Sentul Highlands is a challenging and charming golf course designed by Gary Player in the beautiful mountainous region of Bogor in Sentul City. The course was constructed in 1997 and like all great golf course
architects’, Mr Player has made good use of the hilly terrain and majestic local natural vegetation to create this impressive golf establishment which will cater for all levels of golfers. The course is located amongst the Sentul Highlands residential developments, and the golf course at times takes the golfer on a tour of some architecturally impressive, luxury homes adjacent to several of the fairways as you weave your way through the 18 holes.
Gary Player relished a challenge as a player and this is evident in his course design philosophy, creating many a test for ones golf game throughout these 18 holes whilst incorporating the scenic surroundings of the area, the panoramic views through the course of nearby Gunung Salak and the Bogor foothills are at times truly breath-taking. The course has 5 tee boxes available so there will be a suitable range of difficulty for all levels of golfers. Sentul Highlands is a public course, but the level of service and quality of the facilities on offer are of private quality thus creating an ideal venue for a round of golf in a stunning setting or perhaps a golf tournament any day of the week.
Tee-shots can be tricky throughout the round, and the course often requires careful precision to often seemingly tight fairway landing areas. Hole #2 epitomises Mr Player designs, a Par 4, dogleg right to left. The fairway becomes very thin towards the landing area from the tee-box and an errand drive will find out of bounds left and right. A well struck tee-shot when finding the fairway will fill the golfer with confidence to take on the many challenges up ahead.
Soon after Hole #5, is a long par 4, handicap index 1. A blind up hill tee-shot requires a confident long drive to position one self on the right hand side of a thin fairway, in order to have any chance of finding the green in regulation. With this steep elevation and the deep bunker guarding the front side of the green, the golfer should opt for two clubs extra from his regular yardage to find the small but highly elevated green.
Gary Player has created a truly challenging course amongst the natural beauty of this region. The highlight for me was the abundant blind tee shots required. The golfer must pick a spot on the horizon and trust his swing, for often the landing area will be hidden from view from the tee box and over the horizon down to the fairway. Albeit the course is no monster in length, but Gary Player being a master of the short game has created small and puzzling greens, often well protected by deep sand traps ready to punish any poor approach shots.
Hole # 14 is undoubtedly my favourite of the lot, playing downhill from tee to green. A well-positioned drive, must find a thin landing area, which doglegs significantly from left to right. An ideal club would be a 3 or a 4 iron from the blue tees, finding the left hand side of the fairway amongst the rock boulders littering the fairway, then a downhill second shot to a small undulating green is required with no more then a 6 or 7 iron. Typical Gary player design at work, although short in yardage, this hole has the combination of a thin dogleg towards a small landing area, and a downhill approach to a small well-guarded green. It’s not a test of distance but a test in strategy, clear mindfulness and accuracy.
The range of facilities is impressive. The pro shop for starters, run by Raja Golf stocks the full range of all major golf brands, and will provide the golfer with all his requirements. A driving range with adequate numbers of driving bays is on site, but one very unique feature being the 3 holes practice facility. Adjacent to the driving range there are 3 practice holes, of both par 3’s and par 4’s where beginners’ can practice their golf game and get some on-course practice and some confidence before committing to playing a full 18 holes.
The locker rooms are spacious and suitably decorated with class and an open airy feel of comfort. Pampering facilities are also available including a spa facility offering a full range of massage services.
The food and beverage is of good 5 star hotel quality. There is a good selection of international cusine, and suitably given its location a couple of splendid Sundanese dishes. Service is amongst two large outdoor areas surrounded by balconies with refreshing views of the nearby Bogor foothills in the distance and the sites of nearby courses Gunung Hills and Rainbow Hills are visible on the horizon.
In the land of the female caddy, your own personal smiling caddy is always a welcome treat. Sentul Highlands provides the golfer with brightly clad young female caddies who are well trained in course management. I was lucky to be accompanied with a pretty young lady for my round, a breath of fresh air and another treat to my good day out in the Bogor foothills amongst both natural and female beauty. Life can be pleasant for the golfer in Indonesia playing golf in these natural surroundings accompanied by a charming caddy.
After an uphill drive from Sentul City and the turn off from the Jagorawi toll, the golfer will feel that he has arrived at a mountain golfing resort. The large, airy open clubhouse with panaromic views of the Bogor foothills is refreshing and the club staff greated us with, a truly friendly, polite and warm welcome. Sentul Highlands has a good combination of class, luxury and escapism from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta life. As well as offering the golfer a unique golf course layout designed by a golf hall of fame legend that will please the avid golfer as well as the social, leisure golfer looking for a fun day of golf in a beautiful environment.
Value for money
Overall, Sentul Highlands offers decent value for money. Quality doesn’t come cheap, but the golf course offers very affordable midweek rates and weekend rates, which will most certainly not break the bank, especially on Sunday afternoons. For those with flexible working hours, make the most of Monday madness where a very economical golf rate is available. With several hotels located nearby, like Harris Hotel Sentul, a golfing getaway is a great and affordable prospect. To enjoy Sentul Highlands, a challenging course with plenty of on-course quirks and so much beauty requires, multiple visits are recommended.
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