11 October 2019
Two Experiences at Desaru Coast
OB Golf had the opportunity to play on two championship courses designed by two golf Hall of Famers. While the courses are close in proximity, they offer distinctly different playing experiences.
The Els Club now boasts two separate Malaysian golf destinations. The first, the Rainforest Course at Teluk Datai, is situated on the Island of Langkawi while the more recent addition to the club’s repertoire is Desaru Coast at the southeastern edge of the Malaysian peninsular.
The Els Club Desaru Coast consists of two courses: the Ocean Course and Valley Course. The Ocean Course, designed by a four-time major champion, Ernie Els, comprises three distinctly different 9-hole courses, the Lakes (Par 36), the Coast (Par 36), and the Ridge (Par 37). Each name is a clue to what lies ahead: as you may imagine, the Lake Course has an abundance of water features to avoid, the Coast Course meanders alongside the South China Sea, and on the Ridge course players journey up into the hills. All three courses were inspired by famous links courses spread across the UK, leading to large rolling greens and firm run-off areas designed to place a premium on a sharp short game.
Meanwhile, the Valley Course, designed by three-time major champion Vijay Singh in collaboration with Els, is a completely different test. The course provides small and elevated greens, sharp undulations, and a lot of bunkers; more than one hundred! Players are encouraged, if they can, to hit the golf ball with a precise approach. Prepare yourself, this is a tough course.
The differentiation between the two courses continues in the form of two separate clubhouses. The Ocean Course’s clubhouse is a decadent masterpiece, at 45,000 square feet, with views for miles over the golf course towards the South China Sea, and with the 261 Bar and Restaurant, it’s the ultimate 19th hole. Meanwhile, the Valley Course’s clubhouse offers a more subtle, traditional design and a comfortable atmosphere with its casual dining area and open plaza overlooking the lush green landscape.