A round of golf at the improved Awana course in Genting Highlands

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 16, 2017.

Filepic of the golfing greens at Awana Genting Highlands. A huge portion of the fairway has been dug up to improve the subsoil drainage and irrigation system.

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Would you have been surprised if you had read that Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort was one of the top five nominees for the “Most Improved Golf Course” award for 2017 in a Malaysian golf awards event conducted recently by a popular golf magazine? 

An improved Awana golf course should be a big draw for us golfers. And we were given the chance to find out more about these improvements during a recent media preview of the golf course organised by Resorts World Genting.

It was a beautiful morning for golfing and the rising sun was just shining through the tall trees when we teed off from the first tee. Joining us was the general manager of Awana Hotel, Isaaz Ishak Yunus, a keen golfer himself.

As we played along, I was briefed on the upgrading process that has been carried out on the various holes. 

On the seventh hole — where this fairway is notorious for balls disappearing into the grass right at the spot where they land, especially so when you drive a high trajectory ball off the tee — massive works have been done. 

A huge portion of the fairway has been dug up to improve the subsoil drainage and irrigation system — and subsequently topped off with more than 30cm of sand capping. 

With that in mind, I showed a flash of brilliance and had a good long drive off the tee, landing the ball smack in the middle of the fairway. We could see the ball actually bouncing and running a short distance. Now that is a huge improvement where this fairway is concerned.

We moved on in our round of 18 holes and there were similar results on the other holes that have been upgraded likewise. Also, throughout our round, I did not notice any water puddles or muddied patches on the fairway or even the light rough, keeping in mind we were playing in the morning.

Some of the greens are still maturing after the hollow-tining process but all of them are still as tricky as ever. I noted that some greens, especially the elevated ones, are surrounded by tall forest trees and pines, thereby restricting badly needed sunlight reaching those greens. 

Some greens have been reshaped to facilitate a faster water dispersal rate, especially after a prolonged downpour. Upkeep of the greens in this challenging environment is no easy task and after a few pars and a couple of missed birdies, I would say they are pretty well maintained.

Also, now with Russell Edward, a golf professional, helming the golf operations, things are looking bright for this golf course going forward.

Having said that, at the end of the day, the all-important question is whether a golfer will return to play on this course. After a round at Awana, my answer is a definite “definitely”.

Bed and breakfast golf package: The walk-in rate for a single person for one round of golf on the resort’s 18-hole course (including buggy service) is RM300 for Monday to Friday or RM350 for Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

If a guest decides to stay a night, a Superior Deluxe Room which comes with buffet breakfast at the Rajawali restaurant is available at RM200 (weekdays) or RM230 (weekends). 

For more information, call (03) 2718 1118 or visit www.rwgenting.com. 

Geoffrey Sze welcomes constructive feedback and comments at [email protected].