Formerly called Bukit Jambul Golf Club and built in 1984, the Penang Golf Club has undergone a major facelift and reopened on November 2012 with new turf and some modifications to make it more challenging and exciting.
The original course design has been retained with cosmetic changes. The greens are larger and undulating, the tee boxes reshaped, bunkers filled with new sand and the areas around the bunkers improved, cart paths have been lengthened while most of the ponds are bigger with new retainer walls.
Penang Golf Club was the venue for the 31st Malaysian Open in 1992 which was won by Vijay Singh.
Being the only championship 18-hole golf course on Penang island, it is a course that welcomes locals and foreigners who want to check out the rolling fairways, manicured and undulating greens and enjoy the sights and sounds that come with it.
The 6,393 yards (5,848 metres) par 72 course has sand bunkers at strategic places, water hazards encroaching into the playing area and rolling fairways that goes uphill and downhill making club selection and stance all the more important to hit the greens on regulation.
Luscious green vegetation and hills surrounds the course while iguanas, birds and other animals add to the scenario in bringing the players as close to nature as possible. Pine, Palm, Durian, Rambutan, Skyfruit, Angsana, Yellow Flame, Pulai, Tecoma, Neem and other tall trees add character to the golf course while the distant sea and the mainland can be seen while at play.
The Penang Golf Club layout favors accuracy instead of distance off the tee. The sharply doglegging, dramatically downhill opening par-4, provides a clear signal of the tightness of things to come, while also highlighting the excellent presentation and maintenance standards you’ll find here. By the time you reach the super-tight par-4 4th, you’ll either have the measure of the course, or it will have the measure of you.
Providing you are happy to be challenged and tested on a relatively technical layout where accurate shot-making is paramount, then this course will quickly grow on you, and reward you with many attractively designed holes and interesting views. The long par-3 8th provides one of several testing tee shots. The sharply descending par-4 10th signature hole is perhaps the most dramatic plunge you and your ball will have to make, as the tee is perched 100 feet above the fairway on the valley floor.
The 32-bay, two-tier, driving range which is 250 metres long provides practice for budding golfers and those who want to hone their skills. Professional lessons are also available for those interested in taking up the game with Japanese and local staff at hand to make the players feel at home.