Saujana Golf & Country Club is a two 18-holes golf course in Malaysia not far from the capital Kuala Lumpur. Saujana was built out of the rolling hills of a former oil palm estate. The 2 golf courses, Palm and Bunga Raya are characterized by undulating fairways, mounds, bunkers, ridges, lakes and ponds. Both Saujana courses are equally challenging and maintained in championship conditions year round.
The Palm Course at Saujana Golf & Country Club
(world-class course, home of the Malaysia Open)
The Saujana Palm Course has played host to the prestigious Malaysia Open seven times and was also given the honor to become the first golf course in Asia to host the inaugural European & Asia PGA Tour event. Nicknamed “the Cobra”, the Palm Course is widely acknowledged as the toughest in the country with its tight, palm-lined fairways and fast tricky greens.
Carved out of a former oil plantation where cobras were introduced to keep the crop-destroying rats at bay, the Cobra was an obvious and fitting nickname. At 7024 yards, the Palm Course is not the longest but what it lacks in length it makes up for in layout. All-round golf skills are a prerequisite to success.
The course was renovated by Ron Fream in 2015 adding further length, new green complexes and
replacing the original holes 6 and 7 with two new holes at 8 and 9. These
changes undoubtedly helped Saujana return to the professional stage when, in 2017, the club hosted the Maybank Championship, which Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti won in sensational style by eagling the 72nd hole, beating American David Lipsky by one shot.The Palm course at Saujana Golf & Country Club has a just reputation for being an exacting test. The sloping greens are fast while the dramatic changes in elevation and undulating fairways are challenging even to professionals. When your shots are not accurate, it is easy to lose them among the rows of palm trees that line the fairways. The front 9 holes are very difficult while the back 9 are easier.
Some of the most notable holes include the par-3 2nd. The tee shot over a ravine looks easy at first but actually is very demanding. It is said that it is one of the most difficult holes in Malaysia. The jungle palm trees surround the hole with an OB on the left, a deep ravine in front of the green, and three bunkers guarding the green. The green is highly undulating with a strong mound, so 3 putts or 4 putts are common.
The following hole is a monster 605 yard par-5. The tee shot plays downhill where you often come across monkeys. The green is elevated, so the approach shot is difficult. Because the green is double-tiered with the subtle slopes, putting is demanding, too. The green has a magnificent look and feel.
The 8th hole is a gentle uphill, strong dogleg to the left with a deep ravine at the turn. The second shot requires a 150 to 200 yard shot from a steep side hill lie. You need to attack the pin with a long iron or rescue wood. If you miss the green to the left on the second shot, there is a steep slope and a deep bunker, which makes saving par almost impossible.
Bunga Raya Course at Saujana Golf & Country Club
Although the Saujana Palm Course hosts the big professional golf tour events, the Bunga Raya Course remains many people’s favorite. Whereas the tour players get a slightly longer and (some might say) more forgiving layout to play on, the Bunga Raya is nicknamed the Crocodile because of its powerful bite. It is tighter and more undulating than the Palm, presenting a stern but thoroughly enjoyable test for the higher handicap golfer.
The Ronald Fream layout twice takes you across an old railway cutting and into a former palm oil plantation (although the immense variety of trees, constantly undulating terrain and lush jungle vegetation doesn’t make the “plantation” concept immediately apparent). Half the front-nine and half the back-nine are played across the railway tracks. Throughout, Fream serves up one excellent golf hole after another, making excellent use of the constant elevation changes and a wonderfully natural setting.
The surrounding jungle vegetation, oasis like environment and frequently seen monkeys often steal the show. If you’ve ever played Pinehurst No.2 in Carolina, you’ll have some idea of the short game test that also waits on the Bunga Raya course. The greens are fast and sloping, and if missed your ball can easily go rolling away down a steep run-off, requiring a delicate pitch or chip back onto the putting surface.
Some of the more notable holes include the 3rd, a par-3 over a ravine. It looks easy at first but is actually difficult to play. The green is guarded by bunkers on the left and a strong slope on the right. Moreover, the triple- tiered green has big undulations and is 40 yards deep.
The Saujana Bunga Raya 8th hole is a downhillpar-5 with an almost 90 degree dogleg to the right. Unless you are genuine long hitter, lay up in front of the hazard on the second shot. The approach shot is 140 yards into a small, undulating, and well protected green.
The 16th is a short par-4. However don’t let the 300 yard length fool you. The tee shot is a slight dogleg to the left with the green further swung to the left. An accurate long iron or fairway wood tee shot is required on this scoring hole because the fairway is narrow. The green is also small and protected on the front by water.
The Saujana Bunga Raya Course was renovated in 2010 by Ted Parslow and is now better than ever.