Golf Bandar Kemayoran

By: Simon Reynolds

Hole # 18 - Par 3, 128 Yards, Index 12

Hole # 18 – Par 3, 128 Yards, Index 12

Golf Bandar Kemayoran is located on the border of Central Jakarta and North Jakarta, just South of Ancol. The course is easily accessed and is a mere 15km from the SCBD area of Jakarta and a stone’s throw away from the National Monument. Kemayoran typifies a city golf course and was created in 1997, designed by Australian course designer Peter Dalkeith Scott. The golf course is owned by PPK Kemayoran — Ministry of State Secretariat. Scott has successfully created 18 holes of challenging and fun city golf to be enjoyed here in Jakarta.

The course itself is very unique in its playing conditions and what it lacks in luxury and exclusiveness it more than makes up for with an unusual course layout and playing conditions. The course is two plots of land either side of Jalan Griya Utama. Each plot offers very different playing conditions; the nine holes located near the club house have some of the tightest holes of golf you will have the pleasure to experience in Indonesia. Holes #1 – #5 will test the straightest of golfer’s, as Augusta National has Amen Corner, Golf Bandar Kemayoran has its very own the Amen Beginnings. Golfers must plot their way around tight fairways surrounded by high-rise apartment buildings, as seen in the picture above. Good golfers will relish the challenge, which will test your focus and ability to hit the golf ball straight.

Be warned if you like big open fairways and large elevated greens; Kemayoran may not be your type of course. If you like to test your accuracy, play in windy conditions and enjoy a challenge, this is a course for you.

Kemayoran is a short course in terms of yardage, a humble 6,024 yards from the blue tees and there are several very short Par-4s measuring between 250–300 yards. Although the Hole #13 is drivable at 246 yards with a 3-wood, the other short par-4s are either 90 degree dog-legs or 75 degree dog-legs. Leave your ego at home and bring your mental game — Kemoyoran requires patience and confidence. Golfers will be rewarded in playing Fairway Woods and long irons off the tee.

The signature holes in our opinion: Hole #2, 312 yards, Index 7, with a landing area of around 20m in width, at best, with water on the right and OB to the left. Could this be the tightest fairway in Indonesia? The jury is out! Aim for the fairway bunker approximately 180 yards from the tee with a mid-to-long iron and you’ll be in good shape to make a par or better.

Hole #10 comes in close second, and could be an interesting opening hole if the starter sends you in that direction. The fairway dog-legs 90 degrees after clearing the large lake, which dominates the landscape of this area of 9 holes, requiring an initial carry of around 250 yards to cut the corner. Across the road from Jl. Griya Utama Nine Holes circle a huge man-made reservoir which is now home to local bird-life, including a large flock of black herons. Being only a few kilometers from the ocean in this large open area, the wind picks up and golfers will be tested to keep their ball flight low.

Facilities are complete, including a 32 bay driving range adjacent to the clubhouse, where golfers are recommended to loosen up before teeing up on the tight front nine. The Club House is open and spacious with an outdoor and indoor AC restaurant area, suitable for pre and post-round food and refreshments. The locker rooms are reasonable and adequate, yet nothing fancy and there seems to be no massage facilities for those who require them. There is a large putting green in front of the clubhouse where golfers can adjust to the greens and speed here at Kemayoran.

The course has male and female caddies on-site. Our caddies for the day were a flight of three female caddies of young to old age. All three were pleasant, good-natured and did well to keep us cool over the opening five holes, as it was our first time playing the course. All three were not the usual make-up plastered young caddies which grace the courses of Bogor and Tangerang, yet were perfectly capable of performing their jobs adequately. Several of the male caddies at Kemayoran are known for being handy golfers capable of keeping their balls low in windy conditions.

Golf Bandar Kemayoran may not suit those who are looking for perfect fairways and pristine golf course conditions and 5-star clubhouse facilities. It provides golfers in this densely populated urban area, a location to play and develop their golf games on a very unique golf course, which offers all kinds of unique challenges. City Golf Courses are few and far between. If you like a challenge and are open-minded toward golf course design, Kemayoran will be a rewarding experience. If anything, a regular round at Kemayoran will ensure you are hitting the ball straight and other courses will feel much easier from the tee-box.

In terms of value, we have awarded 3/5 stars. As a walking course it is by no means expensive with weekday golf between Rp.300,000 – Rp.500,000, and at only 6,000 yards for 18 holes the course is a pleasant walk. Golf carts make things a bit more expensive at Rp.220,000 per cart. Nonetheless, for those who live and work in the area, what we have is an affordable golf course in the heart of Central Jakarta, a few minutes from the National Monument where local and expatriate golfers can play an enjoyable round of golf for less than US$ 50 dollars during the week and less than US$ 75 dollars during weekends. In the heart of Southeast Asia’s largest metropolis that’s not a bad deal!

About Simon Reynolds

Simon fell in love with the game of golf at an early age. Watching Happy Gilmore when he was 12, Simon was hooked, and to this day thanks Adam Sandler's genius in the film for his passion for the game. His golfing hero is more refined and mature these days, and he continues his spiritual quest to model his golf game on Ben Hogan's perfect golf swing.

One Response to “Golf Bandar Kemayoran”

  1. Peter Dalkeith Scott says:

    Very fair and inciteful review, Simon.
    The dynamics that resulted in the development of this course at the end of the Suharto regime were very interesting.


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