Johor, Malaysia: The Sultan of Johor, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj, graced the inaugural Laksamana Trophy Charity Golf Tournament and marked the historic occasion by officially launching The Els Club Desaru Coast – Ocean Course.
The event is dedicated to raising funds for the Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation, founded in memory of the late Tunku Laksamana of Johor, HH Almarhum Tunku Abdul Jalil lskandar Sultan Ibrahim.
The official launch of Johor’s latest attraction was presided over by Dato’ Ahmad Pardas Senin, Chairman of Desaru Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (DDC); Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar Haji Esa Haji Mohamed, Chairman of the Laksamana Trophy Organising Committee and Board of Director, DDC; and Datuk Hisham Hamdan, Executive Director, Investments and Head of Khazanah Research & Investment Strategy, Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
“We are honoured His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim blessed us with his presence and launched our 27-hole championship golf course signalling an exciting new era for the region’s tourism sector,” said Muhammad Zainal Ashikin, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of DDC.
“We are inspired by His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim’s vision to welcome visitors from all over the world that will spur positive regional impact for Johor. The Els Club Desaru Coast – Ocean Course is one of the many experiences we are offering in Desaru Coast, which will also include resorts and hotels, a water park and retail outlets.”
In addition to the official launch, The Little Easy Young Athlete Scholarship Programme was announced, designed to encourage local children to take up the game and benefit from the expertise at The Els Performance Golf Academy (EPGA).
The scholarship programme aims to increase the uptake of golf among youth in Johor. Keen junior beginners will benefit from eight golf tuition clinics, consisting of eight 90-minute lessons and two months EPGA Practice Access, which will be run by the EPGA golf teaching professional.
Targeted at primary schools, there will be 100 spaces given to primary school students in Johor throughout 2017. The scholarship programme is endorsed by the Johor Golf Tourism Association, who are committed to promoting golf in Johor and growing interest and participation in the game of golf amongst primary-aged school children in Johor.
“The Royal Seal of approval is an honour for all of us at Ernie Els Design Group,” said four-time Major champions Ernie Els, whose design company is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“A big thank you to His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim and congratulations to all the team at The Els Club Desaru Coast. Sorry, I couldn’t be there with you this time, but look forward to seeing the progress the juniors will make on the scholarship programme and how the course attracts guests from across the region.”
Located in the south-eastern region of the country, the Ocean Course features three distinct nine-hole layouts – the Coast, Ridge and Lakes. The Ocean Course is managed by Troon, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
In addition, it will be home to The Els Performance Golf Academy – the first of its kind in the region – and two casual dining restaurants including an all-day café and bar created as an ode Ernie’s PGA Tour record-breaking 72-hole aggregate in the 2003 Mercedes Championship.
The Els Club Desaru Coast – Valley Course is also scheduled to open soon. Designed in collaboration between Els and Vijay Singh, the Valley Course will be a world’s first in bringing together two of golf’s most recognised personalities.
The destination of Desaru Coast spans over 3,900 acres along a pristine 17-kilometre beachfront facing the South China Sea and is easily accessible via road, air and sea.
The destination will also be home to globally renowned hotel chains and resorts – Aman Resorts & Villas, The Westin Desaru Resort, Anantara Desaru Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast – as well as a state-of-the-art conference centre, a water park and a retail village.
Guests now have the opportunity to book tee times online and be among the first to experience Southeast Asia’s newest golf course offering.
The Els Club Desaru Coast was developed and is owned by Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd (DH1), a subsidiary of DDC mandated with the development and operation of Desaru Coast destination resort.
The State Government of Johor, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar Haji Esa Haji Mohamed and Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd (TAR&H) are joint venture partners in DDC. TAR&H is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Birmingham, England: The PGA of Great Britain & Ireland is inviting all those who work or volunteer in golf to join its new membership groups – the Business Management Group and Club Volunteer by PGA.