Jagorawi New Course and Z-Nine
Jagorawi New Course and Z-Nine
Boasting 45 holes of championship caliber golf, the Jagorawi Golf & Country Club (JGCC) has a long history of innovation and tradition. Located 38km south of the SCBD off of the Jagorawi toll road, JGCC has carved itself out a perfect escape in the lush jungles of the Cikeas River Valley for golf enthusiasts.
Selection of golf at JGCC is some of the best in Indonesia. The Old Course, Indonesia’s first ‘new-era’ course is mature, challenging and requires accuracy over distance. The New Course, created to provide members with a greater variety of golf is long and features one of the best three hole stretches of golf in the area with its version of the ‘Amen Corner’. Last but not least is the equally challenging Z-Nine, a 9-hole course that requires players to use every shot in their bag as they meander over the Cikeas River eight times.
With so many holes of golf to enjoy at JGCC but only a limited amount of space to write we spun a tee to help us decide which courses would be featured in October’s course review. The results were in; we would be playing the New Course and the Z-Nine.
The New Course
Standing on the No. 1 tee box of the New Course I quickly realize that this is how golf in Indonesia should really be played. With a sense of tunnel vision I looked down the fairway and picked my shots as the ball-hungry jungle that surrounds each hole acts as a barrier to any distractions that one might encounter on the course. As we walk to our second shot it is beautifully tranquil as the only sounds are the birds and free flowing river that call the New Course home. The only thing that matters right now is golf.
With four tee boxes to play from the New Course is a rewarding challenge for any golfer. A well placed tee-shot into the fairways reward long-hitters with extra roll and a great lie for their second shot. For those players who often find themselves scrambling the rough is favorable for a recovery shot but the jungle is far from kind with the rare exception of a members bounce out.
What makes the New Course so memorable is that Thomson and Wolveridge designed it with the environment in mind. With long carriers, tight lies and well positioned greens any weakness in your game is quickly exposed.
The highlight of the round came at the New Course’s versions of ‘Amen Corner’, defined as holes 11, 12 and 13, which require pinpoint accuracy and guts. Starting with the par 3 #11 players must carry the river’s length onto a poststamp sized green. After escaping the Par 3 players are faced with a narrow uphill Par 4 and the #1 handicap hole that has OB left and hazard right, a safe shot with a wood or driving iron is the only option here. To close out the Amen Corner, #13 is a long dogleg right Par 4 that requires two over river carriers and the proper club selection as the jungle claims any shot left or too long.
No excuse for a high score, the conditions of the New Course are exceptional for those that manage to keep their ball in play. Throughout the round we saw teams of greens keepers attending to the grounds with great attention. The cut between the short and long grass was distinct while the rough was playable. One distinct featured that we observed were that bunkers placed at the end of a long shot had wood planks along the top as if to provide a favorable bounce out in lieu of a buried ball. Rewarding golfers for a well-placed approach shot, the greens on the New Course are spotless, roll true to the break and are a manageable 9 on the stimpmeter.
Just like the courses, the clubhouse architecture plays nicely into its environment. Whether going out or coming in, the clubhouse peaks nicely through the trees but does not take away from the hole being played. The locker room facilities are on par with courses in Jakarta but offer nothing spectacular. Meanwhile the clubhouse restaurant offers a variety of finger licking food ranging from Indonesia to Japanese to Korean, which are all complimented nicely by a refreshing beverage from the fully stocked bar. To round out the clubhouse experience JGCC has a pool and tennis court for members and their family to enjoy but we recommend sticking to the links.
Just like the courses at JGCC, the practice facilities are top notch. Just a few steps away from the clubhouse, the practice green is well maintained and spacious enough to accommodate several groups of players. True to the greens found on the course, the putting surface has a selection of holes to choose from that vary in break, distance and slope. Like any wise golfer, you’ll be thankful for the pre-round putts you made here when trying to convert a GIR to birdie, or par save. In addition to being able to putt this practice green doubles up as an area to refine the chipping or bunker game as well.
Just beyond the practice green players can find JGCC’s driving range and world class teaching facility, the CIMBA Preferred Golf Academy (CPGA). With inspirational quotes from golf legends throughout the facility this sheltered range makes for a great place to take your game to the next level. For those looking for some one-on-one coaching, the CPGA teaching area is isolated from the rest of the driving range so that lessons can be provided in a distractionfree environment while utilizing the latest technologies in golf training. Committed to the development of youth players in Indonesia, the CPGA sponsors and trains a team of 11-17 year olds on every aspect of the game ranging from swing analysis, mental focus and nutrition.
Seasoned experts of the course, the male caddies at JGCC promptly knew the correct yardages from every lie imaginable and had the vision to read any break on the undulating greens. After just a few holes the caddies quickly picked up our club preferences and playing styles. With a firm understanding of the game and deep knowledge of the course the caddies we played with were a great resource to help keep our scores respectably and our mind focused on the golf.
Isolated from the rest of the world, each hole on the New Course uniquely preserves the natural beauty of the environment around it. A standing policy is that on the weekends tee-times are offered on a first come, first serve basis and that all members are created equal without any preferential treatment given. With its commitment to the development of youth golf in Indonesia, JGCC is the model establishment for teaching and preserving the traditional merits of the game of golf.
Coming off a golfer’s high after a 21/25 solid back 9 on the New Course we wanted to keeping playing, luckily for us JGCC has the Z-Nine. Appropriately named after JGCC’s owner and Z-Nine designer, Mr. Zakir, the course incorporates several blind shots, long carriers and a great 206 meter Par 3 finishing hole that requires players to carry the Cikeas River to a green 15 metres below. Much like the New Course the Z-Nine incorporates its natural environment quite well and is an excellent compliment to a full round of both the Old Course and New Course.