An emerging must visit golfing destination especially in the Southeast Asian region, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery of Brunei’s lush green landscapes complete with fresh clean air, Brunei Darussalam’s golf courses offer something other than your usual round of 18-holes. Being in the climate that provides visitors with ideal golfing conditions almost all year round so add this to the variety and quality of the courses in Brunei, there really is no reason not to visit just for golf!
We had the exclusive opportunity to explore Brunei’s best golf courses with Brunei’s very own Zul Rosli; who is no stranger to the local golfing scene and will be representing Brunei at the 30th Southeast Asian Games 2019 in the Philippines, to share his insights on his favourite courses in the country.
The Empire Brunei Country Club
A Jack Nicklaus designed championship course with a spectacular sea view, especially from the 15th fairway and 18th teebox. At 7029 yards, the wind is a challenge for accuracy with the tight fairways. The golf course is littered with strategically placed bunkers and hazards. The signature hole is 549-yard par five 15th that stretches along the beach dotted with sprawling bunkers.
The course is well built for night golfing and the 26 bay covered driving range with all its amenities and facilities definitely give golfers a truly unique golfing experience. The Empire Brunei Country Club also hosts the annual Brunei Open, and is contested by the professional Asian Tour.
Royal Brunei Airlines Golf Club
The Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) Golf Club is a course designed by Max Wexler and Brunei’s first 18-hole public golf course. A personal favorite of Zul’s due to the strategic location and the type of grass on the fairways which is Tifway 419 and Tifdwarf greens. This course is a stern test from tee to green with the challenging winds and fast greens. It is characterised by a generally flat layout. There are more than enough hazards with huge man-made lakes throughout the course, with floodlights to allow night play.
The Royal Brunei Golf and Country Club
Being one of the most exclusive golf courses in Brunei and perhaps even the world, as its name suggests, caters to an elite clientele, including royalty, visiting state dignitaries, a limited number of private members and their guests.
Described as the “Augusta National of Asia”, by its designer the renowned golf architect, Ronald Fream, this buggy-only course is consistently maintained to the high standards demanded by the USA PGA. Year round, play is possible due to the excellent drainage system and floodlights allow night plays, the 6,750-yard course challenges the players with its tight fairways woven around dense natural jungle and the variation of the green slope, ranging from subtle to strong, requiring some consideration.
Mentiri Beach Golf Club
Located 20 minutes away from the capital, Mentiri Beach Golf Club consists of lush green landscapes with a scenic terrain and an international standard 18-hole, par 72 course overlooking the Brunei Bay.
For seasoned golfers and professionals, it is a straightforward 6105 metres par 72 course. For many golfers, the course will provide enough challenge centered on the golfer’s ability to avoid the many water hazards which form the main feature of the course. The greens, with well-manicured and contoured aprons, are amongst the best in Southeast Asia.