The Els Club – Desaru Coast – Johor – Malaysia

A friend and I had the pleasure to play The Els Desaru Coast in November 2016 and wish to share our experiences with the course, staff and facilities. The...

A friend and I had the pleasure to play The Els Desaru Coast in November 2016 and wish to share our experiences with the course, staff and facilities.

The Els Club is a 4hr 30 minute drive from Kuala Lumpur unless you choose to fly to JB and then it’s around 1 hr drive….. It’s definitely worth the time!

Although still going through regeneration and gentrification in the area the drive up to the clubhouse is fantastic and in a few years and with the new course opening in 2017, this will be a must for any golfer as they will then boast a 27 hole championship course as well as the new 18 hole championship course.


Like Langkawi, on arrival you are met by bag handlers, not only to take your bag but to welcome you through in to the Clubhouse with a smile and a cheerful ‘Good Morning’……it’s always nice to feel welcome at a top course because sometimes that’s not the case, especially in Malaysia.

Registration is easy in the pro shop and the staff were very friendly, you are then shown to the locker room, where you have your name on the locker and another warm welcome from the staff in the changing room.

Little gestures of appreciation always make us humble golfers feel special, like the bag tags….awesome memento’s and something we will keep on the bag forever.


Check-in, change and over to grab a nice hot coffee and breakfast from the restaurant, which still has a couple of teething problems as staff seemed either going through training or very inexperienced, let’s hope this gets better as the course will only get busier.

Sitting in the open Clubhouse looking at the course just makes you want to play golf….and with 27 holes on Saturday and Sunday…I’m gonna need to boom the ball as the course is 7400 yards off the black tees…..which after 3 holes my playing partner refused to play off and moved to the silver tees (similar to standard blues)

It’s on to the 1 st tee…..and great drive …Straight down the middle….second shot on to the green and drained the 20ft birdie putt…..This is going to be a good day !!!


Coast Nine – has a great range of holes with both short and long par 3’s, lay-up par 5’s and par 4’s… caters for high handicappers as well as low as most of the fairways are very wide. This 9 has some very pretty signature holes and holes that make you think about your next shot….

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Lakes 9 – Have a slightly different feel to them with more angled fairways, a few blind shots, tricky lies and was slightly wetter due to rainfall. The fairways are wide and like the Coast nine very well maintained….the holes seemed longer than the Coast and you found yourself playing driver, rescue or long iron for your second…..especially off the black tees !!!


Ridge Nine – Moving through the contours of the local landscape this is the nine each day that killed me…even though supposedly it’s the easier of the three….the fairways are wide, well-manicured but the holes again seem very long…or is it just me after playing 23 holes ???

There are some great holes on the course and seemed to be water on almost every hole that kept catching me out, especially the par 3’s…but all in all very enjoyable.


As we came up the 9 th hole, we felt that this course is meant for far better golfers than ourselves as this place will definitely hold a major tournament in the next few years once all the new building work is completed and the other 18 holes complete.


All in all the course as you would expect is immaculate, even after very heavy rain and hot sun throughout the last few months, the facilities are great, however if I were to be overly critical, the course needs caddies, due to visa issues for overseas caddies The Els Desaru does not have any caddies as there is a ban Malaysia wide on new caddie visas, or at least that is what we were informed, having said that the buggies have GPS and full TV screens which helps, BUT, if you’ve not played the course before or buggy on track will make some of the walking quite strenuous and make the game much longer….

There is not much in the area for nightlife/groups/socialising which may put a few people off right now and some of the hotels are taking advantage of the new projects in the area and are charging exorbitant prices, the drive is a long way from KL, but it’s definitely worth it…..And we will be looking to book a group weekend at The Els Desaru in 2017.

Thanks Warren & see you in 2017

For more information and if you wish to join the golfing group for our monthly tournaments please email

By Duncan Cameron