The Els Club Desaru Coast

The Legends Golf Resort - Nicklaus Course

Malaysia, Johor
5.7 (3)
Designer: Jack Nicklaus
Course Opened: 2003

The Legends Resort in Malaysia was to be a sprawling resort with two courses, home sites and luxury accommodation, but thus far just one track has been built and minimal property developed in the area. The existing Legends course, by Jack Nicklaus's team, is reasonably solid with some repeated themes and unnecessary peripheral shaping but a number of interesting holes and sound construction. From the back tees a number of the plunging drives are quite exciting, the holes bending around lakes, crossing ridges or heading toward distant shelves that fall away toward trouble.

Overused strategic concepts include split fairways, done twice but not implemented well here especially on the 18th, which is a poor hole that gives long hitters a simple path to the green but forces shorter hitters into taking a three-shot route to green.

The most disappointing aspect of the Nicklaus Course at Legends is the fact that much of the virgin terrain was flattened by the design team, the holes are carved mostly through Oil Palms but without the sort of interesting undulation that the natural setting provided. The designers moved around 3 million cubic metres of dirt to build the layout, and while the reshaped hills and gullies work quite well, the natural shelves and ridges are the standout features.

Nicklaus courses in Asia can be a mixed bag and Legends in Malaysia is one of his better efforts, the layout rewarding bold driving close to hazards and with enough quality elements to please most who visit.


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