Padang Golf Halim 1
One of the signature holes at Halim 1: The Par 4, #4 Hole, with its tree-lined fairways – photo courtesy of Padang Golf Halim 1
Padang Golf Halim 1 was opened to the golfers of Indonesia in 1972. It is located on the Indonesian Air-Force base headquarters adjacent to Halim Airport, close to Taman Mini Indonesia. Halim 1 is amongst the oldest golf courses in Indonesia, and in the 70s and 80s golfers stationed at other locations around the Indonesian archipelago would travel to Halim 1 to enjoy a round of golf. Despite its age, Halim 1 provides a welcome round of golf and an enjoyable escape from our fast-paced 21st century life.
For those who are fans of the traditional English parkland golf courses, Halim 1 will be a real treat. The large oak trees planted in 1972 stand proud alongside each fairway and Hole creating a lovely atmosphere in the true traditional English parkland style, allowing golfers to focus on each hole, they also provide welcome shade from the tropical sun. Like all naturally vegetated areas in the tropics Halim 1 has become a haven for local birdlife and a round of golf at Halim 1 will be accompanied by a vast array of Indonesian birdlife chirping away in birdsong.
Perhaps due to its age, Halim 1 is short on the scorecard, measuring a short: 6073m from the black tees, hardly long by modern day standards and much shorter then it more illustrious neighbor Royale Jakarta. Although lacking in length, Halim 1 is fun to play, navigating play amongst the tree-lined fairways and locating the somewhat small greens in regulation. Finding the fairway is just half the challenge at Halim 1, small greens will test the confidence and accuracy of your iron-play.
Another gem, the Par 4, #13 Hole
There are several signature holes that stand out amongst the others: On the front nine, Hole #4 (seen in the main picture) is a short par 4, 308m, heavily tree-lined, requiring an accurate tee shot and a short iron to a very small and thin green well protected by two deep front bunkers. On the back nine, Hole #13 (seen in picture 3) is a short dog-leg right par 4 measuring 329m from tee to green. The hole requires a straight drive of 210m before a sharp left hand turn (almost 90 degrees) to another small postage stamp-like green. All the 4 Par 3’s, are medium to long in length and will test the craftiest of golfer’s hybrid and iron-play.
Greens tend to roll on the slower side, reminiscent of the good ol’ days. Up and downs require more aggression and guile and putts will require some added wrist play to get the ball rolling at the correct speed towards the holes. Although on the slow side, the resident green keeper, keeps the greens in true and well kept condition.
A Multiple bay driving-range located nearby adjacent to Padang Golf Halim 1 – photo courtesy of Padang Golf Halim 1
There is a pro-shop with a decent selection of all the golf accessories one requires alongside golf equipment both modern and old-fashioned. The pro-shop is a good place to source good condition old fashioned Persimmon or steel drivers from the days before titanium and adjustable heads. Halim 1 is popular amongst Japanese and Korean golfers and the clubhouse restaurant has a wide selection of Indonesian cuisine as well as Korean and Japanese options and very well priced large bottled beers. For those who are not used to 18 holes walking in tropical heat, there is a massage service to relieve tired legs and sore shoulders. For those interested in holding a golf event or tournament, the first floor has a function room which can accommodate large parties of up to 100+ golfers. At Halim 1 there are two short game areas’ where golfers can get use to the somewhat slower greens and chipping conditions from the elephant grass before heading towards the first tee.
Nearby, adjacent to Halim 2, there is a fully equipped Driving Range facility with multiple bays and short game practice areas where one can work on all components of their golf game before or in-between their next round. Hitting from the grass is also possible from this driving range unlike other driving ranges in Jabotabek.
Pak Mukri has caddied for 30 years at Halim 1. A fountain of knowledge like most caddies at Halim 1 – photo courtesy of Padang Golf Halim 1
The majority of Halim 1 caddies are wise old men. Who have been caddying the course for 20 years++ My caddy for the day had been a caddy at Halim 1 for 32 years. Experienced caddies will most definitely benefit your game, yardages will be accurate and they know the greens like the back of their hands. Younger female caddies are available on weekends if you can’t get your head around having a male caddy. Many of the male caddies hold low handicaps and deft short-games so higher handicapped golfers can learn from the swing advice.
Halim 1 has a very pleasing ambience. None of the fancy frills and luxury of the Bogor bound golf courses built in the 90’s. Golfers come here to golf, enjoy the day out golfing nothing else. Halim 1 is a tribute to the past. A welcome rest-bite to the pace and hectic nature of 21st century life, time slows down here, and golf is played the traditional way. Nothing fancy, just pleasant.
Halim 1 provides us golfers with a well valued course close to Jakarta’s SCBD. Weekday rounds are very affordable at less than $30 for 18 holes and weekends are also very well priced for local standards at around $50. Golf here is extremely good value for money and well worth the money.