Royal Selangor Golf Club, Malaysia: course review

Kuala Lumpur's RSGC hosts the 2016 Maybank Championship Malaysia

Charlie Lemay's picture
Submitted by Charlie Lemay on

Royal Selangor Golf Club, the venue for the 2016 Maybank Championship Malaysia, was where I spent the majority of my time between 2008 and 2011.

For three years I lived in the charismatic city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and played the two Championship layouts on most days after work. Remembering my usual routine of finishing work early, playing 18 holes and then dipping in the pool before watching the sun set with nasi goring and a cold beer in hand makes me incredibly nostalgic – and makes me wonder what I’m doing in London?

As with most layouts, I’ve seen every corner of both the Old and the New course thanks to my erratic play.

When the pros tee it up, they will be playing a mix of both nines, allowing the club to lengthen the course to accommodate the boomers. 

Background

Royal Selangor, or RSGC, was founded in 1893 by a group of ex-pats, making it one of the oldest clubs in Asia. Located in the centre of the city, it boasts two 18-hole Championship courses, a nine-hole course, swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts and a gym, to name a few facilities.

Originally laid out in 1921, the courses underwent renovation following World War II. In recent years there have been vast improvements made to the quality of the course.

Bosting views of the Petronas Twin Towers, the club was home to the inaugural Malaysian Open.

The Old and New Course reviews

Both courses are very green, thanks to large amounts of rainfall and warm temperatures. Kuala Lumpur often has thunder storms and heavy rains, so numerous huts dot the course allowing golfers refuge if they are bombarded mid-round. Thankfully, the drainage system is superb, and often you can head straight out after heavy rains.

The heat and humidity can be stifling, especially to us Brits – you definitely know you are a long way from home. The trees are home to many monkeys, which you must keep an eye on as they have been known to pick up balls or steal food from your bag. 

Both courses are interesting designs, boasting numerous risk and reward holes. The Old Course has many tight driving holes, such as the 536-yard par-five third. Players must hug the left side of the hole to have a look at getting on in two, but a large lake scales the right side of the hole, punishing a wayward approach.

The Old Course has a number of easier par fours, which players should look to pick up shots on, before they attack the fantastic closing stretch, which can easily wreck the scorecard. The par-five 15th has water all the way down the left and slopes toward the hazard, and if you push it to the right you’ll be in the trees or one of the bunkers.

The 16th has a narrow green and slopes quickly to the front, which is protected by a bunker. The short 148-yard par-three 17th has a raised green, making par elusive if you miss the dancefloor. The long dogleg left finishing hole is a tough drive with a narrow fairway made more imposing by bunkers on the left-hand side. 

The New Course features more water on the way out compared to the Old Course, with six holes boasting the hazard, and it has a similarly intimidating finish.

The par-five 13th is a superb hole, with long hitters able to go for the green in two. However, the dancefloor is protected bunkers and trees, making the approach a tough one.

The 16th is a long, dogleg right par-four. Off the tee, players should get as near to the large bunker on the right as possible, in order to shorten the approach. 

The 212-yard par-three 17th features water on the right and behind, with trees near the tee box giving a claustrophobic feel to the hole.

The long par-four closing hole is an excellent challenge, with water hugging the right side of the fairway, and bunkers on the left. The approach is as hard as the drive, with bunkers protecting the left of the green, where most players end up as the fairway slopes away from you.  

They are two charismatic layouts that test different elements of your game, especially if the conditions change, as the they often do. 

Length: 6,742 yards (Old) 6,605 yards (New)
Par: 72

Head to the club's website for more information.