Bintan Lagoon Resort features two championship courses. The first to open in 1996, the Sea View course was designed by the 18-time major winner, The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus.
Five tees make the Golden Bear’s Sea View course very playable for golfers of all handicaps. From the championship tees, the course stretches out to a very challenging 6,443 meters. Factor in the cooling winds, which blow in from the South China Sea, and you can find yourself in a quandary over club selection, especially at the signature hole, the par three 12th, which plays directly towards the sea. The layout is undoubtedly one of Indonesia’s best seaside holes.
The Sea View course at Bintan Lagoon Resort is not only about the panoramic South China Sea views. Like in so many Jack Nicklaus courses, strategy and placing of your shots is the secret to playing them well, and this time the master has created a layout where playing it safe and keeping out of trouble is key.
The front nine plots its way through native, tropical jungle where Nicklaus has made good use of his trademark bunkering throughout the rolling topography. However, it’s all about South China Sea views on the back nine as the course tumbles towards the sea.
12th hole – A par 3, with a stunning backdrop of the South China Sea. Due to the high winds at certain times, club selection can be increased by at least four clubs, especially from the championship (black) tees.
13th hole – This par 4 has a unique feature of a split green, as one of the streams on the course runs through the middle. This makes it the most difficult and tricky hole on this course.
18th hole – A tough hole characterized by large bunkers and rolling mounds.
Ian Baker-Finch Woodlands Course is magnificently laid out in pristine rainforest designed with the front nine holes snaking out from the resort and the back nine to the clubhouse. In contrast to the Sea View course, where golfers enjoy wonderful ocean views, the Woodlands layout is set within a dense rain forest, with fairways undergoing substantial changes in elevation during the course of a round. Although water hazards come into play at several holes, the aquatic aspect never feels too inhibiting.
The overall concept for the Ian Baker-Finch course was to work closely with the physical site leaving the jungle on both sides of the fairways and significant elevation changes. This layout is indeed not a pushover resort course. It is a course that will test all facets of play. There are several tight tee shots with some blind, uphill approach shots. Deep bunkering around the often elevated greens and threatening water hazards on five or six of the holes will also need to be taken into account placing an emphasis on course management.
Feature holes here include the downhill 8th, measuring all of 526 yards from the back tees, where sand, water and a lone specimen tree must be negotiated from tee to green. On the back nine, the 13th – known as “beauty and the beast” – is another terrific par five that looks great but plays tough.