The Golfing Haven

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The Els Club, Teluk Datai in Langkawi, recently won accolades at the World Golf Awards held in Portugal.The Els Club, Teluk Datai in Langkawi, recently won accolades at the World Golf Awards held in Portugal.The Els Club, Teluk Datai in Langkawi, recently won accolades at the World Golf Awards held in Portugal.

Malaysia is now being recognized on the world golfing map as one of the foremost golfing destinations. Awarded ‘Asia’s Best Golf Destination 2014’ at the inaugural World Golf Awards 2014 at the Conrad Algarve Hotel, Portugal in November, Malaysia’s more than 200 golf courses are no longer a well-kept secret.

The World Golf Awards, which is a spin-off of the World Travel Awards, celebrates and rewards excellence in golf tourism, world-class golf courses and golf destinations. The worldwide voting process involves professionals working within the golf travel and tourism industry including senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media professionals. Votes were also submitted online by golf tourism consumers i.e. the public. This inaugural event featured 29 countries around the world winning various awards.

“Being named as the Best Asia Golf Destination at World Golf Award is indeed a great accomplishment and a befitting accolade,” said Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, President of the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA). He added that the award is a result of the government’s ongoing efforts to promote Malaysia as the world’s best golfing destination.

Malaysia is an exciting golfing destination due to the location of its many golf courses within city limits, beside beaches, alongside wildlife, above the clouds in the highlands and within luxurious resorts. Golf enthusiasts also have the choice of playing in numerous world-class golf courses that have hosted international professional golf tournaments like the Maybank Malaysian Open, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, the CIMB Classic and the biennial EurAsia Cup. These golf courses are a great way for visitors to experience the country and its culture.

As the fastest growing economic hub, Malaysia has also become the focus of international golf architects and The Els Club, Teluk Datai in Langkawi, that recently won the World’s and Asia’s Best New Golf Course accolades at the World Golf Awards in Portugal is a result of that interest.

In 2016, two more Els Clubs, namely The Els Club Desaru Coast and The Els Club Desaru Valley will open for play. The Els Club Desaru Coast will feature a 27-hole championship golf course designed by renowned golfer Ernie Els, the Els Performance Academy, the Els Residential units as well as Ernie’s signature Restaurant, the Big Easy Wine Bar and Grill. The highlight of The Els Club Desaru Valley will be the 18-hole golf course designed by former world number one golfer Vijay Singh and is jointly developed with Ernie Els Design.

“As a course designer, I feel fortunate to be awarded with some of the most beautiful terrain in Asia. I am confident our work will set new standard, leaving a lasting legacy for Malaysian golfers and the region as a whole,” said Ernie.

Several other golf clubs and tour operators also received recognition in the category of Malaysia at the recent World Golf Award event. Kota Permai Golf & Country Club took home the Best Golf Course award while the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, which houses the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club won the Best Golf Hotel in Malaysia. Tour operators, Delta Trend Golf & Leisure Holidays and Liberty Golf Services won the Best Inbound Tour Operator and Best Outbound Tour Operator, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia Golf Tourism Association (MGTA) is happy with the recognition of the country’s excellent development in the golf industry. According to the MGTA, in 2013, golf tourism receipts surpassed RM300 million compared to RM296 million in 2012. The target for this year is to reach RM310 million.

Ng Eu Shen

Ng Eu ShenAccording to MGTA’s President Mr Ng Eu Shen (pic), while Johor is still the state that attracts the most number of golfers, the distributions of golf tourists is slowly increasing in other states as well. He added that the MGTA future plans include installing an online tracking system in golf clubs to better able to track the numbers of golfers playing around the country.

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