DID YOU KNOW?
The most volcano-pocked nation on the planet, Indonesia is home to 127 active peaks. One of these, Mount Merapi, just outside the Javan city of Yogyakarta, erupted as recently as April 2014. Not the best place to locate a golf course you might think? Not so. In fact, Merapi Golf Course – laid out by Thomson, Wolveridge & Perret — is regarded as one of the top layouts in Indonesia, with volcanic rocks adding to the course’s eye-catching appeal.
5 Reasons to Travel to Indonesia for Golf
1) THE REGION’S MOST DIVERSE GOLF DESTINATION
If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to play golf in the crater of an extinct volcano before moving on to a course that carves through jungle and along the tropical ocean shores, then wonder no more. Indonesia’s vast collection of islands offer both environmental and cultural diversity resulting in golf and off-course experiences that never get old.
2) THE FRIENDLIEST CADDIES IN ASIA
Thailand and Vietnam may beg to differ, but Indonesia can stake a compelling claim to having the most convivial caddies in the region. On arrival at a golf course, don’t be surprised if you are greeted by a chorus line of friendly female caddies eager to make your acquaintance and ensure that your round goes smoothly. As well as being enthusiastic, the girls are mostly highly trained in the nuances of their home course and are also likely to save you a fair few strokes.
3) PLAY ONE OF THE MOST REMOTE COURSES IN ASIA
Papua, the western half of New Guinea, is regarded even by Indonesians as one Asia’s last frontier. Golf though has arrived in the state, and in spectacular fashion, in the shape of Klub Golf Rimba Irian. Designed by acclaimed US design duo Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the course is routed across a lowland swamp – at one time inhabited by a Melanesian tribe – in the shadow of Puncak Jaya, the highest and most sacred peak in Indonesia.
4) ASIA’S MOST GOLF FRIENDLY CAPITAL
Jakarta may not possess the historic charm of other capitals in Asia. What it does have though – and in abundance – is easy access to an impressive range of quality golf courses. There are 35 clubs to choose from in the city and its surrounding areas, including some of the finest layouts in the country. With its lively nightlife and great restaurant scene, meanwhile, the city is also an excellent place for off course R&R.
5) FREE AND EASY VISA POLICY
To boost tourism, Indonesia has relaxed its visa requirements in recent years and is now one of the most hassle-free countries in the region to visit. At the time of writing, citizens of 169 countries – including Australia, the US, the UK and major European nations – are granted a 30-day free visa upon arrival.