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Golfing in Brunei Darussalam
Are you looking for an alternative and refreshing getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life? If you want to go somewhere to unwind, reinvigorate the mind and perhaps play a little golf as well, look no further than Brunei Darussalam.
With golf gaining popularity here, visitors arriving by air will encounter evidence of this at the sight of the driving range and the lush 18-hole RBA Golf Club course adjacent to the Royal Brunei Recreation Club located near the airport. RBA hosted the 43rd southeast Asia Amateur Championship Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Cup last December. Teams from Brunei, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Singapore participated.
The Empire Hotel and Country Club is the newest addition to the golfing scene. It is not often that one comes across a golf course that is as picturesque as it is challenging. Built on a sprawling 450 acres of pristine land, the resort is Brunei's premier and only beachside hotel. It is fast stamping its mark as an up-and-coming golfing destination, with magnificent views of the South China Sea.
The Royal Brunei Golf and Country Club is the country's exclusive golf course. As its name suggests, it caters to an elite clientele, including royalty, visiting state dignitaries, a limited number of private members and their guests.
Pantai Mentiri Golf Club is located 15.5km along Kota Batu Road and enjoys a scenic view of Brunei Bay. It is easily accessible from Bandar Seri Begawan, a mere 15 minutes drive, from Gadong Commercial Centre, about 20 minutes drive, and from Brunei International Airport, a good 10 minutes drive. Pantai Mentiri Golf Club is the venue of many organised tournaments including in 1999 the 20th SEA Games.
Panaga Golf Club, directly run by Brunei Shell, is one of the leading Recreational Club of Brunei. Situated at the oiltown of Seria, other than Golf it also offers a wide range of facilities including Rugby, Football and Tennis.
Those who enjoy a challenging round of golf in natural surroundings will find that Brunei's verdant courses do not only provide just that, but much more. The best thing about golfing in Brunei is the superb golf options provided by the three courses. Whether at The RBA. The Empire or The Royal Brunei, golfers are assured of an enjoyable and stimulating round of golf. Whatever your skill level, you will find the course a memorable experience. At press time, the fees for the golf clubs featured are correct. As they are subject to change, it is advisable to check with the respective clubs for confirmation.
RBA Golf Club
RBA Golf Club is the first 18-hole public golf course in Brunei. A subsidiary of Royal Brunei Airlines, the club is located near the Brunei International Airport-less than five minutes' drive from there and about 20 minutes from Bandar Seri Begawan.
The layout is generally characterised by flat terrain, with huge man-made lakes spread out over the course. These lakes add to the beauty of the surroundings, while irrigating the layout. It is obvious that designer Max Wexler went to great lengths to retain as much of the original vegetation as possible, especially on the second nine. It is visually pleasing but not too forgiving of wayward shots that may wind up out-of-bounds or, worse still, in the water.
Threatening bunkers are strategically placed along landing areas and around the greens to penalise inaccuracy. Sculptured mounds on the fairway perimeter demand spot-on accuracy if a difficult lie is to be avoided. The designer has thrown in four lakes to give the course character. The course, measuring 6,380m off the black tees, has more than enough hazards to upset your game. Several holes are lined with different types of palm and coconut trees. The fairways and roughs are turfed with Tifway 419 and the greens are of anted with Tifdwarf.
Golf clubhouse facilities include a two-tier, flood-lit driving range and a pro-shop and golfer's terrace. Green fee for 18 holes, inclusive of buggy, is B$45 on weekdays (Monday to Thursday) and B$60 on weekends. Green fee for nine holes inclusive of buggy is B$30 on weekdays and B$35 on weekends. Friday Special is B$50 a person inclusive of buggy and a meal. Term membership package valid for one year is priced at B$200 - renewable at B$150 annually. What is enticing for term members is the entitlement of a free 18 hole after completion of 36 holes of golfing. For more details, call (673)2343 724 / 727 or fax (673) 2343 726.
The Empire Country Club is located in the luxurious beachfront resort, The Empire Hotel & Country Club. The golf course, designed and built by Jack Nicklaus, is a windswept par-71 course.
The layout, measuring 6,427m from the black tees, features large fairways leading to immaculately-turfed greens. Each hole is challenging; golfers have to choose between finesse and unrestrained power when weighing the options from the tee. Either way, rewards are guaranteed for those who succeed in negotiating tight fairways, large bunkers and undulating, well-protected greens.
The course is generally well built for a pleasant round of golf, especially when all 18 holes are floodlit for night golfing. Some striking holes on the second nine run parallel to the beach, where its sheer beauty and breathtaking views of the South China Sea will overwhelm golfers.
Sporting and recreational activities reign supreme with the 18-hole championship golf course, putting and chipping green, 26-bay covered driving range and almost all conceivable forms of amenities and facilities that golfers and their families would require - be it indoor or outdoor activities, a health centre, or a room where you could read quietly. You can also have your choice of either local or western cuisine at the food-and-beverage outlets and golf terrace or have a drink at the bar.
Green fee for hotel guests for nine holes is B$60 on weekdays (Monday to Thursday) and B$75 on weekends (Friday to Sunday). For 18 holes, it is B$115 and B$150 respectively.
Walk-in guests pay B$75 and B$100 for nine holes and B$150 and B$200 for 18 holes on weekdays and weekends respectively. Night golfing for nine holes costs B$65 on weekdays and B$85 on weekends. For 18 holes, it is B$125 and B$160 respectively. Walk-in golfers pay an additional B$15 to B$30.
For more details, call (673) 2418 888, fax (673) 2417 815 or check out the website at www.empire.com.bn.
Located in Jerudong Park, some 5 minutes' drive from Bandar Seri Begawan, this buggy-only course was designed by internationally-acclaimed golf course designer Ronald Fream.
Here, golfers are subjected to a sheer test of accuracy and demands to dig deep into their arsenal of shot-making skills. Landscaped to near perfection, the Royal Brunei Golf & Country Club is an 18 hole, par-72 layout measuring 6, l 75m off the championship tees.
The course is maintained to the high standards demanded by the US PGA.
The layout features tight fairways woven around dense natural jungle while fairways are characterised with inclines, ravines and pristine bunkers providing a different appeal on every hole. The target greens have a variation of slopes, ranging from subtle to strong, to test your putting skills.
The designer has mapped out every nuance of the land and stretched a championship length over every conceivable natural hazard to create a challenging game. This course is deceptive the first time but rewards you if your course management is well thought out.
Green fee inclusive of buggy for visitors on weekdays (Monday till Thursday and Saturdays) is B$60 for nine holes and B$90 for 18 holes. Weekend (Friday and Sunday and public holiday) rates are B$80 and B$12 respectively. Members' guests are charged B$40 for nine holes and B$60 for 18 holes on weekdays. Weekend and public holiday rates are B$50 and B$90 respectively.
Non-transferable membership fees are B$5,000 for Private and B$3,000 for Diplomatic. Transferable memberships are B$15,000 for Private and B$15,000 (one nominee) and B$30,000 (two nominees) for Corporate. The subscription rate for all the above is B$100 a month. For enquiries, call (673) 2611 582 or fax (673) 2610 499.
Pantai Mentiri Golf Club is located 15.5km along Kota Batu Road and enjoys a scenic view of Brunei Bay. It is easily accessible from Bandar Seri Begawan, a mere 15 minutes drive, from Gadong Commercial Centre, about 20 minutes drive, and from Brunei International Airport, a good 10 minutes drive.
Pantai Mentiri Golf Club is the venue of many organised tournaments including in 1999 the 20th SEA Games.
For seasoned golfers and professionals it is a straightforward 6105 metres par 72 course. For golfers with a 10 handicap and above the course will provide enough challenge to make a net par score difficult. The challenge of Pantai Mentiri Golf course is centred on the golfer's ability to avoid the many water hazards which form the main feature of the course.
The greens, with well manicured and contoured aprons, are amongst the best in South East Asia. The first nine holes, the Bakau nine, being 3006 metres long from the blue tee boxes, are considered by many to be the "easier" nine.The inward Membangan nine measures 3099 metres while the ladies` red tee boxes provide lengths of 2556 metres and 2651 metres respectively.
Panaga Golf Club
Panaga Golf Club, directly run by Brunei Shell, is one of the leading Recreational Club of Brunei.
Situated at Seria, it offers a wide range of facilities including Rugby, Football, Tennis and Golf. Indoor activities include an Arts and Crafts Centre, a Fitness suite, ddda Computer section, a Local Theatre Production and a library. There is also a newly refurbished swimming pool with an additional children's' pool.
The Empire Hotel and Country Club
Pantai Mentiri Golf Club
Panaga Golf Club
Royal Brunei Golf & Country Club
Royal Brunei Airlines Golf Club
Sources: Brudirect.com News and Internet
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