Padivalley Golf Club: Makasar’s Magnet to Golfers

By: Dennis G. Kloeth

Padivalley Clubhouse view from hole 9 - photo by Dennis G. Kloeth

Padivalley Clubhouse view from hole 9 – photo by Dennis G. Kloeth

Golfers that live and work in Indonesia may consider themselves a lucky bunch. With more than 150 golf courses nationwide, all who embrace the King of sports will have no difficulties in choosing a fabulous course for their next game. With week-day golf being highly affordable, there is no reason at all not to explore Indonesia Golf right here at our very doorstep.

Domestically, a wide variety of attractive golf travel packages are there to satisfy even the most spoiled golf traveler.  Sure, Indonesia’s best-known and most-traveled golf destinations are Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bintan & Batam and, last but not least Bali. Off the beaten track, however, the more unknown destinations such as Sumatera, Kalimantan, Papua and Sulawesi offer an enchanting golf experience that is second to none. One such destination that I recently visited is Makassar, South Sulawesi’s capital city. And the brand new Padivalley course is bound to make me return to Makassar in the not too distant future.

Before the Padivalley Golf Club came to be, Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi wasn’t directly a place you would think off whenever you were looking for competitive golf with your buddies. Important as a port city, this provincial town – also known as Ujung Pandang – is located on the oceanic crossroads that connect Sumatera, Kalimantan, Java and Bali in the west, with Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Papua in the East of the vast archipelago that is known as Indonesia.

In the 14th Century, Makassar was the most important port of call for Merchant vessels from India, China and the Western world that came to trade silk, tea and other valuable goods in exchange for nutmeg and other spices for which a high demand existed in far-flung countries in the west.

In 1667, the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company) managed to oust the Portuguese and Spanish from Makassar, and turned its port into their stronghold in the trade of spices from the Moluccas, then better known as the Spice Islands. They destroyed Fort Ujung Pandang that was built in 1545 by the King of Gowa, and replaced it with Fort Rotterdam, an impressive monument that, even today, exists in Makassar as the city’s most iconic landmark.

Padivalley hole 10 - photo by Dennis G. Kloeth

Padivalley hole 10 – photo by Dennis G. Kloeth

Gowa is located some 20 kilometers east of Makassar and today, descendants of the King of Gowa still live in this vast region that is dominated by multi-colored hills and mountains that reach as far as the eye can see. It is in this incredible nature setting that Padivalley Golf Club found a pretty amazing home.

Bob Moore of USA based JMP Golf Design Group was hired to create a memorable golf experience and he managed to do just that. For the tee boxes, fairways and rough, he used Salam Paspallum. For the greens a choice was made for Supreme Paspallum. Covered with this modern-day grass and caressed by a gentle sun, Padivalley exhibits itself in many different shades of green. Fluffy white-sand bunkers eloquently stand out amongst this abundantly lush green canvas, truly making them a beautifying feature at Padivalley. Eye candy of the highest quality, one could say!

It’s obvious that the course is build with Makassar’s rapid future growth in mind. Hence, in an effort to create an international standard course – that usually is only found in and around Jakarta or other well-known cities and golf destinations such as Surabaya and Bali – no penny was spared. Host to the ASEAN PGA Tour event The Padivalley Gowa Classic, uniquely the layout boasts five Par 5 holes and five Par 3 holes.

All of the par 5 holes – #5, #7, #9, #12 and #18 – are pretty tough and single handicappers should try and play them from the Gold Tee. With 550 meters, the finishing hole is the second most difficult on the course.

From the Gold Tee, all of the par 3 holes are seriously long and it’s no wonder that, with 200 meters, the par 3 hole #4 carries a handicap stroke 1. Mere mortal golfers, however, need not to worry. With a choice from 5 different tee boxes, Padivalley offers enjoyable play for golfers of all handicap levels.

Like an eagle’s nest, the Padivalley’s clubhouse is located on the highest point in the site. The restaurant overlooks the entire site and on the balcony-type terrace comfortable sofas are placed to allow golfers to “sit back and relax” and take in breathtaking bird’s eye views on holes #9 and #18 and Gowa’s mountains in the distance. Locker room facilities are up to 5-star quality and so is general service that is provided by well trained staff. At Padivalley, golfers may find themselves hard-pressed to leave the clubhouse long after the final putt is made.

The driving range is located left of the clubhouse, while a two-tiered and enchanting putting and bunker practice area is located between the tee boxes of hole #1 and #10. Both these practice facilities allow golfers to hone their skills before attempting to tame Padivalley’s challenging layout.  Overall course maintenance is superb and it makes playing Padivalley a genuine treat for which golfers may gladly return.

Padivalley contact details; Padivalley Golf Club, Patalassang, Gowa – South Sulawesi
Phone. 62-411-7345777. Website: www.padivalley.com

How to get there: From Jakarta one can fly Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Citilink, Wings Air, Merpati and Batik Air. From Singapore, Air Asia has a daily service. Due to its central location, Makassar is recognized as an important logistic hub that makes parts of Indonesia’s remote destinations, such as those in Papua, more accessible. A wide selection of international hotel brands such as Novotel, Howard Johnson and Swiss Bell Hotel Group, to name just a few, cater to those that spent time in this, Sulawesi’s capital city. Contact Indogolf Travel at info@indogolf.com for a golf travel package to Padivalley.

About Dennis G. Kloeth

Born June 1946, in Menteng, Jakarta, after a stint of 26 years in Europe, Dennis returned to Indonesia in 1987. In 1998, he founded Golf Promo Indonesia, promoting abroad Indonesia’s fabulous world of golf and leisure. Long before most countries in the world had even begun to imagine the potential for golf tourism in 1999 he started the golf dedicated website www.indogolf.com. As a prolific writer and photographer, he first published the Golfer’s Guide Indonesia in 2001. His articles on, and photographs of Indonesia’s golf courses are published in Asia, Europe and the United States. For more than one decade he is considered the go-to source for information on golf in Indonesia.

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