Golfing in Dreamland

By: Simon Reynolds

Pecatu

Pecatu is a remote area located on the Western side of Bali’s southern peninsula. For decades it has been frequented by the die-hard surf community who are attracted by its isolated whitesand beaches and great surfing conditions. Unlike Nusa Dua, which is mainly flat and plain terrain, Pecatu is hilly, dominated by limestone cliffs, isolating small, beautiful and tranquil beach coves. Dreamland has always been a famous spot amongst the Australian surfers, and is accessed by a small hike down a small path down to the beach towards a white-sand bay and a famous, almost perfect, beach break.

In 2007 Golf arrived to this beautiful part of Bali, and with the help of some local funding by a big private investor, the New Kuta Golf resort was born, and visitors had another reason to visit this secluded part of Bali so different to the stale and sterile traffic congested Nusa Dua. The area has experienced somewhat of a renaissance since 2007, and the small warung, which used to cater for the surfers have been upgraded to nicer shops catering for all kinds of needs. In years gone by surfers would sip on a bottle of Bintang, now it is possible to enjoy the sunset with a fresh mojito. It’s a beautiful area of Bali to come and enjoy the sunset, and with a round of golf, this could well be the ultimate way to celebrate the day’s end here in magical Bali.

New Kuta is now established as a top spot in Bali to enjoy a round of golf, and has been recently voted in the Top 3 courses in Indonesia by the Asia Pacific Golf Committee. Pecatu is far more private and secluded than the government run Nusa Dua region, and for those who like surfing, golf or both you may just have found your paradise. New Kuta Golf has well and truly cemented Bali on Indonesia’s golfing map, and with Tiger Airways offering cheap flights for less than US $100 return from Jakarta, Pecatu is a must visit area to escape the hustle and bustle of our manic 21st century life.

The Links Experience in Bali

New Kuta GolfNew Kuta is the first links style layout in Indonesia. It was designed by the Golfplan group comprising of the designers Fream, Dale and Ramsey. The course is located on the limestone cliffs of Pecatu overlooking the bright blue Indian Ocean and is very different to the flat in-land target style golf courses through-out Indonesia. This Championship course is suitably challenging, and alongside the strong wind conditions top golfers can play the course at over 6,800m from the back tees, making this courses layout as one of the longest in Indonesia. The combination of length, wind and unique links style conditions may help to explain why the course record to date remains a humble 66, which was crafted by Fillipino Juvic Pangunsan in the 2009 Indonesian Open.

The Championship course offers the golfer five different playing options and as I am new to links golf, my playing companion for the first nine, operational manager Bapak Ahmad, decided to play off the blues. Pak Ahmad has worked as superintendant at several highprofile clubs all over Indonesia for many years and what we have at New Kuta is a scenic golfing landscape which would appear more at home on the windy banks of the coastal areas of the British isles. This is the charm of New Kuta, many of Indonesia’s inland courses are carved out of dense natural foliage with large trees lining the fairways, or they are newly developed parkland courses which have had vast numbers of trees planted to line the fairway to create the traditional British parkland golf course like at Jakarta Golf Club.

Whereas trees are sparse at New Kuta, and several iconic lonesome trees are found in strategic positions on holes and create good hole navigational points which help plan your route to the green and hole. The fairways are mostly surrounded by thick, dry shrubbery, in what appears to be natural desert-like vegetation, which will swallow up any stray drives and most likely result in a one stroke penalty or more for the stubborn golfers who waste strokes attempting to hack out. Fundamentally the lack of trees contributes to the links style experience as even further inland on the front nine, the wind is a pleasant accompaniment to your round of golf, as even in dry sunny conditions, the sea breeze keeps the golfer fresh and revitalised.

It is obvious that the New Kuta team have worked hard to create this unique golfing environment for golfers here in Pecatu. The combination of desert-like foliage and Scottish-inspired shrubbery allow one to imagine themselves working their way around a Scottish links course. The signature hole on the front nine for me is the Par 5 #9 hole. It is a crooked longish Par reachable in two for the long hitters to an elevated long green in front of the clubhouse. After a solid drive and a bold 17 degree hybrid, I found myself just shy of the ninth green, and I played my 7-iron bump and run to rest just short for a links inspired birdie. After a refreshing front nine, I couldn’t wait to see my ball fly towards the Indian Ocean on the back nine which plays more like an authentic links course with two holes directly adjacent the limestone cliffs, gusty winds and the Indian ocean.

New Kuta Golf CourseI had the pleasure of my very own Scottish PGA Pro as my tour guide for the links experience of the back nine, resident pro Rory Young. The course it’s a great opportunity for us golfers to experience the conditions of links golf, which challenges us golfers to be creative, keeping the ball low and under the wind. This is the beauty of New Kuta, it is a whole new style of golf we are not accustomed to on the hot, humid, tropical inland courses in West Java. As the front nine plays more in-land, the back nine has several holes 14, 15 & 16 which brings the golfer face to face with the beautiful Indian ocean below the limeestone cliffs and the strong, fresh winds that come from the ocean.

The Golf Plan design team have evidently kept trees surrounding the course to a minimum, allowing the strong winds to come into play nicely on the back nine. Although Link courses in the UK tend to be relatively flat, New Kuta is far from flat and hole 12 and 13 are dramatically downhill and the #12 hole could be driveable by the longer hitters with the wind in favour. The Par 3 #16 Hole is classic links fare, a 115m Par 3 from the blue tees with the ocean surrounding the green, the wind blows hard and it plays more like 135–140m, with the beaches of Dreamland below the cliffs it is a really a invigorating view. The New Kuta course was a breath of fresh air, and having played on mainly inland courses in Java with very little wind, the Links Experience was a refreshing and scenic challenge, which introduced me to a completely new style, the original style of how golf is played in Scotland from where the game of golf begun. For those looking for technical help resident pro Rory Young of the Golf Academy Bali, on site, will give you valuable instruction on keeping the ball low and how to play golf the links way.

 

COURSE INFORMATION

 

Visitors
Welcome on all days, including weekends, telephone or e-mail at least 24 hours in advance to confirm tee time: +62 361 8481 333 / reservation@newkutagolf.com
Societies
All societies welcome, please apply in writing or inform by telephone.
Green Fees

  • Domestic & KIMs Holder Visitor: Rp.1.200.000
  • Foreigner Visitor (Non KIMs Holder): US $170
  • Sunset Golf: (Starts after 3pm) Domestic & Kitas: Rp.450,000, Non-Kitas: Rp.88,000
  • Full Rental Equipment available: Clubs Regular, Clubs Premium and Shoes contact for details.

Facilities
The Link Restaurant, Function Room, Club House, 250m Driving Range, On-Course Shelter Hole 6 & 15, Locker Room, Golf Carts, Caddies, Rental Items (LH & RH), Spa, Pro Shop, Qualified PGA Professional Rory Young—Bali Golf Academy, Wedding Location (located on Hole #15) overview of sunset and Dreamland and Balangan Beaches.

Membership
Golflink Resort Membership is a lifetime and transferable golf membership at New Kuta Golf with International and national reciprocal and affliation benefits.

Location
Kawasan Pecatu Indah Resort
Jl. Raya Uluwatu Pecatu
Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan
Badung – 80361
Bali, Indonesia

Course

  • 18 Holes, Par 72
  • Black—6,832m
  • Gold—6,378m
  • Blue—6,000m
  • White—5,600m
  • Red—5,165m

 

COURSE RATING

Accessibility: 4
Course: 4
Facilities: 4
Caddies: 3.5
Ambience: 4

Golf Indonesia Rating: 19.5/25 (78%)

 

A Retreat from manic urban life, we find bliss at Le Grande

Le Grande Bali

Bali is booming, and with the new airport renovations nearing completion, this magical island is expecting to open its doors to thousands more tourists every year. Nusa Dua remains a popular destination, but one would hope the new toll opens as soon as possible, as traffic congestion to the area is at times unbearable. Luckily, there are many nice parts of Bali where the traffic can be avoided. Pecatu is one of these.

La Grande - RoomLocated a short 20 mins from the airport and nearby to Uluwatu temple, we find Pecatu, it feels like a different world to the likes of Seminyak, Kuta and Nusa Dua. Here the luxurious Le Grande hotel have created a beautiful retreat which will open its arms in traditional warm and friendly Balinese hospitality without the crowds and bustle of Nusa Dua’s tourism for the masses. Pecatu feels more intimate and an area of Bali which remains close to essential locations like Jimbaran Bay and Uluwatu, the private ownership of the area creates a far more quiet and peaceful ambience around this area of Bali. If a retreat where relaxation and rejuvenation are prioritised, Le Grande in Pecatu is the place for you.

Le Grande offers several options for the guest. There are 130 Deluxe Rooms, 46 one-bedroom suites and 14 two-bedroom suites as well as a presidential suite on site. On my visit I opted for the one bedroom suite, which was minimal, spacious and luxurious with an enchanting bathroom area as the highlight. Le Grande is literally next door to New Kuta Golf and you can see the 9th hole from the poolside balcony of the hotel. It is perfect for golfers who have come to Bali to play golf whilst exploring the island.

La Grande - Swimming PoolMost importantly Le Grande will accommodate the family, with plenty of entertainment for the non-golfing family members, who can enjoy the fabulous spa facilities, pool area, tennis court or a walk to the nearby beaches for some surfing. There is also the New Kuta Green Park Pecatu which has everything one desires on retreat, a place to escape from urban life and enjoy the peace and calm of magical Bali. The hotel front desk team can arrange day tours to many of Bali’s top attractions if you are looking for some adventures; even to the far away destinations like the mystical Kintamani highlands region. It would be a shame to miss out on such a depth of culture on your visit to Bali.

The food was impressive on our visit. On the first night we had an Italian BBQ, with a vast selection of different barbequed meats and fresh Italian salads. The meal was accompanied by a suitably well picked Argentinian Red merlot which complimented the meat really nicely. For dessert, in true Italian tradition, the highlight of my meal, was a strawberry panna cotta which was creamy and rich in strawberry flavours. Le Grande’s food and beverage team will satisfy the hungriest golfer with a wide selection of international cuisine, and be in time for their famous Monday night Mongolian, for US$15 guests can enjoy a typical Mongolian feast of all kinds of meats and specialities. It is great value for a very unique dining experience. The poolside bar staff will rustle up a whole range of cocktails and mocktails using all kinds of local fruits combined with a vast collection of famous liquors, as well as providing cold beers for the thirsty golfer.

I was keen to experience the Le Grande spa experience and after a long day of golf on Saturday, I thought a Balinese massage would be an ideal treatment. I had a one hour massage using traditional Balinese deep tissue massage techniques that released all forms of tension and stiffness in my muscles and thoroughly relaxed and ready for my flight back to Jakarta with or without a delay.

 

LE GRANDE

 

Adress
Blok 5 — Pecatu Indah Resort
Jl. Raya Uluwatu – Bali 80361
IndonesiaWebsite
www.legrandebali.com

E-mail
info@legrandebali.com
reservation@legrandebali.com

Telephone
+62 361 8481388

Hunting Line
+62 81558067284–85

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.

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