The Jewel In An Emerald Isle

Nestling between the virgin jungle and the clean sparkling waters of Nongsa Bay, Palm Spring Golf and Country Club in Batam offers 27 holes of challenging golf.

The club features three outstanding nine-hole layouts designed by American, Larry Nelson, amidst spectacular views of the lush greenery, hills and valleys. The recently completed nine-hole layout is known as the Island course, while the first and second nines of the Old course are now called Resort and Palm courses respectively.

The interesting thing about Palm Spring is that golfers can choose their own combination of 18 holes from the three courses to make up one round of golf. Or, they can simply play 27 holes at one go.

As a result of careful planning and engineering, the courses here can accommodate golfers of all skill levels, and beginners as well as professionals will find them equally challenging due to the clever pin positions. The courses also benefit from a varied topography with hills rising steeply to more than 35 metres above sea level and enjoy an extensive water frontage on both the sea and the Nongsa River.

The Island course is luxuriously enriched with natural features such as palm trees and mangrove vegetation. The layout gradually moves away from wide fairways to intricate hazards replete with grass and sand bunkers as well as trees and ponds.

A very challenging course where the 2nd and 3rd holes crisscross in between swamps, this S$6 million project uses Zoysia Matrella for the fairways while greens are turfed with Tifdwarf. On the 8th tee, straight drives are paramount as golfers who hook or slice their tee shots will be lucky to escape with a bogey.

In comparison, the Palm course incorporates a signature green on the waterfront and high level views across natural forest and mangrove swamps. Throughout the sculptured fairways and greens are carefully-tended, leafy trees and an abundance of flora and fauna. Fairways are planted with Serangooon, while the grass on greens is Tifdwarf.

Proper club selection is the key to success on the Palm course since many holes play either uphill or downhill. Breathtaking views of the ocean can be seen from several holes, and they have been strategically placed not only for the beauty that surrounds them, but also for the challenge of their location.

At 450 metres, the 5th is considered the most difficult par four hole on the Palm course. Drives must be straight and long as water threatens misdirected hits. Accuracy is crucial as the green sits far above the fairway landing area and the natural slope will send errant shots downhill.

In addition, the new 18-bay driving range serves as a good warming up place for golfers before they take to the course. The driving range is opposite a new 350 square-metre clubhouse which costs approximately S$11 million to build.

This elegant clubhouse, using tropical wood and bricks specially imported from Bali, is designed by Singapore's Tang and Teo Architects to give a local ambience and Balinese atmosphere.

The new clubhouse is complemented by a variety of leisure and recreational facilities including male and female changing rooms with own private lounge, saunas and steam rooms. After a particularly gruelling round of golf, male golfers can make use of the six private massage rooms that are located on the second level of the male locker room.

A Golfer's Cafe which caters local and western menus has also opened at the new clubhouse. Other facilities include a private function room with a capacity for 100 persons, games room, Pro Shop and restaurant. The old clubhouse will be used as a halfway house serving food and beverages. Part of it will be converted to guest rooms. Meanwhile, Palm Spring can make arrangements for members and guests to stay in nearby hotels at special room rates.

In addition to a good round of golf, members can take advantage of the many attractions of Batam. For those interested in water sports, there is sailing, snorkelling, water-skiing, and of course, generous stretches of white sandy beaches for relaxation. Non-golfers will also find much to keep themselves occupied. They can go jungle trekking or take short trips to the Nongsa River.

The jewel in an emerald isle, Palm Spring offers its members the perfect respite from daily life.

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