This weekend saw a friend and I playing a course that I have never had the pleasure of playing, Awana Golf Course at Genting Highlands. In the 7 years I have been in Malaysia I have never had the opportunity to play as this gem of a golf course is not really advertised to attract local golfers from KL, however this has now been rectified and it certainly was one I thoroughly enjoyed and will definitely be back.
Awana is a 30-45 minute drive from Kuala Lumpur depending where you stay and it’s a very nice drive in the morning, heading up the mountain, through the clouds we got very excited to play a course that was reasonably cooler than KL temperatures at around 25 degrees…..and at over 3,000 feet above sea level it was almost like playing in the UK……almost!
Registration is easy and parking is immediately opposite the golf counter, down the stairs to the restaurant and locker rooms and the bags are taken down ready for the 1st tee. The staff were very friendly and everything runs like clockwork.
On to the first tee…..Oh great, not only is there rainforest, jungle and sharp drop offs everywhere, It’s a dog-leg right with a very tight fairway…..Oh and it’s stroke index 1……What an awesome starting hole to make you think !!! Thankfully it’s a bogey!!
My friend and I both play a lot of golf and he has had the opportunity to play at the Awana on several previous occasions….which, should help me…..Unfortunately he’s forgotten the course so we were shooting blind for a lot of the holes…..Thanks Colin !!!!
The first few holes came sweeping through the jungle and each shot makes you think about the next, not because the course is long, but because many of the first few holes the greens are not visible and you HAVE TO PLAY STRAIGHT…….What a back drop to a golf course.
There are a number of what you can call signature holes on the course and the 4th is probably the one I wanted to conquer the most, with a new back tee completed earlier this year, it’s certainly a challenge from the blue tees……especially when you put the first one in the lake !! Damn it!! (Thankfully my friend and I have 1 mulligan to use anywhere on the course….”I’ll use mine now, thanks pal”…..That’s par with a 2 putt from 30 ft)
As we moved down the mountain and lower in to the course it started to get very foggy and misty and the temperature dropped which was great, however having not played the course before it made judging the tee shots and distance a little tricky, however this fog tends to disappear by around 11am most days and we did tee off at 8.30am.
Did I mention fog ???? Blind tee shots ?? this was the par 5 8th holes and a view of my second shot down the …….fairway ??? Thankfully with a little breeze in the Highlands the mist tends to move from hole to hole and I was lucky enough to stick my 3rd about 3 ft for birdie…….Missed it !!!
As we came down the 10th & 11th the fog worsened and we nearly went back to the clubhouse for a coffee and wait for it to clear…and then we saw this….the 12th hole, elevated tee, 90 degree dog-leg par 5……I’ve gotta go for this in 2….even when I have no clue where I am going….Smash !! Cut the corner and 170 metres in ….second shot hit a tree !! Damn it !! Third on and a 2 putt….PAR !
As we came through the back nine it was obvious to me that its definitely a little trickier than the front nine, lots more tighter tee shots, lots of very uneven lies, and a lot more trouble to get yourself in….even if you hit a good shot there was a chance you could be blocked out by a random tree…It really is a challenge and thoroughly enjoyable…in far better condition than its Genting Highlands compatriot Berjaya Hills.
I was informed that Awana has in the past had issues with balls plugging in the fairways due to the weather higher up the mountain and also the bunkers being washed away from constant rain…..this has now been rectified with a large amount of money, care and attention to detail being made to the course and although damp at this time of year we had no issues at all…….apart from me shooting 51 on the back nine !!! (40 on the front)
All in all the course is a fantastic challenge, well-kept and will no doubt get even better over the next few months as the weather gets better, the golf manager has years of experience and the staff seem to care about the course…..We will definitely see you in 2017, especially with the total hotel renovation planned in stages throughout 2017, the new shopping mall and nightlife further up the mountain and perhaps a cheeky few RM’s in the casino….
If any of you avid golfers out there have never played Awana before, this is a MUST PLAY course !! and luckily KLEMGC has both a golfing weekend in June 2017 & 1 day competition in March.
For more information about golf packages at Awana for both individuals and groups please click on the link below as Bed & Breakfast packages start at 400RM including 1 round of golf, single occupancy and 500RM twin share which is great value for money, especially with all the other facilities…..There is even half board options available at a small surcharge
For more information and if you wish to join the golfing group for our monthly tournaments please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact number & handicap and you will be added to the mailing list.
Thanks Russell and your team for a thoroughly enjoyable round at Awana, see you soon !!!