Rainbow Hills

By: William Ashbee

Rainbow Hills

Avid golfers have long considered Rainbow Hills as one of Jakarta’s truly great courses. With ongoing works to re-develop the driving range and add an additional nine holes to the existing 18 holes on offer, Rainbow is certainly ramping up its ambition. As an original Michael Poellot Golf Design, this layout has real pedigree.


You can reach this golfing paradise by the Jagorawi toll road, taking the exit at Sentul Selatan and following the directions to Sentul highlands. A slight slog from central Jakarta at just under an hour and a half, the cooler air and added beauty are well worth the effort alone for a few more junctions down the motorway. Located within the majestic highlands of the Bogor region, the course takes full advantage of a picturesque setting by blending into the spectacular golfing landscape. Do not be put off by the current drive leading to the course resembling a Jurassic Park like ghost town with an unfinished hotel and numerous windowless villas, the ghost of 1997, it seems, still haunts many parts of Asia. Indonesia’s new golden age will see the development of this area into the dream that was once envisaged for it. A new nine holes, complete redevelopment and a general sprucing, this is no rough diamond, just in need of a little polish.

Rainbow Hills has been designed to accommodate and reward golfers of all abilities, with length and power off the tee providing no particular advantage. You’ll be required to take important choices as you think your way around this course. Finesse and quality will be rewarded, for this course encourages initiative and the well-placed shot. No matter what your scorecard reads or how many skins you lose, you will stroll from the final green with a smile on your face that you are lucky to live in this land of golfing plenty.

Hole thirteen, the self-proclaimed signature hole is up there with the best par fives you will play in Indonesia. Combining beauty, temptation, reward and severe punishment, this is a true test. Out of bounds and numerous bunkers await your drive off of a breath-taking tee box overlooking the vast expanse below. Finding the fairway over one hundred meters below your feet is imperative, for any temptation to pull out the fairway wood to have a crack at it in two. Dog legging to the left, an accurate shot is required with water and sand protecting a fortress like green.

Rainbow HillsThis contributor found rough off the tee, hit a lay-up one hundred and thirty meters short and still managed to find trouble. His steely editor picked up the pieces and skins with a sandy par. Whilst this hole will tempt you to get there in two, the seasoned golfer will see the risks and be happy to get on the putting surface in three, if he’s lucky.

The general trend of the course is following the natural contours of this captivating landscape, taking a number of lengthy par fours and fives with breathtaking views in your stride. Some green undulations leave you baffled and in severe disagreement with your caddy, I would listen to them. Catching up with members after the round, new bumps and hollows appear and dissapear the whole time thanks to the almost living and breathing nature of this course.

What’s refreshing about Rainbow Hills is its incredibly forward thinking attitude. A concern shared amongst all golfers is how to bring the newer generations to the game. Still shackled by elitism, cost and perceptions, the best intentions often go awry.

General Manager Werner Jayson has some seriously well thought out plans to have juniors stomping around the course on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, a welcome sight. Play in a tournament here of with group of friends and expect to have a wireless device in your buggy. With 3G technology players can have access to a live leaderboard and see how everyone’s getting on, unfortunately no instant messaging as of yet.

In this fast paced new world where four hours plus out of the office is near impossible, Rainbow offers ‘pay what you play’. If it’s just a quick nine holes in the evening or six before the sun goes down, pop up and don’t expect to pay a full green fee. It’s pragmatic, flexible solutions that will secure the future of this club for decades.

Rainbow Hills

Caddies here will soon be the envy of Jakarta. Rainbow Hills and its GM are looking to pioneer a “Caddy Academy” with full training and certification. Instead of lounging around the caddy shack and just carrying the bag, the caddies will have English lessons, talks on course management and etiquette, be supplied with the right tools of the trade and become real professionals with a set of transferable skills. This does however go both ways, with caddies imparting basic Bahasa Indonesia on their unsuspecting guests.

Both the ninth and eighteenth holes will long stay in your mind. A par four and five respectively, both finish with a knee jangling approach over the rocky waterfalls that lead up to the spectacular clubhouse. Majestically positioned on a ridge overlooking panoramic views of the course, golfers are ideally positioned to witness the exciting final stages of their contemporaries from the balcony, having used the clubs extensive and luxurious locker room facilities.

This is a proper golf club with the right balance of tradition, values and innovation. We arrived at that awkward time just before lunch, rather hungry by the sixth hole, it was arranged for some satay to be brought out to us by buggy. Nothing is too much to please the visiting golfer. Follow the stream of golfers up to this paradise to find your own pot of gold, there’s plenty to go around.

About William Ashbee

A new arrival in Jakarta and recent politics graduate, William works in the commodities sector. A single figure handicapper having learnt the game in England, he has certainly arrived in golfing heaven here in Indonesia.

3 Responses to “Rainbow Hills”

  1. Mutalib pakeer says:

    I would like to book golf on 13/02/14 , morning, 4,person, can i get special rate. TQ.

    • Simon says:

      Hi Mr Pakeer,

      Rainbow Hills is a fantastic course. I suggest you call directly to the clubhouse and enquire, they have special rates for mid-week tee off times.

      +62 888-8777-161

      Happy Golfing!

      • Daryati says:

        yes, I do agree with you ,simon.Rainbow Hills Golf or called Bukit Pelangi Golf & Country Club is Amazing and fantastic golf course.
        They have truly Mountain View golf course .

        Enjoy your great golf !!!



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