A Day on the Green

A new wind has sailed over one of Indonesia’s premium golf courses. Globe Asia takes a tour of the new Taman Dayu golf course.

Hole 13 at the Taman Dayu Club stretches 329 meters down the fairway. A sharp up-slope, with the club’s logo marked out boldly by purple foliage, is the key obstacle on this par four hole, but Djoko Josef, the club’s general manager, is confident any seasoned golfer won’t have too much trouble making it up to the green.

Situated one hour south of Surabaya in East Java, Taman Dayu is a pristine golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 professional majors and for many years a master architect in the field.

Opened in 1995, the Taman Dayu Club was borne out of a partnership between the world’s most respected golfer and the Sampoerna family.

“It was a huge undertaking because the hillside site was completely redesigned and the infrastructure was installed from scratch,” he adds.  Buried at the foot of Mt. Welirang and surrounded by the peaks of Mt. Arjuno and Mt. Semeru, Nicklaus and Putera have done justice to their vision. “It is the only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Indonesia,” explains Djoko.

“The signature golf courses are designed to be challenging for the best golfers and the terrain adds to the challenge.”

The 18-hole course is vast. It takes no less than an hour for Djoko to navigate his way around in a golf buggy, pausing only briefly to point out technical details of the course.

The first nine holes slope in varying directions and degrees and are interspersed by water traps. Holes 10 to 18 are mined with sand bunkers.

“Nicklaus was very smart,” says Djoko, “he understood that most people tend to pull to the right, so there are a lot of bunkers set on the right hand side.”

According to the United States Golf Association (USGA) standard, Djoko explains, Taman Dayu has a course rating of 76 and a  slope rating of 147, “making it one of the best golf courses in Indonesia.”

The tenth hole, with a stunning mountain view, is dotted with sand bunkers and potholes.  “You need confidence, discipline and also lineambition,” notes Djoko.

Hole 18, a par-four stretching 396 meters from the Nicklaus tee-off point, boasts views of the last putting green and clubhouse veranda – a great motivation after an absorbing round of the course.

Club rules

Over the past 14 months, the golf course, country-style clubhouse and 38-room hotel have all been renovated.

Membership at Taman Dayu comes with another golden privilege – an extra $2000 allows access to all signature Jack Nicklaus courses around the globe.

Taman Dayu will test not only the patience but also the focus of even the most seasoned golfer. New, private and luxurious accommodation is on offer.

Bordering the course is a row of private villas and, a short walk from the clubhouse overlooking the 17th tee box, is a group of private bungalows.

Scattered on the grounds and looming over the course from the ridges above are a few million-dollar mansions; some owned by successful businessmen whose interests are thriving in Surabaya and surrounds.

A substantial amount of money and time has been invested into bringing Taman Dayu back to life, says Djoko.

“We undertook a complete upgrade of the golf course, including the greens, bunkers and overall grass condition, plus an upgrade of the driving range terrain.”

Once it is officially inaugurated in July, Djoko is confident the time, money and management will pay off.

“We think visitors will remember a challenging and exciting game of golf, and the prestigious and modern facilities,” he says. “We want visitors to enjoy the experience so much that they will want to return again and again.”

Published in Globe Asia magazine, the PEAK magazine and Jakarta Globe newspaper.

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