Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club had the distinction of being ranked the 4th Best Golf Course in Malaysia for Year 2007 by the prestigious international golf magazine
GOLF MALAYSIA GOLF COURSE POLL 2005 / 2006
16th Best Golf Course in Malaysia
Melaka Tourism Award 2006
GOLF MALAYSIA GOLF COURSE POLL 2003 / 2004
Most Scenic Golf Course
9th Best Golf Course in Malaysia
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club
Malaysia Golf Digest October 2007
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is one of the country’s celebrated golf courses and there is good reason for that. This 27-hole layout, make up of three testing nines, was designed by Nelson, Wright & Haworth and serves as a yardstick for Malaysia sport.
Comprising the Lake, Meadow and Woodland Nines, Tiara has been superbly crafted over some 400 acres in the Ayer Keroh district of Malacca. With its natural water bodies, sand hazards and tricky greens, it provides an ideal test of one’s ability.
The Lake course, as its name clearly suggests, is influenced by water. However, that is not all as there is a variety of trees and shrubs that line the fairways and add to its appeal.
The finishing ninth hole on the Lake course is a 472m par-5 that has water running its entire length on the right and behind the green. A drive that finds its place close to the water enjoys the best angle to attack the green and – for the big hitters who are prepared to have a go at getting it on in two – paves the way for a possible eagle.
While the Meadow is primarily flat with a scattering of shady palm trees, it does have its own allure. The par-3 fourth measures 161 meters and presents the golfer with a shot that demands precision. Here, A right to left draw is the stroke to play – downhill to a small, narrow green that is guarded by a large sand hazard on the left and two pots bunkers at the back.
The Woodland course, situated in the northern part of the complex, is heavily wooded with mature trees, which create a tropical jungle effect.
A gem of a golf hole on this nine is the 354m par-4 third. It features two landing areas and those who chose to go left, and are successful, stand a better chance of attacking the green. Playing down the right fairway is safer, but it leaves a somewhat more difficult approach with a full carry over water and sand before finding a green.
The club has numerous amenities, including a driving range, golf shop, swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, a fully equipped gymnasium, a restaurant and golfers’ terrace.
Tiara is easily accessible from the Ayer Keroh exit on the North-South Highway, and is an hour’s drive from Singapore and one–and-a-half hours from Kuala Lumpur. From the Ayer Keroh exit, it is a less than 15 minutes drive – turn off left at the traffic lights (after the Zoo) and proceed straight for 3km; and you will arrive at Tiara Melaka.
The Jewel Of Melaka
ParGolf Magazine April 2006
Melaka is a place where travelers with a love of history, old world architecture and great food head to. It is a great place to golf, especially at Tiara Melaka G&CC, one of the most picturesque and natural golf sanctuaries around.
From Kuala Lumpur, a short 1 ¼ hour drive on the North-south Highway is all it takes.
From the Ayer Keroh Exit, it is only a 12-minute drive. Turn of left at the traffic lights (after the Zoo) and proceed straight for 3 km and you will arrive at Tiara Melaka.
Consisting of 27 gorgeous holes designed by the Nelson, Wright and Haworth design group, Tiara Melaka offers three distinct nines, the Lake Course, Meadow Course and Woodland Course. The layout is intertwined with the surrounding tropical jungle, hence the presence of undulating fairways, mature trees, streams and lakes to test players of all levels.
Therefore, good course management, plus an extremely straight golf swing is a requirement for a good score.
The Lake Course, measuring 2,936 metres from the blue tees, will prove daunting to golfers with a phobia of water, with tall tropical trees lining the fairways. The hole that deserves much respect and mention will be the par 5 9th hole.
Measuring 448 metres, it is probably one of the most daunting finishing holes in the country. The 9th was made for heroes and not the weak, especially from the tee as water comes into play, extending along the length of the fairway and around the green. Long, pin-point drives landed close to the lake have the best angle into the green and open an eagle opportunity.
If you thought that the Lake Course was intimidating, try the Meadow Course next for a real challenge. Tough it may be, but the Meadow has beautiful Chinese fan palm trees, and signature typha tall grass around the edges of the lakes to soothe frayed golf nerves. The ‘killer’ holes here are at the par 5 2nd and par 4 8th holes.
At 472 metres, the 2nd plays uphill where a solid drive to carry170 metres over water is needed. The task is made even tougher by the presence of a constant headwind at the tee. Pars should not be a problem for high handicappers, while birdies are a possibility to mid to low handicappers.
However, it is at the 8th where the men are separated from the boys. Simply a sight to behold from the tee, this 389-metre par 4 has an old, tall rainforest tree sitting in the middle of the fairway.
An accurate drive is required over water, to preferably land on the left side of the fairway for a small window for the approach to the small, undulating green. Par should be taken as a bonus here.
At the Woodland Course, nature lovers will love being surrounded by mature tropical trees and the presence of local wildlife like monkeys. Needless to say, wayward shots to the left or right are severely punished.
The highlight here appears at the gorgeous looking 2nd and especially at the awesome signature 3rd. The 2nd is a par 3 measuring 144 metres that requires a sweet iron shot over guarded by large bunkers on then right and left side.
The next hole, the signature 3rd, might seem short at 323 metres but is probably one of the most strategic holes in Malaysia. Split by water, the hole falls away from the tee before rising again at the green. The player who is successful in carrying the water hazard off the tee to the left fairway will be rewarded with the best angle to the green. Drives to the right fairway will leave an intimidating approach for most, with a full carry over water and sand needed to find the putting surface.
This world-class golf course is complemented by a 900,000 square foot clubhouse offering amenities like a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gymnasium, tennis and squash courts. Meanwhile, a 52-bay practice range is available before heading down to the course.
Overall, it is safe to say that many golfers will fall in love the first time they play here.
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club
Technology Business Review Vol 8 April 2005
Situated in the heart of the popular Ayer Keroh, 13 km to the northeast of the historical city of Malacca, lies Tiara Malacca Golf & Country Club. It’s strategically situated between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, making it the favorite meeting point for golf enthusiasts. The club is not restricted to members only, but also to member’s guests and visitors.
The golf course designed by renowned golf course architects Nelson-Wright-Haworth has three nine-hole layouts and a clubhouse boasting a full range of facilities. Sculpted from approximately 360 acres of unspoiled land, golfers can tee off alongside towering stands of trees and play across glistening natural lakes. When the courses were designed, it was mostly built around the existing trees, allowing the exhilarating beauty to surround you. What is so unique about Tiara Malacca is it allows the golfer the opportunity to choose from three different courses, the Lake course, the Meadow course and the Woodland course.
For a more relaxed game, the lake course is recommended. Open since 1994, the course is dominated by a large expanse of water that is edged with an extensive array of specially selected trees and shrubs that line many of the wide fairways. The seventh green is noted as one of the challenging holes in this course. Not only do you putt across a wide lake without any fairway, the ball will land on an upward sloping hill. Finishing the course standing at the ninth hole, you are awed by the spectacular scenery. Positioned on one of the highest hills, it overlooks the course with Mount Ledang towering in the background.
The second nine opened in 1995 known as the Meadow Course is located at a more open site where one can discover sweeping vistas and the feel of cool wafting breeze. The palm trees colorful shrubs and tall grass around the lake creates a meadow effect on the course. Because the Meadow Course is much longer in length and wider, you get the illusion of flat fairways, but think again. Here the seventh hole is most tricky. The hole is at the edge of the green on a downward slope, making it difficult to judge your swing. The fast green does not make it any easier either. Nevertheless, the rewarding feeling you receive afterwards makes it worth it.
The most northern corner of Tiara Malacca is where the third nine or Woodland Course is located. It is heavily wooded with existing mature trees, creating a tropical jungle effect. The nine is set in the heart of the jungle, and acclaimed as the most challenging course in the club. It is a combination of tight fairways, and trees acting as borders. Here, the third hole is very difficult and demands precision. Not only do you have to putt across a ravine, a large tree blocks the path, splitting the route into two. The golfer may choose which route to take to reach the hole.
Tiara Malacca has one of the best greens in all their courses. Their special hybrid grass creates a fast green much to the delight of golfers. The club hosts many big tournaments and is usually packed during weekends. Other club facilities include swimming pool, 4 tennis courts, 2 squash courts, a gymnasium, sauna and steam bath, karaoke-bar lounge, conference room, pro shop, banquet hall and Tiara Chinese Restaurant. For further enquiries please call 06-231 1111 or 06-231 2366.
A Priceless Gem
ParGolf Magazine August 2004
Tiara Melaka provides superb golf in a natural setting in Malaysia’s historical state
There are plenty of golf courses in Malaysia that easily leave a lasting impression. For weekend hackers who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, yet crave for some serious golfing action, Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is a highly-recommended destination.
Only a mere 90-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur and two hours from Singapore on the North-South highway, Tiara Melaka was designed by the world-renowned team of Nelson, Wright & Haworth.
The golf course is a popular weekend golf retreat for Singaporeans who make up a small percentage of the club’s members. The layout is set in a peaceful and natural setting, and it is clear that the natural topography and greenery was preserved to achieve a natural brilliance.
onsisting of 27 holes that throw undulating fairways, mature trees, meadows, streams and lakes at the discerning golfer, Tiara Melaka promises a good mix of rewarding and punishing holes. The course was sculptured out of 360 acres of pristine land located at Ayer Keroh and the three nines, Lake, Meadow and Woodlands, require strategic course management.
The Lake Course is dominated by an abundance of water, tropical trees and flower shrubs that dot the fairways and greens. The highlight of this course will appear at the 448-metre, par 5 ninth. At the tee-box, players will be greeted by the daunting sight of a large lake that calls for a solid tee shot over it.
Here, the best angle for the approach shot is from the right of the narrow fairway, which calls for players to flirt with the danger presented by the water hazard. Players with natural slicing shots are advised to keep way left as this hole is extremely tough and unforgiving.
Expect high scores here if your swing is not propelling your ball straight. At the Meadow Course, beautiful Chinese Fan palms and signature typha tall grass around the edges of the lakes create a soothing meadow effect. Here, accurate and straight tee shots will help in producing low scores.
However, throw caution to the wind at the 472 metre, par 5 second hole. The hole plays uphill and the main test comes from the strong winds that seem to be constantly blowing head-on against you at the tee-box, where a long carry over a large water hazard of about 160 to 170 metres is required. Strong players can easily score with a birdie or par at the least.
The eighth hole is a sight to behold from the tee-box, as you need to aim for a large tree planted in the center of the fairway. This par 4, 389-metre windy test of nerves call for an extremely accurate tee shot over water. Once safely on the fairway, the approach requires more accuracy to reach a tiny undulating green.
The Woodlands Nine is my personal favourite as it is heavily wooded, presenting a natural tropical jungle effect that will catch wayward shots left and right at every hole. If you need memories, this nine should not be missed by the hardcore golf fanatic who craves beauty and challenge from a golf course.
The second hole presents a scenic par 3, measuring 144 off the blue tees. This hole is gorgeous, yet deadly as it requires a sweet tee-shot over a large water hazard. The green is guarded by large deep bunkers on the right and left, and surgical accuracy is needed for birdie.
If you have survived the second, prepare yourself for more punishment, as the third is one of the most demanding holes ever designed in Malaysia. Measuring only 323 metres, this par 4 hole is designed with a split double fairway that gives you the option of playing it safe off the tee to the right or going for glory on the left.
The left fairway rewards long hitters with an easy approach to the tiny green. But short hitters will have no choice but to choose the right fairway, followed by daunting second shot over water and a greenside bunker.
I’ve been told that even low handicappers find it extremely difficult to get on in two at this hole. A word of advice for this hole: “Do not be greedy!”
The closing hole of the Woodlands nine is a par 4 measuring 359 meters. Playing downhill from the tee box, a good tee shot to the right of the fairway is ideal. But avoid landing in the right fairway bunker as a small cove on the left calls for a strong approach from the fairway to the small green, guarded by two bunkers.
The world-class course is complimented by a 900,000 square foot club house that offers amenities such as a swimming pool, jacuzzi, gymnasium, tennis and squash courts.
A 52-bay driving range is available for practice before attacking the pins at the course.
Green fees are RM63 on weekdays and RM105 weekends. Individual membership is priced at RM35,000 and property investment is available with the presence of 221 units of bungalows, plus a new condominium project.
After golf, a short 12-kilometre drive to Melaka is a must to take in the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Malaysia’s oldest city.
Enticing Escape at Ayer Keroh
Golf Times July 2004
People come to Tiara in search of healing & relaxation
Almost all the superlatives in the English dictionary have already been used to describe this wonderful course. But perhaps the best description ever written about Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club came from the course designer Neil Haworth himself.
He wrote: “Some will see this as a fun course while others will find it to be extremely challenging. From the purist point, it is a course that will awaken your senses, making you one with Nature.”
Those who have had the opportunity to play there would definitely agree with the Australian as Haworth had gone to great lengths to preserve much of the greenery and its natural topography.
Members and guests are not only in for a golfing experience at Tiara Melaka but also come away with the knowledge that the traditions of this great game live on in this historical state.
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is situated in the heart of the popular Ayer Keroh tourist district. It is located some 13 km northeast of the historical city of Malacca and is only a two-hour drive from Singapore and 80 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. From the Ayer Keroh tollhouse, it is only a 12-minute drive. Turn off left at the traffic lights (after the zoo) and proceed straight for 3 km and you will be in Tiara Melaka.
The 27-hole international championship golf course is blessed with exhilarating beauty and has a combination of tight fairways and indigenous plants. Sculpted from approximately 360 acres of pristine land, golfers can tee-off alongside towering trees and play across shimmering natural lakes.
Each nine will pose a formidable challenge to both the discerning as well as the average golfer.
The Lake Course (opened in December 1994) is dominated by a large expanse of water that is edged with an extensive array of specially selected trees and shrubs that line many of the fairways. The undulating fairways are aesthetically pleasing as many holes are set upon natural slopes, tilts and slants. It measures 3,107 metres.
Hole #1 Par 4 - 310 metres is a fair opening hole. It plays uphill from the clubhouse to a generous landing area. The tee shot which lays up close to the fairway bunkers on the left will provide the best approach to the green.
A long iron over a ravine must carry all the way to the green on Hole #3 Par 3 - 201 metres or a birdie opportunity will slip away here. Natural vegetation retained within the ravine will catch any miss-hit tee shots.
Hole #9 Par 5 - 466 metres is not for the weak hearted. An awesome finishing hole it sets as a fine example of a classic heroic design hole. Commencing at the tee, water extends the length of the hole and behind the green. A drive placed close to the lake will have the best angle into the green and will open an eagle opportunity for the big hitter who is prepared to go for the green in two. The demanding second shot presents only limited bail out space and golfers can expect an increase in their scores.
The second nine, known as the Meadow Course measures at 3,215 metres (opened in November 1995) is located at an open site. Here one can discover sweeping vistas and the feel of cool wafting breezes. Apart from the palm trees, the colourful shrubs and tall grass around the lake edges create a meadow-like effect on the course.
Hole #12 Par 4 - 356 metres is a medium length par 4 but can get you into a lot of trouble. Sand splits the fairway and extends from the landing area to the green. The ideal tee shot will carry the sand to the upper fairway on the left to set up a birdie prospect. A tough approach awaits the golfer who finds the right fairway with a full carry over sand required to reach a small shallow green.
The third nine, Woodland Course (opened in February 1996) is located at the northern corner of Tiara Melaka. It measures 3,292 metres and is heavily wooded with existing mature trees, creating a tropical jungle effect. Set in the heart of the jungle with trees acting as borders, the Woodlands’ indigenous trees portray an impression that it has been around for decades.
Hole #25 Par 5 - 471 metres will tempt the strong hitters to grab an eagle opportunity on the homeward run. The downhill tee shot should find the center of the fairway while the approach for an eagle will demand a long carry over an extensive area of sand. A precise second shot is required for those who choose to lay up with only a narrow neck of fairway leading into the green. A sand wedge in the bag is a prerequisite on this hole. Tiara Melaka’s championship course comprising the Meadow and Woodlands measures 6,507 metres from the black tee-box.
Those who may not require a life membership which goes for RM35,000 may want to opt for the term membership instead that sells at RM3,000 a year. Club facilities include a swimming pool, golfers’ terrace, children’s wading pool, jacuzzi, a 52-bay practice range with night lighting, 4 tennis courts, 2 squash courts, gymnasium, changing rooms with sauna and steam baths, karaoke, conference room, pro-shops and a banquet hall.
Bungalow lots (24 units) are available with an average land area 10,000 to 11,000 square feet. Price per square feet ranges from RM18.50 to RM27.00 and potential buyers are guaranteed with a free life membership. The Tiara Green Condominiums are priced between RM139,000 to RM270,000.
Tiara Melaka is indeed Malacca’s golfing haven. It’s the ideal destination for combining a memorable vacation with an exciting game of golf. It’s a course with its own personality, each hole depicting a style highlighting its natural surrounding. Definitely one of the more golf courses in Malaysia.
On the Course with Jeff Teo
Cars.my issue #232004
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club Where the golf is simply tiaraffic
Names have always been important to me. Not just for their functions in differentiating a thing or place from another, but also for the imagery association it creates both for the beholder and the beholden - sort of like an anthem to a country. To me, Tiara is a beautiful name. I don’t know what inspired it. But I have to admit that there is a certain presumptuousness about it. While it is not crassly arrogant, it does seem lacking in modesty. Question is, does the course live up to the pompous imagery that its name evokes?
I was at the course bright and early so I could understand better the pace of activity during a normal weekday. Business was brisk, but the pace at the registration counter was much too leisurely. While waiting to be served, I walked to the far end of the lobby to take my first look at the course. A wondrous view greeted me. An immaculate network of fairways rising and falling gently like graceful waves, adorned with a medley of trees, palms, and flower shrubs. Sharing this portrait of nature was an expanse of water in a deeper shade of green. In the background, a cluster of trees silhouetted against the clear morning sky. It was a rhapsody of unabated splendour. Even as I stood in awe of its beauty, I reminded myself not to be carried away by its gripping charm. After all, looks is not everything in a course. Yet again, to be fair, there is a special enchantment about the place - three different natural elements juxtaposed against each other - the wooded hills decked with the arboreal remnants of a once proud tropical jungle, the shimmering lakes filled to overflowing with crystal clear waters serene beneath a veil of morning mist, the stretches of fairways meandering along an invisible chain of hillocks and valleys, hugging the lakes and rolling with the contours of the hills fencing this 400 acres of former mining, plantation land and pristine jungle. One would have thought that when humans intervene, nature’s perfection can only diminish. What I saw from the gallery was simply sublime.
I conveyed my admiration to the Club Manager and host, Lt Colonel Andrew Ong, who happily pointed out that the course had won accolades from golfers and golfing writers alike - the latest feather in its cap being its recognition as the 9th best golf course in the country, as well as tops in the scenic category, according to a recent poll by a golf publication. The nice thing about an award is that it has positive implications for the course - it is good for business, it instills pride in members, and it boosts staff morale. There is no denying the reinforcing qualities that an award possesses. Which also explains why the course was in such impeccable condition when I saw it ...
There are three nines in Tiara Melaka, each playing to a par of 36. Going by length, the Lake Nine at 3,107 meters is the easiest among the three, provided, you are not the kind of golfers whose hits are inexplicably drawn to water. The lakes come into play in four of the nine holes, creating vistas that range from charming to dramatic. Just remember, it is not only your breath that these lakes take away. A useful observation which I picked up over the years is that a new ball almost never carries over a lake. Watch out for Holes No 7, 8, and 9. Back-to-back and fringed by lakes, these holes make up the infamous closing trio of the Lake course. This is the battle ground on which to exorcise the ghosts of hydrophobia, or be crushed in the effort. If you believe that the best way to learn to swim, is to throw someone into the deep end, here, at the Lake course, is where you ought to keep your ball straight, or pay the price. To slice a tee shot may be human and all that, but on these holes, it is regrettable and irrecoverable.
In comparison, the Meadow Course offers a totally different feel. The opening holes are a sweet relief, especially, if you have just survived the perilous water traps of the Lake’s closing trio. The tree-fringed fairways are wider in comparison. A lake comes into play only once at the 2nd hole. It taunts the golfer, but does not really pose a serious threat, thanks to the huge landing area of the windswept meadow-like fairway. The nine holes are interesting - each with their unique character, each offering a different challenge, and each no less formidable than the other. So far the two nines have a similar set up - they start out easy, lull you into a sense of security, and when the complacency sets in, they move in, in straight succession for the final destruction of the ego. The Meadow course raises the ante against the Lake’s closing trio with its own dreaded duo - Holes 7 and 8. Accuracy, distance and clever shot making comes into play on these two holes. A slice spells trouble in the thick wooded right fringe of the very narrow 7th fairway. On the 8th, disaster lurks in the form of a stream that clings to the front and right of the fairway. A lay up opportunity avails itself to short hitters. But unless you plan to wear a skirt or contribute a jug of beer, laying up is not an option. The landing area is too small and too near to the red tee box for comfort. If the panic has not left you breathless, the beauty of this signature Meadow 8th hole will surely take your breath away. A towering tree stands alone as a passive guard to deter the bold and ambitious planning a gallant attack on the green that it guards. On the right, a wooded ravine, and on the left, tropical trees of an erstwhile jungle - they wait patiently to punish wayward shots. This hole has a way of filtering the ambitious golfers from the foolhardy ones.
In stark contrast to the earlier two nines, the Woodlands Course offers a totally different challenge. Its chief element, as its name so aptly suggests, is the trees and the impenetrable jungle. Each green situated at the end of a long and narrow fairway resembles a clearing in the jungle. At 3,292 meters, it is the longest among the three. There is every reason to suspect that it is the most difficult too, not just because of the length, but for the premium it places on accuracy. Its unforgiving demeanour gels with today’s philosophy of taking things to the extreme. What more can you give to golfers who seem to have everything? Tiara answered by adding on this new course in early 1996. The Woodlands course, but which really was a nightmare by another name.
Hole No 1, Par 4
I have always felt that a good course design has the ability to ease the golfer gently into the game. This hole is short, straight, and reasonably wide - a confidence booster. Tee shots placed before the left fairway bunkers provide the best approach. The green is sloped with gentle burrows all over.
Hole No 2
After the easy entry, Tiara shows her true colours. This a par 4 like the earlier one, the big difference is that it extends the length by 80 meters. The tee shot is not a problem, even if you come up short of the ideal landing spot which should be on the right of the wide fairway. The difficulty comes from the second shot which must negotiate the tight entrance flanked by steep slope on the right and a gully on the left. On the green, beware the hidden burrows and slopes.
Hole No 3 Par 3
Despite its high index rating of 12, this hole is not easy. Particularly to beginners - it is considerably long at 170 metes. There is just a tiny strip of fairway before the green. To its left is gulch which can pose a serious problem if you are trying to get back onto the green. Aiming to the right gives you a better chance of staying out of trouble. The only problem is that the rough around the green is kept thick to complicate the chip on. Like the earlier two, the undulating green slopes and swirls.
Hole No 4, Par 5
This is the longest Par 5 for the Lake course. On the outset it looks difficult, its meanness amplified by its long and narrow appearance. Play it a stroke at a time and you will find that it is not as difficult as it appears to be. The trick is to get the tee shot off straight so as to avoid the sand traps on the left and right. The fairway gets narrower as it approaches the green. Keep the second shot to the right and safe, meaning short of the bunker. The lake on the left should not come into play. The green is no less tricky than the preceding ones.
Hole No 5, Par 4
This is a straightforward hole that should see one getting safely on in regulation. However, for the beginners and short hitter, take note that the fairway dips severely into a small gulch some 40 meters from the green. This means you risk an extra stroke if your approach shot does not land on the green.
Hole No 6, Par 4
This hole makes the turn back in the direction of the clubhouse. It is short and should not stand in the way of a par, provided you stay away from the sand traps that offer a token defense.
Hole No 7, Par 3
This is the first of the infamous Lake trio of Tiara. It is also your chance to play to gallery. If you can overcome the intimidation from the lake and the scrutiny from the gallery, you deserve to do well. The right club choice is absolutely important. All you have to do next is to carry over the lake. Clubbing up will held if you are not very confident.
Hole No 8, Par 4
Water continues to rule your game. The tee shot has to carry the strip of lake and find the right spot to land in the narrow fairway. A slice of fade bring certain demise and should be avoided absolutely. The entrance into the slightly raised green is narrow. This is not the most difficult hole without reason. Forget the macho and lay up the second shot. With luck you can still save a par. I was perfectly happy with my bogey.
Hole No 9, Par 5
This is a spectacular and dramatic hole, and a very daunting one as well. The tee shot is the key to keeping the score low, meaning, you have to remember, that driving is for show, and that your should really resist the urge to let it rip. A well placed tee shot in the left to middle of the fairway should set you up for a decent approach shot. Remember that the peril is not over yet as the lake fringes the right of the fairway all the way to the green and even beyond. Playing left won’t help as well as it is fringed by a line of trees and designated out of bounds. Keep the ball straight, or short, if that helps achieve the objective. You still get on the green in regulation - no problemo, no danger. Well, perhaps, no thrills too. Don’t mind me, do what you gotta do. Whatever the outcome, this is a spectacular finish to a breathtaking nine.
Hole No 1, Par 4
Coming off the closing lake holes, this opening hole for the Meadow Course is an outright downer. It is again the typical feel-good hole that allows you to gently ease into the game. It was good for me as I needed some calm to reflect on what it was that led to my disastrous five-over par in the last three holes. Anyway, this hole is pretty wide and straightforward, but watch out for the five bunkers that guard the green. And depending on where you land, the putting can be very tricky.
Hole No 2, Par 5
A lake comes into play on the tee shot. If you are not already demolished by the earlier lake holes, this is where you find practice makes perfect. The generous landing area makes the challenge a little less formidable. Still, things can go wrong if you try too hard. Just remember that the lake crossing is more daunting mentally than physically. After that, the next two shots are quite straightforward. Go through the paces, lay out the shots, and as long as you do not try to get to the green in a hurry, saving par is quite possible.
Hole No 3, Par 4
This is an unusual looking hole. There are two fairways for you to land your tee shot. The upper fairway, on the left is almost flush with the tiny green. The alternate fairway, dips some 10 feet lower on the right and runs almost parallel to the upper fairway, separated by a series of bunkers and the steep wall. There is really no need to choose. The ideal shot should land on the upper fairway. The lower fairway is more like a respite for weak hitters who cannot get onto the upper fairway. Obviously, the lower fairway comes with more challenge - the green is blind almost all throughout the length of the fairway, the cut is thicker and there are just so many bunkers that it serves no purpose in counting them.
Hole No 4, Par 3
This short hole plays downhill and the ideal way is to place the tee shot to the right of the green. Mind the treacherous gully to the left of the green. Overshooting the green will also get you into trouble with the bunkers on the right and back. Opt to play short instead of long to eliminate unnecessary risk.
Hole No 5, Par 4
This is a beautiful medium length hole which puts a premium on precision shot making. The tree slightly right off the tee box throws in bit of distraction but which nevertheless makes the hole more memorable. Keep the tee shot to the centre or left of the fairway. A stray shot will find the cluster of trees on the right or send your ball into a hollow from which the green is still blind. The fairway takes a gentle dog leg left taking the green just barely out of line of sight of most shots save for the longest.
Hole No 6, Par 3
Though straightforward, this hole is reasonably long even from the blue, from which I was playing. The trick is to avoid shooting into the right wooded area. It is a great hole for trying out draws or fades, which ever takes your fancy. Accuracy is crucial to scoring. The errant ball is punished - by woods and bunkers on the right and a line of trees on the left. The green is also difficult.
Hole No 7, Par 5
This is the beginning of what is to me the dreaded duo - the two most difficult holes on this course. The nightmare begins unsuspectingly on the long and narrow fairway here. For a par 5, the hole is not exceptionally long. But strength and accuracy is crucial if you wish to score less than a par. The tee shot and the follow up second should carry as much fairway as is possible. But, do mind the narrow landing area. A pull or a slice means certain trouble. A well struck ball should find it alongside the green, with only a stream to separate you from glory. Be careful with your approach and you will want to remember this hole. For the risk you take, the reward is commensurate. This is the type of course design that sets Tiara apart from the rest.
Hole No 8, Par 4
At Tiara, I have made one important observation. It doesn’t get easier. This is Tiara’s famed signature hole. Breathtaking, but nasty to the hilt. Before you let yourself be seduced by its beauty, remember this hole is rated index 1. The challenge begins right from the tee. Do you lay up in the safest spot, i.e just a little over the ladies’ tee box? Or do you attempt the crossing? If you are the incorrigible fader or slicer, forget it. This hole is design to weed out the short hitters, or the undecided. So don’t be a hero, be just Joe. For me, I buried the ego and took the shortest crossing to land my ball just so left and far away from the green. There’s lots of work to do from there - the challenge is far from over. Before anything else, take in the sights. This is truly Tiara’s crowning jewel - inspiring stuff. As in all treasures, the quest is often fraught with perils. A tree hampers your approach to the green. To the right of it are the woods, if you do not have the distance. It is the lake if your tail-end fade gets carried away. To the left, it is the jungle. Whatever the score, the breathtaking beauty of this hole will be one of the keepsakes that all who have played here will treasure.
Hole No 9, Par 4
Maybe, it does get easier, but somehow I didn’t feel that way. After the dreadful 8th Hole, anything else should be a breeze. But it was not so. Two things are possible for inexperienced golfers. One, the relief that comes from having survived a blow-up on the most difficult hole on the course, causes one to abandon caution. If you belong to this category, the inviting fairway of Hole 9 is your unsuspecting foe. The hardly noticeable slope on the right of the fairway will guide your well-meaning shot into the lake that runs alongside it. Two, if you have had a disappointing 8th hole, your need to redeem your pride could just make you try too hard. A shank, a vicious slice or a fade, will still spell trouble. By keeping your second shot to the left, you should be able to take the water out of play.
Nature in rapture
Driving away from the finishing hole, I looked back at the silvery lake and recounted the wonderment that filled my tour of the course, and of lesser significance, my just concluded game. The last two holes were most vivid in my memory. In contrast to the hauntingly beautiful 8th hole, the finishing hole is a world apart. Like a moving dreamscape, the scenes transit from dense emerald woods to an open expanse of bright green fairways juxtaposed against deep blue waters. The sun’s rays that bath down on the undulating meadow reveal the immaculate condition of the course, its verdant quality enriched by the light from the shimmering lake. It is a magical sight - the gentle breeze that wafts across the water drums up row upon row of ripples, their edges catching the rays of the sun and casting them playfully onto the grassy surface of the fairway, as if in dance to an inaudible beat. This is nature in rare abandoned rapture. It didn’t matter that my scores were hardly worth mentioning. But there are many things in golf that are more important than a low score. Tiara Melaka, I am convinced, is one of them. Perhaps it was a good thing that the Woodlands course was closed on the day that I visited. What more compelling reason could I come up with, to get myself invited to this enthralling course again?
Ahead of the Rest
Golf Malaysia July 2002
Located in the heart of Malacca’s popular Ayer Keroh tourist district, the Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is a neatly-crafted, 27-hole course that has firmly established itself as one of the state’s more popular courses. This Nelson-Wright & Haworth-designed layout lies just 12 kilometres northeast of the historical city, a mere two hours’ drive from Singapore and about 90 easy minutes from Kuala Lumpur.
Tiara Melaka, developed on 360 acres of prime real estate, is split into three nines - the Lakes nine (3,107 metres), the Meadow nine (3,215 metres) and Woodlands nine (3,292 metres).
The Lakes nine, as its name suggests, is significantly influenced by water, but also features a wide range of specially selected trees and shrubs that border the fairways. Tiara’s fairways are mostly undulating, but they do make for a pretty sight - encompassing the natural terrain and with many of the holes set upon natural slopes, tilts and slants.
It features a fair opening hole, a 301-metre, par-4 that plays uphill from the clubhouse to a generous landing area. The perfect start, and the best angle to the green here would be to lay up the tee shot close to the fairway bunkers to the left.
The Lakes nine is also home to the shortest hole at Tiara Melaka - the 144-metre 7th. This par-3 has a water carry from three of the four tee boxes - to avoid the sand and water, a good draw would be the best approach.
The Meadow nine has been shaped on a relatively open plain of sweeping vistas. It does, however, feature palm trees and brilliantly-coloured shrubs around some of the greens.
Of the 27 holes, the 8th on the Meadow plays the toughest. A par-4 that stretches 410 metres off the black tee, the drive on this hole must be long and accurate to reach the landing area on the other side of a pond.
The approach from the left of the fairway will require a controlled draw shot around trees that hide the green.
The Meadow’s 3rd, a 368-metre par-4 is unique in that the fairway is split into two by sand - effectively giving the player the option of playing down two fairways. The ideal tee shot here would be to carry the sand and stick to the left. Throw in a good approach, and this should present the player a chance for birdie.
The Woodland nine is set in the heart of the jungle, with tall, mature trees acting as borders. Opened in early 1996, the course looks, and feels, like it has been around for decades, all thanks to an abundance of lush, indigenous trees.
This nine features Tiara Melaka’s longest hole and the only one that breaches the 500-metre mark. Measuring 536 metres off the black tee, the uphill par-5 No. 4 demands a crucial second shot if the golfer is to make any headway.
To set up an opportunity for birdie, this shot has got to carry the sandy waste on the right. For those who prefer the left of the fairway, a high draw will be required to bypass three sand bunkers on the left of the green.
Players can look forward to some top-class clubhouse facilities after a tough round of golf. A driving range with night lighting, a pro-shop and locker rooms should meet the demands of most. There is also a fine golfers’ terrace, swimming pool, children’s wading pool, jacuzzi, tennis & squash courts, gymnasium, sauna, steam baths and a karaoke-bar lounge to find refuge in.
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club
Jalan Gapam, Bukit Katil
P.O Box 473, 75760 Melaka
Tel : 606-231 1111/ 231 2366
Fax : 606-231 4122
For a highly challenging round of golf amidsk shimmering lakes and natural surrounding
Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club is situated in the heart of the popular Ayer Keroh tourist district. It lies 13 km to the northeast of the historical city of Malacca and is only 2 hours drive from Singapore and 1.5 - hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. From the Air Keroh tollhouse, it is only a seven-minute drive to the club.
The golf course, designed by renowned golf course architects Nelson-Wright-Haworth, has three nine-hole layouts and a clubhouse boasting a full range of facilities. Sculpted from approximately 360 acres of pristine land, golfers can tee off alongside towering stands of trees and play across shimmering natural lakes. Each nine will pose a formidable challenge to both the discerning as well as the average golfer.
The Lake Course is dominated by large expanse of water that is edged with an extensive array of specially selected trees and shrubs that line many of the fairways. The undulating fairways are aesthetically pleasing as many holes are set upon natural slopes, tilts and slants.
The second nine, known as the Meadow Course is located at the open site where one can discover sweeping vistas and the feel of cool wafting breezes. Apart from palm trees, the colorful shrubs around many holes and tall grass around the lake edges create a meadow effect on the course.
Located at the northern corner of Tiara Melaka, the third nine (Woodland Course), which opened in early 1996, is heavily wooded with existing mature trees, creating a tropical jungle effect. This nine is set in the heart of the jungle with trees acting as borders. The abundance of indigenous trees one has the impression that the course has been around for decades. As well as presenting many challenges to the avid golfer, for lovers of nature, this nine offers an opportunity to see monitor lizards, gibbons (among other species) and many varieties of birds.
“Some will see this as a fun course while others will find it extremely challenging. From the purist point, it is a course that will awaken your senses, making you one with Nature” - Neil Haworth - Course Architect.
Challenge on the Green
The Edge, Options January 7, 2002
A change of scene at Ayer Keroh’s Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club
For the longest time, the Ayer Keroh area in historic Melaka was generally associated with the state zoo and the Ayer Keroh Country Club - which has one of the oldest golf courses in the country.
Today, as you approach the city limits via the Ayer Keroh interchange on the North-South Highway, you are greeted with a deluge of tourist attractions and holiday resorts. There is the butterfly farm, a crocodile farm, the Aiyun Hill ‘Feng Shui’ theme park, a recreational forest reserve, plus scores of upper-end chalet-style resorts - all these and more make the area an attractive destination in itself.
Golf has of late become one of the premier attractions in Ayer Keroh, largely due to the emergence of a few golf courses, one being the 27-hole international standard Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club, which is an easy 12-minute drive from the interchange.
Spread over 400 acres of pristine land, the resort is fast gaining a reputation as one of the top golf courses not just in the state, but nationwide as well. The layout is routed within former dense jungle, on a hill site naturally endowed with numerous streams and ponds.
Designed by the well-known golf course architect team of Robin Nelson and Rodney Wright; the original landscape has been painstakingly retained in many parts, allowing the natural contours of the land to dictate the shape of the holes. The result is a course of great challenge and beauty, characterised by heavy undulating fairways snaking their way past mature trees and treacherous waters to the immaculately turfed greens.
It is obvious that landscape architect Belt Collins & Associates has gone to great lengths to retain as much of the original vegetation as possible, especially on the second nine. It is visually pleasing but not too forgiving to wayward shots, which usually wind up in the trees or, worse still, in the water. While it is by no means an easy course, Tiara is, however, one of those courses that challenges all level of golfers. The key for higher handicappers is to study their way through the course and not attempt to be overly ambitious with their play.
Tiara’s 27 holes play as three separate nines, each forming a loop from the clubhouse, The first nine opened for play in 1994, and is aptly named the Lake course. Playing 3,107m off the black tees, if offers a great range of difficulties with water being the most visible. The second nine, known as the Meadow course, measures 3,215m and was completed in 1995. The third layout, opened for play in 1996, is the Woodlands course and is the longest at 3,292m. As its name suggests, it is covered with a profusion of trees and shrubs.
One of the most demanding holes of the layout is hole 8, a par 4 of 385m that offers several option from the tee, separated from the landing area by a huge lake. Your drive must carry over 100m of water and cut off as much water as possible if you hope to par this hole. Leaving yourself with too much distance can prove costly as the approach is dicey with a steep bank leading into the lake beyond the bunker on the right of the putting surface.
The most unique hole is without doubt the par 4 hole 12 playing 368m from tee to pin - via two different routes! From the tee, golfers have a choice two fairways, one on higher elevation on the left, and a lower landing area on the right. The two fairways are separated by a network of bunkers, so there is no middle route unless you want to blast your way through the sand. The choice of fairways, depends on the pin position. If the pin is on the right, the left fairway provides the best angle of attack with more green to work with, while a left pin placement will favour the right fairway.
The notable hole on the Woodlands nine is the par 4 hole 3 of 323m. With another choice of two landing areas from the tee, the left route is the shorter way to the pin with about 170m over water to a small landing area. Clearing the hazard will leave you with a short iron for the approach to the green. Golfers opting to go with the right route will require a 3 wood or a long iron for the approach to cross over a creek to reach the green in regulation. Individual membership is RM30,000 while term membership is offered at RM3,000 annually. Golfers can look forward to top-class facilities after a round of golf. The complex boasts the full range of amenities in a classy setting that include restaurants, a golfers’ terrace with sweeping views of the course, luxurious changing rooms, a poolside cafeteria, Olympic-size swimming pool with jacuzzi, squash and tennis courts, sauna, steam bath, a bar and karaoke.
Complementing the excellent facilities is the high-end real estate on the elevated areas of the site, in the form of prime bungalows with superb views of the surrounding greenery. Those who enjoy challenging golf in natural surroundings will find that Tiara Melaka’s verdant course provides just that, and much more.
Masterpiece called Tiara
Travel Times (Golf Getaways) November 14-20, 2001
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club’s 27-hole international standard course is a masterpiece designed by the Robin Nelson-Rodney Wright-Neil Haworth association. It’s a partnership that’s synonymous with beautiful courses which exist in perfect harmony with nature.
Hailed by many as Malacca’s most exciting golf course, it has three distinct environmental nine-hole layouts named the Lake, Meadow and Woodland.
The course was designed to allow a combination of three par 72 courses: Lake/Meadow, Meadow/Woodland and Woodland/Lake.
The most notable feature is the ingenious use of hundreds of mounds of every shape and size that were aesthetically created to frame the fairways and around the greens.
The mounds with unfair kicks and bounces make possible an infinite variety of nasty uphill, downhill or sidehill lies that no other form of hazard can match.
Golfers whose shots have wandered a bit will be disturbed by these apparently innocent slopes. Great imagination is called for in recovery.
Generally, the rolling fairways are wide and grassed with Greenlees Park couch while the greens, peppered with bunkers, are carpeted with Bermuda Tifdwarf.
The par 36 Lake Nine, opened for play in December 1994, is only 2,936 metres from the regular tees but offers a great range of difficulties with water being the most visible.
The par 5, fourth has elevated. This hole is a good test for long hitters. Even after a good drive, the second must negotiate a narrow fairway with a 100-foot tree hugging the middle before approach to a rather difficult well trapped green.
The Meadow Nine measures 2,997m from the blue tees and plays to par 36. The most difficult hole is probably the 389-metre par 4 8th. An intimidating 180-metre stretch of water stands in the way of the tee shot. Tall trees frame the narrow and undulating fairway. In spite of its size, the green is hostile and three putts are not surprising.
Distance-wise, the Woodland Nine measures 3,094 metres and plays to par 36. Opened in February 1996, Woodland has a profusion of trees and shrubs as its name suggests.
Fairways are hemmed in by tall trees demanding careful planning of shots and extra care with the tricky greens that blend into the surrounding ground in complete harmony.
Bunkers, mounds and water often play damaging roles. On the par 4 323-metre 3rd, there is a choice of two target areas off the elevated tee. The approach from the left demands a carry over a creek to a small landing area. If you make it you’re a short iron to the green. The right fairway, reachable with three wood, is rather broad and inviting, but a long way from the green.
Lt Col (R) Andrew Ong, the Club Manager, says the course is magnificently maintained and challenging. “It will be fun for people playing it,” he promises.
Long hitters are more likely to have fun playing the game here. For the rest of us, well, there’s always the scenery.
Malacca’s Green Tiara
Star Metro December 4, 2000
The next time you’re in Malacca, don’t forget to bring your golf clubs along, for as BRIAN MARTIN discovers the Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is a 142ha paradise waiting to be discovered.
If you haven’t visited Malacca for a while, you’ll be surprised at the number of new golf clubs which have sprung up.
Indeed, Malacca must have the most number of golf clubs per square km in the country. This is in part due to the large number of Singaporean visitors who frequent this most ‘touristy’ of Malaysian cities.
Unlike us, our southern neighbours don’t think of Malacca as a historical city, but rather as a golfing paradise.
One of the most frequently visited golf courses by Singaporeans, but conversely one of the least well-known among locals, is the Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club.
This 27-hole club was designed by the world-renowned team of Nelson, Wright & Haworth, and it shows.
The immaculate condition of the greens and fairways are not only a testament to the club’s maintenance team but also the intense competition among golf courses in Malacca - if the course isn’t good enough, golfers will go somewhere else.
The three nines are aptly named, Lake, Meadow and Woodlands. All three have a combination of hazards and this combined with the elements present a unique challenge for the keen golfer.
To fully appreciate Tiara Melaka, you should play a round of 27-holes. The tiredness you feel at the end of six hours plus of golf should be compensated by the fact that you would have experienced the challenges of playing on a course that has everything.
The hole that best describes Tiara Melaka is hole No. 3 on the Woodlands Nine or hole 21. This par 4, 323m (from blue tee) hole has a split fairway. Option number one means that your drive should carry a large pond to about 210m. This should set you up for an easy second shot, but the undulating green might prove to be a bit tricky.
Option two will mean a short tee-off to your right. A mid-iron is best here.
If you get a good lie, a second shot at the green is possible. To play it even safer, lay-up and a pitching wedge should get you on the green in three.
Besides its excellent course, Tiara Melaka boasts a complete range of recreation and sports facilities for the whole family.
This includes food and beverage outlets, swimming pool, jacuzzi, 52-bay practice range, tennis courts, squash courts, gym, pro-shop and conference rooms.
Membership is still open at RM30,000 for individuals. For details call 06-2311111.
Melaka’s Crown Jewel
ParGolf Magazine December 2000
Boasting a 27-hole layout of championship standard, Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is a unique golfing experience. True to its name, this creation by renowned golf course architects, Nelson-Wright and Haworth is indeed the crown jewel of the Ayer Keroh tourist district.
True to the architects’ design philosophy, the layout of the course made full use of the natural terrain, creating a perfect blend of man’s ingenuity and nature’s verdant surroundings. Covering approximately 360 acres of pristine land, Tiara Melaka offers three nines, the Lake course (3107 metres, the Woodland Course (3292 metres) and the Meadow Course (3215 metres).
The distinctive character and challenge afforded by the three nines make golfing in Tiara Melaka an absolute experience unlike found elsewhere. The setting of the nines offers a unique golfing experience. From heavily undulating fairways that meander through forests and meadows, complete with heavy bushes of wild grass, complemented by towering rainforest trees and punctuated by running streams and lakes, Tiara Melaka has it all.
The 490-metre, par-five seventh hole of the Meadow Course is perhaps the best example to reflect the designers’ philosophy of the game. Here, the terrain was brilliantly integrated into the design, resulting in a challenging but rewarding experience.
Off the tee, the drive is pretty straightforward but must be kept to the right side to avoid an encounter with the forest. From the landing area, the challenge opens up a if giving the golfer a chance to see what lies ahead.
The undulating fairway suddenly narrows and a lake appears on your left, running the length of the hole. The water hazard actually splits the fairway into two, with a smallish green located on the other side.
Mind you, this is only part of the kind of challenge its entire golf course promises to give you.
Complementing Tiara Melaka’s world-class layout is the luxurious 90,000 square feet clubhouse, which is equipped with worldly pleasures such as swimming pool, jacuzzi and karaoke room. Sports buffs will find the many facilities like gymnasium, tennis and squash courts more than up to the mark. In addition, there is also a superb restaurant as well as a golfers’ terrace affording the vista of the course.
As a holiday destination, Tiara Melaka, which is located near the many attractions of Ayer Keroh, like the Malacca Zoo, Mini Malaysia Park, the Recreational Forest And Crocodile Farm is practically in a league of its own.
Located only minutes away from the historic Malacca town, Tiara Melaka is highly accessible. It is about one and a half hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and two hours away from Singapore.
Crunch Time for the Skilled
Nicklaus D’Cruz (Out & About – The Star- March 1997)
Tiara Melaka’s three nine-hole layouts pose a formidable challenge to the average golfer.
Only grown individuals need bother. The muscular sort. Preferably large and six feet tall. Lesser players can try but at the risk of bruising their ego.I felt sufficiently enormous as I set out to pound my tee shot across the creek on the rd hole of the Woodlands Course – a hole that should win top honours as the best golf hole in Malaysia.You see, the hole is set up with a split fairway. The right beckons the sane player down its uncluttered, open runway. But it’s no pushover.Three trees stand guard at three points along the left and extreme edge of the divide. Over the next three attempts, at the very least, you should be able to work out the most comfortable gap. Setting up the approach is vital as the journey to the green is fraught with danger. The final route entails flying a ball diagonally across the creek that runs past the green complex and encounters bunkers and depths. While an accidental draw is forgivable – fade, and your hopes dim.
Back on the tee, my line was the "adult one", 183m over the creek from the tee box. Setting up the ball over the crossing from the tee would allow an open approach to the green.
My first ball, struck off-centre, fell way short of the far bank. So I teed up again and struck it better. Alas, it too failed to make the crossing and sank with my pride.
Later, I discovered that the carry from that impregnable blue tee was actually 210m. The challenge was really well beyond me although, I’m sure, the next time would be different. The lesson here was loud and clear: play within your ability. This is head to head combat. From the white though, Tiara Melaka can provide a very exciting game. Its challenges are real, but they are also inspiring, scenic, and tantalising.
The undulating fairways of the Lake Course are especially pretty as some holes are set upon natural slopes and tilt, fall, rise and slant with gusto. The trio of closing holes make finishing with the Lake Nine thrilling and tumultuous. The golfer starts the homeward stretch with the par three 7th., across water to a green sandwiched between bunkers. This is the first of three holes with water controlling your game plan. Up next is the gorgeous 8th hole whose fairway runs along a lake on its right edge. It requires a drive that must take on as much water as possible to shorten the long hole. The fairway tilts against your favour, is offset to the left, and is barely 25m in width – it’s punishing on fades. Finally the 9th hole comes along. And it manages to eclipse the beautiful 8th with its captivating closing design. You are carried nearly 30m above to an elevated tee with a sweeping view of the fairway that skirts along and around a huge pond. The pond remains a threat from tee to green and is adrenaline-pumping. The fairway tilts from left to right with a greater severity than at the preceding hole. It’s a reminder to stay left, just in case you are somehow undaunted by the water. Then, there’s a psychologically deceptive hazard on the top left of the fairway looking closer to the tall trees than it really is. The second shot has to contend with an old tree that has been left unnoticed.
It demands another strategic decision, whether to turn tight left to the opening (that is actually hidden from sight) or veer right to the tiny strip of fairway between the tree and water. Coming in from the right though will mean flying the approach over an 80m long bunker that appears en route to the elevated green. Finishing the three holes alone under your handicap will be a commendable effort. These holes typify the demands that Tiara makes on golfers – thrift, tact and thought.Do it your way, or any other way, and you may be sorry.
Tiara : Beautiful but Almost Unconquerable
Nicklaus D’Cruz (The Business Times – Singapore - January 1997)
It is important that you be forewarned that Tiara Melaka’s three nine-hole layouts in Malaysia’s state of Malacca present a formidable challenge not easily undertaken by the average golfer.
From it tips only grown individuals need apply. The muscular sort. Preferably large and at least 1.8 meters tall for that full, arced, fluid swing. Those bobbing below the mark and with skin of the variety can attempt to strut their stuff off the back blue coloured boxed. They should not be surprised though, if they fail miserably.
I felt sufficiently enormous, filling up the role of any top amateur I thought, as I set up to pound my tee shot across the creek on the third hold of the Woodlands Course – a hole that will win top honour as the best in Malaysia.
You see, the hole is set up with a split fairway. The right side beckons the sane and level headed player down its uncluttered, open runway. It also sets up three trees that stand guard at three points along the left and extreme edge of the divide. Over the course of your next three attempts (at the very least), you should be able to work out the most comfortable gap you will be utilising.
Setting up the approach is a vital consideration as the journey to the green is fraught with danger. It will be difficult still to get home without incident as the final route entails flying a ball diagonally across the creek that runs past the green complex, encountering four bunkers of varying shapes and depths along the way. While an accidental draw is permitted, fade, though, and your hopes dim.
Back on the tee, my line was the adult one over the creek from the tee box: 183 meters carry I was told. Setting up the ball over the crossing from the tee would allow an open approach to the green, seeing as how it was offset from left to right and obviously favouring the golfer who takes his medicine without fear.
I knew I struck it just off centre and watched as my ball fell way short of the far bank. Believing full well that 180 m carry was within my reach. I teed up again and struck it better. It was exciting to watch the ball sail towards the divide but, alas, I was crestfallen when it failed to make the crossing and sank with my pride.
Back in the clubhouse later in the day I discovered that the carry from that impregnable blue tee was actually 210 m. The lesson here was clear – at Tiara Melaka, 210 m off the long stick should be tale of the tape. It is the very basic lesson of playing within your ability.
This is a course that measures up to its challenge with a resonance. This is head to head combat. From the white, though, it will be a very exciting game. Its challenges are not just real, they are inspiring, scenic, vivid and tantalising.
The undulating fairways of the Lake Course are especially pretty as some holes are set upon natural slopes and tilt, fall, rise and slant with gusto to create some riveting golf holes. One of the momentous sections is the trio of closing holes that make finishing with the Lake nine thrilling and tumultuous.
The golfer starts the homeward stretch with the par three seventh across water to a green sandwiched between bunkers. This is the first of three holes with water controlling your game plan.
The fairway of the eight runs along a lake on its right and requires a drive that takes on as much water as possible to shorten this long hole.
Finally the ninth carries you nearly 30 m above to an elevated tee with a sweeping view of the fairway that skirts along and around a huge pond – a threat from tee to green.
The fairway tilts from left to right with a greater severity than at the last hole. Further trouble is introduced with a deceptive hazard on the top left of the fairway that looks closer to the tall tees than it really is.
Finishing the three holes alone under your handicap will be a commendable effort. These holes typify the demands that Tiara makes on golfers. Thrift, tact and thought, or else the risk remain terribly tantalising and play out those playing outside of themselves.
Jewel in the Crown
Course-in-play with Joe Carlos (Golf Times – November 1996)
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is set to take the local golfing scene by storm. Malacca’s latest golf project, situated in the heart of the popular Ayer Keroh tourist district, incorporates a thoughtful and well planned design which should set standards for future developments.
Tiara Melaka will capture the hearts of even the most hardened environmentalist let alone golfers. The 27-hole course, designed by Neil Haworth of Singapore-based Nelson, Wright, Haworth, is a case study on the preservation of the natural surroundings. Hundreds of old trees have been left untouched, even to the extent that several have become towers of defiance in the middle of fairways.
The project developers, Ayer Keroh Resort Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the Lion Group, had made it clear from the onset that Tiara Melaka would become not just an exclusive gateway but more so a resort for those in search of a healthy enriched lifestyle.
Said Syed Nasser Syed Omar, the resort’s Marketing and Sales Manager: "Our bungalow lots, most of which have spectacular views of the golf course, are 95 percent sold out. This underlines the enthusiasm that buyers want to be as close to nature as possible."
The development has 221 units of bungalow units ranging from 8,000 sq ft to 18,000 sq ft. The prices range from RM17.50 to RM27.00 per sq ft. A total of 680 units of condominiums will be built from 1996 and should be completed by mid-1999. The clubhouse which is now fully operational, offer facilities like swimming, jacuzzi, steam baths, sauna, squash, tennis, restaurants, pro shop, games room, driving range and gymnasium.
The first and second intakes for golf memberships at RM20,000 and RM25,000 respectively have been sold. The third intake is currently priced at RM30,000. Tiara Melaka is only 15 minutes from historical Malacca city, 90 minutes from Kuala Lumpur and two hours from Singapore. "Our location is perfect. The overnight visitor can complete 18 holes and still take in the multitude of attractions that Malacca is famous for," added Syed Nasser.
But it is the magnificent golf course which will prove to be the Jewel in the Crown. The golfer is in for a rare treat because Tiara Melaka will provide an experience in the tradition of this great game. A buggy ride through the 27 holes is like a walk in the jungle. Those involved in the planning and construction of the course went to great pains to save as much of the natural flora as possible. The terrain was perfect for what the architects had in mind – a rolling countryside course which will keep the adrenaline flowing at every hole.
Because of the abundance of the trees especially on the second and third nines, one gets the impression that the course has been around for decades. Haworth, who was also involved in the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club project at Bukit Kiara, emphatically said: "Mother Nature must have been a golfer. We could already envisage what the course would look like during our first site visit. All we had to do was to shape in the fairways, bunkers and greens."
Added Haworth: "We are very excited about the second and third nines at Tiara Melaka. I am confident that all golfers will enjoy the challenge and natural beauty of the holes which compliment nicely the first nine by providing an exciting jungle experience, typical of some of the older, traditional golf courses in Malaysia."
The golf course was first launched in 1993 and since then, 1,000 members have signed up. The club eventually intends to register 3,500 members including those who are already bungalow lot owners. The 52 bay 2 storey driving range offers semi automatic driving facilities.
Haworth has made full use of the natural surroundings. The water found on several holes provide for some spectacular challenges, while some tee boxes are nicely encapsulated by a foliage of matured trees. The second nine is tight, with jungle, water or out of bounds on every hole. The holes keep getting more and more challenging as the round advances, with the most difficult being the long par 4, 17th.
"This is one project that has been of great personal satisfaction," said Haworth. "Some will see this as a fun course while others will find it to be extremely challenging. From the purist point, it is a course that will awaken your senses, making you one with Nature."
Top Tiara Treat
Club Watch (Asian Golfer – June 1996)
Longing to escape from the frustrations of every day city life in Kuala Lumpur? Dying to discover a weekend retreat away from the increasingly intolerable traffic congestion that is clogging the federal capital? Then Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club is the place for you. Located at Ayer Keroh, a 90-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur or 13 kilometres from Melaka town centre. Tiara Melaka’s 27 hole complex is already receiving rave reviews.
Designed by golf course architects Nelson Wright Haworth and landscaped by Belt Collins and Associates International the club is owned and operated by Hyline Berhad, a member of the Lion Group, one of Malaysia’s biggest corporations. In planning and constructing the club, no expense was spared. The result is one of the most beautiful and imaginative golf courses in the country. With three nine-hole layouts from which to choose and a clubhouse boasting a full range of facilities. Tiara Melaka appears set to succeed not only in attracting Malaysians seeking a quiet getaway, but also in luring Singaporeans who can drive there direct via the North-South Highway, and foreign visitors.
The three layouts named the Lake Course, Meadow Course and Woodland Course meander their way through the natural environment of a former jungle. Indigenous trees, some whose vintage is believed to date back to the founding of Malaysia’s oldest state Melaka in the 14th century blend harmoniously with and extensive array of specially chosen trees and shrubs.
On the Meadow Course, there are also many species of palms. Plunging hills have been incorporated with man’s creation of rolling hills, while interesting contours and mounds further enhance this golfing experience. The maturity of the courses will surprise those who are visiting for the first time. In total, the country estate spans 400 acres with the 27 holes taking up more than three-quarters of the land. The remaining area is being used to build bungalows and condominiums. At 3,107metres, the Lake Course opened in December 1994 is the shortest of the three nines. Measuring 3,215 metres, the Meadow Course became playable in August 1995 while the 3,292 ,metres Woodland Course was unveiled this February. All three are buggy courses.
What makes a visit to Tiara Melaka so memorable is not only the exhilarating beauty that surrounds you, but also the fact that each of the 27 holes stand out on their own. No two holes are similar.
However many of the holes do have similar characteristics… such as narrow fairways, framed by rough and peppered with cleverly placed bunkers. The tapestry’s aesthetics are completed by trees, valley, lakes out of bounds and also a wild species of tall reeds. Accuracy is fully tested by the narrowness of the fairways and also the smallish size of many of the greens which are characterised by subtle undulations. As most fairways begin to narrow for approaches and hazards ensure that the journey becomes tougher, the emphasis is then on clubbing and properly targeted shots. Most of the par-threes are visually enchanting. Their attractiveness belies the difficulty in each of them. If you are not precise with your club selection and your aim, don’t expect to make pars. During the monsoon months and at other times of poor weather, swirling winds create havoc, especially if you’re playing from the black championship tees. It is less intimidating for ladies playing from the red tees because they do not have to strike their drives across the treacherous hazards. The introduction to the Lake Course is gentle with a short par-four of 301 metres. If you make your par there, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. That can prove costly.
Pretty though the 373-metre par-four second is there is little margin for error off the tee. On the right there is a high tree and mounds; on the left there is a valley. Bunkers on both sides of the fairway await errant drives. Rough tightens the uphill approach with the green cut on a hillock guarded by two sand traps front left. The green slopes from back to front and right to left. A par? A bogey is more likely! The fourth is a 490-metre par-five where every shot must be carefully manoeuvered away from the trouble that lurks menacingly. Addition to the fairway being littered with bunkers, trees line the right side. Even if you’ve successfully negotiated the first two shots don’t relax because 120 metres short and left of the long green, water creates a bottleneck with more sand to the right. When you make it to the evelated ninth tee, hold your breath and linger for a minute to take in the spectacular panorama.
Measuring 352 metres, the drive needs to be carefully thought out. First your ball must traverse a wide chasm before plunging dramatically down to a fairway that slopes towards a lake running along the right side. The left is dominated by trees with a bunker at landing distance. Water cuts into the front right of the green with a bunker waiting to save your ball from ending up in a watery grave. For those in need of recharging their batteries and collecting their thoughts (and buying a new sleeve of balls) before continuing, just beyond the green is the clubhouse.
On the Meadow Course, the third (usually played as 12th) stands out because its two-tier fairway is split by bunkers at the bottom level. A 368-metre par-four, the tee shot intimidates as it has to carry the tall reeds. The ideal route is to the upper tier which offers an easier approach to a small two-tiers green that is bunkered on both sides.
While the fourth (or 13th) is a 161-metre par-three where the tee-shot again is across a valley of reeds, the par-five seventh or (16th) provides a bumpy big dipper ride down different steps framed by trees on both sides. Big hitters can attempt to go for the elevated green across a stream in two. Those who do not strike the ball so far should steer away from the water and be content to lay-up. The approach is across the stream to a shallow green that is bunkered front left. More water awaits on the Woodland Course, notable at the third (or 21st). A long par-four, the fairway falls away from the tee before it rises again at the green. The best approach here is to carry the water with the tee shot. Failure to do so will mean taking the longer route along the right which means the player will be confronted by water and sand before reaching the putting surface. Trees also crowd the entrance to the green.
The ninth or (27th), is a 383-metre par-four with trees to the left and a seemingly endless row of sand along the right. A cove of water will gobble up hooked approaches.
The Woodland layout is appropriately named as it is set in the heart of the jungle with trees acting as borders. As well as presenting many challenges, for lovers of nature this nine offers and opportunity to see birds and perhaps also spot an animal or two. Fear not, High fences makes this a forbidden territory for the wild ones (if there are any left).
After golf there is plenty to keep the family busy. In addition to a swimming pool and also a wading pool, there are jacuzzis, steam baths and saunas. There is also a gymnasium, a games room, squash courts and tennis courts, while you can also spend time working on your swing at the 52 bay driving range. If time permits, try and visit Melaka town itself. Dating back to the 14th century and steeped in history, there are many tourist attractions with buildings old and new standing side-by-side. For those who would like to stay longer there are hotels of different classes in town or near the golf course.
The Jewel in Malacca
With the new Malaysian highway crossing from north to south, we found it wasn’t that difficult or trying to hop into Tiara melaka, play 18 holes of golf, and return all in the same day although we could not resist the temptation of stopping in Johor Bahru on our way back in the evening to sample the cheap and delicious food just before we crossed the Causeway.
We were a bit unlucky in that the night before, a freak storm had blown through the area and uprooted several trees and generally caused havoc on the Woodlands nine. The club had to close Woodlands so we had to be content with playing only two nines in Tiara Melaka, the Lake and Meadow.
Playing to a par of 36 and 2,966 metres from the blue tees (measurements on the courses in Tiara Melaka are all in metres), the Lake starts off easy enough with a short and wide open par-4. Get your par or better while you can for the par-4 second gets more difficult. Your approach is uphill to a green that is guarded by bunkers left and right. A ridge starts on the right and goes a little back of the green helping to catch too strong a hit. Any more left and the back of the green falls down to a sheer drop.
The par-3 third calls for precise club selection. Although not obvious from the tees, the long green is set almost 90 degrees to the tees. The edge drops down steeply left and front, with a bunker guarding the front. Short or too much left and you are almost guaranteed not to make your par. Too much right and you may be on the green but in three-putt territory.
The first par-5 on Lake is long and difficult, needing three good and accurate shots. The driving area is narrowed by fairway bunkers left and right. From here the hole doglegs to the left with water guarding the left right up to the green. You have to watch your second shot as you thread your way between the water on the left and a series of bunkers on the right. The bunkers go right up to and protect the green.
The fifth and sixth holes although longish par-4s, let you take a breather before you come to a stretch that could ruin your scorecard. The par-3 seventh needs a carry all the way over water. You can over club but rough and slpes make it almost impossible to get down in two from the back.
The last two holes are picturesque but can be treacherous Good thing the designers have seen that there are options for you to play conservatively. But for those who want to charge and are not quite up to their game at that point in time, watch out! Standing on the tee of the par-4 eight you are faced with water in front of you and must decide how much to dare. The water goes on to guard the right all the way to the green. To reach the green in two on this 370m hole, you must carry quite a lot of it. Bail out to the left and you probably will have to play it as a par-5. There are bunkers left and right of the built up green. The closing par-5 is only 448m but doglegs to the right with a narrow fairway guarded by water on the right and tall trees, rough and out of bounds on the left. Standing on the elevated tee box don’t be surprised if you get butterflies in your stomach. In order to open up the hole your drive must finish on the right side of the fairway from where you can thread your second shot between trees and water. Too much left and your line to the fairway is blocked by a stand of tall trees where the only recourse is to lay up your second shot. Breath a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the buck if you manage a par on this hole.
The Meadow nine, a par of 36, plays to 2,977 metres. This nine has less water but seems to have a lot more bunkers. The fairways remind one of rolling hills and mounds separate adjoining fairways. Greens are large and undulating. The nine opens with a fairly relaxing par-4 although you have left and right fairway bunkers to contend with and three bunkers front and right of the green.
The par-5 second has water in front just for aesthetic purposes. What you should watch out for are left and right fairway bunkers and a long green with bunkers left, right and back. Pin placement would be crucial to club selection on the approach. The third, a par-4 has split fairways separated by bunkers, with the right fairway at a lower lever. Long drivers can go for the left fairway and have a clean approach to agreen that has bunkers left and right.
The next is a nice little par-3 (139m) with the green presented transversely. The left front drops off into a bunker and the back is guarded by a mound with two bunkers sitting between it and the green. The par-4 fifth doglegs to the left and the green cannot be seen from the tee box (the only one that I can remember). You need an accurate and long drive to open up the green. The sixth is just the longest par-4 and the only problem, besides having to hit a long drive, is the long bunker guarding the right of the green. The bunker is on a lower level than the green which makes it more difficult to get out of.
The seventh is a par-5 that plays downhill and is reachable in two. But keep your drive to the right as there is a pond on the left side that starts just about where the drive will land. This pond goes on to guard the green, in front thus forcing all approaches to cross over water. Second shots for laying up must be played with short irons along the fairway that parallels the green.
The eight is a pretty difficult par-4 as the driving area is narrowed by trees on the left, water on the right and a tall tree that seems to sit right in the middle. Its length (389m) forces you to hit a long and accurate drive to be able to get on in two. The green is protected by a bunker in front and the right edge drops off into water.
The last hole doglegs right with water on the right side from tee to green. The water wraps around the back of the green making this one more factor to be considered. The hole is not that long (323m) and you don’t have to carry too much of the dogleg to get on in two. A line to the left fairway bunkers will do. Your approach must be accurate and precise to escape the two bunkers left and the water right and back.
You Decide On the Challenge
Tiara Melaka (Lake and Meadow) can be as challenging as you want it to be, but playing the right tees and making use of the options available will present an enjoyable game to the average golfer. And after you enjoy your game you can proceed to the grand clubhouse and avail yourself of the facilities that are present.
As I said it is not that far to Ayer Keroh. From door to door we took two and a half hours to drop our bags at Tiara Melaka and get ready for play even though we did not push ourselves on the drive up. Just turn off at the Ayer Keroh exit. Turn left after the zoo and you will be in Tiara Melaka. There is adequate sign posting to guide you. But give Monday a miss as the courses are closed for maintenance on that day.