Glenmarie Golf & Country Club

Glenmarie Golf & Country Club
Location: SelangorEstablished: 1994Holes: 18Designer: Ronald Fream
Glenmarie Golf & Country Club

Glenmarie Golf and Country Club is about a half hour's drive from the Kuala Lumpur airport and is one of the main golf courses in the Klang Valley. Glenmarie is regarded as one of the top-10 golf courses in Malaysia, with good conditioning and lovely, ornate landscaping.

It was once the Glenmarie Rubber Estates, where oil palm was produced, but now it is a semi-private Kuala Lumpur golf course with nice facilities, locker rooms, sauna, and on-site golf academy. The old rubber estate makes for excellent golf terrain, with rolling hills and some nice, moderate elevation changes. There are relatively open interiors on the two courses, with fairways bordered by a mix of Malaysian and of course oil palm trees.

Glenmarie is designed by American Max Wexler and features two 18-hole courses, both similar in style, but with contrasting landscapes. The Garden Course at 6,432 meters is a little longer than the Valley Course, which measures 6,325 meters. Golf carts are compulsory while caddies are optional on both courses.

The Garden Course has rich flora and fauna with a diversity of palms and flowering shrubs. A large lake plays home to migrating and local birds.  Watch out for the swans, especially the black and white ones swimming on the lake. The Garden Course has undergone recent renovation of its greens plus several changes to bunkers, tee-boxes and fairways. The 2010 renovation exercise made the Garden Course more challenging.

Gently sloping down to some small lakes in its lower sections, the almost bowl-like terrain of the Garden Course creates an open feel too. In this relatively open environment, the holes are well-spaced, rarely if ever intruding on each other. The opening two holes on the Garden Course may have you thinking that water will be a constant threat, but don't worry. Only two further holes, the par-4 5th and short, snaking par-5 12th have water seriously in play. Much of the challenge here comes from judging your approach shots into large, fast and undulating greens, while staying out of quite deep and abundant greenside bunkers.

The Valley Course features hundreds of pine trees on a narrow course with spectacular views in a parkland setting. Water comes into play and sprawls over the hills on the Valley Course which enhances its beauty. Most holes on the constantly undulating Valley Course are arranged on either side of a picturesque man-made lake, in an area which winds its way along the valley floor.

You may think that will make for a watery round, but water only comes dangerously into play on about five or six holes. The par-5 4th presents the biggest water challenge, with a creek to avoid from your tee-shot and an island green to hit before you get the chance to putt-out. This hole, together with the par-4 3rd and par-3 5th are played on the other side of the expressway. Rather than the presence of water, it is more likely that the elevation changes will challenge newcomers, especially with a few tight drives and some blind tee and approach shots to make.

Much tree planting has given parts of the Valley Course an almost orchard like feel, although only around the course perimeter does the flora become thick enough to make ball finding a problem. With greenside bunkers set quite well back from the often flattish and circular greens, clinging semi-rough around the greens is the main hazard to avoid.

In addition to golf, Glenmarie offers a variety of sports and recreational activities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts, fitness center, and even children's areas.
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