Bintan is an island with a rich history and is located so close to Singapore, it has become a very attractive holiday destination, especially for golfers. In fact, Bintan has forged a great reputation for itself as an attractive golf holiday destination and is also offering a good choice of attractive golf courses. The Seaview Course and Woodland Course are among the best golf courses in Bintan.
The Seaview Course was the first to open at Bintan Lagoon in 1996 and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The 18-hole course stretches over 7,000 yards from the championship tees but with a choice of five tees to play from, the course is suitable for players of all abilities. There are great views of the South China Sea to enjoy from various points throughout the course but strategy plays a huge part in a successful round of golf on the Seaview Course, so keeping the focus on the course is a must. The front nine holes play through a tropical jungle setting, with rolling fairways present throughout, in addition to the traditional Nicklaus bunkering. The back nine plays out towards the shoreline and this is where the cooling breeze can come into play. The signature hole is the par-3, 12th and this plays directly towards the sea and if the wind picks up, club selection can be crucial.
The second golf course at Bintan Lagoon was designed by Ian Baker-Finch and is called the Woodland Course. This is also an 18-hole, par 72 course but is slightly shorter than the Seaview Course, playing to a maximum of 6,832 yards. The course is set within a beautiful, untouched rainforest, with the front nine holes winding their way from the clubhouse and the back nine holes snaking their way home. The terrain of the Woodland Course is what makes it a real challenge, with significant changes in elevation, thanks to the natural undulation of the land. Tee shots can be testing, with blind shots and uphill shots at the start of a number of holes. Many of the greens are elevated and are well guarded by deep bunkers and water hazards, which comes into play regularly during the first six holes.
It’s little wonder many people choose Bintan Lagoon for a golf holiday, as both the Seaview Course and Woodland Course are fantastic golf courses to play.
Moving away from Bintan Lagoon, another great golf course on the island can be found at Ria Bintan Golf Club. This 27-hole championship venue was designed by Gary Player and consists of the 18-hole Ocean Course and the first nine holes of the 18-hole Forest Course.
The Ocean Course, as the name suggests, features a number of holes situated along the coast but also a good selection of jungle holes, where the local wildlife often come out to play. However, it’s the holes with the ocean view which set the standard here and the par-5, 7th hole has been voted one of the best in the whole of Asia, which is some praise. From this hole, starts a stretch of golf which is not only very photogenic but also challenging, including the 9th hole, which has an archipelago green. The 10th hole is also excellent, playing alongside the beach, before heading back towards the jungle.
The Ocean Course is very well maintained and is easily one of, if not, the best in Indonesia and can challenge anything found in Singapore. This reputation is cemented by the fact the course has found its way into the top 100 golf courses in the world list, as published by Golf Digest Magazine and has also won numerous awards in Asia.
Last but certainly not least, is Laguna Golf Bintan, a tremendous golf resort, featuring an 18-hole, par-72 golf course. The course was originally designed by Greg Norman and has been revamped in 2016, to bring it up to the high standards being set for golf on the island.
What makes this golf course special, is the number of different terrains which come into play during a round. Natural wetlands, forests, beachfront, coconut groves and rock formations all combine, to make Laguna Golf Bintan a fantastic golfing experience. Sea view holes get the round off to a great start, followed the by the lagoons of holes 6 to 8 and the testing, uphill 9th hole. Jungle and spectacular rock formations take over between holes 10 and 15, with the 16th playing back towards the sea and the 17th tee perched above the ocean, providing a lovely end to the round.
Plenty of work has gone into making Laguna Golf Bintan a course the island can be proud of it and it has definitely delivered.
These four Bintan golf courses, highlight exactly why Bintan has become one of the best destinations in Indonesia and Asia, for a golf holiday.