Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ernie Els took time out from his schedule during his latest visit to Kuala Lumpur to meet with Stephen Havrilla, The Els Club Malaysia Group General Manager, and his team to get an update on the progress of his signature designs in the country.
They discussed a wide range of topics, from golf course maturation to Els’s future visits, helping to establish, in the eyes of the designer, the strategic vision for each of The Els Club Malaysia locations.
“I’m extremely proud of The Els Club Malaysia,” said the South African, whose Ernie Els Design company is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“The courses have turned out really well and the team there are doing a fantastic job. Stephen updated me on how well the courses have progressed since I was last there and the news was very positive. The courses are so strong at The Els Club Malaysia that I truly believe the sky is the limit for the destinations, and I’m already planning my next trip there.”
Havrilla said: “It’s always great to catch up with Ernie. Amazingly, despite his busy schedule, he’s very hands on with all of his ventures and wants to hear first-hand how we’re doing. It was a pleasure to give him an update. We spoke about our plans for the future and his feedback was very positive. We’re looking forward to welcoming him back as soon as possible.”
Els was also updated on the progress of Desaru Coast, home to The Els Club Desaru Coast. The destination gradually opened its components this year, beginning with the Riverside retail village in June, followed by the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark in July and the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast in September. This follows the commencement of operations of The Els Club Desaru Coast’s Ocean Course in September 2016 and the Valley Course in March 2017.
The updates were shared by Roslina Arbak, Chief Executive Officer – Destination Resorts Southern Region, and Phil Whitaker, Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Executive Officer Integrated Themed Parks & Attractions of Themed Attraction Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd.
A Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, The Els Club Malaysia, managed by Troon’s International Division, is comprised of two world-class golf locations in separate locations, each utilising its natural surroundings to create a breathtaking setting for golf.
In the north, on the picturesque island of Langkawi, is The Els Club Teluk Datai. Home to the Els-designed Rainforest Course, Teluk Datai is a testing design nestled amongst ancient Malaysian Rainforest.
The facility is accompanied by outstanding accommodation and off-course activities to offer a comprehensive proposition for the golfing tourist.
In 2014, The Els Club Teluk Datai was voted the ‘World’s Best New Golf Course’ at the inaugural World Golf Awards. In 2016, it became the first golf course in the Ernie Els Design portfolio to feature on Golf Digest’s top-100 courses list.
In the southeast, upon the shores of the South China Sea, is The Els Club Desaru Coast, a 45-hole facility with courses designed by Els and his close friend, Vijay Singh. Els’ Ocean Course is an open, expansive design with many of the holes offering a view of the scenic coastline. The course takes inspiration from a traditional links with large rolling greens and testing run off areas aimed to challenge the short game.
The Valley Course, the inspiration of three-time Major champion Singh, offers a different aesthetic, built on a dramatic piece of land, the course owes much of its character and challenges to the sheer undulations and smaller greens.
Tokyo, Japan: The Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan, one of Asia’s eldest and most respected sporting organisations, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.