GOLF IN JAKARTA

GOLF IN JAKARTA. Part I

Jakarta. So how do we plan a golf trip to a city with great golf courses and delicious culinary everywhere but laden with notorious traffic jams? Join me and follow me as we show you how it’s done!

Yes its true Jakarta has massive traffic jams everywhere you go I’m not going to lie but having equipped oneself with comprehensive local knowledge over the years travelling to this city for business and leisure, you tend to know your way around real fast. But wait a second. Getting yourself acquainted with a local friend or guide who knows Jakarta at the back of his hand is one thing. Does he know his way around to golf courses? Now that’s another whole different matter. Believe me, there has been times where drivers or ‘supir’ as they are known affectionately, have stubbornly claimed they know the way to Royale Jakarta Golf Course for example and we ended up heading to the domestic airport Halim instead! Don’t ask me why and how but it is hilariously funny now looking back but being late for a tee off then was let’s put it mildly… simply chaotic!

So how do we enjoy a golf trip to ‘machett’ Jakarta? Step One. Pick a good time to fly in.

I have flown into Jakarta at all times. Morning, mid morning, late morning, early afternoon, you get the drift. Early evening, even late night midnight and even on Election Day! Now that was simply an amazing day. Trippy and superb. Airport to my Hotel in the heart of the city in 20 minutes! Wow! No traffic, no cars and no ‘machett!’ As everyone was at the election centres, voting for their new Mayor of Jakarta! I can safely say, now that was a once in a lifetime trip. Unbelievable! It normally takes an hour an a half minimum when traffic is good as in ‘moving’ or 3 and a half hours if it’s bad when you’re at standstills every step of the way.

There are at least 30 flights a day from Singapore to Jakarta on many different airlines so you definitely have a huge say in your choice. And the best time to fly into Jakarta? Early morning before 9am. By the time you clear customs and immigration you are heading straight to your hotel when everyone is already at work. Perfect.

Step Two. Choose a Hotel that has a good location. Not a cheap one.

I have stayed at cheaper and good hotels and the shopping malls and amenities surrounding them sounded perfect. But lo and behold. Speaking from experience, just to get out of the area from jam central takes a good 2 hours!

You want a Hotel that has a great location away from ‘jam central’ areas and I’ve actually found a few. My hotel of choice for golfers is located near bars and restaurants, a shopping mall and most importantly, hits the highway towards Bogor immediately when you exit. Perfect. Not a Five Star nor a Three Star but a Four Star Hotel with Five Star service. That’s what I like to call Hotel JS Luwansa. A Golfer friendly Business Hotel.

JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention Center

GOLF IN JAKARTA. PART II

Yes. Now that we’ve covered the travel and accommodation, let’s talk about the amazing golf courses in Jakarta and to be exact, Bogor.

There are altogether 9 golf courses in Bogor that I will recommend to Golfers. You don/t want to play in a normal golf course having flown in from abroad. You want a golf course in pristine condition with beautiful landscape and scenery. A golf course where its halfway huts are actually opened for you. Now this is an underrated fact but you don’t want to play in a golf course where the halfway huts are not opened and the latrine facilities are not working. It just ruins your golf day out! So the golf courses I’m recommending here tick all the boxes including working toilet facilities so you know I’m dead serious about rating them among the Top 9.

ROYALE JAKARTA. “Home of the Indonesian Masters.”

Some might say it’s just an ordinary golf course and not that big of a deal. But tell that to the top Golf pros like Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Thongchai Jaidee and Anirban Lahiri just to name a few. The conditions are always pristine. The fairways are well maintained, the greens are immaculately manicured and the course is highly challenging. The landscaping is awesome and the view of Gunung Agung in the distance is simply breathtaking on a clear day. As we have planes flying over our courses in the Changi area, you will occasionally hear the sound of the rotating blades of military helicopters as we are located near an air force base.

Additionally, Royale Jakarta takes pride in their highly trained caddies so make sure you don’t tip them below IDR250,000 which is equivalent to less than SGD25. This is a Premium A Grade A golf course that comes with an atrociously good food menu at its Clubhouse. Add to that, the comprehensive Pro Shop to get your Royale Jakarta souvenirs, the gleaming locker rooms and their shoe cleaning services, this golf course definitely deserves an overall Five Star Rating.

PS For the more discerning golfers who do not look at their wallets when it comes to food, Royale Jakarta does have private rooms for private dining.

KLUB GOLF BOGOR RAYA. “The love and heartbeat of Bogor.”

Klub Golf Bogor Raya 

This beautiful golf course holds a very sentimental value for me. It was the first golf course that I have ever played in Jakarta. The first impression was ‘wow!’ and it still gives me the ‘wow!’ factor till today.

The first thing you see when you arrive is the Pro Shop where you have to walk through to register and confirm your bookings ( this part I’m not sure yet if you enter the pro shop first or pass by the two ponds where they keep the giant fish) and you will be amazed at the locker rooms. Voted one of the World’s Best Golf Locker Rooms (Yes there’s such an award) I will not say much here so as not to ruin the surprise for any soon to be first time visitors.

As you make your way to the buggy area, you will notice the landscape and greenery already surrounding the Clubhouse before you meet your caddies. The course is adorned by magical bougainvilleas everywhere and you will soon notice the serenity and beauty of the place.

The course once again is immaculate and I haven’t even described the best bits. The course is reputably a friendly and less challenging course than most in order to cater to high handicappers and less competitive golfers ie wider fairways, fewer OB markers and less undulating greens. Which is why one is always enamoured by its beauty than its challenges. To put it simply, it’s guaranteed to give you a wonderful day of golf minus the stress and heartaches. 

The Clubhouse. The Food. Amazing. The clubhouse and the outdoor dining area which overlooks Hole 18 gives you a nice kampung feel with its rustic look and the food is simply outstanding. As much as I want to single out a few dishes as my favourites, its best for one to savour the culinary experience and judge for yourself. 

PS For Golfers who prefer private dining areas, Bogor Raya does have Pavilions to cater for their VIP services.

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