Malaysia is a beautiful part of the world and this makes it a pretty incredible place to enjoy a round of golf. The country is split into two parts, East Malaysia and West Malaysia, which are separated by the South China Sea.
Both regions have similar geography and culture with beautiful densely forested mountains and stunning flora and fauna that sweeps down to immaculate beaches and crystal clear seas.
There are 175 golf courses in Malaysia that are all affiliated with the Malaysian Golf Association which was started in 1929. With so many golf courses, you’re never far away from enjoying a quick round of golf but which are the best golf course in Malaysia? That’s what we are here to find out.
Best Golf Courses In Kuala Lumpur
Every trip to Malaysia will most likely have you landing and taking off from Kuala Lumpur, especially if you’re on a business trip so let’s first focus on the best golf courses in KL.
West Course, TPC Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
The West golf course at TPC Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club has often been the choice for the Malaysian Open, the first time was in 2006. Since then the golf course has had a complete re-model by golf course architects Jason Winter and Ted Parslow and re-opened in 2008.
The West golf course is a par 70 golf course that runs over 7000 yards. Most of the holes are a par 4 along with a few par 5s and 3s to keep it interesting. Of all the 18 holes, 13 of them feature water hazards to keep you sharp on your game.
The west golf course is immaculately maintained with world-class greens and fairways, but it gets booked up quickly to be sure to reserve a tee time in advance. As you walk around the course, you’ll have the city of Kuala Lumpur in the background and it’ll take just a few minutes to get there in a taxi from your hotel.
East Course, TPC Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Once you have played the West course at TPC Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club when not try out the East golf course if you have the time.
The East course was also remodeled by golf course architects Jason Winter and Ted Parslow and is every bit as challenging and worth if a championship as the West. Dubbed the understudy of the West course, it was designed as a parkland golf course and is full of stunning natural beauty and wildlife for you to enjoy on your round.
The golf course features 18 holes over 7200 yards and is a par 72. The holes are mixed quite standardly between par 3s, 4s, and 5s, the majority being par 4s and they are all heavily bunkered and most of them feature some water hazards for you to manage.
The greens and fairways on this golf course are every bit as well maintained as the West course, and since it’s just down the road from your hotel, it’s worth coming back to play the East course, or playing it when the West is fully booked is a good idea.
The Mines Resort & Golf Club
Just 20 miles outside of Kuala Lumpur is The Mines Resort & Golf Club. The Mines Resort & Golf Club took the world’s largest open cast tin mine and turned it from a natureless area into a stunning golf course, which is nothing but a great thing.
They started working on it in 1993 and left it for a year to mature until it finally opened for play in 1994. The golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and features a parkland-style that is immaculately maintained. The greens are covered with Tifdwarf Bermuda grass making them quick and clean while the fairways are built from Greenless Park.
The golf course is 18 holes over 6,966 yards and a par 71 with a solid mixture of par 3s, 4s, and 5s. The largest feature and hazard of this golf course is the huge lake that comes into play on a lot of the holes. There are also quite a few bunkers to keep your game in check.
Saujana Golf & Country Club
The Saujana Golf & Country Club has been the host of 7 out of the 10 Malaysian Opens since the country started hosting them back in 1962 and their Palm course is where every open has been played.
The golf course is just 10 miles outside of Kuala Lumpur, making it easy to get to and there is even a world-class hotel on-site to go with the golf course that is highly recommended to stay at.
The Palm golf course was designed by Ronald Fream and created out of a former palm oil farm, hence the name. It was first opened for play in 1986 and it’s by no means an easy golf course to get around, challenging you on every hole.
The golf course runs 7,024 yards over 18 holes and is rated as a par 72. Each hole has fast sloping greens, undulating fairways, changes in elevation, and enough hazards to shake a stick at. You’ll have to work hard on the front 9 as the holes are tricky but you can relax a bit on the back 9 as these holes are a lot easier.
Best Golf Courses In Malaysia (The Rest)
Kota Permai Golf & Country Club
The Kota Permai Golf & Country Club isn’t far from Kuala Lumpur either but it takes over 30 minutes to get to from the city so it might not be so convenient on a quick business trip.
The course was designed but the Australian golf course architect Ross Watson was the integral connection for housing development. Over the years the course has played host to numerous world-class golf competitions including the Malaysian Open, Volvo Masters, and the Regional World Cup Qualifiers – so it’s certainly a world-class golf course worth playing at.
The golf course is 6,382 yards long over 18 holes and is rated as a par 72. You’ll notice that it’s about 1000 yards short of a standard championship course but what it lacks in length it makes up for in the challenging layout.
There are 4 par 5s, 4 par 3s and the rest are par 4s. The hole to watch out for is the second as it features a water hazard on the fairway that also moves to block the green along with a dead center bunker that you will have to avoid if you have any chance of making par.
The golf course is immaculately maintained and you do not need a membership to play, just make sure to book in advance as it’s quite popular and gets booked up quite quickly.
The Els Club Teluk Datai
The Els Club Teluk Datai sits on the Malaysian island of Langkawi in the Andaman sea as is part of the golf resorts created by pro golfer Ernie Els. The club features two 18 hole golf courses that were both designed by Ernie Els and Greg Letsche and the surroundings couldn’t be more picturesque.
The island is home to white-sand beaches, dense rainforests, and stunning sea that are all integrated into the golf courses. An interesting design aspect of each golf course is that there are no bunkers to found anywhere and the decision to remove them is due to the erosion caused by the harsh monsoons that often hit the island.
Each of the courses runs around 3600 yards and both are a par 72. Instead of bunkers, you’ll find slopes and grass swales protecting the greens, and the fairways are all lined with dense vegetation that makes shooting off-target a big no-no.
The course is excellently maintained with fast greens and smooth fairways, so much so it won the ‘Best Golf Course’ at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Property Awards.
Shan-Shui Golf and Country Club
The Shan-Shui Golf and Country Club is just outside of the town of Tawau on the coast of West Malaysia. Its location couldn’t be more idyllic with white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and coral reefs to the west, and hills covered with rain forest to the east. If you’re looking for a golfing vacation the Shan-Shui Golf and Country Club is a great choice.
The golf course was designed by Nelson and Haworth and first opened for play in 1997 and it won’t the Best Golf Course in Asia in the same year in Golf Monthly magazine and played host to the Sabah Masters in 1998.
The golf course runs 7,365 yards over 18 holes and is rated as a par 72. The golf course is immaculately maintained and it’s stunning to walk around. The natural surroundings are bursting with life and you’re likely to bump into monkeys, squirrels, beautiful bird species, and even a resident crocodile plus it borders a national park.
The golf course is quite challenging with multiple par 5s, a crocodile river hazard, and thick vegetation that must be avoided if you don’t want to lose your golf ball or have a chance of scoring par.
Golf carts are compulsory on this golf course and it’s not a bad idea if a curious crocodile comes to check you out – at least you can make a quick escape when you need to.