Many of the world’s top golfers, turned designers, have lent their name to golf courses in Jakarta.
Golf is one of the fastest rising sports in Jakarta and it is easy to see the significant developments the game has made in this region of Indonesia. Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia and it is huge. Home to millions of people and boasting a cultural mix which is hard to find anywhere else in the world, this is a city which is home to amazing architecture and delicious cuisine. Whether its old, traditional neighbourhoods or luxurious, multi-million dollar apartments, Jakarta has it all, including a fantastic choice of golf courses.
Golf course creation has really taken off since the 1980’s and many of the world’s top golfers, turned designers, have lent their name to golf courses in Jakarta. When arriving in the city, you will be faced with the tough decision of which course to play first but we have selected some of the very best golf courses in Jakarta for you to enjoy.
Home to the Indonesian Masters between 2011 and 2015
Royale Jakarta Golf Club is situated just 15 minutes away from central Jakarta and can easily be reached via the toll road. Therefore, this might be a good choice for your first round of golf having arrived in the city. Created by Bob Moore Jr. and JMP Design, Royale Jakarta Golf Club is home to a 27-hole golf course which plays to just under 7,000 yards. One glance at some of the accolades received by this championship golf course and you realise just why it is one of the best golf courses in Jakarta. Home to the Indonesian Masters between 2011 and 2015 plus winning the award for best golf course in Indonesia on several occasions, highlights the high regard in which this course is held locally. The three 9-hole courses are set against a mountain backdrop and the quality of the fairways and greens are excellent and well maintained throughout the year. Water and greenside bunkers present the main challenges, in addition to several rolling greens and all three sets of 9-holes are equally enjoyable, for golfers of all abilities. The clubhouse is superb, with all the facilities you would expect from a modern golf course and the restaurant is delightful and attracts guests who are not interested in golf because the food is so good. Royale Jakarta Golf Club is one of the best in this region of Indonesia.
What makes Imperial Klub Golf one of the best golf course in Jakarta is the uniqueness of each of the holes
Just 20 minutes further on from downtown Jakarta you will find Imperial Klub Golf. Designed by British architect Desmond Muirhead, the 18-hole golf course was opened in 1997 and plays to 7,200 yards. This public course can be quite difficult for the beginner golfer and many professional events have been played on the course, including the 2013 Jakarta Classic. What makes Imperial Klub Golf one of the best golf course in Jakarta is the uniqueness of each of the holes. Hole 4 comes complete with an island fairway and island green, not something you will find on every course in Asia. There is an additional par-3 hole featuring an island green and the 9th hole is often considered to be the signature hole, with a lake flowing from tee to green, alongside the fairway, making the target from the tee that much narrower. The clubhouse presents lovely views over the golf course and there is a great choice of food in the restaurant, ranging from Indonesian and Japanese to Korean and Western food. If you are looking for a testing round of golf close to the city centre, Imperial Klub Golf is a very good choice and must be ranked as one of the best golf courses in Jakarta.
The course runs close to the Java Sea and is often referred to by the locals as the ‘Spirit of the Sea’
Robert Trent Jones Jr. is one of the world’s premier golf course designers and Damai Indah Golf and Country Club has his name stamped all over it. This is home to two golf course and Pantai Indah Kapuk is the pick of the two available and is situated just 30 minutes away from Jakarta International Airport. The course runs close to the Java Sea and is often referred to by the locals as the ‘Spirit of the Sea’. Pantai Indah Kapuk makes good use of the coastal wetlands and offers plenty of variety but for those who know Trent Jones Jr. designs, the toughness of the undulating greens and testing fairway bunker complexes will not come as a surprise. With several teeing areas around the course, it is playable for golfers of all abilities and featuring native trees, water and marshlands, the pick of the holes must be final stretch, with the 17th hole being a par-5 which is reachable in two shots. The 16th is a challenging par-3 hole, with water to the front and left of the green and the 18th hole is a par-4, which is a good risk/reward style hole, offering a great chance of a birdie to finish the day. Off the course, the driving range is interesting, with floating targets in a lake meaning several shots could end up in the water. This may not be everyone’s idea of a good driving range but what does it matter when the golf course itself is floodlit, meaning you play late in the afternoon and evening? Pantai Indah Kapuk at Damai Indah Golf and Country Club is one of the best golf courses in Jakarta and even if you have a busy schedule throughout the day, night golf makes it possible to enjoy a good round of golf.
Jagorawi Golf and Country Club
The first hole is arguably the most difficult opening hole in Indonesia
Slightly further out from Jakarta than the other courses mentioned above but well worth the 60-minute drive if you want to really test your golfing ability, is Jagorawi Golf and Country Club. There are two 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course at this golf club to enjoy but the superior course and one the best in Jakarta is the Old Course. This was the first of the 18-hole courses to be built at Jagorawi Golf and Country Club and the tropical vegetation has grown around each hole, which makes them isolated yet still walkable, making the Old Course one of only a few in Indonesia and Asia which can be played without a buggy. You will also notice small villages and towns on the outskirts of the course as you play and these provide a nice little insight into local life. The Old Course is a challenge, partly because of the many narrow fairways but also due to the local grass which is used throughout the course. You are never guaranteed a perfect a lie, even on the fairway and you must work hard to reach the greens under regulation, to have any chance of making a low score.
There is no easing your way into a round on the Old Course at Jagorawi Golf and Country Club. The first hole is arguably the most difficult opening hole in Indonesia and the tees are located 40 metres above a narrow fairway, with water down the right side. This is a par-5 hole and the second shot is into the narrowest part of the fairway and the green has a big slope, which goes from front to back. So, if you are slightly out with your approach shot, even if you hit the green, you may be left with a very testing putt and many golfers are happy to walk to the second hole with a par to their name. The first hole sets the tone for the remaining holes on the Old Course and if you want to test your accuracy and ability to cope with variable ball lies, this is the best golf course in Jakarta for you.
If you want to play a slightly more forgiving course at Jagorawi Golf and Country Club, the New Course is more open and with a choice of tees, is an enjoyable round for everyone. The wide fairways mean you can get out the driver on the tee and attack the ball, without fear of being in trouble if you happen to slice or fade the ball a little. The start of the front-nine is where you can expect to have your approach play examined with small landing areas and well protected greens on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes. Both the Old and New Courses, in addition to the 9-hole course can be booked at Jagorawi Golf and Country Club, making it a great place to visit for a longer period of time when staying in Jakarta.
The golf courses mentioned above are all different and will offer you something new when you play them. However, one thing which can be guaranteed is that you will be playing on the best golf courses in Jakarta and will have a great time doing so.