It's no secret that business and golf make good bedfellows. Some of the country's most prominent corporate personalities tell us where they like to tee off and why.
Dr Rohini Kamalanathan
Senior director, health & wellness, APAC, Western Digital Corp
It has got to be Jack’s Point Golf Course in Queenstown, New Zealand. I didn’t know whether to play golf or just take in the scenery. Every hole was picture-perfect. I’ve played there twice but my first time, three years ago, was the most memorable. Why? I scored my first birdie and shot 93 in that game — also a first for me!
Datuk Francis Ong
Chairman, Greenacre Capital
It has got to be Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. It is a magnificent golf course as it encapsulates the history of golf tournaments in America, together with the natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean. I have played there three times, the last being the 2019 US Open Pro Am, but they have all been very humbling experiences as they made me realise just how good the pros are.
My favourite course is here at TPC Kuala Lumpur, formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. It is a well-maintained course with top clubhouse facilities and has played host to quite a few international golf tournaments in the past. I play at TPC two or three times a month but I am also at the club often for meetings and such. The location is just so convenient.
Tan Sri David Chu
Executive chairman, Jesselton Waterfront Holdings
Overseas, there are really too many to mention. I have played in so many places all over the world, from St Andrews in Scotland to Lake Karrinyup in Perth and The Links at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach. But in Malaysia, if you ask me, TPC Kuala Lumpur is the best. Not only is it challenging, but the course is so well maintained and all the big tournaments are held here, with big names playing. It is a very popular course and close to where I live when I am in KL, so that is good.
Director of corporate strategy and finance, MAMEE Double-Decker
My favourite course is the Royal Selangor Golf Club as it is one of the few walking courses in KL that also offers stunning views of the city skyline. The course itself is challenging in terms of length and green speeds, making up for the relatively flat terrain. And although it is in the heart of the city, the club is also a sanctuary for wildlife — perfect for a nature lover like me.
Dr Claus Weidner
President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia
The best course I have ever played is at the Saujana Golf & Country Club. It has one of the most challenging course layouts ever. It is a relatively long course with difficulties from undulating fairways, where every shot has to be thought through. Every hole has its own characteristics and they are never the same! You need to have good ball sense and course management. At the end of the day, it is rewarding when you can overcome the challenges, but it can also be brutally punishing on a bad day.
Datuk Larry Gan
Chairman, Fatfish Blockchain
My favourite course is the Palm Course at the Saujana Golf & Country Club. It is also known as “The Cobra” and it has been the most challenging course for me since it opened in the mid-1980s. Taking up the challenge of the 18 holes, one is quickly reminded of the need for plenty of patience and conservative course management. The fairways seldom present a flat stance and the greens can be uncannily slippery. Each strike and putt demand respect for the course.
Tan Sri A K Nathan
Founder, Eversendai Corp
I generally enjoy playing in Indonesia and Thailand as I find the maintenance of their courses to be tip-top. By far better than most in Malaysia. Having said that, there are some very good courses here, such as Tropicana Golf & Country Resort and TPC’s West Course. I really enjoy playing at Kelab Golf Negara Subang though. The course is simple but the environment is nice and the people there are so friendly. It makes the game so much more enjoyable when playing there.
Managing director, USG Boral
Being an average player, Tropicana Golf & Country Resort seems to provide a good balance between having fun and challenges. Despite being a popular golf course, the greens are well maintained and well taken care of. Outside Malaysia, I really love the Nirwana Bali Golf Club, which has a really beautiful course. Unfortunately, it is temporarily closed for renovations.
Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon
Chairman, Royal Selangor International
I was captain of the Royal Selangor Golf Club from 2004 to 2018 and its president from 2014 to 2016, so I have to say the East Course of the RSGC, comprising the 1st Old and 2nd New Courses, which make up the championship course. Apart from its convenient city location, there is also a sentimental link as it was during my four years as captain that we reconstructed the flat, century-old parkland setting course with new, gently undulating fairways, strategically located lakes and elevated fast greens, which can roll 11ft-plus on the stimpmeter. The fellowship is great, especially after the game, when captains of industry, civil servants, diplomats and friends from all walks of life mingle freely as it is a membership club. A pewter time capsule was also buried at the club during the centenary celebrations in 1993.
Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai
Executive chairman, Top Glove Corp
My favourite golf course is Tropicana Golf & Country Resort. I consider it to be one of the country’s finest golf courses. It is well designed and challenging enough even for regular golfers like myself. It is also well maintained and offers good facilities, including six quality restaurants. I play at Tropicana at least once a week, so a bonus is that it is near my house!
Director, Sesame Park
I would choose Kota Permai Golf & Country Club. It is narrow with a lot of trees to your left and right, with small fairways, and not forgetting its super fast greens. It is a challenging course, compared with what is offered in the rest of the Klang Valley. All these elements combined guarantee a fun game each time!
Lee Lung Nien
CEO, Citi Malaysia
My best game was at the Old Course at St Andrews a few years ago. The Scottish terrain was beautiful, but what made it special was the fact that it was a round of golf with my father, the first golfer in my life. It was two generations of golfers teeing off together at one of the world’s oldest and most historic courses. My father was very proud of that moment and even got a photo of us taken on the famous Swilcan Bridge. I shot 84 that game. It really made my day!
This article first appeared on Feb 3, 2020 in The Edge Malaysia.