Langkawi, Malaysia: Four-time Major champion Ernie Els was joined by Royalty to celebrate the official launch of his first ever-golf course creation in Southeast Asia – The Els Club Teluk Datai.
In the company of Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajjah Haminah, Queen of Malaysia, World Golf Hall-of-Famer Els struck the opening tee shot on the hotly-anticipated new course.
Dignitaries, media and VIP guests were also invited to witness the unveiling and enjoy a unique insight from fans’ favourite Els, the winner of more than 60 professional tournaments worldwide.
Upon unveiling the latest layout in the portfolio of Ernie Els Design, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, he said: “This is, without doubt, the most spectacular golf course setting I have had the pleasure of working on and I am incredibly excited about the prospect of inviting the first visitors to come and enjoy The Els Club Teluk Datai.
“The course is truly breathtaking and I am delighted with what we have achieved here. I endeavoured to make the most of this unique location and I believe that we have done just that.
“It was an honour to hit the opening tee shot alongside Her Majesty and I would personally like to thank all of those in attendance for their support in what we are confident is set to become one of the world’s most revered golf course designs.”
Nestled between ancient rainforest and the Andaman Sea on Langkawi, the 18-hole course will serve as a focal point for the award-winning Datai Langkawi resort, a favourite amongst international travellers.
The Els Club Teluk Datai will now play an integral role in realising the vision of resort owners Destination Resorts and Hotels Sdn Bhd (DRH) in developing golf and bespoke tourism experiences in Malaysia.
Charged with developing strategic tourism, DRH selected The Els Club brand for three Malaysian golf developments, two of which are currently under construction in the southernmost state of Johor and will transform the nation’s golf offering over the coming years.
Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin, Managing Director of DRH, said: “Today marks the start of a new era for Langkawi, Destination Resorts & Hotels as well as Malaysia. Our business strategy by design seeks to create sustainable and economically viable tourism propositions.
“Given golf’s positioning on a global stage and the demographic it attracts we have sought to redefine standards in the regions golf offering. Ernie is an exemplary partner, whose Els Club brand stands for the kind of excellence we strive towards, which will add impetus in our efforts to attract tourist to the island of Langkawi. The Els Club Teluk Datai will certainly become a flagship asset for our business and give enjoyment for many more generations to come.”
David Townend, Senior Vice President of The Els Club Malaysia, said: “This is one of the world’s most visually stunning golf courses so the early feedback we have achieved and the tremendous reaction we have experienced here today is really no surprise.
“Over the coming months we expect to welcome golfers from all over the world, who are eager to test themselves against Ernie’s masterpiece and take advantage of the incredible experience that can be had as a tourist in Langkawi.”
The course is managed and operated by Troon Golf, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.