They say that golf is not just a sport; it’s a way of life. It brings out the best and the worst in you. And in this game, you don’t really compete with other players but with yourself, always trying to be better than at your previous game.
The origin of golf is still unclear and is still a matter of dispute. Before there were dictionaries, there was no systematised spelling and people wrote based on the sound of the word. Thus, different terms like goff, gowf, goif, goff can be observed in Scottish record documents. The first documented mention of the word ‘golf’ is in Edinburgh on 6th March 1457. Now it is accepted that the word golf is derived from the old word which means ‘club’.
Did you know that the word GOLF is misconstrued as an acronym for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden? Of course, it’s not true. Though golf is played mostly by men, there are also lady golfers and is gaining popularity with members of the fairer sex.
In Malaysia, there are about 200 golf courses throughout the country. The country is fast emerging as South East Asia’s golfing destination because of the breath-taking landscapes of its gold courses. Some of the best places to golf are found here in Penang.
Golf courses here are painstakingly developed for golf holidays and retreats. Imagine casting your stroke amidst a backdrop of lush natural greenery surrounded by a countryside atmosphere. Additionally, Penang is near the Thailand border which makes it an ideal golf destination for multiple-country golf tours.
Where to play golf in Penang?
Bukit Jawi Golf Resort is an outstanding golfing paradise set amidst beautiful landscape with warm tropical weather and lush greens. One of the most popular golf courses in Penang, it is located in Sungai Bakap, just off the North-South Expressway Jawi Interchange. It is a mere 30 minutes’ drive away from the island. It has 2 great golf courses, the Hill Course and the Lake Course, both 18-hole par 72 championship courses.
The new Penang Golf Resort located at Kepala Batas in Seberang Perai Utara in the mainland is a 36-hole golf resort, designed by world-renowned golf course architect, Graham Marsh. Previously a palm oil plantation, the land was transformed into 2 championship layouts and has been dubbed as Malaysia’s Jewel in the North. The East and West Courses are similar in many ways. Flaunted as the Golf Resort of the Millenium, the course is complimented with splendid recreational and business facilities.
Previously called Bukit Jambul Golf Club built in 1984, the Penang Golf Club is one of the most popular golf courses in Malaysia. Located on a hilltop, it provides a spectacular panorama of the island overseeing the iconic Penang Bridge. Acclaimed as one of the preferred golfing avenues, it has been the host of the 31st Malaysian Open in 1992 whose champion was Vijay Singh.
Penang Golf Club has undergone major renovations and was reopened in November 2012 with more challenging and exciting courses. Being the only championship 18-hole golf course in the island, it is popular among locals and foreigners who want to enjoy the rolling fairways, the landscaped greens and beautiful sceneries.
Aside from these well-known golf courses, there are many hotels and resorts that offer golf courses that can cater from beginners to professionals.