10 February 2011

Golf Malaysia Course Poll Results & Awards 2011

Kota Permai and Sarawak GC are Tops
The latest Golf Malaysia Course Poll that determined the best golf courses in Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia produced some pleasant surprises, thanks to 5,723 votes that you, our loyal readers, have taken the time to cast.
In this 2008-2010 survey Golf Malaysia readers have voted by way of our website, at numerous Golf Malaysia competitions, via e-mail, on Facebook and also at the annual GolfFest events.
The 2008-2010 poll was unique, as the voting extended over a three-year period rather than the traditional two-year timeframe of the pervious polls.
In late 2008, Golf Malaysia felt the world’s poor economy was having a negative bearing on the country’s golf courses, especially when it came to maintenance. When the economy started to show signs of recovery in 2009, the decision was made to extend the voting into 2010 with the plan to determine the results in December of 2010 and release the list of winners in early 2011.
When golfers vote they were asked to state their preferences based on the course’s routing, playability, conditions, cleanliness, maintenance, overall landscapes, facilities, services, and the memorable qualities of their rounds.
In our last poll, which gave us winners that reigned from 2008 to 2010, the winner for Peninsular Malaysia was Kota Permai Golf & Country Club and Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai captured the East Malaysia crown.

Since clubs capable of creating overall customer satisfaction year-in-and-year-out tend to garner the votes, Kota Permai G&CC was able to retain the top spot as the best course in Peninsular Malaysia by receiving 1,288 votes. In fact Kota Permai’s win makes it three-in-a-row for the 18-hole facility.
If Kota Permai wishes to join Saujana Golf & Country Club’s Palm course in our Golf Malaysia’s Hall of Fame for outstanding golf courses it will need to win the next two polls to meet the Fame’s criteria of five-in-a-row. And, if this year is any indication Kota Permai’s task is far from a lock.
With 1,117 votes, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) displaced Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort (1,003 votes) as Peninsular Malaysia’s second best course and The Mines Resort Golf Club (1,087) climbed to third to push Clearwater done to fourth.
In the previous poll KLGCC sat at No. 9, but since that poll their West and East courses were completely revamped at a cost of several million Ringgit and the club hosted the 2010 Malaysian Open on the West Course and the inaugural Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on the East Course. Over the next two years, with their continued hosting of the two professional events and more golfers getting to play their outstanding new layouts KLGCC will give Kota Permai a strong challenge.
The same can also be said of The Mines Resort. While its 18 holes did not undergone major renovation, the condition of the course was brought to its finest in 2010 as the club prepared to host the first US PGA Tour event to come to Malaysia, the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia. The expose this first-class tournament provided The Mines had it moving from No. 7 to No. 3 in the voting and like KLGCC it will be challenging Kota Permai for the top spot over the next two years.

The most startling news, however, from the latest poll is that, there are NINE new ‘faces’ in the Peninsular Malaysia Top 20. Leading the way for the new comers was Saujana Golf & Country Club’s Bunga Raya course in the fifth position followed by: Starhill Golf Club No. 12, Horizon Hills Golf Club No. 13, Ayer Keroh Country Club No. 15, Berjaya Hills Golf & Country Club No. 16, Pulai Springs Golf Resort No. 17, Datai Bay Golf Club No. 18, The Legends Golf & Country Resort No. 19, and Bukit Jawi Golf Resort No. 20.
Clubs voted out of top 20 included Staffield Country Resort in Mantin, Negeri Sembilan (3rd previously), Palm Garden Golf Club in Putrajaya (4th), Cinta Sayang Golf & Country Club in Sungai Petani, Kedah (5th), Kajang Hill Golf Club (6th), Sungai Long Golf & Country Club in Kajang (8th), Bukit Jambul Country Club in Pulau Pinang (11th), Kelab Golf Negara Subang in Petaling Jaya (12th), Kelab Golf Rahman Putra in Sungai Buloh (19th) and Glenmarie in Shah Alam (20th).
The biggest upward moves were made by Tropicana Golf & Country Club which jumped from No. 18 to No. 6 and Tanjong Puteri GRfrom 16th to 9th.

The Top 10 East Malaysia Courses from the states of Sabah and Sarawak, had Sarawak Golf Club dethroning Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai and their jump from No. 7 to No. 1 represented the strongest move among the top 10. The second biggest upward move was Sabah Golf & Country Club going from 10th to 5th.

Interestingly, no new courses appeared in the East Malaysia rankings.
While Nexus lost its pole position to Sarawak Golf Club, it did retain the title of Best Golf Resort in Malaysia with Melaka’s A’Famosa second and Sutera Harbour in third.
And when it comes to being ‘Memorable’ Sabah’s Tawau Hot Spring Golf Club impressed those who played enough to outrank Clearwater Sanctuary who claimed the second spot.
For those who have not played Tawau’s Hot Spring, be informed that the tough 18-hole layout gets the ‘Memorable’ honour because of its natural jungle settings, cool highlands weather, the frequent appearance of majestic hornbillls and more out-of-bounds than any other course in Malaysia.
Clearwater Sanctuary Resort again, top in the most scenic category, followed by Awana Genting GC, Bukit Unggul GC, Tawau Hot Spring and Berjaya Hills GC.
As for difficulty Klang Valley golfers have to look no future than Kelab Rahman Putra as it is the most difficult course to handle, followed by Orna GC in Melaka, Tanjung Puteri GR, Berjaya Hills GC and Horizon HillsGC.
In the Most Difficult Hole category readers put Hole 9 on the Lake Nine at Tiara Melaka GC, with another 9th hole, that of The Legends GC’s Nicklaus course at No. 2, with Hole 3 Hill course at Rahman Putra GC, Hole 15 Bukit Jawi GR and No. 18 at Kinrara GC in that order.
Darul Ehsan Golf Club was voted as it was in the previous poll, the Best 9-hole Course, followed by Bukit Utama, Royal Kampung Kuantan GC, Royal Kedah GC and Valencia GC in Sungai Buluoh.

The Golf Malaysia Course Poll 2011-2012 poll will commence with voting in December 2011 with the results announced in the 2013 February issue of Golf Malaysia magazine.
Again, thanks to all who participated in this poll and in previous polls and we at Golf Malaysia look forward to counting your votes once again about 18 months from today.

Full results of the Golf Course poll can be found in the February issue of Golf Malaysia Magazine.

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