Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Saujana Golf & Country Club, one of the region’s best-known golfing venues, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).
A multi-time host to the Malaysian Open and a member of the exclusive European Tour Properties network, Saujana boasts two acclaimed 18-hole layouts – the Palm Course and Bunga Raya.
The brainchild of former Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who in 1982 initiated the creation of a Government task force to set up a golf club in Kuala Lumpur to attract investors and industrialists, Saujana Golf & Country Club was cut through a former palm and rubber plantation.
Both courses were originally designed by Golfplan’s Ronald Fream. The Palm was completed in mid-1985 while the Bunga Raya Course (initially named the Orchid Course) was finished in December 1985.
The clubhouse opened in February 1986 while April 1987 saw the unveiling of The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
The Bunga Raya recently underwent a renovation offering a new layout by E&G Parslow. The upgrading features top-of-the-range golf course technology, Bermuda 419 fairways and Mini Verde Greens.
Both courses are endorsed by the R&A as championship venues. The Palm Course has been voted as the sixth toughest course in the world, while Bunga Raya was voted as the 69th best course in the world outside of the USA by Golf Digest USA.
Located about 15 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, Saujana Golf & Country Club has become the 15th member of European Tour Properties, only the third outside of Europe and the first in Malaysia to be recognised as an official European Tour Destination.
A Golf School with a 300-metre driving range, putting greens and bunkers complement the courses, while The Saujana Kuala Lumpur and The Club Saujana Resort are within close proximity to the courses and clubhouse.
Among its many claims to fame, Saujana hosted the Malaysian Open in 1999, won by American Gerry Norquist. It entered the record books as the first event to be co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
It then hosted the tournament a further five times between 2001 and 2009, with Vijay Singh and Thongchai Jaidee among the winners.
Peremba, the owners of Saujana Golf & Country Club, have promoted the Malaysian Open, through their company GlobalOne, since 2006.
In total, Saujana has hosted nine Malaysian Opens, three Kosaido Malaysian Ladies Opens, three Open Championship International Final Qualifying Asia tournaments and the 2002 World Amateur Golf Team Championships, which comprise the Eisenhower Trophy and the Espirito Santo Trophy.
SA Nathan, Saujana’s General Manager, said: “To continually offer internationally renowned championship golf and resort facilities, to continually excel in personalised and innovative services to members and guests … and to be a leader in environment stewardship are all part of Saujana’s Mission Statement.
“As a Golf Course Facility member we are looking forward to being involved with developing the game alongside the AGIF.”
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “For more than 30 years, Saujana Golf & Country Club has been one of the region’s most prestigious golf clubs.
“As well as presenting a wonderful facility to its members and guests, the club’s reputation as a top-class tournament venue will be further enhanced when it stages the Maybank Championship Malaysia next February.”
Since the AGIF launched its Golf Course Facility membership category, dozens of the region’s most prominent clubs have signed up as members.
Lynge said: “Golf facilities represent an enormous part of our industry and as we continue to run an increasing number of educational events for course superintendents and general managers, and offer more benefits to clubs, we are confident that this category of membership will grow.”
The AGIF has Golf Course Facility members in 11 countries or regions – Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.