From Nov 8 to 11, Wonderful Indonesia Golf held a FAM trip for Media and Tour Operators in the ASEAN countries to experience golf in Jakarta.
Cambodia Golf Today was one of the invitees
to experience golf in Jakarta
Golf in Jakarta – As the capital city of Indonesia, Jarkata is a fascinating and culturally diverse place with the population of about 10 million people living in this lively city. With a wide range shopping malls and its ample recreation facilities include a theme park, zoo, heritage sites, diving / fishing opportunities, and of course golf; it is almost impossible to run out of things to do in this buzzling place.
No direct flights are available from Cambodia to Jakarta at this moment, so after a short stop-over in Kuala Lumpur we landed in Jakarta. We arrived in the evening around dinner time and were brought to Dapur Babah, a traditional Indonesian restaurant specialized in the Baba Peranakan cuisine, featuring original recipes derived from cross-cultural marriage of Chinese settlers and native Javanese women that emerged in the colonial era. The food was amazing in the beautifully designed atmosphere of the restaurant and we felt immediately that this trip is going to be one to remember.
After dinner, we went to the new JS Luwansa hotel located in Jakarta’s Kuningan district in the south of Jakarta. The 4 star, 244 well equipped rooms hotel and convention center is a good place to stay for both work and golf trips. The facilities includes an outdoor pool on the 5th floor with a wonderful view over the city, a fitness center and spa on the mezzanine floor and a good selection of restaurants covering Japanese, to BBQ, to local cuisines. Jakarta has numerous other hotels to choose from, but knowing that the JS Luwansa was also the hotel of choice by the players, professionals and delegates of the Indonesian Masters, it’s an easy pick.
The next morning we headed out early to the first course of our golf in Jakarta trip, the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, one of the newest and premier golf courses in Asia, designed by Bob Moore Jr. & JMP Group. The golf course is located just 15 minutes from central Jakarta. There are 27 challenging holes with stunning visual scenery filled with expansive greens, highlights of exotic plants and calming water elements.
Once we arrived, we had a quick look around at the impressive array of facilities which included sauna & whirlpool, spa massage, exclusive Founders lounge, VIP rooms, practice range and a short game area. The locker room downstairs was well designed and even had those fancy individual RFID cards to get in (although this caused for some complications by the ones who were not familiar with the system).
We then headed out onto the course to enjoy a lovely day of golf. The course itself is challenging with sand traps aplenty and we certainly got our practice chipping out of them! The weather cooperated wonderfully and we really enjoyed our round at this beautiful course together with the always attentive and colorfully dressed caddies. After a well-deserved lunch at the clubhouse overseeing the course, we headed back into town looking to make ready for the evening.
For dinner, another Indonesia delicacy was on the menu. This time it was roast duck at the uniquely named Bebek Bengil. We washed the crispy skin and the flavorful meat with a wide range of side dishes away with the local Indonesian beer, Bintang, and enjoyed a relaxing evening in Jakarta to prepare us for the early morning trip to the mountains of Bogor.
It took us about an hour to reach Bogor, a mountainous region with 8 golf courses. We visited Klub Golf Bogor Raya, an immaculate course designed by Graham Marsh, a well-known Australian golf course architect. The first thing we saw upon arrival is the lovely traditional Javanese style club house design and the locker room layout. It is really a wonderful complex.
Imagine playing golf in lush green fields flanked by pretty beds under an acid – blue sky, with a majestic mountain rising in the distance and space as far as the eye can see, that is golf at Bogor Raya. The course is 1000 feet above sea level and therefore, the playing conditions are a bit better compared to the heat in Jakarta. The golf course consists of friendly fairways and receptive greens which will help the average golfer achieve some satisfactory scores. After returning to the locker room and enjoying a unique outdoor shower experience overlooking the holes. We had local Indonesia delicacies as lunch at the clubhouse before making the journey back to the hotel.
On our way back, we visited one of the most popular tourist destinations in Jakarta, the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, literally translated “Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park”.
In the evening, we went out to one of Jakarta’s hottest rooftop establishments called SKYE Bar & Restaurant. Located on the 56th floor of the BCA Tower- Grand Indonesia shopping mall. SKYE has an outdoor area which is a bistro by day and lounge by night while the indoor area is an “all-day dining” restaurant. The outdoor area’s skyline panorama was stunning, overlooking the whole city and the cool cocktails were a welcoming refreshment before dinner. The Skye restaurant has an extensive menu with cuisine inspired by Latin Hispanic, Middle-Eastern and Asian countries. Another bonus to this location is that you have a beautiful view over the bustling city of Jakarta.
The following day, our flight was scheduled in the afternoon so we had time for one more round of golf in Jakarta before we have to leave this amazing place. The last course, Damai Indah Golf, is located along the Java Sea coastline and close to the airport, making it the perfect departure round of golf. Here we played on the Pantai Indah Kapuk(PIK) Course – known locally as “The Spirit of the sea”. The designer, Robert Trent Jones Jr., described the course very accurately when it opened its doors by saying; “My course is not only by the sea, but it’s like the sea. Often the sea is graceful but suddenly the sea can turn difficult. My course will test the best players, but will please players of all skills.”
The caddies at the Pantal Indah Kapuk (PIK) course were decked out in colorful and playful, almost court jester type, outfits and provided both wise club selection advice and great service. After an 18 hole battle, We have to admit that this 6048-meter and 72-par golf course was another fantastic golf experience in Jakarta.
We highly recommend golf in Jakarta, not only as a golfing destination but also for the city, its culture and hospitality. Our travel partner, Candra from PSD Travel, whom is also an Indonesian commented “I can’t get bored of golfing in Jakarta with the immaculate courses, some of the most beautiful caddies I’ve ever seen, great food, friendly people and of course, the vibrant nightlife. One can only understand once they’ve experienced it”.
For Golfers who wish to travel to Jakarta, it can be reached by a connecting flight from Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh or Kuala Lumpur with daily direct flights to these cities from both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.