New Kuta Golf is Indonesia’s only links golf course. Danny Bowerin travelled to Bali to tackle the ‘Tiger’ tees at this cliff-top resort and savour sensational sunsets at its 19th hole.
Located on the southern tip of Bali Island and perched above a limestone cliff overlooking stunning Dreamland and Balangan Beach, New Kuta was the last of three courses I played during my time in Bali and it didn’t disappoint.
This championship golf course and resort celebrates its fifth birthday in October and has already hosted the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Open in 2009.
Despite its tournament credentials the course is playable but challenging so pick your tees carefully.
We chose the second hardest set – the Gold ‘Tiger’ tees – which gave us around 7,000 yards to negotiate, and I would recommend them for single figure players.
My opponent and I found the front nine, which is mainly inland and played over links-style terrain, much the easier of the two nines. For a brief period we even convinced our excellent and professional caddies that we could play.
Be prepared for the wind to blow, as there is rarely a calm day at New Kuta. You’ll need those punch shots you practised for your last trip to Scotland.
The start is quite gentle, but you’ll have to work hard for your par at the third. Get used to the grainy greens quickly if you can, then enjoy the sixth hole when you get there.
The green is big, but the tee is exposed – meaning you need to control your iron shot well to avoid ending up in the huge bunkers that surround the putting surface.
What sticks in my mind, when I think of New Kuta, is the incredible finish. It combines breath-taking views with a demand for players to hit high quality golf shots.
The Par four 14th is simply fantastic. A dog leg left, it draws you towards the sea, where you will find a huge green that is framed by the ocean. Be brave, but get your club selection right.
It’s immediately followed by one of those holes that the golf world seems to be forgetting – a fabulous short Par three. A birdie chance?
Perhaps, but you can easily get caught out, and you won’t want to slip up here given what’s to follow. Into the prevailing wind, the last three holes will require your heavy artillery if you are to complete them in the fourteen strokes that make up their par.
On a personal note, the 18th hole provided my friend and I with a wonderful conclusion to our four-round Southern Hemisphere battle and I have no doubt many matches have dramatic finishes here.
At over 600 yards, a pinpoint tee shot is needed, followed by a solid second that keeps you well left of a couple of big trees, which are designed to block out your third shot. If you finish with a par, I guarantee you will enjoy a cold refreshing Bintang beer in the clubhouse.
New Kuta Golf – Fact-File
• New Kuta was voted Indonesia’s leading golf resort in 2010-11
• It measures over 7,500 yards or 6,832 metres
• It is Indonesia’s only Links golf course, according to the resort. Nirwana Bali golf is also by the sea not classed as links.
• In 2011, Asian Golf Monthly voted it the best maintained golf course in Indonesia
• The course averages around 3,900 rounds per month
Lookout for sunsets at the 19th hole
When you do make it inside, the clubhouse matches the quality of the golf course, and features a restaurant, a bar and a spa, as well as function rooms that provide panoramic views back out over the course towards the sea.
Indeed, so special and uplifting are the views, that the members have a lookout tower to take in the scenery and the world-famous Bali sunsets.
If you’re lucky enough to play at New Kuta, you’ll remember the experience for a long long time.
5th anniversary celebrations at New Kuta Golf
New Kuta Golf celebrates its fifth anniversary on October 5th – 6th, 2012, with a special shotgun start tournament.
Around 400 players are expected to compete in this two day event which also includes a gala dinner at the resort’s Link Restaurant.
There are a host of great prizes up for grabs including three cars for anyone scoring a Hole In-One, cash prizes up to R300.000.000 and 4 motorbikes in a grand prize draw.
Overseas visitors are welcome to enter the tournament, for more information about to book your place in New Kuta’s 5th anniversary celebration tournament, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0361 8481 333).