Developed by the Gamuda Land Company as part of a greater residential precinct, the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club was established in 1998 and is a busy facility in the southwest suburbs of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.
The golf course was designed by Australian Ross Watson, and is a charismatic challenge that has proven enormously popular over the years with the region’s passionate golfers. Membership is tightly held here and tee time demand strong, with locals eager to test their game on one of the cities best-known, and most taxing, tournament courses.
Built on what used to be a palm oil estate, the current day Kota Permai layout is a little dated in some parts, but no pushover thanks to what are notoriously fast and fierce putting greens, and the fact that so many of the holes are now protected by mature Oil Palm, Pine, Khaya, Kayu Manis and Rain trees.
The design itself is also a challenge, thanks to Watson’s narrow landing areas, stern bunkering and the use of interconnected water hazards that come into play on at least half the holes.
Set on either sides of an elevated clubhouse, both the inward and outward nines are compactly routed through an established forest and upmarket residential estate, with only the straightest of drivers able to blast away continually with their longest clubs. Most players are forced to strategize from the tee owing to the abundance of water, the severity of the bunkering and sharply angled greens that are deadly to approach when out of position.
Better holes include the beautifully bunkered par three 14th, and originals like the 2nd and 5th, the former noted for a lone central driving trap, sleepered greenside bunkers and for water that runs along the left side of the fairway and then cuts in front of the green. Only slightly less intimidating, the par four 5th is short on distance but big on difficulty thanks to the fact golfers must choose to either play a blind tee shot over a skinny crest with water lurking down the right, or to instead lay back and leave themselves a semi-blind approach.
As with a number of other holes, part of the reason the landing area here is so tight, is because of trees and rough that have been grown to combat the outrageous technological advances made in our game over recent decades. Across both nines, Kota Permai is a compact driving course and significantly more difficult for shorter hitters than for good golfers.
Regardless of concerns about width here, the quality of the turf, the speed of the greens, the clubhouse, the friendly staff and scope of the associated facilities ensure that Kota Permai remains front of mind for Kuala Lumpur golfers, and a popular choice for those in the golf and leisure country club market.