Pantai Indah Kapuk: The Spirit of The Sea

William Ashbee

Nov 15,2013

Pantai Indah Kapuk: The Spirit of The Sea

The Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) Golf Club, said to encapsulate “The Spirit of the Sea” sits close to the Jakarta coastline, some twentytwo miles to the north of Damai Indah Golf’s other 18-hole layout, Bumi Serpong Dami (BSD), “The Spirit of the Hills”. Brothers in arms, these two world-famous architects battle head to head to best mirror and integrate within their surroundings producing two stern but different tests of golf for all who head their way.

Another Ciputra brainchild, although for those who have played BSD, fear not. Whilst the greens remain a test, they will not leave you scratching your head and ready to give up the rolling part of the game. This is Robert Trent Jones Junior’s second layout  in Indonesia, having molded the marvelous Pondok Indah. His vision, “Dramatic marshlands, native trees and water to create scenic vistas and challenging hazards. I want the experience of golfing at Pandai Indah Kapuk to wash away the cares of all who step onto the course, so that they are free to enjoy their game.”
Having passed through the lavish and airy clubhouse you will be taken aback by the most spectacular lake view. Seemingly surrounded by some of the whitest sand in Indonesia, these beach bunkers really give the feel of a seaside course. Awarded the 1992 Gold Nugget Award for Site Plan of the Year, judges called the plan “very dramatic, very aggressive.” It still holds these attributes to today, one of the boldest and most innovative creations in Indonesia.

Situated on the Java Sea coastline, just pray the wind doesn’t change direction or you’ll actually get a whiff of it, this golf course incorporates ponds and gently winding streams as strategically positioned water hazards. In addition to other challenges like the numerous bunkers and rustic walls made from indigenous stones, giant lakes prove to be menacing opponents. Renowned for its lush landscaping, this Par- 72 6,084 meter course has been skillfully designed by integrating the coastal wetlands to create a playable course of natural beauty.


Robert Trent Jones Jr. has taken a spectacular lakeside setting and sculpted it with his legendary design landmarks, such as undulating greens and challenging fairway bunkers. The front nine starts off clockwise on the perimeter switching to the inside at the par 5 sixth. The back nine starts off in the opposite direction and switches to the inside of the layout at the par 4 fourteenth. Such continuity and change allows for variety, requiring the nouse of an old sea dog to navigate the changing maritime breeze. Nestled amongst the course are private residences giving the course a homely feel, the tops of water slides poking above the trees are a great sense of fun.

Plotting your way around, it often feels as though you’re on a knife’s edge. Vertical walls plunging into water surround many greens and fairways, reducing success and failure to the smallest of margins. This feeling is best encapsulated by the 18th, everything that a par 5 closing hole should be. A terrifying drive over water, not reachable in two with the 3rd shot in front of the clubhouse with danger everywhere and the wind whipping off the giant sea lake. Sailors will be glad to be back ashore.

The words of the famous designer Robert Trent Jones Jr., sum up the inspiration behind his design here:

“Dramatic marshlands, native trees and water will create scenic vistas and challenging hazards. I want the experience of playing golf at Pantai Indah Kapuk to wash away the cares of all who step onto the course, so they are free to enjoy their game.”


Often afterthoughts, the facilities alone are worth a visit and will impress any non-golfing friend. The sea-like lake serves as a spectacular aquatic driving range, providing you with the chance to get used to sending balls to a watery grave. The men bobbing in small boats with motorcycle helmets are not there to be hit. Practice greens ensue if you can drag yourself away from the range. The clubhouse offers all the luxuries golfers in Indonesia have become accustomed to, including a fantastic restaurant that will tingle anyone’s taste buds.

The overhead giant lamps designed for 9 holes of ‘night golf’ offer the noon high sun golfer a mirage. On your third Pocari Sweat, you find yourself in a fantasy of cool night breezes and the sight of your ball rising into the darkness before returning to the fluorescent glow. Local electricity shortages and restrictions from the nearby Soekarno-Hatta International, however, spoil any chance of this most extravagant of golfing experiences, aduh.


With plenty of water carries and carefully placed fairway bunkers, PIK’s caddies sense your appetite for risk and often know best, whilst giving you exact yardages from almost anywhere. Quickly understanding your game they offer some real insight and often leave you satisfied on the greens having putted with blind faith.


Competitions aplenty, members galore and an active junior section, PIK embodies the modern inclusive golf club. The venue for the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open and the Junior Golf Faldo Series, it has some real gravitas. Golf will thrive here for years to come.

It is the inspiration from the mythical Java Sea which sets this course apart. “My course is not only by the sea, but it is like the sea. Often the sea is graceful and beautiful, but suddenly the sea can turn difficult. My course will test the best players, but will please players of all skills.” —Robert Trent Jones Jnr. Well worth a trip.

1 Comment

  1. I would like to make booking@1 flight at Pantai Indahpuri Kapok next 2 week date Jan 12 ,
    T-off at 1.30pm. Pls advice us green fee charges etc

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