaugural WLC event

A

lthough it has yet to be announced whether the HSBC Women’s Champions will continue in Singapore next year, there is no doubt that this popular event, which has attracted some of the top women players in golf over the past five years, has helped to spearhead interest and growth in the women’s game in this region. Other events, which have continued to attract players, sponsors and public interest, include the Honda LPGA Thailand, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship – all LPGA events. Now, it’s the turn of the Ladies European Tour (LET) whose players competed last week in the inaugural US$600,000 World Ladies Championship (WLC) that was staged at Mission Hills Haikou on Hainan Island. The co-sanctioned event between the LET and the China LPGA adopted a unique three-in-one game format that saw players competing as individuals as well as for the pride of their country. The tournament featured three concurrent 54-hole competitions in three categories, namely individual professionals, individual amateurs and professional teams, which took less than three months to organize. “It’s been over 20 years since Mission Hills was developed and we’ve never hosted any World ladies professional event and this was the first ever”, explained Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group. LET Executive Director Alexandra Armas added, “There’s a combination of elements which make this region very attractive with opportunities coming up. There is such an appetite in the game. From working in Europe and the US where it’s so established and you come here and there’s a buzz about this new game that everyone’s falling in love with now.” It was a clean sweep for the home nation when Chinese representatives won the individual, team and amateur titles in the WLC. World number 12 Shanshan Feng (who narrowly missed winning the HSBC event the week before

moving to Singapore in 1998 from Sydney, and opening her own communications company a year later, Justine expanded the writing side of her business and currently writes for a number of golfing and lifestyle publications in the region, with her finger on the pulse of local golf happenings

Jing Yan (centre) was the best amateur

in the Lion City

in Singapore) finished with a 10-under-par total of 206 and earned a one stroke victory in the individual stroke play event for professionals over Thai Pornanong Phatlum, making history as the first player from mainland China to win on the LET. Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg was a shot further behind in third. Feng’s partner in the team event, Liying Ye, ended in share of fourth place on seven-under-par and that, calculated with Feng’s score, saw Team China collect the team title. Chinese national team member, Jing Yan, who was born and raised in Singapore, showed her class by leading the amateur honours. The 16-year-old posted rounds of 72, 73 and 71 for an even par total of 216, ending the tournament two shots clear of the next best-placed amateur, World No.1 Lydia Ko. The good news for domestic and European women’s golf is that this tournament is set to continue for many more years to come according to Mr. Chu who sees the prize money rising to over US$1 million. “We have no plans of seeing this tournament ending. This is just going to grow stronger and perhaps if anything we may consider to rotate to our different Mission Hills facility.” He adds, “But for us, honestly speaking, if we can help to contribute to grow the game for Asia and for China, to have more players’ participation, I think this is more the merrier and better for the future growth of the game.”

Growing The Women’s Game In Asia

33


BUILDING COURSES WITH JASON WINTER

Having lived for over 18 years in Malaysia, Jason Winter considers himself very much at home here as he does in his native majored

Tasmania. in

Having

Environmental

Design, the single-handicapper got his big break in golf course design when he joined E&G Parlsow and Associates in 1993, where he is a partner here. When he is not tackling quicksand and

34

the occasional wild animal in the pursuit of the perfect golf tract, he prefers the rough-andtumble of Aussie Rules footy.

Survey Staking And Site Clearing

Inspecting centerline survey

T

he first item in our construction specifications is “Survey Staking”. During the planning and design stages, we make several visits to the proposed site, and walk most of the area of the golf course. We spend a great deal of time on a golf course development site, evaluating it and studying the vegetation on it. Many times, we are the first project members to really get in and see what the site is all about. Wherever possible, we will do what we can to retain quality vegetation and route the golf course to suit. This first stage of construction is where the designed centrelines of the golf course, from tees, to fairway Turning Points (TP’s) to the greens are surveyed and a centre line cut through (usually with a parang only!) so we can “walk the course” before any clearing work is begun. We will then make any adjustments necessary to suit what we encounter on our way around. Land surveys provided by our clients generally do not show any trees or vegetation and we may make many changes to our designs at this stage. I might add here that not all golf courses are built on forested land. They are also built on degraded landscapes with little or no vegetation (which makes our centreline inspection a lot easier), landfills, palm or rubber estates, and many other areas that are greatly improved by the introduction of the golf course. After adjustments are made, the “Clearing” stage can begin. A centreline will be cleared of around 10 to 20 metres. We will again walk the lines and then determine the full extents of the clearing to be done. Construction wise “clearing” is a relatively simple chapter, clear the site of unwanted materials, be it vegetative or other, and dispose of it either off site to proper dumping sites, or on site by chipping or burial, or both. Chipping trees and shrubs can provide mulch to be used around the golf course or other landscape projects. Burial must be done carefully in layers with compacted soil, and only in deep fill or other areas

that can cope with the possibility of some minor settlement, such as rough between fairways or other out of play areas. Incorrectly, buried material can cause sinkholes and all sorts of trouble for the golf course above it. Burning is not allowed for obvious reasons; we all know how the haze that plagues us is caused. It is a relatively small chapter in our specifications, but behind the scenes in the planning and design stages, there is a significant amount of time and effort to get it right. There are a host of issues to be addressed, most of all the age-old criticism of golf, destroying the environment. Well, we cannot run away from the fact that many golf courses have in fact done just that. The game of golf was originally played over the naturally occurring grass areas amongst the sand dunes, completely natural and no construction was needed. It then evolved to a game with simple rules, many less than today. (The simple phrase “play it as it lies” is now accompanied by various rules, sub rules and interpretations). Some form of “maintenance” was now required to allow the game to be played with consistency and competitively. As the game of golf became more popular, courses had to be built in locations other than its original “links” land, and various levels of “adjustment” to the landscape was required. The park like qualities of the golf course has also made them a favourite for housing developments in just about any place imaginable. Now on the subject of golf housing developments, while there is prestige to living on a golf course, I’m sure most house owners would be just as happy to live on a park. They can actually walk out the back gate and go for a walk or a picnic, and I’m talking about a 150 acre park, not the authority required 10% or so of “green space”. However, would they be happy to pay a substantial membership and monthly fees to pay for the land purchase and maintenance costs of the park? There are many economies at work that need to be addressed and a golf course does fill many of those needs.


BUILDING COURSES WITH JASON WINTER

Centreline clearing in process

Saving large tracts of undisturbed vegetation can be difficult when planning a golf course as there are many factors to consider, such as the total land available, earthworks required to complete construction, is the vegetation worth keeping (on all levels), how will the areas effect play and long term maintenance of the course, budget constraints (positive and negative). Many developers and prospective house owners are not keen on having jungle adjacent to their house, what with the envisaged threat of snakes etc and other possible security risks. We arranged for Wetlands International to report on lakes that were to be constructed at one of our renovation projects in the Klang Valley and John, their consultant for the work, was describing to me an existing pond on the course, “We only saw one lake of any value” he said, describing the rough location. I said “You don’t mean that really messy overgrown pond on at hole 5?” He replied, “Yes, and because of that, it’s the best location on the

Full clearing completed

Full clearing completed

site for biodiversity and naturally occurring ecosystems”. Unfortunately, messy and overgrown ponds are not very popular with golf course owners and members. Sometimes, as architects we have the end product’s aesthetics in mind and how certain trees can be of benefit to the golf course, both aesthetically and strategically, and we go to great length to save such fine specimens (sometimes only to have them die or struggle as they have lost their “friends” and become exposed to the elements and vagrancies of golf maintenance practices). We also have the clients budget in mind and the presentation of the course as mature as possible by retaining as much of the existing vegetation as possible. Ecologically though, is a single tree worth the effort? Perhaps the RM430,000 reportedly spent to save the single 100-year-old Jelutong tree (dyera costulata) at KL Tower could have been better spent protecting an entire forest of

them elsewhere? Obviously, that particular tree “stands” for much more than pure ecological value and is a symbol of “intentions” to do the right thing, and if it inspires Malaysians and international visitors to see the value in our native environment then it is indeed money well spent. Much of the time our environmental efforts, in regards to vegetation, are in the form of replanting native trees, shrubs and wetlands that can create habitats within the golf course for as many flora and fauna as possible. There has been an enormous amount of research and development in the golf industry over the last few decades into golf’s impact on the environment and ways to ensure that golf can co-exist with nature. After all, as I mentioned earlier, golf started with a couple of Scotsmen whacking rocks around what was their natural environment, and we should always keep those roots at the forefront of our thinking.

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SHORT GAME FIXES WITH ANDREW MYLES

Though hailing from the Home of Golf, Andrew Myles is very much the Malaysian, having settled down here for close to a decade. A recognised Class AA British PGA professional and a certified AimPoint instructor, he mixes his passion for short game and putting with a methodological

accelerated

performance coaching style. His tips can be found on

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www.andrewmylesgolf.com

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he foundation of AimPoint Green Reading is built upon science, the laws of physics. When golfers first read this, there is a certain amount of resistance to learning the ‘system’ through a fear that it is different to the way it has always been done, and that it will deprive them of their feel. Most players prefer to go with their ‘feel’ instead of ‘science’. So is AimPoint more science or feel and is it really for you?

Science or Feel?

15 years ago, the overriding trend for judging distances was through our eyes, trial and error as well as feel. Over the years we have progressed to pacing our yardages, yardage markers on the fairway, yardage books, laser range finders, GPS systems (handheld and otherwise) and even using Trackman Launch Monitors to check the distances we hit the ball. Most people now do not judge their club selection based on ‘feel’, but rather on yardages or numbers. Based on outside factors such as lie, wind, ground condition, pin placement etc, we select our preferred yardage and adjust accordingly before selecting our club. Conclusion: club selection has evolved in to a more

science and fact based decision-making process rather than a feel based one. AimPoint is a similar progression in green reading. Many players still judge the break purely by what they see visually with their eyes. There judgment on the amount of break is based on their perception of where slope is and how severe it is. This perception is usually affected by areas of the putting surface, which are visible before, after or to the side of the putt. When working with AimPoint, you learn to read only the surface area between the ball and the hole, which is the only area that the ball will roll over therefore it is the only area that can affect the roll or break of the putt. Identifying the information required to accurate predict the break using AimPoint is done primarily through our feet, requiring more feel rather than visualization. When practiced effectively, this process takes less than 20 seconds for a putt of less of 20ft or less. Once we have the required information, we simply use our AimChart to make an informed, fact-based decision on the amount of break, no different to all the other clubs in the bag. AimPoint Green Reading is a combination of science and feel. The science has already been taken care of, with the information simply presented through the AimChart, all you have to do, as a player is to use your feel, make an informed decision and get used to making more putts!


A TEACHER’S TALE

A qualified Canadian PGA Class A instructor, Mark Bates had his first bite of teaching golf in Asia when he joined the acclaimed Tony Meechai in Bangkok. Now the general manager of the Heartland Golf School in Singapore, Bates is excited about the growth of the game here and travels widely around the region conducting clinics, presenting conference papers on top of his regular instructing duties back in the

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o you already have a handicap and want to reduce it? Then get to the putting green.

Every golfer I speak to seems to know that short game is the key to lowering score, and yet they still only want to ‘work on the swing’ and never practice putting. Do yourself a favour and start counting your putts. If you are having on average more than 32 putts, then you are simply wasting strokes on the green. You might think 32 is difficult, which is an average of less than 2 putts per green. However, if you are like the average golfer, you only hit about 4 greens in regulation. This means that you are chipping a lot and should therefore be getting the ball relatively close to the hole and you should have many 2-putts as well as four or five 1-putts. Have you ever heard of Kevin Na? In 2011, Kevin was 170th in Driving Distance, 140th in Driving Accuracy and 180th in Greens in Regulation on the PGA Tour. Shocking stats if you think there are 156 players in the field every week. You might think he had a tough time keeping his card last year, but in fact, he won once, had six Top-10s and made $2,336,965 to finish 30th on the money list. Coincidentally, he was #1 in Putts per Round at 27.5. In fact, if you were to average 30 putts per round, which would be putting ‘lights out’ for most golfers, you would have been 175th on tour last year. Now, I am not going to be biased. I am going to show

island state. you the other end of the spectrum. Bubba Watson was 1st in Driving Distance with an average drive of 316.1 yards. He was also 172nd in Putts per Round with 29.86. He won twice, had three Top-10s and made $3,477,811 to finish 16th on the money list. Now all the readers that have been beating their driver like wild orang-utans at the range are saying, “I told you so! If I hit it further I will score better!” Here is one last statistic for the average golfer, who is looking into reducing handicap and getting better scores. You are not rewarded with millions of dollars for a win on the tour but you do like to see a lower number on your scorecard. In 2011, Kevin Na was 44th in scoring average at 70.43 while Bubba Watson was 64th at 70.62. Therefore, this really is not much of a difference. The only thought I will leave you with is this…you have been trying for years to ‘get more distance’ and where has it gotten you? How hard will you have to work to hit the ball just 10m longer? Will you be prepared to work out at the gym on core strength and muscle flexibility 5 days a week? No. Getting more distance is hard work and for many, they are limiting by factors like strength, age, flexibility and technique issues. Not everyone CAN get more distance because of these factors. However, ANYONE can putt like a pro, with solid technique and more PRACTICE. Go see your PGA Professional on the putting green to make a lasting improvement to your game.

The Secret to Handicap Reduction

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GOLF TRAVEL

BLAST FROM

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GOLF TRAVEL

THE PAST Refurbished to offer every modern comfort while maintaining its colonial charm, Cameron Highlands Resort opens the door to a luxurious golfing holiday at one of Malaysia’s most famous hill stations By Edward Saminathan

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GOLF TRAVEL

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ome of the fondest memories of my childhood revolves around holidays with my family at the quaint hill stations that dot the Titiwangsa range that forms the back bone of Peninsular Malaysia. With its breathtaking scenery, lush greenery, rolling hills and Tudor-styled cottages, Cameron Highlands was a perennial favourite, a welcome retreat for the mind and soul away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Though it seems like time itself moves more slowly when you’re up in the hills, enjoying the the picturesque plateau and the deliciously crisp cool air, many have in recent times complained that Cameron Highlands has somehow lost its old world charm over the years. Throwing caution to the wind, I made the trip recently to the land of Land Rovers and tea to discover for myself if indeed the character of the highlands has changed since my last visit there a decade or so ago. Armed with nothing more than my Sunday bag and a woolly sweater, I chose the Cameron Highlands Resort as my base to sample a weekend of highland golfing and exploring the many plantations and gardens that have made this hill retreat world famous as the Little England of Asia.

The Resort With its tagline trails, tales and tradition, The Cameron Highland Resort is a luxurious boutique Resort that features 56 beautifullyappointed rooms and suites and fronts Cameron Highlands’ 18-hole golf course. It also houses a wellness centre of the awardwinning Spa Village group, which offers exotic treatments focusing on the healing and restorative properties of tea. Taken over by YTL Resorts about five years ago, the former Merlin Hotel has undergone

a complete refurbishment exercise, with inchperfect details given to preserving the tall French doors, timber-beamed ceilings and plantation shutters of the original colonial-era Tudor charm. From the moment I arrived on a rainy Friday evening to the time I left on a sunny Sunday afternoon, there was no doubt that I was in good hands. I enjoyed spending my evenings reading the Resort’s very own compilation of short stories, aptly named after their tagline, legs curled up in the grand armchairs while the fire crackled


GOLF TRAVEL Unforgettable Journey The Resort organises private guided tour of the Boh Plantations tea factory at Sungai Palas which is an experience of its own. Take an appreciation tour to discover how tea is grown and processed and if weather permits, you may just be taken for a walk through the rows of tea bushes.

in the wood-fired hearth, only to retire to my room to a perfectly turned-down bed and a surprising find of a chocolate or two. It was also an experience to wake up to dew-laden pine trees and a picture perfect setting of the golf course and the fertile mountain slopes from the balcony each morning, just the perfect invitation for a great day of golfing. Golfing in the Highlands The Kelab Golf Sultan Ahmad Shah located a minute stroll away from the resort is Cameron Highlands’ only golf course and dates back to a nine-hole tract first build in the early 1930s. With only nine-holes currently open due to upgrading of drainage and redesign of the back nine, it made for a pleasant and refreshing golf experience. A bit rough on the edges, the cowgrass fairways were reasonably good even if there were more than the normal share of soggy patches (a common occurrence at hill golf courses) while the Serangoon greens proved every bit tricky. With a reasonably new clubhouse with clean locker rooms, the club maintains one timepreserved tradition - orang asli caddies, who add a nostalgic touch to the experience. All in all, I enjoyed my short round that day, not because of my score but rather the idea of having a tranquil course to myself that morning.

Shared Experience The time-honoured ritual of English Afternoon Tea is presented to perfection within the comfortable confines of the Jim Thompson Tea Room. With a delectable selection of exquisite Cameron Highlands teas and a mouthwatering array of finger sandwiches, pastries and some of the softest scones I have sampled in recent times, it made for a perfect afternoon to just let yourself sink in the inviting chair and finish that pot of tea at your own pace.

Healing Retreat When the colonial masters first constructed the treacherous road through Tapah to Cameron Highlands, the main intention was that the hill station will act as a sanatorium or a health resort. Today, the Spa Village at Cameron Highlands Resort continues that with a wide-range of sophisticated treatments and healing therapies including the time-tested remedial properties of the Malay tungku batu treatment, which is a welcome relief for sore back every time. THE VERDICT With its magical hilltop location and cool refreshing climate, the boutique Cameron Highlands Resort is the picture-perfect setting for the sophisticated traveller looking to escape the routine city lifestyle and experience the warmth and intimate lifestyle of the highlands with attentive and unobtrusive service. I left knowing that I will return, sooner than later, for another luxurious jaunt of the Simla of Malaysia.

CAMERON HIGHLANDS RESORT BY THE GOLF COURSE 39000 TANAH RATA, CAMERON HIGHLANDS PAHANG, MALAYSIA 603 2783 1000 603 2148 7397 travelcentre@ytlhotels.com www.cameronhighlandsresort.com

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TEE BOX

MAYBANK CORPORATE CHALLENGE Exclusive Malaysian Open experience for twelve

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welve lucky Maybank clients have earned their chances to tee-off during the exclusive Maybank Malaysian Open Corporate Golf Day at the West Course of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on April 16 after emerging as the winners of the Maybank Corporate Challenge. The challenge held over the course of a three-leg at Tanjong Puteri Golf & Country Resort (February 11), Kelab Golf Sarawak on February 18 and Royal Perak Golf Club (February 25) saw a total of 292 Maybank selected customers vying for invitational rights. The first leg in Johor saw Muhammad Adha Abdullah (42 points), Ng Chee Chuan (38 points), Toh Chee Kong (37 points) and Chang Cho Chuan (37 points) emerging as the top four winners while Raymond Bakeri (38 points), Tuan Haji Abdul Jalil (37 points), Jerome Lim (37 points) and Dr Hamid Bugo (37 points) topped the standings at the league’s East Malaysia challenge in Kuching. The final leg in Ipoh saw Jamil Haji Osman (42points), Mr. Peter Ng (41 points), Azizudin Haji Alias (40 points) and Mohd Reza Shah Ishaque (39 points) complete the list of winners who will be treated to a dazzling experience during the 51st edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open this April.

TITONI MASTERS

Great day-out for watchmakers’ friends

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he inaugural Titoni Masters on February 23 at Kota Permai Golf & Country Club saw the Swiss watchmakers’ business partners and key customers regaled to a splendid golfing affair. The friendly tournament was organised to strengthen existing business ties as well as a sign of gratitude to members of the golfing

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fraternity who have supported the brand’s active expansion into the golf scene over the years. Eleven-handicapper Ramon Arvindra emerged as the biggest winner on the day, notching a hole-in-one to win himself an Emirates business class ticket to London as well as netting the overall title with a score of 40 Stableford points to walk home with a limited edition Titoni Masters Series Dragon watch

GLENMARIE WINNERS’ TROPHY

Salim, Linda crowned Glenmarie’s best

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aji Mohd Salim Mohd Sain and Linda Chin were proclaimed Glenmarie’s best of the best for 2011 after the completion of the Winners’ Trophy on February 19 at the club’s Garden course. The competition is open solely to winners and runners-up of individual events held the previous year and acts as the club’s calendaropening event annually.

AU REVOIR The ClubHouse would like to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family of the late Dato’ Chin Voon Loong, who passed away on March 16. As one of the primary movers behind the Carlsberg Golf Classic in Malaysia, Dato’ Chin, who was the serving deputy managing director of Carlsberg Malaysia, was ever-present at the event over the years, underlining his strong support and commitment to the growth of amateur golf in the country. He will definitely be missed by the legions of amateur golfers across the country. We pray that his soul rests in peace and that his family finds strength and comfort during this difficult period.

In the men’s category, eight-handicapper Salim (8) grabbed the top spot with an impressive nett score of 64, beating runner-up Haji Hamdan Zambahari (7) by four strokes. Linda (27) on the other hand, prevailed over nearest rival Wong Kim Heong, carding a nett 70 to emerge victorious by one stroke. In the Players’ Medal category, Rosli Daud (14) posted a score of 66 to claim the title by two strokes from second-placed Roland Cheng (19).


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he second leg of the AGGSG - Adams Golf - Firefly Golf Championship 2012 at Impian Golf & Country Club once again witnessed a full house participation with many of the golfers taking home the attractive prizes on offer.

BECAUSE YOU DESERVE MORE!

The #1 Golf Card Just Got Better

One of the deserving winners receiving his prize

Lim Chee Siong [second from left] topped the A Medal standings with 39 Stableford points and will be joined by B Medal champion Khoo Nee Cheong - 38 points [second from right] at the two-day grand final at Gunung Raya Golf & Country Club later this year. Michael Lee [centre] shot a round of three-over 75 to emerge as the gross champion. Presenting the prizes are AGSSG Links director of sales Shima Taha [left] and Mr Mah, director of Midea (M) Sdn Bhd [right].

With the AGSSG Golf card, the doors swing open for you at more than 70 golf clubs throughout Malaysia. Enjoy preferential golfing rates, be it on a weekday or a weekend. THE #1 GOLF CARD is now MORE than just a golf card! • MORE than just a plastic card – it’s a bio-energy health card! • MORE than just golfing in Malaysia. Now you can golf in Indonesia too! • MORE tournaments in 2012; the first ever to have its own premium series of golf tournaments exclusively for cardholders. • ALL-IN PRICE which includes Golfer's Insurance and 1-touch S.O.S Auto Assist Service 24/7 ... NOTHING more to pay!

Luckiest of the lot was Mukrim Harun [centre], who went home with the grand lucky draw prize of a 40” LCD television.

PRODUCT PREMIER NEW PREMIER RENEW EXCELLENT 1 NEW EXCELLENT 1 RENEW 1 UTARA NEW/RENEW EX 1 FAMILY PACKAGE

*NEW PRICE RM 899.00 RM 850.00 RM 488.00 RM 438.00 RM 299.00 RM 750.00

NON-M’SIAN RM 899.00 RM 850.00 RM 548.00 RM 498.00 RM 330.00 RM 800.00

* Inclusive of mandatory 6% govt. tax

AGSSG LINKS SDN BHD

HQ: No. I-2-5 Block I, Jalan PJU 1A/1, Taipan Damansara 2, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: 603-7842 6911 Fax: 603-7842 6858 www.agssglinks.com.my Operations Office: 1st Floor, A01-1, Block A, Garden City Business Centre, Jalan Dagang Besar, Taman Dagang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 603-4270 2926/3198/7670 Fax: 603-4270 2925

Agssg Links Sdn Bhd


TEE BOX

PRUDENTIAL ASTRO MASTERS Race to Surabaya tees-off

Returning for its 15th consecutive edition, the Prudential Astro Masters is set to provide amateur golfers nationwide a platform to showcase their skills once again. Dubbed the Race to Surabaya, the 20-leg qualifying stage teed-off on March 15 at Kota Permai Golf & Country Club and will travel to some of the nation’s best courses before culminating in a grand final to be held at Taman Dayu Golf Club and Finna Golf Club in Surabaya, Indonesia later this year. Astro’s vice president of media sales Kenneth Teo revealed during a press launch on March 8 that in addition to an attractive hole-inone prize this year, the entire 2012 circuit will be televised via regular highlights on Astro Arena (Ch801). “We are grateful to our partners and co-sponsors who have been loyal to this tournament and of course our customers who have been supportive of the tournament and to get the ball rolling by offering a brand new Mercedes Benz C200 CGI as a hole-in-one prize,” said Teo. Prudential Astro Masters 2012 Schedule March 15 Kota Permai GCC, Selangor March 22 Kelab Golf SAAS, Selangor March 31 A’Famosa GR, Melaka April 7 Clearwater Sanctuary Resort, Perak April 12 Tasik Puteri GCC, Selangor April 21 Orna GCC, Melaka April 26 Templer Park CC, Selangor May 3 Bukit Jawi GR,Penang May 12 Dalit Bay GCC, Sabah May 19 Cinta Sayang GCR , Kedah May 24 Staffield CR, Negeri Sembilan May 26 Damai Laut GCC , Perak June 13 Nilai Springs GCC , Negeri Sembilan June 16 Eastwood Valley GCC, Sarawak June 21 Palm Resort GCC , Johor June 27 Impian GCC, Selangor June 30 Shan-Shui GCC, Sabah July 3 Kota Permai GCC, Selangor July 7 Keningau Golf & Country Club, Sabah July 12 Horizon Golf & Country Club, Johor Sept 13 -16 Taman Dayu GC & Finna GC, Surabaya, Indonesia [Grand Final]

MERCEDESTROPHY 2012 Mercedes-Benz owners set for exciting tourney

The much awaited Malaysian Selection for the MercedesTrophy 2012 will tee-off at Penang Golf Resort on April 18, marking the 22nd consecutive organisation of the annual event. Four categories will be contested this year - three in the men’s division and one for the fairer sex with the notable absentee being the guests category, which has been removed to provide more exclusive opportunities to Mercedes-Benz owners nationwide to participate. The top three winners from each category of the qualifying rounds will compete in the Malaysian Final at Saujana Golf & Country Club on June 20. Adding more excitement to the MercedesTrophy this year is the ‘Drive to the Major - The Straightest Drive to the Open Championship’ programme, which will see one lucky participant from Malaysia earning a once-in-a-lifetime moment to travel to the Open Championship as well as a hole-in-one prize of a MercedesBenz E200 CGI. To enter, Mercedes-Benz owners will have to submit an entry form and pay an entrance fee of RM350 per person per leg. Online registration and further details are also available on www.mercedes-benz.com.my MERCEDESTROPHY 2012 Schedule April 18 April 26 May 10 May 16 May 17 May 24 June 6 June 7 June 20

Penang GR, Penang Horizon Hills GCC, Johor Staffield CR, N. Sembilan Saujana GCC, Selangor Saujana GCC, Selangor Dalit Bay GCC, Sabah Saujana GCC, Selangor Saujana GCC, Selangor Saujana GCC, Selangor [Grand Final]

KELAB RAHMAN PUTRA MALAYSIA - KUDAT GOLF CLUB INTER-CLUB No mountain too high for KRPM

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espite a numerical disadvantage, Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia (KRPM) came out tops in a recent inter-club match against Kudat Golf Club. A total of 70 players from both clubs took part in the friendly hosted by KRPM. Steered by overall best pair James Wong and Tham Koon Hong who combined for 72 Stableford points, KRPM claimed a 11-3 victory over their Sabahan counterparts.


103mm width

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We care for your business needs! For advertising opportunities and enquiries call us at

+603-77722201

or email to info@theclubhouse.com.my

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ROYAL PERAK GOLF CLUB BHD. (723922-K)

Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Tel: 05 542 3266 Fax: 05 545 5046 Email: info@royalperak.com.my Website: www.royalperak.com.my

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Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam (KGPA) is situated within Bukit Kiara, about 18km from Kuala Lumpur City Centre. A 27-hole layout designed by renowned American course architect Ronald Fream. The championship course (Hills and Lakes) is a classic par 72 golf course measuring 5,989 metres with landscaped lush fairways culminating in manicured verdant greens. The third nine (Forest), measuring 2,711 metres is equally scenic and challenging, playing around the natural jungle environment.

www.kgpagolf.com

Call us to book your tee time: Bukit Kiara, off Jalan Damansara, Peti Surat 12137, Jalan Pantai Baru, Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur 50768, Malaysia

Tel: 03-7957 7821 Fax: 03-7957 3344

The spectacular chandeliers in the Jubilee Ballroom lend drama to any event. With a capacity of 700 for banquet setting, the 9800 sq ft space and pillar-less Jubilee Ballroom is perfect for setups of Malay, Indian and Chinese weddings and other functions such as corporate launches, annual & gala dinners, conventions & seminars and other occasions. The sound, lighting and audio systems can be configured to the host’s precise needs.


GOLF DIARY April 4 - 7 Johor Classic (ADT) Johor GCC, Johor Bahru, Johor US$60,000 March 23 - 26 Perlis Amateur Open Putra GC, Kangar, Perlis April 3 - 4 President’s Challenge Trophies Sabah GCC, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah April 5 - 8 Sabah Amateur Open Sabah GCC, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah April 19 - 22 North Malaysian Amateur Open Royal Perak GC, Ipoh, Perak

April 5 - 8 ISPS Handa Singapore Classic Orchid CC, Singapore US$400,000 April 5 - 8 The Masters Tournament Augusta National GC, Georgia, USA US$8,000,000

March 22 - 25 Lalla Meryem Cup Golf de l’ Ocean, Agadir, Morocco €325,000

April 12 - 15 Maybank Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur GCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia US$2,500,000 April 19 - 22 Indonesian Masters presented by PNTS Royale Jakarta GC, Jakarta, Indonesia US$750,000

March 22 - 25 Arnold Palmer Invitational Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida US$6,000,000 Mar 29 - Apr 1 Shell Houston Open Redstone GC, Humble, Texas US$6,000,000

April 4 MALGA vs SGSM Templer Park CC, Rawang, Selangor April 19 - 20 Malaysian Ladies Amateur & Junior Girls Closed Championship Staffield CR, Mantin, N. Sembilan

March 22 - 25 Enjoy Jakarta Indonesian Open Emeralda GC, Jakarta, Indonesia US$1,000,000 April 19 - 22 Volvo China Open Binhai Lake GC, Tianjin, China €2,420,000

April 5 - 8 The Masters Tournament Augusta National GC, Georgia US$8,000,000 April 12 - 15 RBC Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, S. Carolina US$5,700,000 April 19 - 22 Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas US$6,200,000

March 28 - 31 Perak Classic Clearwater Sanctuary Resort, Batu Gajah, Perak RM125,000

March 22 - 25 Trophee de HassanII Golf du Palais Royal, Agadir, Morocco €1,500,000

April 4 - 7 Johor Classic (ADT) Johor GCC, Johor Bahru, Johor RM180,000

Mar 29 - Apr 1 Sicillian Open Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily, Italy €1,000,000

April 18 - 21 Sabah Classic Sabah GCC, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah RM200,000

April 5 - 8 The Masters Tournament Augusta National GC, Georgia, USA US$8,000,000

March 22 - 25 KIA Classic La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, California US$1,700,000

April 12 - 15 Maybank Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur GCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia US$2,500,000

Mar 29 - Apr 1 Kraft Nabisco Championship Mission Hills CC. Rancho Mirage, California US$2,000,000

April 19 - 22 Volvo China Open Binhai Lake GC, Tianjin, China €2,420,000

April 18 - 21 LPGA LOTTE Championship presented by J Golf Ko Olina GC, Oahu, Hawaii US$1,700,000

Mar 29 - Apr 1 Panasonic Open India Delhi GC, Delhi, India US$300,000


WHERE TO GOLF - MALAYSIA & SINGAPORE KUALA LUMPUR

TANJUNG PUTERI GOLF RESORT

KINTA GOLF CLUB

MIMPIAN JADI GOLF CLUB

KUALA LUMPUR GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(54 holes) Tel: (607) 271 1888

(18holes) Tel: (605) 366 7270

(18 holes) Tel: (088) 787 122

(36 holes) Tel: (603) 2093 1111

PULAI SPRINGS RESORT

TAIPING GOLF RESORT

MOUNT KINABALU GOLF CLUB

ROYAL SELANGOR GOLF CLUB

(36 holes) Tel: (607) 521 2121

(18 holes) Tel: (605) 883 7500

(18 holes) Tel: (O88) 889 445

(36 holes) Tel: (603 ) 9206 3333

PORESIA COUNTRY CLUB

KUALA KANGSAR GOLF CLUB

NEXUS GOLF RESORT KARAMBUNAI

KELAB GOLF PERKHIDMATAN AWAM

(36 holes) Tel: (607) 510 1812

(9 holes) Tel: (605) 776 2396

(18 holes) Tel: (088) 480 888

(27 holes) Tel: (603) 7957 1958

STARHILL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

BUKIT JALIL GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

(36 holes) Tel: (607) 556 6325

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 8996 1468

IOI PALM VILLA GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

BUKIT JAWI GOLF RESORT

LAHAD DATU GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

KELAB REKREASI ANGKATAN TENTERA

(27 holes) Tel: (607) 599 9099

( 36 holes) Tel: (604) 582 0759

(18 holes) Tel: (089) 889 288

(9 holes) Tel: (603) 2141 1113

THE LEGENDS GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

PENANG GOLF RESORT

SABAH GOLF COUNTRY CLUB

KELAB GOLF TITIWANGSA PDRM

(27 holes) Tel: (607) 652 4388

(36 holes) Tel: (604) 578 2022

(18 holes) Tel: (088) 247 533

(9 holes ) Tel: (603) 2693 4964

AUSTIN HILLS GOLF RESORT

BUKIT JAMBUL COUNTRY CLUB

SANDAKAN GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: ( 607) 352 4300

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 644 2255

(18 holes) Tel: (089) 660 557

SELANGOR

BUKIT BANANG GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

PULAU PINANG

KEDAH

KENINGAU GOLF CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (087) 331 113

SHAN SHUI GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

GLENMARIE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 428 6001

(36 holes ) Tel: (603) 7803 9090

DAIMAN 18 GOLF CLUB

HARVARD GOLF COUNTRY CLUB

KINABALU GOLF CLUB

KELAB GOLF NEGARA SUBANG

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 351 6813

(27 holes) Tel: (604) 458 8888

(9 holes) Tel: (088) 251 615

(36 holes) Tel: (603) 7876 0388

HORIZON HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

KULIM GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

TAWAU GOLF CLUB

KELAB RAHMAN PUTRA MALAYSIA

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 232 3166

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 403 2828

(9 holes) Tel: (609) 765 555

(36 holes) Tel: (603) 6156 6870

KUKUP GOLF RESORT

BLACK FOREST GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

SAUJANA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 696 0950

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 922 2222

(36 holes) Tel: (603) 7846 1466

CHRISTINE RESORT

CINTA SAYANG GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

KELAB GOLF LABUAN

BANGI GOLF RESORT

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 387 3000

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 441 4666

(9 holes) Tel: (087) 412 810

(27 holes) Tel: (603) 8925 3728

ORCHARD GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

DARULAMAN GOLF COUNTRY CLUB

KELAB GOLF SULTAN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 897 7934

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 917 0001

(27 holes) Tel: (603) 5519 1512

PONDEROSA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

GUNUNG RAYA GOLF RESORT

(KELAB GOLF SARAWAK

TASIK PUTERI GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 354 9999

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 966 8148

(36 holes) Tel: (082) 440 966

(27 holes) Tel: (603) 6034 4722

JOHOR GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

PERMAIPURA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

BINTULU GOLF CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 223 3322

(18 holes)Tel: (604) 459 4000

(18 holes) Tel: (086) 252 001

SEBANA COVE GOLF & MARINE RESORT

ROYAL KEDAH GOLF CLUB

DAMAI GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 826 6655

(9 holes) Tel: (604) 731 9405

(18 holes) Tel: (082) 846 088

TIOMAN ISLAND GOLF CLUB

SG.PETANI GOLF CLUB

EASTWOOD VALLEY

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 419 1000

(9 holes) Tel: (604) 422 4894

GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

TROPICANA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (27 holes) Tel: (603) 7804 8888 BKT BERUNTUNG GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 6028 1841 BKT KEMUNING GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT (18 holes) Tel: (603) 5121 6552 BKT UNGGUL COUNTRY CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 8920 2888 DANAU GOLF CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 8925 8953 KAJANG HILL GOLF CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 8723 9668 KELAB REKREASI TENTERA UDARA (18 holes) Tel: (603) 5513 0998 KINRARA GOLF CLUB (18 holes) Tel : (603) 8076 2100 KOTA PERMAI GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 5122 3700 KUNDANG LAKES COUNTRY CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 6034 2725 MONTEREZ GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 7846 5989 PALM GARDEN GOLF CLUB (18holes) Tel: (603) 8948 7160 PERANGSANG TEMPLER GOLF CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (603) 6091 0022

BATU PAHAT GOLF CLUB (9 holes) Tel: (607) 432 9221

PERLIS

(18 holes) Tel: (089) 916 888

LABUAN

SARAWAK

(18 holes) Tel: (085) 421 010 HORNBILL GOLF & JUNGLE CLUB

IMPIAN EMAS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

PUTRA GOLF CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (082) 577 930

(9 holes) Tel: (607) 552 2202

(18 holes) Tel: (604) 976 9660

KELAB GOLF SIBU

KLUANG COUNTRY CLUB (9 holes) Tel: (607) 771 8840

MELAKA A’FAMOSA GOLF RESORT ( 27 holes) Tel: (606) 552 0888

KELANTAN KELANTAN GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (609) 748 2102

TERENGGANU

(18 holes) Tel: (084) 801 119 MIRI GOLF CLUB (18 holes) Tel: (085) 416 787

SINGAPORE SELETAR COUNTRY CLUB

AYER KEROH COUNTRY CLUB

AWANA KIJAL BEACH & GOLF RESORT

(18 holes) Tel: +65 6486 0801

(27 holes) Tel: (606) 233 2000

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 864 1188

CHANGI GOLF CLUB

ORNA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

GREEN ACRES GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(9 holes) Tel: +65 6545 5133

(27 holes) Tel: (606) 521 0333

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 616 3500

SEMBAWANG COUNTRY CLUB

TIARA MELAKA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

KELAB GOLF DESA DUNGUN

(18 holes) Tel: +65 6751 0320

(27 holes) Tel: (606) 231 1111

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 848 1041

SENTOSA GOLF CLUB

KUALA TERENGGANU GOLF RESORT

(36 holes) Tel: +65 6275 0022

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 666 6836

TANAH MERAH COUNTRY CLUB

NEGERI SEMBILAN NILAI SPRINGS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (27 holes) Tel: (606) 850 8888

PAHANG

(18 holes) Tel: +65 6592 0343 (Garden) / 6592 0345 (Tampines)

STAFFIELD COUNTRY RESORT

AWANA GENTING HIGHLANDS

WARREN GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(27 holes) Tel: (603) 8766 6117

GOLF & COUNTRY RESORT

(18 holes) Tel: +65 6586 1240

ERA GOLF &COUNTRY RESORT

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 6436 9000

ORCHID COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 8734 4195

(18 holes) Tel: (6019) 255 3059

BERJAYA HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(27 holes) Tel: +65 6750 2111

SERENDAH GOLF LINKS

GEMAS GOLF RESORT

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 288 8180

RAFFLES COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 6081 1077

(18 holes) Tel: (607) 948 2687

KELAB GOLF SULTAN AHMAD SHAH

(36 holes ) Tel: +65 68617649

SRI MORIB GOLF CLUB

ROYAL PALM SPRINGS GOLF CLUB

CAMERON HIGHLANDS

SAFRA RESORT & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 3198 1419

(18 holes) Tel: (606) 661 9599

(18 holes) Tel: (605) 4911126

(27 holes) Tel: +65 542 8288

SSG BERINGIN GOLF CLUB

PORT DICKSON GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

ROYAL PAHANG GOLF CLUB

JURONG COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 6460 0016

(18 holes) Tel: (606) 647 3586

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 567 5811

(18 holes) Tel: +65 5 6560 5655

SUNGAI LONG GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

ROYAL SRI MENANTI GOLF CLUB

KELAB GOLF BENTONG

KEPPEL CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 90762233

(18 holes) Tel: (606) 497 9600

(9 holes) Tel: (609) 222 2585

(18 holes) Tel : +65 6375 1818

THE MINES RESORT & GOLF CLUB

SEREMBAN 3 PARADISE VALLEY

KELAB REKREASI TUDM KUANTAN

LAGUNA NATIONAL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 8943 2288

(18 holes) Tel: (606) 633 5033

(9 holes) Tel: (609) 538 4282

(36 holes) Tel: +65 5 62481 777

TEMPLER PARK GOLF CLUB

SEREMBAN INTERNATIONAL GOLF CLUB

LIPIS VALLEY GOLF CLUB

SINGAPORE ISLAND COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (603) 6091 9630

(18 holes) Tel: (606) 677 5277

(9 holes) Tel: (609) 312 1963

(81 holes) Tel: + 65 6466 2244

PORT KLANG GOLF RESORT (18 holes) Tel: (603) 3176 1323 IMPIAN GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

PADANG GOLF UNIVERSITI PUTRA MALAYSIA (18 holes) Tel: (603) 8946 7996 KELAB DARUL EHSAN

PERAK

SABAH

CLEARWATER SANCTUARY GOLF RESORT

SUTERA HABOUR GOLF COUNTRY CLUB

(27 holes) Tel : (605) 366 7433

(27 holes) Tel: (088 ) 318 888

MERU VALLEY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

TAWAU HOT SPRINGS GOLF CLUB

(27 holes) Tel: (605) 529 3300

(18 holes) Tel: (609) 765 555

DAMAI LAUT GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

BORNEO GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(18 holes) Tel: (605) 685 9333

(18 holes) Tel: (087) 861 888

PALM RESORT GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

ROYAL PERAK GOLF CLUB

DALIT BAY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

(54 holes) Tel: ( 607) 599 6222

(18 holes) Tel: (605) 542 3266

(18 holes) Tel: (088) 791 188

(9 holes) Tel: (603) 4257 2333 ROYAL KAMPUNG KUANTAN CLUB (9 holes) Tel: (603) 3289 1069

JOHOR

Help us keep this list accurate! Please send additions, corrections and updates to info@theclubhouse.com.my

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